Shopping

Anker Portable Power Station review: Is the pint-size power pack worth the price?

In the world of portable power solutions, Anker has long established itself as a leader, which is why when the brand introduced the SOLIX C800 Plus Portable Power Station this winter, I wanted to get my hands on it and try it out.

Just hearing the name Anker evokes trust when purchasing power banks and portable chargers, which is a testament to the brand’s commitment to innovation and quality.

As a homeowning layman with a relatively new life outside of the city, I have run into a few instances where wind, rain, or snow have left me powerless (quite literally). So, I am hoping that relying on Anker for my more robust power needs will be a smart move, too.

RELATED:8 best home generators to keep your power running, according to experts

Keep reading for my review of the features, performance, and overall first impression of the SOLIX C800 Plus and, ultimately, if I think it’s a standout choice in its category.

What is the Anker SOLIX C800 Plus

Grey objects with light on, Anker-Extended-Three.
Anker

The Anker SOLIX C800 Plus is not just another power station; it’s a strong, feature-rich portable device designed for a variety of applications, from outdoor adventures to emergency backup power.

With a 768Wh capacity and 1200W rated power, it promises to keep devices charged and equipment running whenever and wherever you are.


Anker SOLIX C800 Plus review

Hand holding black cable in front of Anker Solix c800 plus
The Anker SOLIX C800 Plus comes with one AC charging cable, one car charging cable, and one solar charging cable. Solar panels are sold separately, starting at $79.99. Barret Wertz

Upon unboxing, the SOLIX C800 Plus impressed with its compact yet sturdy build. Weighing less than 25 pounds, it’s portable enough to be carried on camping trips and outdoor events, and certainly moved around the house.

The small design also allows for easy storage when not needed (hopefully often), which, if you ask me, is an incentive no matter the size of your home. It features an intuitive interface and clearly labeled ports, making it user-friendly, a critical aspect for those who may have Luddite tendencies.

The heart of the SOLIX C800 Plus’s appeal lies in its performance. The device boasts a 1200W output, capable of powering an impressive range of devices simultaneously – up to 10.

Diagram of an Anker product device
Product overview features an intuitive interface and clearly labeled ports. Anker

From laptops and phones to more power-intensive equipment like electric grills and portable refrigerators, the SOLIX C800 Plus handles it all with ease. Its 1600W SurgePad technology ensures that even high-surge devices operate without hiccups.

If you want to charge every high-powered device at once, the SOLIX C800 Plus has a safety shut-off, which, if nothing else, should provide peace of mind when setting it up for the long haul.

What really sets the SOLIX C800 Plus apart is its HyperFlash recharging. A full recharge in just under an hour (58 minutes per the brand; however, I’ll be honest, I didn’t stand by with my stopwatch) is actually quite unprecedented in portable, dependable power stations, according to the deep diving research I did.

Anker SOLIX with Solar panel
The selection of solar panels makes the perfect addition to the Anker SOLIX C800 Plus. Anker

This is key because I know I can’t be the only one who has said, “Oh yeah, I’ll remember to do that very important thing later,” only to realize upon needing to use the items that required the important thing to be done, I didn’t do.

I think it goes without saying that this feature offers users minimal downtime and maximum efficiency. Whether you’re recharging via an AC outlet or harnessing solar power with a 300W input and the optional additional solar panel, the SOLIX C800 Plus adapts to your needs – quickly.

Anker has thoughtfully integrated features specifically catering to outdoor enthusiasts. The detachable 3-mode camping lights — candle mode, floodlight mode, and flashlight mode — are innovative additions that enhance the utility of the SOLIX C800 Plus in various outdoor settings.

Additionally, the base itself features a dim nightlight that provides just enough ambient light with minimal power usage so as not to have to sit in pure darkness when not using either of the two independent flashlights.

In urban settings, the SOLIX C800 Plus doubles as a reliable uninterruptible power supply (UPS). With a swift 20ms switchover time, it ensures that essential devices remain operational during power outages, a feature designed to give homeowners an added incentive.

The SOLIX C800 Plus is equipped with 10 ports, including USB-C and USB-A, catering to a myriad of charging needs. Its smart app control is a modern touch, allowing users to monitor and manage the power station remotely. This connectivity not only provides convenience but also ensures you can optimize the device’s usage and efficiency from almost anywhere.

Anker SOLIX on a table in front of a Jeep with flashlight option
Detachable 3-mode camping lights — candle mode, floodlight mode, and flashlight mode — are innovative additions to the SOLIX C800 Plus. Anker

Anker’s commitment to durability is evident in the well-thought-out construction of the SOLIX C800 Plus. The LiFePO4 batteries offer 3000 cycles, ensuring longevity, while the unit’s drop-proof design and industrial-grade components underscore its readiness to withstand the rigors of both indoor and outdoor use.

I haven’t dropped it to test yet, but if I had to guess, the courier service who delivered probably did at least once, so I’ll consider it a pass.

While the SOLIX C800 Plus excels in many areas, there are aspects that could be enhanced. The handle design, for instance, could be more ergonomic for easier transport. That said, I do understand the choice for this design, as it allows for expansion batteries to be integrated easily, establishing a power system.

A hand holding an Anker power supply
SIde view of the easy-to-use Anker SOLIX C800 Plus. Barret Wertz

Additionally, a more intuitive indication of charging status would improve the user experience, addressing the confusion when the screen goes blank during charging. I did plug in the station upon receiving it only to realize later that it didn’t actually charge.

It wasn’t plugged in firmly enough, which is technically a user error, but once I figured out the issue, only the pin light on the power button remained illuminated after a few seconds signaling to me that power was reaching the unit.

Even with that minor annoyance, because it arrived with over a quarter of battery, even if I did need it immediately upon opening, I would have still been somewhat prepared, which shows me forethought on the part of the brand.

  • Anker SOLIX C800 Plus

    Close-up view of a power supply
    What comes with the Anker SOLIX C800 Plus. Anker

    Pros

    • Rapid charging technology allows for full recharge in under an hour

    • High capacity and output support a wide range of devices

    • Durable build quality with LiFePO4 batteries ensures long life

    • Intuitive design and user-friendly interface

    • Versatile with detachable lights and multiple charging options

    • Remote app control enhances user convenience

    Cons

    • Screen going blank during charging can cause confusion.

    • Dual handle design could be improved for better grip and portability.

    • A more detailed physical user manual could benefit users who are not familiar with QR codes.

The bottom line

The Anker SOLIX C800 Plus Portable Power Station stands as a pinnacle of portable power technology. Its combination of rapid charging, versatile functionality, and robust build quality positions it as an ideal choice for a wide range of users.

I anticipate keeping it on standby for weather-related power outages, but I have already added it to the gifting list for my older brother, the family’s avid camper.

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a digital nomad needing reliable power on the go, or someone seeking a dependable emergency power solution, the SOLIX C800 Plus meets and exceeds expectations.

With this power station, Anker not only upholds its reputation for quality but also pushes the boundaries of what to expect from the next phase of portable power stations.


Hunting for a headline-worthy haul? Keep shopping with Post Wanted.