Anker Powerline Cable Series Comparisons - II, +II, III, and +III

I have been browsing through the web to seek answers on what truly differentiates the Powerline series from each other. Though there are several reviews and blogs present, the only key difference I am noticing is the bend lifespan–with the other features nearly identical. Though I hope that more about this will surface in the near future, I am here to create a thread for the community to give their own take on what separates the Powerline cables from each other–to shed light on what we should focus on as potential future customers. At the end of the day, I am interested in purchasing an Anker Powerline product myself–thus need guidance–but it would be a great benefit to us all if you could provide your input on the Powerline cables. If you will, you could treat this as a comparison page.

Notably, I am looking for differences between USB-A/USB-C, rubber/nyalon-braided, and the varying lengths of cables.

Personally, I am aware USB-C cables enable faster charging, but I do not have any USB-C wall chargers, or anything for that matter, that uses USB-C–and I am not sure if I am prepared to make the jump if using USB-A is going to be more versatile for me to use in the long run.
As far as I can tell, I have not ran across data or reviews that substantially suggest the Powerline cables are any better than another in the aspect of charging speed and data transfer–only bend lifespan, warranty duration, and of course, cost.
I have an Apple iPhone XS Max, but I am seeking a well-rounded cable that can handle everyday use for everyday devices, like the iPad, iPhone, and possibly future Apple products that use the lightning cable and USB-A charging. On that note, it is still unknown whether Apple will begin utilizing USB-C fully across all their devices, but if need be, I will make the switch to USB-C cables. In regards to micro USB’s, again, I find no need for them as I do not specifically use devices that utilize micro USB’s.

With all that said, at the end of the day, I am your average customer that is looking for a versatile and quality cable that I can use in my day-to-day life. And as your average customer, I was confused on what truly differentiated the Powerline cables from each other (hence this thread).
At this point, I suppose I am juggling bend lifespan, cost, and how the warranties factor in and potentially “cover up” the other two former factors.

If I may, I have three general questions:

  1. Do the nyalon-braided cables wear and fray over time like you would expect from anything that is woven/braided?
  2. Do the rubber cables give and break (eventually when it is worn down) like any other rubber cable?
  3. In my search, I’ve seen several accounts of people claiming their cables stop working within months of purchasing Anker cables. Is this caused by the cables breaking or do they just stop working?
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What cable are you looking to buy? What specifications do you have?

What phone do you have?? And/Or what type of cable (C/A/micro) are you looking to buy? Basically the PIII is going to charge faster/last longer/doing something that the PI or PII did not. Honestly, it all depends on what you are looking to use the cables for.

I think you’ll find your need for the cable will be outlived by the cable, frankly I’d go for the lowest cost confirmed to be fastest for your context. We can help you if you name the device(s). Prices vary considerably over time.

There’s some info if you search, e.g.

The issue is that USB evolves, device evolves and most cables you get now will end up unused in a few years. 5A USB-C was last chabge and USB 4 next.

I have the MicroB cables I paid extra for durability in a draw unused. Lesson from history.

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Hi @wanderr, there are many differences between Anker’s various cable offerings:

The “+” versions are double-braided nylon, while the non-+ versions are thermoplastic rubbers.

The “+” versions are more durable than the non-+ versions.

The “III” series is more durable than the “II” series.

The “+” versions are more expensive than the non-+ versions.

The “III” series is more expensive than the “II” series.

The “III” series is thinner than the “II” series.

Hope this helps!


Won’t thinner fail faster? Bend radius and stress concentration.

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Users were complaining about poor flexibility, and Anker claims they’ve made them thinner (and therefore more flexible), while also being stronger.

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I edited to following specifications in the original thread, but to reiterate, I am looking for differences between USB-A/USB-C, rubber/nyalon-braided, and the varying lengths of cables. I also included my own thoughts on the matter to narrow down on what I’m looking for.

Imo you should go for the lowest cost, that is the fastest, and still has the lifetime warranty.

(Powerline II)

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It depends on the device.

For example, I’m testing a new phone, finding configuration of optimal efficiency. The iPhone XR can be charged via USB PD 9V 2A but the phone itself cannot ingest more than about 15W, so an imperfect cable so long as it doesn’t lose more than 3W has no negatives, e.g. a longer cable perform same short cable, a cheaper one has low risk of being poorer.

But I have a large tablet, it can ingest at 18W, so there is an impact on cable length.

Them Ohm’s law, the voltage drop across a cable is fixed (at time of manufacturing bit increases with use) a property of the cable, but that fixed absolute Voltage drop becomes a relatively smaller impact at higher voltage, therefore the cable matters less for 60W 20V than it does for say 10W 5V, which is why it matters more to use a shorter Type A than a PD 60W C cable.

All this bending robustness discussion is really about is how fast does the resistance increase, and therefore Voltage drop increase, occurs over usage.

Big fat it all depends on context.

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He knows what he is talking about @wanderr. Which @professor is why I didn’t mind buying a 6ft C-lightening because the charger is 45w pd. Opposed to my usual 3ft cable and I knew it would be ok because I asked here and got an answer, or several like you will @wanderr. Lol Also why I could use that charger for the DC-C laptop cable. Science.

I suppose the subject of optimal charging efficiency is more sophisticated than I anticipated. I am pretty new to this space of things, so as I am now, I will probably get lost in the numbers (haha I suppose I’m receiving more than thought). But thanks for the heads up.

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If you tell us exactly what devices you want to charge, we can provide links to the best cables.

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Nah they just get lazy and don’t want to work anymore lol
Jk jk
I’ve using Anker cables for a couple of years and haven’t had any issues with them. I don’t baby them but I’m reckless with them either. I think you’ll be satisfied

45W is a property of the peak capabilities of the charger, but actual W and V is a function of the charger and device combination. An iPad is I think 15V Vs iPhone 9V, so how efficient is the cable is device dependent not so much charger dependent, a 45W would give one device 9V the other 15V.

Watts are the least important thing to discuss, it’s Watthours and Voltage matter more.

I periodically test my cables, about 10% of Anker cables have a noticeable resistance. That matters more for portable chargers where impacts how many device recharges I get, than home use. In general the best value for money comes from the shortest cable as its ageing is slower, less metal to crack.

With most of my devices now 9V, the cables are less important as say a 1V drop from 5V is 20% power loss but at 9V is 11% loss.

Well a shorter and thicker cable will be the most efficient but in some contexts the charger and device may make it irrelevant. You could spend $25 on a cable and find a $10 perform just as good.

So the trends to higher voltage is making the cable less important.

How do you check that? By timing it how long it takes to charge or measuring the current (hope it’s the right term)

Usb meter at the device end, the Voltage.

In the case of Lightning connector you can’t so that’s inferred by current.

Ohm’s Law, the resistance of a cable causes a Voltage drop, so if you squirted 5V in one end at the charger and say 4.5V is measured at the cable-device you lost 10% of a 10W charger, or a lower % of a charger-device combination using 45W.

But it only matters if that wasted energy in the cable could be used by the device. One cable can be critical for one device but not for another.

Which is why just buy the cheapest cable of shortest viable length then use a meter to find the best use for all your cables.

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Thanks for the info professor. I noticed plenty of you guys use USB meters, I’ve been saying I’m gonna buy one but I haven’t. I’m gonna start looking again and maybe this time I decide to buy one :+1:

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In regards to the lifetime warranty, if the cable were to have stopped working for whatever reason, would that be considered qualified for a replacement?