ANENG AN302 Review

The ANENG AN302 is a neat little Chinese pocket multimeter for those needing something small and portable. It’s able to measure voltage, resistance, capacitance, and frequency fairly accurately. Other functions include diode test, continuity test, NCV detection, and a flashlight (for some reason).

At around $10 it’s hard to find a better Chinese meter for low voltage applications in the thin pocket sized category.

aneng an302

Features

  • Auto Ranging
  • 8000 count display
  • LED flashlight
  • NCV detection
  • Data hold
  • Auto Power off
  • 100+ hour battery life
  • Voltage, resistance, diode, continuity, frequency, and capacitance measurement

Included

  • ANENG AN302 Multimeter
  • Manual
  • Hand strap
  • Storage Case

Review of the ANENG AN302

ANENG puts out a lot of different low cost multimeter models which are all pretty highly rated. Because they put out so many, it can actually be hard to choose which model to buy. However, the ANENG AN302 is currently the smallest meter they sell, making it an easy choice for portability.

This auto ranging multimeter packs a lot of functionality in a small form factor. In general it’s accurate enough and within spec for measuring voltage, resistance, and all other measurements it’s capable of. Accuracy also stays consistent regardless of battery voltage.

It’s not the most advanced multimeter and while it lacks current measurement the main selling points are size and cost. Read below for more in depth information.

Specifications

Range Max Resolution Accuracy
DCV 8.000V – 600.0V 0.001V ±(0.5%+3)
DCmV 80.0mV – 800mV 0.01mV
Resistance 800.0Ω 0.1Ω ±(1.0%+3)
8.000kΩ-8.000MΩ 0.001kΩ ±(0.5%+3)
80.00MΩ 0.01MΩ ±(1.5%+3)
Capacitance 9.999nF 0.001nF ±(5.0%+20)
99.99nF – 999.9μF 0.01nF ±(2.0%+5)
9.999mF 0.001mF ±(5.0%+5)
Frequency 99.99Hz – 2.000MHz 0.01Hz ±(0.1%+2)

Features
This meter provides all functions highlighted in green, those highlighted in red are not included.

Auto Range Backlight Data Hold NCV Temperature
Auto Power Off True RMS Diode Continuity Flashlight

Note: All specs and features the above tables are as advertised on store pages/from manufacturers, we try our best but can’t 100% guarantee the accuracy of their claims.

Functionality

Flashlight
The oddest thing about this multimeter is the inclusion of a flashlight. First off this multimeter is powered by a CR2032 which isn’t exactly a high capacity battery. Second, the light itself is basically useless, barely able to illuminate something a foot away.

So we have a poor quality flashlight that draws a lot of current from the already low capacity battery. In our opinion a better choice would have been to include a backlight.

The flashlight is activated by long pressing the Hold/Flashlight button.

NCV Function
The NCV function on this meter is sensitive but not too overly sensitive. It won’t go off in open air but will go off when it needs to. Voltage detection is indicated in 3 ways, with a piezo buzzer, an onscreen indicator, and the LED will flash. The piezo buzzer beeps with varying speed depending on how close it is to the voltage source.

Still, the NCV should not be solely relied on for anything potentially dangerous. Always double check.

Continuity Test
The continuity test function on this multimeter works surprisingly well. It updates fast making it very responsive and has a nice audible beep.

Auto Ranging
This meter defaults to auto ranging mode but can also be set to manual mode with the press of a button. Not too many people will need manual ranging but it’s nice to have the option.

Design

Overall the multimeter design is decent, borrowing heavily from other portable pocket multimeters.

Battery
This multimeter utilizes a CR2032 button or coin cell battery which has a capacity of a little over 200mAh (depending on brand). This means the battery will last anywhere from 75 to a little over 100 hours of usage depending on the mode/function used.

Oddly enough there are no indicators on the case or in the manual on how to insert the battery into the AN302 with the correct orientation. So to make it simple, the battery goes into the slot with the positive side facing you.

(Note: This meter does not come with a battery.)

LCD Display
The LCD for the ANENG AN302 features 4 digits at 8000 counts and has a nice amount of contrast. It’s fairly large when the size of the multimeter is taken into account and the digits are easy to read.

Viewing angle is average, nothing spectacular and at the same time nothing terrible. Unfortunately the LCD doesn’t have a backlight which from a power consumption standpoint makes sense but it would be a better use of battery power than the flashlight.

The LCD updates readings at around 3 samples per second as per specs.

aneng an302 dimensions

Build Quality

The build quality on this multimeter overall is just okay being made with relatively cheap feeling plastic. It also uses self tapping screws to hold the case together which isn’t optimal. Over time as the battery needs to be changed the screw hole threads may become stripped.

Quality Control
There seems to occasionally be an issue with this multimeter when it comes to the battery tabs. They’re held in with melted plastic and some buyers have received units where the tabs are loose in the case. This makes the meter unusable unless the tab is glued back in place.

It doesn’t seem to be a widespread issue but more than 1 person has ran into this problem.

Probes
The probes for this meter are non removable as they are soldered directly to the internal PCB. They’ve included a decent amount of stress relief so wires breaking near where they go into the meter or lifted solder pads are not a concern.

Probe quality is just okay, nothing great and nothing terrible, average for a meter of this cost. The probes themselves are a little under 4 inches long and have about 28 inches of wire to play with. Wire quality is okay, acceptable for the expected usage of this multimeter.

Buttons
The button situation isn’t the best. Occasionally when pressing a button down on the AN302 it will get stuck under a lip of the plastic case. It’s easy to fix by pushing the button in the opposite direction. Annoying when it happens but minor enough that it doesn’t entirely kill the appeal of this meter, especially when the low price is considered.

Safety and Protection

Protection
This multimeter comes with minimal protection which means that care should be taken when using it. It isn’t likely to survive misuse. This was to be expected for a multimeter so cheap and small but still needed to be said.

Safety
It also needs to be said that this multimeter should be kept away from any high voltage sources. CAT ratings in general on these cheap chinese multimeters are arbitrary and should not be trusted.

The meter itself is rated for 300v yet the probes are only rated for 250v. These conflicting ratings combined with poor protection and the fact that it’s give or take a 10 dollar meter means it should NEVER be used for high voltage.

Doing so would be putting yourself in danger, keep it at low voltages only.

Pros

  • Ultra thin at only 10mm
  • Lightweight
  • Long battery life
  • Accurate
  • Low cost

Cons

  • No current measurement
  • Lacks a backlight
  • No instructions for battery orientation
  • Poor input protection

Final Thoughts

The ANENG AN302 overall is a decent meter with some constraints. There are obviously flaws like the general build quality but they can be overlooked if the price is considered. That being said, we wouldn’t recommend this multimeter for every day use. Mostly due to the lack of input protection and absence of current measurement. A better option for general usage would be something like the ANENG AN8009.

We would however recommend this multimeter as a cheap pocket sized tool. Since it doesn’t take up a lot of space it can be carried on your person, thrown in a drawer, a bag, or toolbox. Perfect for when you need to measure basic things like low voltages or continuity and don’t need a giant multimeter.