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ZENS Qi-enabled portable battery makes charging truly wireless, almost

By Joe Levi April 14, 2014, 7:09 am
zens qi portable battery

Last week we showed you a very novel Qi wireless charger for you to keep your smartphone topped of while in your car, and we were quite impressed with it. Unlike most car chargers that attach to your dash or windshield, this one sits in your cup holder and cradles your phone while you drive down the road. Interesting and convenient!

If you’re more into carrying around a spare battery, like I do, you might be interested in the ZENS Qi Wireless Charger than other solutions that you have to plug in.

Portable Batteries

In the “good old days” of PDAs and smartphones we could carry around a spare battery or two with us. When one ran out we simply popped in another one, rebooted, and were good to go! These days, there are a lot of phones with non-removable batteries, and many of us put our phones in cases which would make swapping batteries inconvenient.

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For both circumstances, many manufacturers are making portable batteries. Like the name implies, these are batteries that you plug in and charge up at home or at work, then pocket and carry with you for extra juice on the go. Some of them let you charge one device at a time, others can power two devices simultaneously.

We’ve looked at many different portable battery solutions in the past, most are pretty much the same thing, but some bring their own unique features to the mix. None of them beat this one.

ZENS Qi Portable Battery

The ZENS Qi Wireless Charger starts out like any other portable battery that we’ve reviewed in the past. It’s got a microUSB port through which you charge it. It’s got a USB type A port through which you can charge virtually any device that has a USB charging cable. It’s got LED status lights to help you know how much juice is left inside. And it packs 4,500mAh of power in a device that’s about the same size as your smartphone.

If you’re looking for a portable battery, this one is right up there with all the rest, but it’s got one feature that blows the others away: Qi wireless charging. That’s right, if your phone has Qi built-in, you can literally set your smartphone on top of this battery and it will charge, no wires needed. It may sound trivial, but trust me, it’s not.

ZENS Qi Portable Battery

You might have noticed that I wrote fewer articles for Pocketnow last week that I normally do. Most of you probably don’t know that I’m fairly active in local politics, in addition to mobile technology. Last week was especially busy for that side of my life. I normally wouldn’t mix the two together, but in this case it’s completely applicable.

Over the last week I’ve fielded more calls and logged more minutes on my phone than in the past six months combined. I’ve easily tripled the amount of emails I’ve sent and received. And I’ve used the LTE on my Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 significantly more than ever before. I’ve been in more meetings that I can count (at all hours of the night, I might add). Some of those meetings might have provided convenient access to a power outlet, but many did not.

Luckily, I had the ZENS Wireless Charger with me all the time. My devices never went dead. Not a single time. I didn’t have to tote a USB cable around with me in addition to the charger either. The ZENS Wireless Charger was everything I needed in one compact package. It got me through a very stressful week — without having to stress over a phone with a dead battery.

Wireless, Almost

Knowing that there will be a few that challenge whether or not this is a “true” wireless charging solution because you still need a standard USB cable to charge it with (but only optionally to charge a phone or tablet with), we reached out to ZENS for some insight.

During development, ZENS tested whether or not charging the battery wirelessly would be a viable option. From a technical standpoint, it could have been done. However, since it’s such a large battery, charging it via Qi would have taken much more than 8 hours, and the extra components would have added extra cost and bulk to the product.

In practice, it doesn’t need it.

If you’ve got a smartphone or tablet that’s got Qi wireless charging built in, this is the portable battery for you. If you haven’t yet experienced Qi wireless charging, you’re really missing out. The convenience and reduced wear and tear on your device are well worth it. ZENS even has wireless charging covers and cases for quite a few devices, just in case yours didn’t come with Qi built-in.

(ZENS Qi Wireless Charger demo unit provided courtesy of ZENS and available for purchase at makezens.com)

Itching for more futuristic wireless charging hotness? Check out our rundown of everything you need to know about the technology, our reviews of the ZENS Qi Wireless Portable Speaker and ZENS Qi Wireless Car Charger, the TYLT Vu Qi charging dock, and other Qi-powered products from ZENS!

 

 

 

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