The Zens Liberty is a slick looking AirPower alternative

onetheycallEric

Posts: 225   +47
Staff

In late 2017 Apple announced it was finally embracing wireless charging and revealed it was working on its own AirPower charging mat. AirPower would allow users to charge an iPhone, Apple Watch and a pair of AirPods simultaneously, regardless of placement. AirPower was an ambitious project, perhaps overly so, as Apple ultimately conceded defeat and killed AirPower after rumored technical hurdles and multiple delays.

In the time since, there have been a handful of designs that have surfaced, attempting to do what Apple couldn't.

There's the dual-charging pad and 3-in-1 charging station available from Mophie, and even sold in Apple's online store. However, these designs aren't exactly what Apple promised, as they make certain compromises. The same is true with the Zens Liberty, the most recent aspiring AirPower alternative.

The Zens Liberty won't facilitate charging three devices simultaneously, instead only supporting two devices at a time. Although, a third device can be charged through a built-in USB-A port. Additionally, the Zens Liberty does promise to charge devices regardless of where they are placed on the mat, which could be serious advantage over Mophie's design that has dedicated places on the mat for charging certain devices.

The Zens Liberty also can't charge the Apple Watch on the pad; at least, not in the way Apple had promised with AirPower. For charging an Apple Watch with the Zens Liberty, there's the Apple Watch USB-stick (€39.99/$44.50), a USB-A accessory that plugs into the included USB-A port. The Apple Watch accessory also appears to have a built-in seat for the Apple Watch to provide the right angle for the Apple Watch’s Nightstand mode.

The Zens Liberty is built with 16 coils, offering a total 30W output, or the ability to charge two devices at 15W. There's also support for Apple and Samsung Fast Charge. The Zens Liberty is powered via USB-C, and comes with a 60W power adapter.

The Zens Liberty is available in two editions: one with a fabric surface, and one with a clear, tempered glass top. The latter affords a look under the hood of the charging mat, where the overlapping coil array can be seen. The glass edition looks seriously slick, and certainly gives the charging mat a premium look, and and equally premium price tag ($199).

Alternatively, the Zens Liberty with a fabric surface will cost $155 which is still a lot. Zens is taking pre-orders, with shipping slated for later this month.

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VitalyT

Posts: 5,956   +6,227
It's a zoo of wireless chargers out there today. And paying more than $50 for one is a rip off. I got this one, it charges my iPhone 11 Pro + AirPods Pro just fine. I do not own an iWatch, and so do not care about that.
 

Hardware Geek

Posts: 394   +451
"The untimely cancellation of AirPower remains a rare tarnish on Apple's otherwise impressive record with hardware releases."

Impressive? Like butterflies switches or slowing down iPhones without telling consumers impressive? I'm not impressed.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,310   +6,033
Building a charger with true X-Y freedom isn't the hard part.

Keeping it thin, pretty and from melting down your house is another story.

I had high hopes for Air Power, but I knew something was wrong with it before it became vaporware.

I am using an Altair Bezalel with an Apple fast charger 12W and a cheap combined applewatch iPhone wireless charger. So far, no issues.


82589702_989591684757242_2657301316916740096_n.jpg
 

bviktor

Posts: 499   +828
It's a zoo of wireless chargers out there today. And paying more than $50 for one is a rip off. I got this one, it charges my iPhone 11 Pro + AirPods Pro just fine. I do not own an iWatch, and so do not care about that.

Yeah, and it's always a lottery if they'll work, and will they damage the phone or not. Something you may or may not be willing to risk with a $700+ phone. The problem with these cheap @ss gadgets is always the lack of QA.
 

bviktor

Posts: 499   +828
"The untimely cancellation of AirPower remains a rare tarnish on Apple's otherwise impressive record with hardware releases."

Impressive? Like butterflies switches or slowing down iPhones without telling consumers impressive? I'm not impressed.

Turn off your reality distortion field. In case you haven't noticed, current Apple market cap is at a ridiculous 1.3 trillion dollars. It's the most valuable company on this planet. iPhone 11 produced surprisingly good sales, the Watches and AirPods are flying off the shelves, wearables alone are at $6.5 billion in revenue. Services make up 20% of their revenue already. Profitability is up 2%. While only owning a 32% market share, Apple is still raking in 66% of all mobile profits (Sammy is a distant second at 17%).

The only valid point is the Mac keyboard issues, but that's not gonna be enough to slow Apple down, as that division only makes up 11% of all their revenue and shrinking (vs iPhone 52% and services 20%, wearables 10% and growing). The iPhone slow down is actually there to help customers (as otherwise the phone would simply shut down randomly coz the battery is unable to provide the needed power), and they already added various (annyoying) messages to explain that. Like 2 years ago.
 

bviktor

Posts: 499   +828
I still can't forgive Apple for making the Watch incompatible with regular Qi chargers. Same goes for the stupid Lightning connector. I mean make up your friggin' mind already. Macbook: USB-C since 2016. Macbook Pro: USB-C since 2017 (I think). iPhone: Lightning. iPad: Lightning. iPad Air: Lightning. iPad Pro: USB-C. WHY. What an *****ic mess.

And the best part is that they rather eliminate the charging port from the iPhone altogether than finally giving us USB-C. Hilarious.
 

Hardware Geek

Posts: 394   +451
Turn off your reality distortion field. In case you haven't noticed, current Apple market cap is at a ridiculous 1.3 trillion dollars. It's the most valuable company on this planet. iPhone 11 produced surprisingly good sales, the Watches and AirPods are flying off the shelves, wearables alone are at $6.5 billion in revenue. Services make up 20% of their revenue already. Profitability is up 2%. While only owning a 32% market share, Apple is still raking in 66% of all mobile profits (Sammy is a distant second at 17%).

The only valid point is the Mac keyboard issues, but that's not gonna be enough to slow Apple down, as that division only makes up 11% of all their revenue and shrinking (vs iPhone 52% and services 20%, wearables 10% and growing). The iPhone slow down is actually there to help customers (as otherwise the phone would simply shut down randomly coz the battery is unable to provide the needed power), and they already added various (annyoying) messages to explain that. Like 2 years ago.
Added the messages only when they were caught. I don't disagree the slowdowns were necessary, what I disagree with it's not telling people first and hiding the fact that they were doing it until they got busted by someone replacing their battery and measuring speeds before and after replacing said battery.
 

bviktor

Posts: 499   +828
Added the messages only when they were caught. I don't disagree the slowdowns were necessary, what I disagree with it's not telling people first and hiding the fact that they were doing it until they got busted by someone replacing their battery and measuring speeds before and after replacing said battery.

You kinda assume when you implement such a protective measure, the software automagically prints such a message on its own that the evil developer intentionally has to hide, but in reality it's the other way around. There's a zillion things a smartphone does that it won't nag you about, this one was just one cherry-picked by the rage culture crowd.
 

Hardware Geek

Posts: 394   +451
You kinda assume when you implement such a protective measure, the software automagically prints such a message on its own that the evil developer intentionally has to hide, but in reality it's the other way around. There's a zillion things a smartphone does that it won't nag you about, this one was just one cherry-picked by the rage culture crowd.
And yet once they got caught they admitted they were intentionally slowing down phones. My phone does a zillion things without bugging me about it, but it doesn't intentionally slow itself down without informing me it is going to do that. Sure it drives sales of newer phones, but that's a pretty dishonest way to go about getting people to upgrade. The fact that they added those messages after being caught just shows they were trying to hide the fact that the battery was no longer able to supply enough power to run at full speed. Consumers should have a right to be informed before a company intentionally cripples the capabilities of their product. I don't see how people being upset about that is part of "rage culture". I guess if you're an apple fanboy it's easier to dismiss people's legitimate frustration with having their product crippled.

I'm not against apple by any means as I own a number of apple devices, but that doesn't mean I'm going to give them a free pass to do whatever they want without calling them out on unethical business practices. All it would have taken is a simple notification of what they were doing and why.