Review: Zens Liberty Wireless Charger is a Solid AirPower Alternative With Room for Two Qi Devices and Apple Watch

It's been nearly one year since Apple cancelled the AirPower wireless charging mat, which would have allowed you to place your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods anywhere on the mat to wirelessly charge each device. In the subsequent months, numerous third-party companies have stepped forward in an attempt to reproduce this product, and now Zens has released its own take on an AirPower-like device: the Zens Liberty 16 Coils Wireless Charger.


Zens' charger features 16 overlapping charging coils, letting you place any two Qi-enabled devices anywhere on the mat to charge them. It supports a total output of 30W, Apple Fast Charge, a USB-A port for wired charging of a third device (or attaching the ‌Apple Watch‌ USB stick accessory), and a USB-C power adapter.


Zens sent me both the Liberty Fabric Edition and the Liberty Glass Edition, which are the same product with different finishes on the Qi surface of the mat. The Fabric Edition sports a woolen upholstery textile that's made of 90 percent wool, ensuring the back of your devices won't be scratched, while the Glass Edition has a see-through surface that showcases the 16 charging coils.


In terms of their design, I preferred the subtlety of the Fabric Edition over the Glass Edition, which stands out far more. Both Liberty Wireless Chargers have a rubberized outer shell and sturdy bases with large footprints (8.8 inches long x 5.3 inches wide). The textile on top of the Fabric Edition lends the device a luxurious feel and look, which is good given that these are high-end chargers that exceed $140.

Charging times across the board aligned with typical Qi wireless charging estimates. My iPhone 11 Pro Max was topped off at 100% consistently every night I used the Zens Liberty charger, and I never faced any mysterious disconnects or interruptions in my time with the accessory.


As with any wireless charger, charging times are not as fast as using a Lightning or USB-C cable, but Zens' accessory is perfect for trickle charging at your desk or overnight near your bed. Similarly, the USB Stick performed as expected for an ‌Apple Watch‌ charger, with performance on par with Apple's own Magnetic Charging Dock.

After a few days, the Zens Liberty charger quickly replaced my previous Belkin Qi mat next to my bed. Zens' promise of "freedom of placement" on the mat turned out to be entirely accurate, allowing me to throw down my ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ in nearly any orientation without having to worry about landing on the Qi "sweet spot," which is something I constantly fussed with on the Belkin charger.


The nearly 9-inch mat is large enough to hold two Max-sized iPhones, but I mainly used mine to charge up my ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ and AirPods Pro on the Qi base. While the Liberty charger doesn't quite meet the promise of AirPower's three-device Qi charging, what it provides for two devices is a reliable and frictionless wireless charging experience, with the added bonus of charging your ‌Apple Watch‌ with an accessory you can purchase separately.


This MFi certified ‌Apple Watch‌ USB Stick is a tiny dongle with an ‌Apple Watch‌ charging puck attached to the end, allowing you to charge your ‌Apple Watch‌ through any USB-A port. When connected to the Zens Liberty Wireless Charger on a special port at the back of the Qi mat area, the dongle turns into a little upright stand that can charge your ‌Apple Watch‌ in Nightstand Mode.

Bottom Line


The Zens Liberty Wireless Charger is a solid ‌AirPower‌ alternative that provides dependable wireless charging to any two Qi-compatible devices like the iPhone 11, ‌AirPods‌, and more.


Of course, the ability to freely place your devices anywhere on the mat and the high-quality design mean you'll pay a premium for the accessory.

How to Buy


The Liberty Fabric Edition costs $139.99 (€139.99), while the Glass Edition costs $179.99 (€179.99). Both models come with a three-year extended warranty. The Apple Watch USB Stick is available separately for $39.99 (€39.99).

Note: MacRumors received the Zens Liberty Fabric Edition, Zens Liberty Glass Edition, and Zens ‌Apple Watch‌ USB Stick for the purposes of this review. No other compensation was received.

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ZENS AirPower-Like Liberty Wireless Charger With 16 Coils Now Available to Order

Dutch brand ZENS today announced the availability of its AirPower-like wireless charging mat with 16 overlapping coils, allowing two devices to be charged anywhere on the mat.


The ZENS Liberty can charge any Qi-enabled devices, with the 16 coils providing a total output of 30W (2x15W) as well as supporting Apple and Samsung Fast Charge. Meanwhile, the built-in 2.4A USB port can be used to charge another device, including an Apple Watch using the optional Apple Watch USB-stick accessory.
The 16 overlapping charging coils give complete freedom of placement, allowing you to place two devices anywhere on the charging pad. For those who were wondering why the USB-port of the Liberty is placed on the top side of the charging pad, the ‌Apple Watch‌ USB-stick is the reason why. This add-on is specifically made for the Liberty so you can simultaneously charge an iPhone, AirPods and an ‌Apple Watch‌ with the Liberty, the ideal 3-in-1 wireless charger!
The USB-stick is made of the same aluminum as the Liberty and is placed in a vertical position in the USB-port of the Liberty to charge the ‌Apple Watch‌ in sleep-mode. The stick can also be connected to any USB-A-port to charge an ‌Apple Watch‌ without the mat. The USB-stick is officially MFi certified and works with ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.


The ZENS Liberty has a USB-C connection and comes with a 60W USB-C certified power adapter. Separate power plugs for the E.U., U.K. and U.S. are included to make the adapter suitable for global usage.

The mat is available either with a surface of high-quality woolen upholstery textile (Atlas by Kvadrat) or with a tempered glass surface revealing the overlapping coils within. The fabric version costs $139.99 (€139.99), while the Glass edition costs $179.99 (€179.99). Both models come with a three-year extended warranty. The Apple Watch USB-add-on is available separately for $39.99 (€39.99).


This is the closest alternative to Apple's canceled AirPower mat, which would have been able to charge three devices placed anywhere on the mat, including an ‌iPhone‌, ‌Apple Watch‌, and ‌AirPods‌.

Apple canceled the ‌AirPower‌ in March 2019, stating that "after much effort," the mat failed to achieve the company's "high standards." An earlier report from Sonny Dickson claimed the ‌‌AirPower‌‌ would have been equipped with 21 to 24 coils, but reports claimed the mat suffered from overheating and potentially dangerous electromagnetic interference issues.

Expect a full review of the ZENS Liberty Wireless Charger on MacRumors soon.

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ZENS Unveils AirPower-Like Wireless Charger With 16 Coils to Charge Two Devices Anywhere on Mat

Dutch brand ZENS today unveiled a wireless charging mat with 16 overlapping coils, allowing two devices to be charged anywhere on the mat.


The ZENS Liberty will be able to charge any Qi-enabled devices, with the 16 coils providing a total output of 30W, while a built-in 2.4A USB port will be able to charge an additional device. Designed with high-grade aluminum, the mat will be powered by a 45W power adapter that connects via USB-C.


Other wireless charging mats released to date have fewer coils, resulting in devices needing to be placed in specific spots on the mat to charge.

This is the closest alternative we have ever seen to Apple's canceled AirPower mat, which would have been able to charge three devices placed anywhere on the mat, including an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. Of course, the ZENS mat will not have the same level of software integration with Apple devices.


Apple canceled the AirPower in March, noting that "after much effort," the mat failed to achieve its "high standards." An earlier report from Sonny Dickson claimed the AirPower would have been equipped with 21 to 24 coils, but reports claimed the mat suffered from overheating and potentially dangerous electromagnetic interference issues.

ZENS says the mat will be available in November for $139.99, with a limited edition version with see-through glass set to be offered for $179.99.

Tags: ZENS, AirPower

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Review: ZENS Dual Wireless Powerbank Supports Qi Charging On the Go, but Low Battery Capacity Limits Usefulness

Last fall I had the chance to take a look at ZENS' all-new Dual + Watch Wireless Charger, which offers spots to charge two Qi-enabled smartphones and one perch for the Apple Watch. I came away quite liking the accessory, which should be a great charging hub for anyone in a two-person household, and now the company has launched a companion accessory called the ZENS Dual Wireless Powerbank.


This device is a portable battery pack that itself includes two spots for wirelessly charging an iPhone 8 or later (or any Qi smartphone), similar to the design of the Dual + Watch stand. The Powerbank has a 9,000 mAh battery, two USB-A ports, and one USB-C charging port on the rear (USB-C to Lightning fast charging is not supported). The device itself also supports wireless charging, so you can place it on the Dual + Watch stand without needing to mess with wires to fuel up the Powerbank more easily.

Design


ZENS mirrored the design of the Dual + Watch Stand for its new Powerbank, and both accessories have a nice rubberized texture on the mat where you place your iPhone. Instead of aluminum on the sides like the stand, the Powerbank has a plastic enclosure that still has a nice heft to it.


Just like the stand, I really like the simple design of the Powerbank. Black isn't usually a color I opt to use in stands as big as the ZENS Dual + Watch, but I've been using it since I reviewed it last October, and the only downside I've come across in the past few months is that it is definitely a dust and fingerprint magnet.
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Review: The ZENS Dual + Watch Wireless Charger Offers Versatile iPhone and Apple Watch Charging

At IFA Berlin in August, ZENS revealed three new Qi-compatible wireless chargers, including a Single Aluminum Wireless Charger, Dual Aluminum Wireless Charger, and Dual + Watch Wireless Charger. ZENS sent me the MFi certified Dual + Watch charger for the purpose of this review, and I've been using it as my main iPhone X and Apple Watch charging dock for the past week.


The charger has a mat with support for up to two Qi-enabled smartphones, including the iPhone X and later devices. Each section of the mat has a max total output of 10W, so the Dual + Watch Charger does support Apple's 7.5W fast charging feature for the iPhone. Sitting above the mat is a perch for Apple Watch with a built-in inductive charging puck, which supports all models of Apple Watch.

Daily Use


In my testing, the ZENS Dual + Watch dock has performed just as well as other wireless chargers I've owned over the past few months from Belkin, RAVPower, and Mophie, with a few pros in comparison to those brands, and some cons. To start with pros, I've found the ZENS stand to be quite lenient in regards to positioning of my iPhone on the mat.


Of course, a nice symmetrical position over the designated power logos is ideal, but even when I threw my iPhone on the stand off-kilter a charge was registered. I mostly use Belkin's Boost UP wireless charger, which is one of the more finicky Qi mats and requires a very specific iPhone position for charging, so I was happy that ZENS allowed for a bit of a messier approach.
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ZENS Announces Trio of New Qi-Certified Wireless Chargers

At IFA Berlin, ZENS today announced a new range of wireless chargers, each including an ultra-thin aluminum design. All of the new wireless chargers will be available beginning September 15.


First is the Single Aluminum Wireless Charger, which is a simple single-device Qi-enabled wireless charging pad, much like those launched from companies including Belkin, Mophie, Anker, RAVPower, and more. ZENS' solution supports fast charging and has a maximum output of 10 watts, and will cost $49.99 at launch.

The next accessory is the Dual Aluminum Wireless Charger, which can charge two Qi-compatible smartphones at the same time, with a total output of 20 watts. This charger is priced at $79.99.

Lastly, the Dual+Watch Aluminum Wireless Charger also charges two smartphones simultaneously, but includes an additional perch for the Apple Watch. Similar to the Dual Aluminum Wireless Charger, the Dual+Watch accessory supports fast charging and has a total output of 20 watts. This one is also MFI-certified and is priced at $99.99.


Unlike the AirPower, for the ZENS Dual and Dual+Watch Wireless Chargers you will need to place devices in a certain position on the mat to charge. With Apple's upcoming wireless charger, there isn't a required "sweet spot" for iPhones or the Apple Watch, as they can be placed anywhere on the mat to be charged.

More announcements are expected to come out of IFA Berlin, which doesn't officially kick off until this Friday, August 31, and lasts through September 5.

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