Almost a year has passed since the announcement of the iPhone 12 and the MagSafe magnetic system. A year of interesting accessories, wireless batteries, wallets, and all kinds of holders. Favorite of all this variety – Belkin BOOST ↑ CHARGE PRO for smartphones, watches, and headphones.
I use such a charge every day, but nothing more beautiful and convenient has appeared on the market. Or did it appear? A month ago, Zens announced a similar docking station, but with a couple of differences. One of them is an additional port for charging devices over the wire, which I miss so much in Belkin. But charging itself is more expensive. Let’s figure out if all the changes are worth it.
Rectangular charger with plastic on top and metal around the perimeter. MagSafe charging on a curved leg so you can place your smartphone both horizontally for watching videos and vertically for video calls or browsing social networks.
A regular Qi coil is located under magnetic charging. There is enough space for both charging the earbuds and for a large smartphone. That is, Zens can be used as a family docking station to charge all devices.
To the right is the USB Type-A port. You can charge the device over the wire, or you can use the included Apple Watch dock. The kit includes a small lock to keep the watch accurately on the charge.
On the right side, there is another USB Type-A connector for wired charging of the fourth device. What it will be is up to you.
A bundled 30W adapter powers the charging itself. It is quite compact. All the adapters are included, the braided USB Type-C – USB Type-C wire should not fray over time.
Charging is not certified by Apple, but the claimed 15W of power for the iPhone 12 produces. Even animation appears. The second wireless charger is capable of delivering a maximum of 5W, which is enough for headphones. The USB Type-A connector is for a watch that for the fourth device also produces 5 watts.
The first thing you pay attention to is the quality of performance. The magnetic disc wobbles a lot. It seems that at one moment, it can be torn off along with the smartphone. The watch dock also wobbles, and this cannot be fixed because the problem is in the connector.
The charging itself is effortless. Many elements are poorly fitted. I’ve owned a lot of Zens accessories, but this is definitely the worst of them all.
The second major drawback is the USB Type-A connector. Seriously? In 2021? The manufacturer is in no hurry to update the watch dock (USB Type-C will not be superfluous there either). That’s okay, but you had to install a USB Type-C connector to charge the fourth device.
If there was a USB Type-C connector and more power, you could easily charge a MacBook – the M1 allows you to use fairly weak adapters. And it’s so unclear what to charge through this connector.
Zens charging costs 140 euros or 165 dollars. Belkin costs 150 dollars. Belkin is officially Apple certified, perfectly assembled, and the LED is not annoying at night. On the other hand, Zens received a compact and universal adapter in the kit, an additional charging connector, and a detachable dock for a watch, which you can take on a trip without taking up space with a meter cable. In addition, the LED on the front panel shines. Bless you! Consider this if you want to place the docking station in the bedroom next to the bed.
The question arises: is it worth overpaying for this, given the mediocre build and uncertified MagSafe? As for me, if you are thinking about buying a multifunctional dock, you should look towards Belkin.