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

by

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.

Tag: ZENS

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
25 weeks ago


That protruding Apple Watch charging point is the deal breaker for me...it’s not a true alternative to Apple’s original concept and therefore not worth the price they’re asking for.

Go back to the drawing boards and make it a flat all-in-one!

nobody will. Apple Watch uses a proprietary charging standard. It’s probably one of the reasons AirPower failed.

I actually prefer this solution so the watch can be used in nightstand mode.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 weeks ago
That protruding Apple Watch charging point is the deal breaker for me...it’s not a true alternative to Apple’s original concept and therefore not worth the price they’re asking for.

Go back to the drawing boards and make it a flat all-in-one!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 weeks ago
there's no such thing as an "AirPower alternative" any more than there's a perpetual motion machine alternative
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 weeks ago
Seems like a solid offering. If AirPower had come out at $140, this forum would have flipped out. It’ll be interesting to see what reaction this one gets.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 weeks ago


How can it be an “alternative” to something that doesn’t even exist? Please redo this misleading headline.

The vaporware AirPower is the benchmark by which all other chargers that claim to do the same thing are measured by.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 weeks ago


It is. But this product delivers what I would want, I can ‘multi-charge’ three devices at once versus just one at a time like most wireless chargers offer.

If you don't need the "place anywhere" aspect, Ikea sells a three device charger for $40 ('https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/nordmaerke-triple-pad-for-wireless-charging-white-cork-00423919/').

You have to center the devices on any of the three spots, so not as nice... but it is also $100 cheaper.

Your views on wireless charging and the Qi standard seem pretty dated. It definitely ain't about trickle charging.

I also think folks who haven't used Qi charging don't realize the potential paradigm shift.

Cable charging is always a conscious act - you must be intentional about it since it requires the additional action of plugging in the cable.

With a couple Qi pads placed in your usual spots where you'd set your phone down anyway, charging becomes more unintentional. I find this most apparent at the office - with cables I'd usually not bother plugging in since I am so often leaving my desk for meetings or whatever. With a Qi pad where I lay my phone, it's always charged at the end of the day -- without my taking any distinct action.

And at 7.5W charging capability on an iphone, that's faster than the included 5W brick anyway.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Warns Against Closing MacBooks With a Cover Over the Camera

Friday July 10, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
Apple this month published a support document that warns customers against closing their Mac notebooks with a cover over the camera as it can lead to display damage. Image via Reddit Apple says that the clearance between the display and the keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances, which can be problematic. Covering the camera can also cause issues with automatic brightness and True Tone....

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 Pro' to Come With 6GB of RAM

Friday July 10, 2020 1:59 am PDT by
Later this year, Apple is expected to release four OLED iPhones in three display sizes, including 5.4, 6.7, and two 6.1-inch models. Rumors suggest the 6.7-inch iPhone and one 6.1-inch model will be higher-end devices, and now leaker @L0vetodream has corroborated previous rumors about the internal specs of Apple's upcoming lineup. Rumors suggest Apple will use 5-nanometer A14 chips in its...

Apple Moving Forward on Semitransparent Lenses for Upcoming AR Headset

Friday July 10, 2020 7:24 am PDT by
Apple and Foxconn have reached a key milestone in the development of Apple's long-rumored augmented reality headset, with the semitransparent lenses for the device moving from prototype to trial production, reports The Information. Apple is developing the lenses on a single production line at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu in southwestern China, where most of Apple’s iPad production is...

Kuo: Apple Silicon Macs to Include 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air This Year, 14.1-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro Models Next Year

Friday July 10, 2020 2:58 am PDT by
At last month's WWDC, Apple officially announced that its Mac computers will be transitioned from Intel x86 to homegrown Apple Silicon chips. Apple said it plans to deliver the first Apple Silicon Mac by the end of the year and complete the transition in about two years. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a form factor similar to the current 13.3-inch...

Arm-Intel-PowerPC Universal Binaries Are Possible

Saturday July 11, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
Casual MacRumors visitors may not realize that we have a very active PowerPC forum where users discuss issues related to PowerPC Macs that have not been produced since 2006. Threads range from hardware upgrades and software options to nostalgia: Photo by AphoticD Apple's recently announced transition to Apple Silicon (Arm) based Macs raised some interesting questions about future support...

iPhone 12 Sizes Compared with iPhone SE, 7, 8, SE 2, X, 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max [Update]

Tuesday July 7, 2020 6:49 pm PDT by
Apple is planning on launching the iPhone 12 this fall which is rumored to be coming in 3 different sizes: 5.4", 6.1" and 6.7". The middle size (6.1") matches up with the currently shipping iPhone 11, but the other two sizes will be entirely new. Over the weekend, there was some excitement about how well the new 5.4" iPhone 12 compares to the original iPhone SE. Those who have been hoping...

Tom Hanks WWII Movie 'Greyhound' Debuts on Apple TV+

Friday July 10, 2020 3:33 am PDT by
Apple TV+ today debuted "Greyhound," the highly anticipated Second World War movie starring Tom Hanks as a naval officer given command of Navy destroyer Greyhound in the Battle of the Atlantic. "Greyhound" features Hanks as George Krause, who must fight his own self doubts and personal demons as he leads a convoy of Allied ships against German U-boats to prove that he belongs in command. ...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Public Beta, iPhone 12 Size Comparison, 14-Inch MacBook Pro Rumors

Saturday July 11, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
After one round of developer beta testing, Apple unleashed iOS and iPadOS 14 to a wider audience this week, opening it up to members of the public beta program. There are lots of changes and new features to check out, but as with any beta, be careful about installing it on your main devices. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Other major stories this week included our ...

Hands-On With tvOS 14: Picture in Picture, 4K YouTube, HomeKit and More

Thursday July 9, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple at WWDC introduced a new version of tvOS, the software that's designed to run on the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models. tvOS updates are often more minor in scale than iOS, watchOS, and macOS updates, but tvOS 14 has some useful new features. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple in tvOS 13 introduced a Picture in Picture option for the Apple TV...

Apple CEO Tim Cook's 2019 Compensation Totaled Over $133 Million

Friday July 10, 2020 12:01 pm PDT by
Apple CEO Tim Cook was the second highest paid CEO in the United States in 2019, according to Bloomberg's list of the highest paid CEOs and executives in 2019. Cook received compensation totaling $133,727,869 by Bloomberg's count. Almost all of Cook's compensation was provided in the form of stock awards and related performance bonuses. As reported by the SEC earlier this year, Cook received ...