Review: ZENS' Apple Watch Power Bank is Pocket-Sized and Ultra Portable Thanks to Built-In Charging Puck

by

ZENS' Apple Watch Power Bank is a compact Apple Watch charging solution that's one of the first to come with a built-in Apple Watch charging puck, eliminating the need for bulky, complicated cable winding systems used in other Apple Watch stands and docks.

Because the charging puck is included in the body of the Power Bank, it's one of the smallest Apple Watch charging options available, and with an included 1,300 mAh battery, it serves as the most portable Apple Watch charger available for travelers.


The Power Bank is cube shaped, measuring in at about an inch and a half wide and just over an inch tall. It's small enough to fit in jacket pocket (it'll fit in a pants pocket too, but the shape is bulky) and it doesn't take up a lot of room in a purse or a backpack.

Available in either black or white, the Power Bank is made from a smooth, velvety plastic. It is Apple-certified and uses Apple-approved parts, so despite the Power Bank's small size, ZENS is charging $56 for the accessory. That's competitive with many other Apple Watch stands and docks, but may be more than some are willing to pay for a small plastic cube.


On one side, there's an Apple Watch charger, while another side houses four LEDs that display the remaining battery life and a button to activate charging when the Apple Watch is placed on top of the Power Bank. Opposite the LEDs, there's a microUSB port, used to charge the Power Bank, and on the bottom, there's rubber for a firmer grip on flat, smooth surfaces.


Charging the Apple Watch with the Power Bank can be done by laying it across the top of the accessory with any open loop band like the Sport Band. It's also possible to use it with closed loop bands by wrapping the band around the bottom. It won't quite sit flat, but it works. When the Apple Watch is placed flat on the Power Bank, it's easy to accidentally knock it off, so wrapping the band around the base was actually the more secure way to use it, though less convenient.


I also found that with my Apple Watch band wrapped around the Power Bank and closed tightly, I was able to place it on its side to take advantage of the Apple Watch's Nightstand mode, which only works in landscape orientation. Since the cube-shaped Power Bank is so small, the Apple Watch is able to rest on a flat surface when charging this way and so it's quite sturdy.


The ZENS Power Bank, though equipped with an Apple Watch charger, needs to be charged with a microUSB cable, which may be one of the only downsides to the product. As someone with almost all Apple products, I don't normally carry a microUSB cable with me, but I've had to bring one along when traveling to keep the Power Bank charged. The Power Bank does ship with its own microUSB cable included in the package.


According to ZENS, the 1300mAh battery in the Power Bank is enough to charge the Apple Watch three times, but in my testing with the 38mm Apple Watch, I didn't get quite as much power out of it. Over the course of three days, I drained my Apple Watch to zero battery three times over and charged it with the Power Bank, but it was only able to deliver a full charge the first two times, recharging my watch to just 20 percent on the third time before the battery ran out.


I'm not entirely sure why I was only able to get two complete charges out of the Power Bank when ZENS promises three, but it's possible that I have a faulty unit because I did test twice over. With the 42mm Apple Watch, which has a larger battery, users may see just two full charges from the ZENS Power Bank instead of 2 charges with a bit of juice leftover.

It's actually unusual for my Apple Watch to be fully drained each day, and with normal usage, the Power Bank lasted for approximately four days before I needed to recharge it. That's probably enough for a weekend trip if you're somewhere without power. Recharging the Power Bank from empty to full took a couple of hours.

When plugged into a computer's USB port or a USB power adapter like the one that ships with the iPhone, the Power Bank offers passthrough charging, so it can be set on a desk for general daily charging and then be unplugged and taken on the go when necessary.

Bottom Line

The ZENS Power Bank isn't much bigger than a standalone Apple Watch charging cable and it's more expensive, but during my time testing it, I found it surprisingly handy to have an Apple Watch charging solution that could be easily disconnected from its cord and transported around the house to be placed wherever I wanted it.

It's also the sole Apple Watch charging solution I brought with me on a recent vacation and I've only needed to plug it in every few days for a couple of hours - otherwise, I've been charging my Apple Watch cord free. The Power Bank is as versatile as a standalone Apple Watch cable, supporting several different charging orientations and all Apple Watch bands, plus it adds the ability to go cable free and it's the smallest travel solution I've come across.


That's not going to be worth upwards of $50 for all Apple Watch owners, but frequent travelers and those who want to add a bit more convenience to their Apple Watch charging routine will undoubtedly appreciate the Power Bank.

Pros:

  • Tiny
  • Highly portable
  • Built-in Apple Watch charger
  • Works in Nightstand Mode
  • Passthrough charging

Cons:

  • On the pricy side
  • Need to carry microUSB cable

How to Buy

The ZENS Apple Watch Power Bank is priced at €49.99 or approximately $56. It can be purchased from the ZENS website and it will ship to the United States and several other countries from the Netherlands.

Note: ZENS provided a Power Bank to MacRumors free of charge for the purposes of this review. No other compensation was received.

Tag: ZENS

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
58 months ago
Since it is specifically designed for the :apple:Watch, why on earth would it require a (not included) micro USB cord to charge this PowerBank? Because it's less expensive than a lightning cable? Many AW owners I venture to guess, have a couple of the latter lying around anyway.

Other than that, small and nifty.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
58 months ago
lol, why would you need a portable charger, my Apple Watch lasts longer than 24 hours.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
58 months ago
Give it a USB port to also charge my phone, and I'd buy it. Charge phone and watch in the hotel room at night, and have a portable phone charger on the go. But if it can't replace a regular battery pack…
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
58 months ago
All I want is the apple dock, but made smaller without the "padding" around the outside. Just a hinged circle with a lightning port that I can stick in my laptop bag and never notice until I need it. This is almost what I want...but I don't want another battery (nor the vertical bulk the battery takes up.)
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Pro Demand Higher Than Expected

Sunday October 18, 2020 10:39 pm PDT by
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note this morning detailing what he's seen with the volume of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders in the first weekend of sales. Kuo had previously indicated that Apple's estimated shipment allocations for the new iPhone models placed the iPhone 12 at the top with 40-45% of inventory allocation (up from 15-20%). However, ...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Charger for iPhone 12

Monday October 19, 2020 11:54 am PDT by
Alongside the new iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a MagSafe charger that attaches to the back of the iPhones using magnets embedded both in the charger and in the iPhone. It allows for speedier charging and paves the way for a portless iPhone in the future. MagSafe chargers are shipping out and are in some Apple retail locations now, and we picked one up to check it out. Subscribe to the ...

Some Apple Watch SE Owners Experiencing Issues With Overheating [Updated]

Monday October 19, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
There may be an issue with the new Apple Watch SE, which some users have found is overheating after a few hours of usage. Several Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea have run into problems, as noted in a Reddit post chronicling the complaints. There have been six reports from Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea who have had their Apple Watches get hot and malfunction, with a yellow spot...

Apple's New MagSafe Charger and Cases Begin Arriving to Customers

Saturday October 17, 2020 10:10 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe charger and cases have begun arriving to some customers earlier than expected, and images of the accessories have started to surface on Twitter. The photos provide a first look at the products in real-world use. As of writing, some MagSafe cases are also available for pickup at select Apple Stores in countries like the United States, Canada, and Germany. Filip...

Apple Releases iPadOS and iOS 14.1 With Multiple Bug Fixes Ahead of iPhone 12 Launch

Tuesday October 20, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.1, the first major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 14 operating system updates that were released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.1 come a week after Apple released the golden master versions of the updates to developers. The iOS 14.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access...

Watch: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Tuesday October 20, 2020 6:05 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro reviews. In addition to our detailed review roundups for each device, we've rounded up over a dozen unboxing videos and first impressions below. iPhone 12 in Blue on left and iPhone 12 Pro in Pacific Blue on right via Engadget Key new features of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro include a flat-edge design, 5G support, a much faster A14 ...

Apple Plans to Enable 5G in Dual SIM Mode With Software Update Later This Year

Monday October 19, 2020 9:20 am PDT by
iPhone XS models and newer feature both a physical SIM slot and a digital eSIM, allowing for a feature known as dual SIM, dual standby. This means you can have two lines of service on one iPhone, which is useful for purchasing data-only plans while traveling abroad or having personal and business lines on a single iPhone. 5G will not be available in Dual SIM mode on the iPhone 12 and iPhone...

Brazilian Certifications Suggest iPhone 12 Mini Features 2,227mAh Battery and iPhone 12 Has 2,815mAh Battery

Friday October 16, 2020 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone mini has the shortest battery life out of all the iPhones in the iPhone 12 lineup due to its small size, but Apple has not provided public information about the battery's capacity. A regulatory filing from Brazil, however, suggests the iPhone 12 mini has a battery capacity of 2,227mAh. The same regulatory information says the iPhone 12 features a 2,815mAh battery, which is...