While portable chargers or power banks are ubiquitous among smartphone users now, there’s a new range of such devices which bring the advantage of wireless charging, a feature trend that is gaining popularity especially in Windows Phones in last 18 months.
These are essentially the portable power packs that you can carry around, but without the need for wires. When you want to charge your phone, you just lay it flat on the brick. While the Nokia Lumia 920, 928, and 1520 (non-AT&T models) can charge natively, the Lumia 720, 820, 925, and 1020 can use optional shells to enable the Qi feature.
Few months back, Nokia introduced DC-50, a $99 wireless portable charger that packs 2400 mAh battery. It was followed by the announcement of a similar product by Hong Kong-based Mugen Power. I’ve been using the Mugenizer N11 portable wireless charger since a few weeks, and it is one of the two chargers, the other being a Nokia DC-18, I carry with me when I head out.
Like the Nokia DC-50, the Mugenizer N11 supports Qi wireless charging and features a 4800 mAh rechargeable battery to provide power on the go. The charger also supports regular USB charging in case you want to charge a different device which is not Qi-compatible.
The 4800 mAh battery is quite a package, twice as compared to the DC-50 and will allow you to charge your phone more than once. Although, it adds a little to the size as well. The Mugenizer N11 weighs 230 grams, 80 grams more than DC-50, and is 14mm thick. The curved edges and the rounded corners though make it a compact and handy accessory to put in your pocket. While the battery life is great, you’d have to remember that there’s about 30% power loss when it comes to wireless chargers so the rated capacity isn’t delivered practically.
The only problem I had with the device was with the indicator LEDs. One, there is no explanation about them, so it gets confusing at first. Second, the LEDs are not very precise, and the ones that are lit overflow others making them indistinguishable.
While the general practice is to line the phone correctly on the charger, in most cases when I tossed the Nokia Lumia 920 without precisely placing or aligning it, it worked all well. If you are using a case or any other phone, your experience might be different.
If you intend to use the portable charger as a charging station, you can use it for wireless charging only since the USB charging does not work when the AC input is plugged in. It’s an awkward limitation, but most users won’t care.
The charger is built nicely, and although plastic, it doesn’t come across as a cheap or flimsy device. It’s only available in white color which might disappoint some with colorful Nokia Lumias.
You can check out the product - Mugenizer N11 Portable Wireless Charger Power Bank with 4800mAh battery [YJN-N11] – at mugen.co. At $69.95, it’s not the cheapest power bank, but with the Qi wireless charging support, it is a great accessory for your smartphone.