Zens keeps your phone charged wirelessly, but steals your car's precious coffee holder

Zens (opens in new tab) has a new Qi wireless charger, and this one is for your car. The aptly-named "ZENS Qi Wireless Car Charger" is set to hit markets on April 15th for an eye-melting €69.99 (US$96.54). It's designed to split into your cup holder and has a slot on its top designed to accommodate smartphones with displays up to 5 inches. Blessedly, the vast majority of phones that support Qi charging (both Android and Windows Phone) fall into that range.

As a car charger, it's powered by your car's 9-volt port, so you'll be loosing both that and a cup holder to charge up your phone wirelessly while on the go. On top of that, the design of Zens' car charger means that you're not going to be seeing your phone, so you'll only be able to get (likely muffled) audio directions from it if you use your smartphone for navigation.

If you're okay with such limitations, the Zens Qi Wireless Car Charger will probably suit your needs just fine. If you're not, there are other Qi chargers for automotive applications on the market, including the highly-rated Nokia CR-200 (opens in new tab) (check out Windows Phone Central's review here).

Derek Kessler

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.

  • Brilliant! I would sacrifice my coffee holder for that awesomeness..
  • Yes, that's an Android phone in the photo. Carry on.
  • Obviously I would put my 1520 in. But that's besides the point.. :)
  • The 1520 wouldn't fit. The article states that it would only hold devices in the 5in range
  • It definitely isn't faster than a WP.
  • Once again, that review for the CR-200 was just part one of a supposed 2-part review. Part 2 has still not materialized. I would've liked to have read the rest of that review, and to see if you'd address the issues that so many users have complained about with that charger, including cheapo plastic parts which break easily.
  • +920, I too have been waiting for this write up to materialize.
  • I'm not wpcentral, but I've used one since last summer, and plastic bits never broke for me (but I knew not to be to rough on it because others warned about it). I'm mostly happy, the problems are that with my 920 it can't keep up with navigation battery drain and sometimes it makes the phone go haywire and it starts randomly pressing the screen and skipping tracks and other random weirdness (I have to remove it from the cradle to stop it). That last issue usually happens when the phone is in the cradle while fully charged, so I sometimes use the first problem to avoid the second, opening up maps just to keep the battery from being full.
  • Thank you for the info! So, if you have it on the cradle and you open navigation, will it drain the battery to zero or at least keep it from draining (ie "treading water" instead of charging)? Should I expect to kill my battery on a long enough drive?
  • Nokia cr-200 car holder is much better solution, it has nfc and qi charging, and allows to use phone for navigation snd other stuff, because screen is not covered. Additonslly u dont waste mug holder.
  • Well some people have a built in nav in their car and don't want something hanging of their dashboard
  • Looking forward to a WPC review on this product. Might be the solution for my Icon.
  • Got 6 cupholders in my Vic. I think I could afford to lose one.
    Just not cool that it renders navigation apps useless.
  • 9V? Is this a Euro thing?
  • European cars have 12V, like all other (except the 24V in trucks and military vehicles) Think the author of this article mixed it up a bit.
  • I thought the same thing.  Zen's site just said it uses the cigarette port so I agree with jaygss, I think it was just a 'whoops' moment by the author.
  • Not feeling the 1520 love here :-(
  • Can't do this since Dan got me into this cold brew coffee. Have to have it every day.
  • Eww. No.   I need to see my screen phone since most times I would be charging it is because I am using a navigation app anyway.   Also, ugly phone in that pic. :D
  • I love the CR-200 charger/holder. It's on my dashboard, and my phone is always in view. I generally don't watch movies or play Xbox Live while I'm driving, but it's nice to know that I could (kidding). It's perfect for GPS, or seeing quick messages on the screen. I have the Lumia 928, which supposedly doesn't work with the CR-200 because the holder presses the camera button. Well, yes it does, but if you insert it carefully it's easy to avoid that problem. Or, if it does pop to camera, just hit the back button once and you're in the clear until the next time you set the phone in the charger. In short, even with the 928, the CR-200 is a must-have accessory for me. I've also heard of some people cutting a little bit of the rubber holder away where the camera button would be. I haven't done that, but that probably solves the problem too. Lastly, I would recommend not opening and closing the clamp. Just set it once so that it has a firm but not too-tight grip on the phone. That way there is no risk of breaking the mechanism and it's snap to place and remove the phone one-handed without opening and closing the CR-200 grip every time.  
  • And it renders your phone useless as a navigational aid, communications terminal, weather forecaster and video camera. I'll pass and stick with the suction cupped windshield mount and a cord until I get the Qi plated mount.
  • All car chargers are 12 volts, there are no 9 volt power outlets
  • *losing...not loosing I don't want to *lose* both the plug and holder just to make my phone completely inaccessible. I guess if you're one of those texting drivers, this would keep you from doing that, though.
  • I see the word "losing" used incorrectly every article, it's rampant and it needs to stop. Writing has devolved to 4th grade levels. An easy sign that you are a millennial generation.
  • Well, I have a CR-200 in the car and love it. A nice scenario for it is to use it on a boat, they often also have a 12V cigarette lighter. Even though there are marine navigation maps for WP8, I would rather trust a more durable solution like a garmin.
  • 1. That's crazy expensive.
    2. What if my car operates on 12 volts instead of 9?
  • CR-200 has been superseded by the CR-201
  • http://discussions.nokia.com/t5/Accessories-Car-Phones-and-Other/Differe...