This little conductive charger is very unusual and takes an approach we’ve never seen before. Normally you’d have to install a case onto your phone, but with the Zip Mini this isn’t necessary. This solution uses small ‘zip tails’ which magnetically clip onto the main charging unit while the other end will plug into your device.
In the box you get the base unit as well as two zip tails; one with a micro-USB connector and the other with a 30-pin Apple connector. On The Joy Factory website it says that you will receive a free lightning to micro-USB connector but unfortunately we couldn’t locate it. If you grab the Int’l White Edition then you’ll also get all of the mains power adapters for different countries which is great. As well as all of this your also given a micro-USB power cable and a nice fabric carry case which can hold everything when travelling.
The zip tails themselves are incredibly short with the cable being just over an inch and a half. We’d like to see some longer ones included out of the box, but if you’re desperate you can purchase them from The Joy Factory site. Because they are so small there really is no option to use your phone while its charging.
Located on the main charging unit you will find four individual contact areas as well as a green LED ring in the center. Around the outside you’ll find a single micro-USB port which is used to power the device. Power can be provided through either mains power or through a USB port on a computer/laptop. The bottom of product is lined with a black felt material which will prevent it scratching any surfaces.
Charging your device is as simple as plugging it into the connector and then clicking it onto one of the four contact points on the main base. The output is 2.1A which means there are some unfortunate restrictions, mainly with the iPad. If you’re already charging a device when you connect an iPad it will show that it isn’t charging as it just cannot cope with another device. If you connect the iPad first then it will charge fine, but again you cannot charge anything else. Up to two iPhones can be charged at the same time.
We found that because of the felt material the device actually slid around on smooth surfaces sometimes causing the magnetic connection to break and therefore stop the device from charging which was a little annoying. The limitations on output are also a bit of a drawback and pumping this up a little so you could at least charge an iPad and one more device would be great.
The overall design of the product is great and it charges your devices just like advertised. The magnetic connection is weak enough to make it easy to remove your devices when needed without a struggle and it just works!
Additional zip tails can be purchased by following the link below where you can also have a closer look at the Zip Mini Touch-n-go. It costs $59.95 directly from The Joy Factory website.Order from The Joy Factory