Okay I have to say I was not too excited about this product, I mean what could be so “smart” about a car charger? The nonda ZUS Smart Car Charger connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and utilizes the Zus App on said smartphone. The product can be separated into two things. A “dumb” car charger and a “smart” connected device. In this review I will talk about both individually and then how they work together.
First let’s talk about the “dumb” features, it plugs into your car’s power receptacle and provides two USB ports. The USB ports are located on the sides of the device which is rather nice placement and made having two things plugged in nice. Those same USB ports are illuminated when nothing is plugged into them which makes finding them in the dark easy while driving at night. They have an output of 2.4 amps each both support Qualcomm Fast Charge. But the best part of this charger is that the USB ports are reversible…Every USB port on every device should be designed like this! Those are some pretty good “dumb” features now what about the “smart” features?
As I mentioned the Zus Smart Car Charger connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and utilizes the Zus App. When plugged in and setup you can monitor your vehicles battery, find your car, log mileage, at set parking meter alarms. Not a bad feature set but most of that you can already do with your smartphone. The Zus app is very nice looking so I will give them credit on that and they do have an addon tire pressure monitor and backup camera that can also integrate with the system which could make things more useful, but I did not test those. I had a situation the other night that the car finder would have come in handy, but it did not work out for me. I was parked on the top level of a parking garage at the airport. When I arrived at the airport it was rather early in the morning and I was running late, so I did not pay the best attention to where I had parked. Well fast forward a day and a half and I am back from my business trip and not too sure where I parked all I really knew was that I was on the top floor and. I quickly opened my Zus app clicked on car finder only to see a display telling me that the compass could not be used because my phone had inadequate GPS reception…I was outside with clear view of the sky and walking around out there for about 10 minutes…GPS reception should not have been an issue! I tried using the map and that did not help either. I figured maybe let me walk around and I would eventually get close and the Bluetooth would connect but no luck. I finally found the car the old-fashioned way…by using the panic button on my key fob.
For the price of this “Smart” charger it is a solid charger and it is good as a charger. Those “dumb” features make it worth the price while the “smart” features are an add-on. I will most likely end up uninstalling the app and be perfectly happy using it as a charger. It would have been nice if a USB cable was included with the charger, but I have plenty around so not a huge deal for me.
What do you think is there a need for a “smart” car charger?
I am passionate about the IoT and connected devices. Using connectivity to automate our lives will empower civilization to achieve greatness.