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June 17, 2014

Zolo: The New ‘Smarter-Together’ Protection and Charging System with a Price Tag you will Love

by John_A


Beyond the world of phones and apps, there are accessories. Cases to protect your phone, screen protectors to protect you glass, battery banks to power-up on the go and cables to charge with. The market is fairly saturated with a plethora of options to choose from, but few have approached the needs of the smartphone community in a single packed offering. That is what Zolo was seeing and so the ‘Smarter-Together’ community was born.

Before I share with you this rather interesting and unique product, I have to toss out a little back story. Zolo is a new brand name that you have never heard of before. That can be intimidating. However, the people behind Zolo are from a more familiar brand that we have shared with you for a number of years, Anker.  That is one you should know. I am sure plenty of you have purchased battery banks and other products from them in the past. Their goal with Zolo is to bring a premium product to consumers that look great, function well and cut out the premium price tags associated with mark ups from manufacturer to OEM’s to the stores.

“Crowdfunding our campaign helps us quickly introduce Zolo to a broader community in a more meaningful way than we could have done alone,” said Steven Yang, CEO of Zolo and former Google engineer. “We’re reimagining how community, manufacturing and distribution can work better together for a smarter life for all.”

Zolo ImageBefore you go all “But, it’s an iPhone. I hate you. This is stupid.” Let’s take a quick look at what they are doing. While you are right, it is an iPhone, it isn’t and won’t be limited to iOS users. Right now the kit options are for iPhone 5, iPhone 5s and the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Pretty cool right? I think so anyways. I spoke with the Senior Marketing Director yesterday, Jason Lin, who you saw in the video. We talked about the magnets a little bit and I was assured that they have tested the magnets extensively and, like they said in the video, they 100% confirm that the magnets won’t harm your device or its operations in any way. I also asked why not go with a Qi charging style operation and cut out the cables entirely. The simple answer was more that Zolo is aiming to bring the ecosystem that all general users out there know and use by making it simple and affordable. That answer was good to me. Seeing as how a minority of users out there use wireless charging now, or even know what it is. Also, I am sure it is quite a bit more efficient to charge with a cable.

There is one other thing that got me to like it all. You aren’t bound by ‘their’ cable to have the magnetic cable system. They also have cable clips with magnets in them that you can attach to any round cable of your choosing. It frees you up a bit to use that long cable you love vs. a short cable you hate. It also lets you swap out 30-pin, lightning and micro USB so the whole house can use it all simply.

The final thing that really pushed this over the top as a superb offering, is the price. On the campaign you can grab a variety of kits that won’t break the bank. Here is the break down:

  • Power Pack: Zolo battery, Short Cable , 2 cable clips – $13
  • Power + Protection Pack: Zolo battery, Tough case for iPhone 5s/5 or Galaxy S5, short cable, 2 cable clips – $18
  • Power Pack X2: 2 Zolo batteries, 2 Short Cables , 4 cable clips – $25
  • Power + Protection Pack X2: 2 Zolo batteries, 2 Short Cables , 4 cable clips, 1 Tough case – $35

There are two more above it of course, like the $1,000 Zolo lifer which gets you a free Zolo product every time one is released. That is kind of confusing I suppose, Zolo is the brand name and like he said in the video, there are going to be wall chargers and plenty of other magnetic accessories you can grab later on that will all work together.

Actual specs of the products:

Zolo 1X Battery

Colors: Carbon, Ash, Navy, Poppy
Capacity: 3000 mAh
Ports: 1
Output: 1 Amp
Input: 1 Amp
Size: 3.0 inches x 2.1 inches x 0.5 inches
Weight: 3.2 Oz
Charging time: 4 Hours
Certifications: CE, FCC, RoHS, PSE (Japan)

Zolo Tough Case


Colors: Carbon, Ash

Drop-test standard:

o Military Standard 810F-516
o Dropped 26 times from a height of 4 feet; pass criteria: no obvious damage

Durability:

o 100 insertion test
o Environmental test ( Temperature cycling from -20 C to 40 C; 70% relative humidity)
o Abrasion testing
Certifications: RoHS, Proposition 65

Zolo Impact Screen Protector *

Hardness: 4H
Drop-test standard: 225 Gram steel ball dropped from 1.5 meters
Finish: Glossy

Zolo Short Cable

Colors: Carbon, Poppy, Ash
Length: 7 inches
Type: Micro USB at launch

Zolo Cable clips

Colors: Carbon, Ash, Poppy
Certifications: RoHS

All orders will get free shipping when they launch the product in September. Go take a closer look at their Zolo IndieGoGo page and feel free to back them.


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