The concept of wireless charging has been around for a while now, but has not really caught on for a variety of reasons: many of our devices have not been compatible with the technology, the charging pads have not been available, or and when they have, they have been expensive. Fortunately for wireless charging fans, things are changing. Wireless charging is becoming more mainstream with each passing day and becoming almost a hygiene factor in most high-end smartphones. But true – really true – wireless charging is still a bit limiting, as most wireless charging pads are often connected to a socket in our walls. They may allow you to charge your phone wirelessly but do not offer portability, because they are connected (oh the irony) by a wire themselves to a wall. There are totally wire free wireless charging options out there too, however, and one of them comes from the Hong Kong/India based tech company, Toreto, that has launched a portable charger, Zest Pro, with wireless charging support, priced at Rs. 2,999.
New tech, but old school design
In terms of sheer numbers, the Zest Pro comes with a 10,000 mAh Li-polymer battery. The wired output of the device is 5V/1A, 5V/2.1A while the wireless output of the charger is DC5V/1A. There may now be portable chargers that are designed to look like pizza, unicorn heads or milk cartons in the market, but for all the fancy new tech it sports, when it comes to design, Toreto has stuck to the mainstream roots of portable charger design – regular boxy. The rectangular charger carries a small LED button on the front which turns the power bank on. There is also a battery sign on the front followed by the company’s logo near the base with a semi-diagonal line running across the front. The front is also the side which supports wireless charging. On the back, there is the company’s logo and other details. On the top are two USB ports and a micro USB port for charging the portable charger itself. The externals of the device are plastic but the charger does not feel cheap, and we think it can easily survive a few bumps and bruises.
At 138 mm long, 70 mm wide and 202 grams in weight, the Zest Pro is not the sleekest or the most compact portable charger out there, but it can easily fit in most pockets and handbags and is not uncomfortable to hold either. There are two color variants available; black and white. We received the white variant as our review device.
New school and old school charging
What makes the Zest Pro special, however, is the fact that it comes with Qi wireless charging, one of the most popular wireless charging standards around the world, accepted by most smartphone manufacturers. So you can actually just place your phone on top of the charger to charge it. And no it is not as slow as some others. We have all heard cases of wireless chargers being painfully slow, but the Zest Pro is not one of them. Do not get us wrong; it will still charge your device slowly as compared to a wired connection. But it will not be as super slow as some wireless charger. In the case of our iPhone 8, the charger took about 2.5-3 hours to charge completely. So, those who are spoilt by lightning fast chargers may feel a little disappointed, but it is really not that bad.
It may be slow, but wireless charging comes with one major plus point: NO WIRES. And while this may not be completely true in most other wireless chargers where the charging pad itself is often connected to a socket in the wall. In this regard, the Zest Pro offers a truly wireless experience. You can just put your phone on the front face (the one with the LED light/button) and the phone will start charging. And before you ask, yes, it works even with a cover on the back of your smartphone.
Another plus? You do not have to be super precise with the placement of your smartphone on the charger. A little bit of sliding here or there will not keep your phone from the pleasures of wireless charging.
And unlike most other wireless chargers that can only charge your device wirelessly, the Zest Pro actually offers the best of both worlds. You can charge your phone wirelessly, but if it does not support wireless charging, you can resort to the good old wired charging method by simply plugging the charging cable in one of the USB ports. So you can charge three devices at one go with the Zest Pro – one wirelessly and the other two via USB cables. The charging process will then be extremely slow, but it will definitely put some life in your devices. The 10,000 mAh Li-polymer battery can easily charge two-three smartphones (depending on the smartphone’s battery) before running out of juice. The charger itself takes a bit of time to charge and can get completely charged in 5-6 hours.
There are no series of LED lights that indicate how much battery is left on the charger, but the LED Light-cum-power button indicates the level of battery remaining in the charger by blinking in different colors. There are three colors: red, blue and green where red signifies low battery, blue indicates medium level and green is for high level. Not as convenient as a line of LEDs, but one can get used to it. We also noticed that the grey marking on the charger could be easily scratched off, which may leave you with a plain white charger if you are the type that itches to scratch at paint.
The wire cutter!
At Rs 2999, the Toreto Zest Pro might strike some as being a bit on the expensive side for a 10000 mAh charger. But factor in the fact that it comes with support for wireless charging, and two USB ports, and things take on a very different complexion. No, it is not perfect (we would have liked better battery indicators) and the wireless charging itself remains much slower than its wired counterpart, but what cannot be denied is that just placing your phone on a charger to charge it is not just very convenient, but also has a “cool” factor, and well, it saves us the trouble of carrying a charging cable! With the Zest Pro, Toreto is offering a budget-friendly wireless charging option and one that everyone with a phone that supports wireless charging should consider. There is plenty of power in there, and you have nothing to lose but your wires…