Kickstarter-funded Zendure claims to have developed the most durable external battery available: the A-series, built to withstand heavy impact while also delivering a surprising amount of energy. The 9.3 ounce (260g) A4 model can charge an iPhone more than six times. In their Kickstarter.com fundraising video, Zendure CEO Bryan Liu demonstrates both feats by driving a sedan over the Zendure battery a few times while charging an iPhone. The secret to the new batteries’ durability lies in the material and design of the body. The batteries have an exterior shell made from a durable polycarbonate-ABS composite material used in many high-end rugged products such as suitcases. The shell is reinforced by support ridges around the whole body, and the top and bottom covers are tightly sealed by a rubber “belt” that absorbs shock if the product is dropped or squeezed.
“Our Kickstarter video is unapologetically verbose, but when it comes to durability, seeing is believing,” said Tom Haflinger, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer for Zendure. “Bryan said our battery could probably survive an encounter with his 1.6 ton car. So we booked a location, got a couple cameras, and just went for it.”
The team’s obsession with quality isn’t just limited to the outside of the batteries. Zendure’s A-Series has a total energy conversion rate (TECR) of 80%, while most other batteries on the market can only manage about 70%. TECR is a term that Zendure uses to indicate the actual juice that a consumer can get out of the advertised milliamp-hour (mAh) rating of the battery. Zendure achieves this conversion rate by utilizing high-quality components and clever design principles, including an industry-first heat management mechanism that enhances circuit efficiency. Even Zendure’s 7.2 ounce (200g) Zendure A3 can charge an iPhone 5 up to five times, which means 40 more hours of talk time or 200 more hours listening to music.
Designed for people who frequently travel or enjoy outdoor activities, the Zendure A-Series is not only durable but also stylish, compact and light. The metallic silver finish on the body, combined with a grey rubber belt, makes the product a beautiful gadget suitable for all kinds of circumstances. As for size, the A3 is only 3.8 inches (96mm) tall and can easily fit into a pocket or backpack.
Haflinger and Liu also wanted to make sure that the experience of using the new battery would be everything the consumer expected in a top-quality product. The team read thousands of reviews for existing products and recruited representative consumers for in-depth focus groups and interviews to develop a blueprint for the best user experience.
The A-Series offers key functions that consumers indicated were most important to them. The A3, A4 and A5 automatically turn themselves on when connected to a compatible device. While the A-Series batteries are being charged, they are capable of charging other devices. All three models have two USB outputs, so they can charge two devices at the same time. An energy-efficient standby mode allows the Zendure batteries to maintain up to 95% of their charge after six months without use, which means that users don’t have to frequently recharge it if they’re just keeping it as an occasional emergency backup power source.
“External battery makers tend to pick some key feature or gimmick and then develop a product around that one thing,” said Haflinger, “so we decided that our product would be developed around people, and our gimmick would be quality.”
“Our goal was to take everything that consumers look for in an external battery and put them together in a form that people would want to carry around every day,” said Liu. “It’s taken a lot of work, but I’m confident we succeeded.”
The Zendure A-Series external batteries will be available for pre-order on Kickstarter on September 9 at 11:00am Pacific (2:00pm Eastern) with special early-bird price options starting at $45 for the A3 (9,000mAh), $59 for the A4 (12,000mAh), and $75 for the A5 (15,000mAh).