If you’ve ever been camping or to a music festival, you’ll know that it doesn’t take much for your personal tech to suffer.
Dropped phones, flat batteries and a lack of entertainment are always potential situations you will have to face.
So many companies recommend that you take their tech along with you on these adventures, but rarely are their solutions cost-effective and inexpensive.
That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when ZAGG sent me their festival kit.
The kit, which includes the company’s powerful Ignition 12 power bank, the CODA Wireless Speaker and a Glass+ cover from Invisible Shield, is a suggested range of devices for customers. These products aren’t sold online as a single bundle, so you can pick and choose which products catch your eye.
But are they worth it? I tried out the devices and here’s what I thought…
The Ignition 12 isn’t here to play around — rather than being a novelty power bank with limited use, it’s quite the powerhouse.
The power bank’s capacity is a whopping 12 000mAh, which can charge most phones up to four times — if not more. If you’re camping or at a festival, the power bank can keep your smartphone going for a few days (depending on how much power your phone consumes).
While its capacity is huge, the device isn’t. It’s obviously bigger than the average power bank, but fits easily into most bags.
Its size is basically that of a phablet smartphone, but around 2 to 3cm thick.
The device has two USB outputs – one 5V/2.1A and one 5V/1A. Different phones sometimes need different amperage in order to charge. By having these two different USB outputs, the Ignition 12 ensures that the vast majority of smartphones are compatible.
I’ve also used the power bank to charge everything from my wireless gaming headset, to my Playstation 4 controller. The different ports have made sure that all of my devices are compatible with at least one of them.
Another nifty feature is its LED Torch. You simply need to hold the device’s power button in, and the torch switches on. This is very useful if you’re camping or at a festival (and you won’t need to use your phone’s precious battery for its torch), but I found it useful even at home.
All round, the Ignition 12 is a super handy and useful device – in and outside the home. It wasn’t long before I was using it in place of my own power bank, and the huge capacity means that you don’t need to charge it all that often.
What really sells me on the Ignition 12 though is its price — it retails for R699 at stores with ZAGG devices. Considering my power bank, with the same quick charge but an 8000mAh capacity, cost R800, I would say the Ignition 12 is a pretty great deal.
Invisible Shield Glass+
ZAGG also promotes its high impact tempered glass screen protector as a perfect accessory for your travels (and life in general).
The main concerns consumers have when it comes to using screen protectors like these is their effect on the device’s appearance, how touch input is affected and whether it is actually scratch and impact resistant.
So this is exactly what I tested…I tried out the Invisible Shield Glass+ sample that ZAGG sent me. And I can say I wasn’t disappointed.
The protector comes with Ion Matrix technology, which ZAGG says offers three times more shatter protection than an unprotected screen. When you take it out of the package, you can feel that it’s quite sturdy.
This thickness did make me wonder whether it would impact touch input. This happened recently when I tried a screen protector for the Galaxy S8.
However, with the InivisbleShield protector applied, touch input was not affected on my device whatsoever. Later, I cracked the protector (purposefully while removed from my phone) to see if this would impact touch input. Even with a significant crack, touch input remained unaffected.
But how did it fare with scratches? It exceeded expectations. I first used my keys against the protector while it was on my screen — with not a single scratch appearing.
I then took it up a notch, trying to scratch the screen with a sharp steel knife — and it still couldn’t scratch the screen.
I didn’t test the impact protection, as it would require me to risk a phone. However, the protector is sturdy and withstands drops by itself. Once it is cracked though, these cracks tend to spread easily. Tampering with the screen by trying to remove it or shift it will just make things worse.
In terms of clarity, the tempered glass cover doesn’t reduce colour or clarity at all. In fact, it gave my phone’s screen a shinier finish — which made me regret the fact that I was going to have to abuse the protector in order to test its capabilities.
With all these points working in its favour, it’s definitely an accessory to consider. However, at R349.00, it is a bit more pricey than some tempered glass protectors. But I can vouch for most of its features, which is more than I can say for many other brands.
A problem, however, is that it is available for a limited number of phone models. Luckily, ZAGG recently announced a new InsivisbleShield on Demand service that solves this.
The in-store service creates an instant screen protector for almost any mobile device, meaning you don’t have to worry about whether your device is compatible.
“Choosing the screen protection cut is extremely simple – once the device or handset is selected the ISoD machine does the rest,” ZAGG says.
CODA Wireless Speaker
The CODA Wireless Speaker is one of the most compact Bluetooth speakers I’ve come across — it’s slightly smaller than the size of a whiskey tumbler, but it still has decent volume.
Its range is about 10m, which gives you quite a bit of freedom of movement when pairing it with your smartphone. While its max volume doesn’t come near the bone-shaking bass of a large speaker, it definitely outdoes the average smartphone in this regard.
Due to the structure of the speaker, it is also much more efficient at filling the room with sound. Most phones have to be manoeuvred for maximum speaker exposure, but you can simply place the CODA speaker in its standard upright position to get a great spread of sound.
It also has a built-in mic for hands-free calls. However, I found that my device didn’t quite achieve the desired effect. While I could hear the person on the line clearly, they struggled to make out my voice.
When it comes to its primary function — as a Bluetooth speaker — it is a great gadget. Considering it retails for only R249, it’s performance is more than admirable for its price.
Where Can You Get ZAGG Products?
If one of these products has attracted your attention, you may be wondering where you can find them.
The products are available locally from Musica stores, Incredible Connection and a few others, while you can also order them through Raru and Takealot.
ZAGG also has its own online store, but these are for the EU and US regions. If you order from these storefronts, you will have to pay for the necessary shipping.