Under the Radar

Never Lose Your Car in a Parking Lot Again With the Zus Smart Charger


The Zus Smart Car Charger is one of those products that sounds like a great idea: it's a dual USB car charger that doubles as a smart car finder, remembering your parking space and guiding you back when you need to find your car.

The Zus works incredibly well and it looks great, with the kind of design that wouldn't look out of place plugged into a high-end luxury or sports car. It sells for $30 (although you can get $5 off if you buy two). That's around 3 times the price of a decent USB charger but the first time you use it to locate your car, you won't care about the extra money you spent on the device.

First the charger: it's got a MIL-STD-810G heat rating, so it shouldn't melt down in a hot car during the summer. I'm not running a tech lab here, but my experience suggests that it charges quite a bit faster than the Belkin charger I've been using. It also easily handled charging both an iPhone 6 and an iPad Air 2 on the same road trip. It's a very good USB charger.

The car finder works with an iPhone or Android app. Download the app, turn on your car, pair it via your Bluetooth settings and it automatically reconnects whenever you start the car. Compared to the repairing issues Bluetooth users routinely face with speakers and headphones, that's an impressive feat.

From then on, whenever you park the car, the app will announce that's saved your parking location and will ask if you want to set a parking timer. Once you want to return to your car, you open the app and a compass guides you back to your vehicle.

The app doesn't really have an impact on battery life because it's not a tracker. It saves your location to the app when you turn off the car and that GPS location is what guides you back if you need help finding your car. It's not a LoJack: if someone takes your car, the Zus can only guide you back to your empty parking space.

It also doesn't have the capability of recognizing your home or office locations. If you have the parking reminder turned on, the app will notify you when you've parked in your own garage. The beep is unobtrusive. I stopped noticing after a week or so. If it drives you crazy, you can disable it in the settings.

Both the device and its app are beautifully designed. If you're already using a charger in the car, it doesn't take up extra space and it does exactly what it sets out to do without a lot of confusing or unnecessary extra features. This is an excellent device.


Show Full Article