Pitaka is a smartphone accessory brand that’s building a reputation for its use of premium materials combined with clever design ideas. I tried out their latest, the MagEZ Juice, which is a combination wireless charging dock and portable power bank. It’s actually a pretty cool idea.
Before getting to the main product, it’s important to know that this is a system. And it requires a MagEZ-compatible smartphone case.
Pitaka sells a minimalist case for most popular flagship smartphones—the version for my iPhone XS Max has a $49.99 price tag, which isn’t unreasonable. It’s one of the most attractive minimalist cases I’ve ever seen. It’s constructed of 100% aramid, a material used in body armor. The case is under 1mm thick and ultra-light, despite have metal plates embedded in the back.
As cool as this case looks, it offers minimal protection. There’s no padding, and no lip to protect the display. So the protection is basically limited to keeping the back and edges of a phone from being scratched.
There is a heavier-duty option in the MagEZ Case Pro. It offers 13-foot drop protection and also includes a back made of aramid. This one is more like a traditional protective case but it’s available for a much more limited range of devices.
Finally, there’s a DIY option. In the MagEZ Juice box, Pitaka includes a self-adhesive metal plate attachment, along with templates to correctly position it. Placement is critical because the plates can’t interfere with wireless charging. With the attachment, you can turn your favorite smartphone case into a MagEZ-compatible case.
In the box is a portable power bank. This is unlike any other power bank you’ve seen. On one side it’s a flat, Qi-compatible wireless charger. The other is slightly rounded and covered with Aramid. The body is zinc-alloy. On one end is a USB-C port, and there is the expected charge button and LED level indicators.
Wireless charging won’t work with regular cases, but with a MagEZ-compatible smartphone case, the power bank snaps on firmly with magnets. It not only wirelessly charges but becomes an integrated part of the case. It’s heavier, but the whole thing fits nicely in the palm of your hand. I was also able to charge a smartphone using the USB-C port.
The power bank battery has a 2,000mAh capacity. That’s not enough to fully charge most smartphones but will give you valuable hours of extra use.
To charge the power bank, you could plug it into any USB-C charger. But it’s meant to sit on the included Wireless Charge Stand—an attractive, solid hunk of black metal with an integrated USB-C connector. It has a gel pad on the bottom to prevent it from moving around. Slide the power bank into the angled stand and it docks with the charge port so it’s always at 100%.
So far, this has been a collection of interesting and kid of cool-looking gadgets. Where it all comes together, though, is when they are combined.
The Wireless Charge Stand holds the power bank at a 45-degree angle, with its Qi pad exposed. Set your smartphone on the pad, and it charges, while staying at an angle that makes it much more useful than being flat in the desk—you can actually see the display. It’s held firmly in place by the magnets. Lift the phone off to take it with you, or slide it out to leave with the power bank still magnetically attached to the back, becoming in effect a battery case.
Going all out with a MagEZ Juice ($79.00) plus a compatible case ($49.00) takes you up to $128, but I don’t think that’s at all unreasonable for the combination. Especially when they look so good, and function so well together.
The Pitaka MagEZ Juice is a pretty clever idea. It works well and looks far more expensive than it is. To get the complete look (and for the easiest implementation), one of the company’s MagEZ cases is the best bet—just keep in mind the minimalist version is truly minimalist in terms of protection.
Disclosure: Pitaka provided a MagEZ and case for evaluation but had no input into this review. As an Amazon Associate, I earn affiliate fees from qualifying purchases.
This post was last modified on May 21, 2020 5:15 pm
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