Need A Car Charger For Your Smartphone? My Review Of The Nonda ZUS Car Charger (It Can Even Locate Your Parked Car!)

by Aimee

Android, apps, chargers, iPhone, tech gear, USB, z1

When I was asked if I would be willing to try the Nonda ZUS Car Charger & Vehicle Locator and give them some true user feedback, I was really excited!

I travel long distances in my car and take frequent trips from central Pennsylvania to Knoxville and Nashville Tennessee.

Initially, I thought the ZUS would just be a great car charger (which it is) and thought I’d only use it for that purpose. But when I received the Nonda ZUS car charger I realized it has additional features that I could also use.

nonda zus car charger packaging

I’ve been using this USB car charger and GPS vehicle locator for about 2 weeks. Here’s my review…


First Impressions

The hardest thing about the ZUS was getting it out of the box — literally!

Although the packaging was really sleek, I found that the plastic pieces holding the charger in place within the packaging was very difficult to remove. I ended up ripping the cardboard a bit just to remove it. Since it’s made with military grade titanium, the charger wasn’t compromised at all during this process.

Once I got the charger out of the packaging, I reached for the 2 small instruction pamphlets found within the packaging.

nonda zus car charger pamphlets


Syncing The Nonda ZUS With Your Phone

The instructions within the pamphlets were simple to follow:

  1. Download the free ZUS app from the App Store or Google Play. (It immediately popped up on the app store)
  2. Open the ZUS app and plug ZUS into your car’s cigarette lighter. (Easy step and everything worked as expected)
  3. Start the car’s engine and ZUS lights should turn on. (The device lit up immediately)
  4. Turn on your device’s Bluetooth. (My Bluetooth was already connected on my car, so it connected immediately)
  5. The app will launch ZUS and automatically connect. (This happened right away on my iPhone)

I didn’t have any issues downloading the software or syncing it with my iPhone.

I was initially concerned when it said it would connect to my Bluetooth — because I use Bluetooth to listen to Internet radio when I’m in my car. Many times when one device is connected to Bluetooth, you cannot use other devices at the same time. I was pleasantly surprised when ZUS didn’t interfere with my music enjoyment!

So now that I’ve seen firsthand how the set-up is so easy, I’m definitely thinking the ZUS is a good choice for someone looking to purchase their first USB car charger.

Here’s what makes this car charger unique…


It Has GPS Features Built In To Locate Your Parked Car

Wherever you park your car, ZUS will save your vehicle’s location automatically.

While driving, you can follow the map and see locations ahead — much like using your car’s own GPS or a maps app on your smartphone.

When I first drove with the Nonda ZUS smart car charger, I was running some errands. After I went into my first stop, I was sent an alert stating that my car was parked about 30 feet away and it offered to set a parking alarm — in case I was using a paid meter (ideal for city parking). That’s pretty cool!

zus car charger gps

ZUS knows exactly where your car is as it logs the last place you parked your car.

There are a few downsides to the locator service, however:

  • You must have the charger plugged into the cigarette lighter when you park.
  • If you leave ZUS in place in the car and it stays charging even when your car is not running (like mine does), it will drain the car battery.
  • Just like a traditional GPS, if you’re in a covered parking lot, underground, or anywhere the GPS signal is weak, the ZUS will not work.

For me, the biggest issue is the fact that the locator service is draining my car’s battery even when the engine is turned off. However, your car’s cigarette lighter may not stay on like mine does when the car is off.

I’ve noticed that the ZUS app states “hit home button to keep ZUS running in the background.” Unfortunately, the app quickly drains my iPhone battery — faster than most of the other apps that I run on my device.

Oh, and something else that I noticed… ZUS thinks that you are parking whether you’re sitting in your car for a minute or parked in the same location for a week. So, if you’re sitting in traffic and cut the engine to save gas for example, ZUS will log that as your last parked location until you start and turn off the engine again.


It Charges 2x Faster And Has 2 USB Ports Built In

ZUS boasts the ability to charge devices 2x faster than others on the market.

Who doesn’t want to charge faster? So that’s definitely a good thing.

Nonda zus smart car charger size

The Nonda ZUS smart car charger also has 2 standard USB ports on the side — allowing you to charge more than one device at the same time. For example, you can charge 2 iPads at the same time in less than 4 hours.

Personally, there are only a few occasions when I would need to charge 2 devices at the same time while in my car. But this is a good feature for drivers who do need to charge multiple devices a lot.


The Verdict

The Nonda ZUS smart car charter is compatible with IOS and Android devices. This is great — if you have an iPhone or an Android smartphone.

As a consumer of many things “tech”… I really like the ZUS, but I probably wouldn’t purchase it for everyone on my gift list. Here’s why:

  • After installing the ZUS app, it drains the smartphone battery very quickly.
  • Most of my friends and family use a GPS device already (therefore they probably don’t need another one).
  • Finding a car where it was last parked hasn’t been an issue (yet!) for those I know.

Since it does have some really cool features — especially the car locator feature — I would recommend a Nonda ZUS smart car charger for:

  • Those who live or work in a city (parking meters, locator, etc.)
  • Business travelers who drive and do not fly
  • Elderly (or forgetful) people that have iPhones or Android phones

If you just need a basic car charger (not the parking locator or the 2 USB ports), then I probably wouldn’t recommend splurging for this device — because there are cheaper USB car chargers, and you can easily pick one up at any gas station or convenience store these days.

But if you would benefit from the GPS car locator (so you’ll always know where your car is parked), then this might be the best car charger for you!

It’s a great USB car charger for someone who’s purchasing their first one. I’m just not sure that it makes sense for everyone.


Before You Buy A Car Charger