About this project
Zendure A-series is patent-pending in USA, EU & China. All rights reserved.
See full list of media reports at the bottom of this page.
A3, A4 & A5 Specs
Three Sizes to Fit Your Life
All backers who pledge at least $39 will receive a 1W USB LED Lamp and a Zendure zipper case made with water-proof materials. In addition, thanks to the support of our backers, we have increased the capacity of the A3, A4 and A5.
New! Introducing the A5 Glow
It's got a whopping 17,000 mAh capacity and green glow-in-the-dark rubber belt, and we've managed to keep it the same compact shape and size as the A5 using the highest-density battery cells and the same incredible build quality as the A3, A4 and A5. We will be able to ship the A5 Glow at the same time as our other products. Great gift for the holidays! Limited to 1,000 orders (including combos). Free shipping worldwide on the $169 A3+A4+A5 Glow Family Pack and the A3+A4+A5+A5 Glow Ultimate Pack while quantities last.
Most lithium-ion batteries are capable of being charged and discharged about 500 times. This is sort of the "life expectancy" of the internal components. The primary job of the exterior is to protect the internal components over the life of the product. Using the world’s most advanced industrial design and molding techniques, our engineering team was able to build an external battery that has unprecedented durability, inside and out.
Zendure A-Series batteries are made from a durable composite material (Polycarbonate +ABS) that's used in a vast array of other resilient products, including high-end suitcases, and the recent iPhone 5C. The exterior shell is reinforced by support ridges to resist warping. Between the front and back covers is a shock-resistant rubber belt (polycarbonate + TPU) to help protect the battery from drops.
During production of our Kickstarter video, Zendure founder Bryan Liu ran over a Zendure A4 battery a dozen times while charging an iPhone 4S, and the battery passed the test with flying colors.
While the car test certainly is flashy, numbers matter too. All three models were put through two hours of drop tests, falling repeatedly onto a hard cement surface from one meter. The three models also spent ten hours dancing around during a formal vibration test. Again, flying colors across the board. And the internal batteries have been vetted by their manufacturer after suffering several hours of impact tests by a 9kg hammer dropped from 60cm, as well as a ten-second encounter under a total weight of more than 1300kg.
Current owners of external batteries may already be aware that a battery's rated capacity is not a clear indication of actual performance. Internal resistance takes some of the energy out of the system. The batteries themselves usually hold a charge at about 3.7 volts, while the devices that they power require 5 volts. This transformation takes energy out of the system, as do other circuit operations.
For most batteries on the market, this energy loss reduces the effective capacity by up to 30% of the total power of an external battery. Their total energy conversion rate (TECR) is only 70%. Zendure A-Series batteries have an amazing 80% TECR. That means our milliamp-hour (mAh) charge ratings are worth more than the figures our competitors use. It also means that every gram of mass, every cubic centimeter of space taken by our batteries is used in the best way possible. Some manufacturers claim that their batteries' conversion rate is 90%, but they are usually talking about the efficiency of the circuitry itself, not the TECR. Our circuit efficiency is 95%.
We achieve these results by employing a design that includes the best internal batteries, the best control chip and a passive cooling system that transfers heat away from the internal components. In addition, our batteries can go through over 500 full charge/discharge cycles over the life of the product.
Most batteries we encountered are not capable of charging other devices while they, themselves are being charged. Not surprisingly, our research indicated that most people would rather have a battery that can do both at the same time. In fact, a large number of consumers purchased an external battery under the assumption that it would be able to do this, only to find out later that their assumption was incorrect.
The Zendure A-Series can charge other devices while it is being charged. So you don't have to constantly rearrange your charging cables or plug in two wall chargers. Just leave everything plugged in, and let the A-Series take care of business.
The Zendure A-Series will automatically turn itself on when connected to a compatible device for charging, then switch back to standby when charging is complete.
If you're planning to purchase a battery to use as a backup in your home emergency kit, you'd probably rather not have to "top off" the charge every couple of weeks so it will be ready when you need it. The Zendure A-Series battery can maintain up to 95% of its charge after six months without use, so it won't let you down in an emergency.
Dual USB Output
Sharing is caring. Think of what a good friend you would be if you had an extra charging port for someone who needs it. Or charge two of your own devices at the same time. However you roll.
Zendure A-Series batteries are designed for compatibility with a variety of USB-powered devices, including smartphones, tablets, music players, cameras, e-readers and game consoles.
With a total conversion rate of 80%, Zendure A5's 15,000mAh capacity can outperform most other 17000mAh external batteries. To approximate how many times a Zendure battery can charge your device, multiply the battery's capacity by 0.8, and then divide it by the capacity of your device. (This formula assumes that the device's nominal voltage is about 3.7V, is charged via the 1A output port in a 25°C ambiance and is powered off and not in use when being charged. Real world test may vary slightly depending on whether the device is in use, which output port you are using, what the room temperature is, how much heat the device's battery generates, and how old the device is.)
Here's a list of the A5's charge capabilities for popular devices:
Apple iPhone 4, 4S or 5: ~8.5 times
Samsung Galaxy S III: ~5.7 times
Samsung Galaxy S IV: ~4.6 times
Samsung Galaxy Note: ~4.8 times
Samsung Galaxy Note II: ~3.9 times
Amazon Kindle Fire: ~2.7 times
Apple iPad 1 or 2: ~1.8 times
Apple iPad 3 or 4: ~1 time
Apple iPad mini: ~2.7 times
HTC One X+: ~ 5.7 times
Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX: ~3.6 times
LG Optimus G Pro: ~3.8 times
Apple iPod Nano 7th Gen: ~54 times
Apple iPod Touch 5th Gen: ~11.5 times
GoPro Hero 3: ~11.5 times
Sony PSP: ~6.6 times
In the Box
The A-Series includes a cloth carrying pouch, a 22" (56cm) Micro USB charging cable and a product manual. We are still making some changes to the design of the box and will provide updates throughout the project.
The key to building a great product is to focus on the people who will be using it, so we started with consumer and market research. What do people look for when they're deciding which battery to buy? What factors determine satisfaction with the product?
We began by looking at existing products on the market, getting an idea of how well they were selling, and finding out what people were saying about them after their purchase. We read over a thousand reviews on a variety of websites. Coffee helped.
We also bought batteries from a variety of manufacturers and tried them out for ourselves.
Then we put together some focus groups and interviews to really get in touch with our consumers. We brought in current battery owners and also mobile phone users who were considering shopping for one. We asked them how they decided which products to buy, or how they were planning to begin their search. We showed them existing products as well as some experimental mock-up images and got their opinions on aesthetic value. It was a really great experience. Our participants gave us detailed answers to our questions and were really supportive in our quest to figure out how to make the best possible battery.
We wanted to design something that looked rugged, but at the same time, luxurious. The design for the A-Series was inspired by high-tech machinery and also by existing products in other fields that we felt shared a similar design philosophy.
While founder Tom Haflinger conducted the interviews in the U.S., co-founder Bryan Liu started looking at potential manufacturers in China. We were looking for a facility with a lot of experience, a reputation for making quality products, and a high output volume. At the same time, we didn't want some cold mega-corporation that would rarely return our emails.
Bryan found a great team in southern China with an incredible reputation. After meeting with the owner in person and touring the facility, we were convinced that these were the folks we wanted to work with.
After countless sketches, renderings and revisions, our final design was born.
Of course, developing a product that is actually as durable as it looks takes a lot of testing. The manufacturing facility had the necessary equipment and talent to put together the exterior shell and run it through their "torture chamber". Trial after trial indicated that we should use a strong polycarbonate-ABS blend that could keep up with a life in motion. The top and bottom shell are buffered by a rubber belt that absorbs impact.
In order to make the shell more solid, we decided to adopt a two-shot molding technique, which means one side of the shell is molded with the rubber belt together simultaneously.
We were happy with the shell's structural resilience in the torture tests, but the metallic paint job wasn't holding up to abrasions as well as we had hoped. We were building the A-Series to stand up to life's challenges, and we wanted it to look good doing it. So we even had them revamp the paint formula a few times until we had something good enough to be a part of the A-Series. We also took the opportunity to play with a few different color options.
Our research showed that people were frustrated with batteries that didn't live up to their rated capacity, so energy efficiency was very important to us. We wanted our total energy conversion rate (TECR) to be 80%, rivaling the industry standard of about 70%. After careful consideration, we agreed on an internal design that would meet our specifications. We decided we would spend the extra money needed to get the best components, starting with the internal batteries.
The lithium-ion batteries inside the A-Series are produced by a skilled manufacturer with an international reputation for high quality. Their batteries are energy dense and very reliable.
The essential charging and discharging operations of the Zendure A-Series battery are expertly coordinated by a Texas Instruments control chip. Decades of research into secondary batteries has been distilled into this tiny marvel. The result is an amazing boost to efficiency that fits into a space the size of a pill.
The battery's internal design uses thermal conductive silicone pads and a metal lining to draw heat away from the circuitry and make the whole system even more efficient.
We finally had a functional prototype that worked as well as the thing we imagined in our heads. Suddenly, it all felt so real.
From there, the manufacturer began developing the molds. As two-shot injection molding is an extremely complicated process, this task took more than two months, but it's crucial work.
This is our first product, so it has to make a really good first impression and present our name, Zendure, in a way that would instill confidence in our ability to deliver a quality item. A lot of our competitors screen print their logos on their products. We wanted to do something different. We found a supplier that does precise stainless steel stamping, and they made a logo plate to fit our molded prototype perfectly. The result is a clean, impressive, and unforgettable introduction to who we are and what we're all about.
The Zendure A-Series is uniquely great, and we built it just for you.
And we do mean you, the people of Kickstarter. You see, this whole process of developing a new product, when done right, costs a lot of money. All the money we had, in fact. And now that we've created it, we need to raise more capital to finish it. In order to make a product that really feels solid the instant you pick it up, the mold needs to be adjusted by patient, experienced hands. Frankly, this level of patience and experience doesn't come cheap, but we're absolutely certain that this is the right move. The Zendure A-Series has to be just right. The rest of our funding will help us establish mass production and marketing so we can continue to grow our new business.
We weighed our fundraising options at the very beginning of our endeavor. We could continue working at our day jobs for a few years until we had enough money. We could get a loan. We could bring in some investors. But we didn't want to wait, we didn't want to owe money, and we didn't want to give away ownership. With Kickstarter, we can raise money on our own terms. More importantly, reaching our fundraising goal will tell us that we're truly on the right track, and that we've succeeded in developing and marketing a product that really deserves to be "up there with the big guys".
It's been a long, bumpy road full of sleepless nights, long emails and serious head-scratching. Your support through the final mile would mean more to us than you could possibly imagine. But we don't want you to order one as a favor to us. The A-Series is the best battery you can buy, we're certain that you'll agree once you own one.
Bryan Liu is the Chief Executive Officer of Zendure, as well as the lead designer for the A-Series external battery. He came up with the basic structural and electronic concept of the A-Series and coordinated the launch of Zendure's flagship product. He brought together the various engineering and manufacturing resources that were involved in the development process, and he constantly keeps in contact with all of us to make sure we're sticking to our launch timeline.
Bryan's lifelong fascination with electronics is due in part to his father, who was a self-taught electrical engineer. Bryan studied Information Technology in college. For the past decade, he has held senior marketing and product development roles in a number of reputable engineering and technology firms, including Halma, Ocean Optics, and a Siemens distributor in China.
Tom Haflinger is Zendure's Chief Marketing Officer. His responsibilities include marketing, public relations and web development, as well as business administration. Tom conducted the consumer focus groups that helped us define our objectives. Tom's parents both have a great deal of experience in electronics design and manufacturing, so Tom has always been fascinated with gadgets. He has worked in product development for Eastman Kodak, retail services for Apple and spent several years as a professional web developer and photographer.
Gary Peng, our Quality & Logistics Manager, is responsible for inspection of the finished products and shipping from the manufacturing facility to the warehouses in the U.S., and to our international backers directly. Before joining Zendure, Gary was the quality and logistics manager for a large U.S.-based home fixtures company for over 7 years.
The name "Zendure" is a combination of "Zen" and "endure". High-quality products endure a number of threats. Not just physical threats from accidents or rough storage, but also age. Quality products last a long time. The "Zen" prefix was chosen because it's a word that people often associate with a gentle nature. Our aesthetic designs are meant to communicate durability, but not in an aggressive way. Resilience, but not "military grade".
After we launch the A-Series, we plan to continue making products that set a new standard of excellence and really raise user expectations.
Launching a product is no simple task. Here are the steps involved in bringing the Zendure A-Series to you.
"...you don’t have to worry about damaging them when throwing your bag off a building. The rest of your stuff may not survive, but the batteries will." -Adam Dachis, Lifehacker
"...beautiful, sexy, tough, intelligent, and above all, exactly what Zendure claims it is." -Evil_Devnull, AndroidSPIN
"The real reason you want a Zendure battery is because they’re built like a freaking tank. " -Ben Avecilla, TheNoisecast
"Zendure the Strong & Durable". -DudeIWantThat.com
"External iPhone Battery Survives being Run Over by an Automobile". - PowerPulse.net
"Zendure A-Series Extremely Durable Backup Battery". -GadgetSin.com
"Zendure Launches Crush-Proof, iPhone-Friendly External Battery on Kickstarter". - Yahoo.com
"Menlo Alumni Raise $11,000 in One Day with New Battery". - Menlo College
"Zendure launches crush-proof, iPhone-friendly, external battery on Kickstarter". -AppleDailyReport.com
"Zendure A-series Ruggedized Portable Battery Charger". - MikeShouts.com
"ZENDURE: Crush Proof External Batteries for Everyday Life". -Flying-Hobby.com
"Zendure, la fashion ricarica per smartphone! Geniale!" - Dammilvia (Italian)
"Portable Battery With Different Charge Output". -TechieDIY.com
Risks and challenges
September through December is an especially busy time for manufacturers, so we expect our partnered manufacturer to receive a lot of orders. Thus it's critical for us to have a good estimation of the total order volume we are going to get from Kickstarter as soon as possible, so the factory can handle our orders without any interruptions in production. We've spaced out the Kickstarter fundraising and delivery period to give ourselves a comfortable buffer.
The manufacturing process is being handled by one of the largest battery manufacturers in the world. We have visited the facility and met with the top executives dozens of times and established a good working relationship with them. This goes much deeper than simply faxing in an order form and following up with a few emails. They are committed to making the A-Series a success.
The facility is capable of assembling and packaging thousands of batteries a day, and after a great deal of research and numerous meetings, we have absolute confidence in their ability to produce the A-Series to our level of quality. However, if unforeseeable issues arise, we will communicate with you. Our team covers a pretty wide range of time zones, and we appreciate the trust involved in making a pledge toward our success.
A top logistics firm will assist us in coordinating outbound shipments from the factory in China. Shipments bound for the U.S. will travel to Amazon's expert fulfillment centers before heading to their final destinations. The whole process will take about 2-3 weeks for backers located in the U.S.
For international backers, the timing will be similar, but products will be shipped from China via small parcels directly. As we are anticipating thousands of orders, we will certainly have our hands full, and we will communicate with you throughout the process.
We have noticed that some international backers of other Kickstarter projects have had to pay an additional fee to clear customs. We don't want that to happen to you, so we will make sure our couriers take care of that. However, each country has a different customs clearance system, so there may be some unexpected issues. If you have to pay extra for shipping or customs after you receive the reward, please take a picture of the receipt and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can refund the fee.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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