ZeaLife 18W USB-C PD Review

ZeaLife 18W USB-C PD

Working from home? Or looking for how to play with others while following social distancing? Check out my new blog: Remote Work and Play.

ZeaLife 18W USB-C PD

ZeaLife 18W USB-C PD

ZeaLife 18W USB-C PD - A budget and travel friendly charger for your phone and other small devices

Summary

The ZeaLife 18W USB-C PD provides fast charging for many iPhones and Androids. As well as tablet and the Nintendo Switch. Available in bundles with either a USB-C cable or Lightning cable.

Overall
4.5
  • Performance
    (4.5)
  • Design
    (4.5)
  • Safety
    (4)
  • Portability
    (5)
Sending
User Review
0 (0 votes)

Pros

  • Fast charges iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, and LG phones
  • Charges Switch while you play
  • Fits in most Switch carrying cases
  • Travel friendly design
  • Includes a USB-C to USB-C cable or USB-C to Lightning cable, depending on bundle
  • USB-C to Lightning cable is Apple MFi certified
  • Works worldwide with 100-240V power input (may need a plug adapter)

Cons

  • Won’t fast charge Motorola phones over USB-C
  • Quick Charge 3.0 over USB-C is against USB-C specs

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. ZeaLife provided the product in this review.

Model: MZ18PD
ZeaLife 18W USB-C PD specs

ZeaLife 18W USB-C PD specs

Tech Specs:
  • Ports: USB-C
  • USB-C Output:
    • 18W USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 (5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A)
    • Quick Charge 3.0
    • Apple 2.4A
  • Input: 100V–240V, 0.6A, 50/60Hz
  • Size: 2 x 2 x 1.1 inches | 50 x 50 x 29 mm
  • Weight: 2.1 oz | 60 grams

Learn more about Fast Charging.

ZeaLife 18W USB-C PD with USB-C to Lightning cable box and contents

ZeaLife 18W USB-C PD with USB-C to Lightning cable box and contents

Included In Box:
  • ZeaLife 18W USB-C PD
  • USB-C to USB-C 2.0 cable (6.6 feet) or USB-C to Lightning cable (6.6 feet)
Good For:
  • Additional charger for home or work
  • Travel
  • iPhone
  • Android
  • Nintendo Switch (handheld)
  • iPad Pro (pre-2018)

First Impression

The ZeaLife 18W USB-C PD is budget and travel friendly fast charger. Aimed at most iPhones and Androids. It is available in two bundles. One includes a USB-C to USB-C cable. Best for Androids, Nintendo Switch, and USB-C tablets. The other includes an Apple MFi certified USB-C to Lightning cable. Best for iPhones and iPads. Both have the same charger. So with both cables it’ll work well for all devices listed.

The design is standard, with the basics most people want. The prongs fold up. And it isn’t too big in any one dimension. It is larger than some other options, especially GaN based chargers. But that keeps the price down. It has a small, green LED to show power is available. Not too bright, so shouldn’t be a problem in a dark bedroom.

 

Compared To Similar Chargers

ChargerZeaLife 18W USB-C PDAnker PowerPort PD 1

Review
Anker PowerPort III Nano

Review
AUKEY PA-Y18 18W PD

Review
Output18W USB-C PD

Quick Charge 3.0
18W USB-C PD18W USB-C PD

PowerIQ 3.0 (Quick Charge compatible)
18W USB-C PD
FeaturesFolding prongsUSB-IF Certified

Folding prongs
USB-IF Certified

Non-folding prongs
Folding prongs
CableUSB-C to Lightning cable or USB-C to USB-C cableUSB-C to Lightning cableNo cableNo cable
Dimensions2 x 2 x 1.1 in
2.1 oz
2 × 1.7 × 1.1 in
2.1 oz
1.8 x 1.1 x 1.1 in
1.1 oz
1.4 x 1.4 x 1.3 in
1.5 oz
Price$23.99$24.99$15.29$14.99

Prices are from Amazon Product Advertising API, last updated on 2020-05-20.

 

You can see more USB-C chargers here.

Device Testing

Check with your device’s manufacturer to verify which charging standards it supports.

USB Power Delivery & Quick Charge 4+ Phones

  • Apple iPhone 8/X/XR/XS
  • Essential Phone
  • Google Pixel
  • LG ThinQ/V30
  • Razer
  • Samsung Galaxy S8/S9/S10
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8/9
  • Xiaomi Mi 8/9
  • ZTE Axon Pro 9/10

 

Using an iPhone 8 for testing we find USB PD phones will fast charge over the USB-C port. iPhones will need to use a USB-C to Lightning cable. And Android phones will need a USB-C to USB-C cable. Be sure to get the bundle with the correct cable for your phone.

For old iPhones the USB-C port also supports Apple 2.4A. An older, but still functional fast charging standard. Older iPhones (4-7) can fast charge with the same USB-C to Lightning cable. Newer iPhones will charge ~15 minutes faster.

Quick Charge 3.0 Phones

  • HTC
  • LG
  • Motorola
  • Nokia
  • Samsung Galaxy
  • Sony
  • Xiaomi Mi 5/6
  • ZTE

 

Using a Moto G6 for testing we don’t see Quick Charge engage. So charging is at its normal rate. This is normal with Motorola phones when QC is offered over USB-C. Samsung Galaxy, LG, and other QC supporting Android phones would be expected to fast charge.

Nintendo Switch

 

Works well for all model Nintendo Switch in handheld/tabletop mode.

  • Nintendo Switch (original) – Charges while you play, but the original model Switch under draws at 12V. So it won’t charge as fast as a similar charger offering 9V or 15V (12W vs 18W).
  • Nintendo Switch (2019 update) – Charges near its max rate while playing and sleeping.
  • Nintendo Switch Lite – Charges near its max rate while playing and sleeping.

It will not support the Switch’s dock, as it doesn’t offer the required output.

Learn more about charging the Switch.

Quick Charge 3.0 Over USB-C

The presence of Quick Charge over USB-C is against USB-C specifications. Such chargers have been around for years without issue. But we don’t know what the future holds.

Under section 4.8.2 of USB-C specifications a proprietary charging method cannot change the voltage of USB-C output (between 4.40V and 5.25V) in a manner not defined by USB methods. Quick Charge operates at higher than default voltages. And so goes against the specifications. USB Power Delivery is an open source charging method. Created alongside USB-C, it is with specs even though it also increases voltage. The big difference is USB PD uses communication lines to negotiate power transfer. While proprietary methods take over the data lines for their negotiation. They do so because legacy USB connections, such as USB-A, don’t have comm lines.

There is no known risk with running proprietary charging standards over USB-C. Manipulating the data lines does disrupt data transfers. But when plugging into a wall charger or power bank there is no data transfer anyway. Some USB-C engineers warn against using any USB-C chargers with third party standards. Their concern is unforeseen consequences. Future technology may prove to be incompatible with such configurations. And pulling out a charger several years from now with a new device could have a bad result.

I have not run into any issues with these fast charging standards on this or any other charger. But as it is a spec violation I want you to be informed. If you’re a stickler for meeting USB-C specifications this isn’t a good charger for you. If you’re more pragmatic it works fine and has no known issues.

Summary

The ZeaLife 18W USB-C PD is a good value phone charger. Whether for home, office, or your bag. It costs about the same as similar chargers from bigger brands. But it includes a USB-C/Lightning cable, where many other chargers do not. Saving you $8-10 with its bundle pricing.

For phones it fast charges iPhone 8/X/XR/XS/11, Samsung Galaxy, and Google Pixel. It should also fast charge most other Android which supports Quick Charge. Be sure to pick the bundle with the correct cable for your model phone.

For the Nintendo Switch it charges in handheld mode while you play. Due to the 12V power profile the original model Switch charges slower than it should. But still enough to charge the Switch with the most demanding games.

It won’t win any awards for smallest or lightest charger. It is a bit larger than other options. Even older models not using GaN tech to shrink their size. But the difference is in millimeters, not inches. It still fits in the palm of your hand. And you won’t notice its weight in your commute or travel bag.

About ZeaLife

ZeaLife offers support through their Amazon storefront. Or via email (support@zealife.net). They offer an 18 month warranty and follow standard Amazon return policies.

Bottom Line

The ZeaLife 18W USB-C PD offers fast charging for USB PD or Quick Charge enabled phones. As well as tablets and the Nintendo Switch. It comes bundled with their a USB-C to USB-C or USB-C to Lightning cable. Go with whichever cable you need. The charger works as well either way.

Buy if you:
  • Need a USB-C to USB-C or USB-C to Lightning cable included
  • Want an extra phone fast charger for home, work, or travel
  • Are more concerned with value than size
Don’t buy if you:
  • Want the smallest fast charger available
  • Are concerned with Quick Charge over USB-C, as it is a spec violation

Be sure to check the Deals page to see if this or a similar charger is on sale.


Enjoyed this review? Sign up for the Switch Chargers newsletter and get updates on future reviews and Nintendo Switch related deals.