Bluelounge unlocks portable charging with Kii

By , Jul 20, 2013

Bluelounge Kii splash

In a recent turn of events, two companies released a keychain Lightning charger. You may remember, last week we ran a giveaway for an extremely similar product. However, if you read through the previous post, there were a few things the competition could do better.

Enter, Kii by Bluelounge. A clever pun, Kii is a keychain charger, which is produced both for Lightning and 30 pin options. This little guy is currently attached to my daily key ring and traveled with me for the past couple weeks. Offering a charge on a moment’s notice, the Kii is the perfect companion not only for travel, but also daily use…

What makes it different?

Giving the Kii a hard look on the design table, Bluelounge got the most important detail correct. Metal. The part of Kii that attaches to the keyring is metal. Additionally, on the opposite end, the USB tip is metal. Having both ends of this device made with a durable material, can make all the difference when it comes to longevity and performance.

Blouelounge Kii charging

Think about it. Kii is inconspicuously hidden amongst your other keys, cleverly disguised with mimicry. The chances you are always thinking about your emergency charger is minimal. Keys get thrown around everywhere, carelessly tossed in the parking lot, dropped in the rain, clipped to backpacks, swallowed by the dog, did I mention dropped? Kii is going to be put to the test and utilizing metal will be the differing factor against the competition.

Bluelounge Kii tips

To boot, it looks pretty slick. A short stub, not much longer than a key, the Kii is a great pocket companion. Losing a charge is painful, but Kii is always with you. Due to the short design, it is not recommended for charging in vertically placed USB hubs. Laptops are the best bet or a wall outlet next to a flat surface. Flexibility is minimal because of the rigid connection between the tips, but durability may be higher.

Getting the cord to detach is simple. On the Lightning model, simply flip a spring loaded switch and pull down. For the 30 pin option, pinch the two sides of Kii and the top will pop off. I have been using the Lightning version and I can attest the locking system is solid. There is no fear the cord will fall out inadvertently.

Conclusion

The Kii is an innovative product. I really like knowing I have a charging solution with me at all times. The metal accents really bring the design/build to a new level. This alone puts it ahead of the competition, however, being first comes with a cost. The Lightning version is a staggering $39.95, while the 30 pin version is a more reasonable $19.95, both currently available via the Bluelounge webstore.

To Bluelounge’s credit, Kii is Apple certified and the licensing for MFI dramatically increased with the Lightning technology. This is now a pain, not only for manufacturers, but also for consumers. I do really appreciate the details on the Kii and the locking mechanism, but the price tag makes this product more of a pricey “wish” for most standard consumers.

What do you think about the Kii? It is a really cool product, but, I’m wondering, who out there will be picking one up?

[iDownloadBlog review disclaimer statement]

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  • M Last

    really nice

    but a little pricey

    • Ricky

      Agree

    • jHx

      *very pricey

  • Necter

    I’d perhaps go rather for “chargecard.” It’s got no caps or covers that can be lost like the Kii parts might. It’s flat like a bank card and fits into any wallet, purse or pocket. Although Kii is aesthetically more appealing, chargecard secured mostly in the wallet seem it would be more durable. But gosh the Kii is really appealing in design and usage than the chargecard. I change my mind, I’ll go for Kii when d steep price valleys a bit.

  • Elvin Topalov

    Only problem here with these portable chargers is that they can only be used when the USB port is parallel to a flat surface. The USB port has to be really close to the flat surface, too.

  • Eric

    Hey Jim, great article!

    I was one of the lucky winners last week of the other “key ring” device give-a-way (@askeric) which I will be giving to my wife, as she always seems to “forget” (eh-hem) her charger and her phone dies.

    After reading your review, I can see that I may be picking up one of these Kii for myself – I like the disguised look much better. Furthermore, we still have the old 30 pin iPad 2, so picking up one of those to keep hand is a “no-brainer”. :-)

    • JimGresham

      Eric! Hey, yeah, I remember you winning. Thanks for the compliments on this article. It’s nice of you to share with the wife …and a great idea for you to pick up a Kii. I really do like having it around all the time on my key chain.

      Cheers!

      • iosPixel

        What day do the wallpapers to up buddy?

      • JimGresham

        They go up on Sundays. I just finished the one for today and it should post in a few hours. Follow me on twitter for updates on the wallpaper section and the iDB reviews:

        @jim_gresham

  • Kurt

    Pricey but cool

  • Bob

    lol, so flawed.

    The iPhone would pressure on the laptop’s USB ports and if you have a 1k+ Macbook like me, you would probably not want to get this product.

    People buy anything these days. Is using a standard lightning cable really so hard? Why are there so many alternatives, you shouldn’t fix what isn’t broken.

  • Malan Raja

    ChargeCard > Kii

  • Daniel K

    Wouldn’t waste my money on one for them. what a rip off. Charge card is great but this is just a joke at that price! their is the same on ebay for 3 or 4 quid!!

  • carlos916

    For a certified apple device id just go with a Nomad…

  • Baydin Inc

    I’m easy to please BUT I really like the key design. I only have one charger and constantly forget to bring it to work, so the price might be worth it just to always have something with me.