A little while back the techENT team was invited by Sun-U to attend a launch event. Not much of the details was know except that the name MiPow was mentioned. Sun-U is one of Malaysia’s leading electronics distributor and manufacturer. They started out with producing Lithium-Polymer batteries for mobile phones and later becomes SANYO’s mobile phone battery distributor. At one point they were the only manufacturer in the local market to produce Lithium-Polymer batteries. Just a few years ago they acquired the distribution rights to Motorola accessories in Malaysia, just very recently Samsung’s authorised distributor in Malaysia. They are even successful in retaining an exclusive rights to distribute Samsung’s exclusive mobile products and accessories. For a company that is just above the 10 years-old mark, their history is pretty colourful.
But we are not really there for Sun-U, not entirely anyway, we are there for MiPow. MiPow (pronounced My-Pow; no idea why, just go with it. Just like ASUS is A-SOOS), to start is a China based company and is an authorised manufacturing licensee of Apple Inc. like Foxconn. It is not catering solely the Chinese market as well; it is in fact quite global. Their main Research and Development facility is located in Hong Kong while they have corporate branches in Chicago, United States and London, United Kingdom. So we can safely establish that they are not small. In Malaysia their distribution will be handled by the company we earlier profiled, Sun-U. They are not some formidable manufacturers either, they have produced products that won awards in the past. Must be quite good then. Do not get me wrong though they are not some manufacturer of mobile phones nor are they planning to do it anytime soon. They are manufacturers of mobile phone accessories like headphones, bluetooth devices and most recently with all the craze, external battery packs. In the launch event that we were invited to we are supposed to see exactly just that, the battery packs or in other names power banks.
The event focuses more on MiPow’s entrance into the Malaysia market and its collaboration with Sun-U and to showcase MiPow products with the brand ambassador, International Super Model Amber Chia. Just because of that though it does not mean that MiPow did not take the time to talk about some of their newer offerings the MiPow Power Cube. Code-named Power Cube-SP7800, the battery packs 7800 mAh of power to charge almost any device charged through USB. To put into perspective 7800 mAh can charge the Samsung Galaxy Note ii from blank to full at least twice over. For that benefit also you get two USB outlets from the Power Cube to charge two devices at the same time, you can even charge devices using your battery pack while it charges. The authorised Apple Inc. manufacturing licensee is not just a moniker though. This Power Cube is made with the Apple iPad in mind. Through the 2.4V outlet you can do a rapid charge on the iPad. The Lithium-Ion that is in this battery pack will last about 500 cycles. It comes with 4 standard funky colours; Buff, Red, Brown, and light blue, and a special Stainless steel cover. We have personally used this one and the 2.4V outlets do charge up our devices quickly when we use them. As you know our mobile devices nowadays becomes much of a tool we really depend on, having and extra battery pack saves our lives at plenty of times (i.e. when family members call when battery is almost drained). Of course a good healthy battery should save us enough of the trouble but its always good to have spares. The MiPow Power Cube 7800 currently retails for MYR168.00.
Another product that was on display in the event was what they call the Playbulb. Just as you expect it is a light bulb, to be specific an LED light bulb. It is even in the shape of a light bulb. But what is unique about this light bulb is that it doubles as a Bluetooth speaker. It is not powered by plugging into a USB outlet nor through a bespoke adapter. It is a basic plug & play light bulb which means that you install it as a regular light bulb through the proprietary socket for light bulbs. It will fit your dinning lights, table lamps, reading lamps, etc. When powered the Bluetooth is automatically on so all you do is just pair your smartphone to it and it simply becomes a Bluetooth speaker for your smartphone. The bluetooth module on this is a 4.0 version which means that, paired with LED you do not have to worry about power consumption. If you own an iOS device, you can control the brightness of the bulb or switching it on or off. The same cannot yet be said for Android though. For iOS owners though, here is a new toy for you. The MiPow Playbulb will retail for MYR199.00 while colour options are limited to white only for the Malaysia market.
The next product on display is the Bluetooth speakers by MiPow. There are two over here, one is a smaller one called the Boomin while the bigger brother is called Boomax. They are both in the MiPow Boom family. Both are actually meant to be carried around with the smaller one being more portable. At 153 Grams and 360 Grams repsectively, they are not what we would call unwieldy but it does look like the smaller Boomin is more bag friendly than the large Boomax. Of course with bigger size comes bigger sound. Both are battery powered and connects to devices via Bluetooth 4.0. The Boomin boasts about 9 hours of music time and 45 days of standby time while the Boomax will have 12 hours of music time and standby time extends to 125 days. While the quoted figures seem very promising we are yet to test it. Both charges through a MicroUSB port. Naturally you can answer calls on this speakers too. We expected the louder bigger Boomax to be fitted with a larger speaker module but both are fitted with two three Watts unit. While the smaller Boomin is small enough to fit into bags the Boomax features a separate bike mount; riders here is your chance to have music without tangling and annoying headphones while you cycle. Both are available with Black, Blue, Chocolate, Sliver Mashup and Red. The Boomin retails for MYR199.00 while the Boomax retails for MYR269.00.
Lastly we took a look at a Bluetooth headset on the display rack in the event. It is the only MiPow Bluetooth headset that will be available in Malaysia for now. Dubbed the Voxtube 500 it is a single ear Bluetooth headset that is made mainly for voice calling. The material chosen on this piece of gadget is aluminium to give that high quality feel on the device. You also get three extra ear pieces of different size to choose from. You connect via Bluetooth 4.0 just like most of the Bluetooth devices available from MiPow. You get a quoted talk time of 6 hours and standby time of 8 hours, decent compared to similar devices from other manufacturers. Did I mention they have noise cancelling dual-mic functionality too? For you iOS users, you get a bonus feature of a battery tracking app specifically for the Voxtube despite it being able to support both iOS and Android devices. It is available in Black, Silver, Bronze, Pink, and Purple retailing at MYR179.00.
Though not on display there are other interesting MiPow products that are available for the Malaysia market. For extra power solutions itself there are two other offerings with interesting features themselves; the Power Mirror for example doubles as a small pocket mirror packed with 3000mAh of power, while the Power Tube 10000 carries a 10400 mAh charge in it and you can see the charge level through a very unique indicator built into the battery pack. For the Mirror Power there are several fun designs to choose from instead of merely colours, or you can go with the conventional Red, Black and White whereas the Power Tube comes in only Red and Light Blue colour choices as of now. They retail for MYR119.00 and MYR189.00 respectively. If you just want a battery pack without all those fancy extra functions MiPow will also sell you the Thumbox 5200, 7800, and 10400. Power capacity are 5200 mAh, 7800 mAh, and 10400 mAh respectively and retails for MYR89.00, MYR 99.00, and MYR 129.00 respectively. All three will be offered in Black, Navy Blue, Ocean Blue, Yellow Green, Light Pink and Dark Purple.
Other offerings not on display are like two other Bluetooth headphones VoxOn 200 and 500. Of course they are powered by battery when you connect them through Bluetooth. They both quote about 15 hours of music playback time while in standby mode they can last for about 600 hours, that is about 25 days of standby time. You connect through a built in Bluetooth 4.0 or to save battery you connect your media device with the 3.5mm jack offered out-of-the-box. The 3.5mm audio cable is even offered in the box when you purchase it. The headphones’ audio comes in the form of dual 1.5 Watts speaker modules that can be cranked up to 125db for the VoxOn 500. Something that is unique about the VoxOn 500 aside from it being bigger than the VoxOn 200 is that the retractable 3.5mm audio cable is built into the headphone and the Bluetooth connectivity range is up to 25 Meters uninterrupted. To ensure user comfort both will use Memory foam and other velvet type material so that they are not to harsh on the ears of the users. The Bluetooth headphones are charged through Micro USB. The VoxOn 500 is quoted to offer professional studio quality audio to users. The MiPow VoxOn 200 comes only in black while the VoxOn 500 comes in Black, White, Grey and Brown owfferings. Prices are yet to be confirmed and these items should be available by the end of November, 2014 or so.
Sources: All details and images contained within article are courtesy of Sun-U (Sunweu® Sdn. Bhd.) and MiPow®.