Review: Nokia JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging speaker

When Nokia presented the Lumia 920 and 820 they also presented a bunch of new accessories like the Nokia Purity Pro or the PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker. I had the opportunity to test the PowerUp speaker, so check it out after the break.

Design

When you buy a compact sound system for €250 you don’t only expect it to have a nice sound but also to look good. Nokia is known to have great designers and indeed, the PowerUP speakers look great! Maybe the bright colors are not for everyone, but you can also get a black version. The form however is modern and has a nice shape. It looks great when you place it in a inconspicuous corner because the colors really shine out. However, the speakers are small. On pictures they look so much bigger! When I took them ot of the package I was really surprised. However, their size does not seem to affect the sound quality as you will read later.

The rest of the package is however is also very well designed! The touch buttons are lit and the lights on the inductive charger blink when the phone is fully charged. No wait, they don’t really blink, they fade in and out which looks really futuristic and modern!

Features

The Nokia PowerUp offers some really unique features you won’t find on other compact sound systems. It does not only support Bluetooth and NFC (Note: NFC is just a command to link both devices via Bluetooth) but also inductive charging with the Qi standard which makes it usable not only with Nokia phones but also for example with a Google Nexus 4. Of course you don’t need to use NFC (you can connect a device without NFC simply via Bluetooth) nor do you need Bluetooth, you can connect devices with a simple AUX cable as well.

What I found very nice is the option to charge the phone without needing to turn on the speakers, so you can charge your Lumia without listening to music.

Sound

However, the most important thing of course is the sound, and I have to admit JBL and Nokia did an extremely good job here. Because it is a compact sound system you of course can’t expect a sound quality like 5.1 surround systems offer, but the quality is really respectable for such a little sucker. I tested many kinds of music. From electro to rock, from slow to fast and from good music (linkin park) to bad music (Nicky Minage). Highs and middles are in the perfect amount, however the bass could be a bit lower at times.

The maximum volume  is also a bit too low. When you only listen to music the volume is sufficient, but for louder environments like parties the speakers may be too quiet.

Overall , I think Nokia did a great job together with JBL. The design is, in my opinion, very nice, it offers great features and the sound is really respectable even when a bit too low. I would not go so far saying it is totally worth the price, but the price-performance ratio isn’t too bad. 250€ really is expensive, but you also have to bear in mind all the unique features the Nokia PowerUp offers which you possibly won’t find anywhere else.

If you already have a home stereo system however, you should better go for a Nokia Wireless Music reviewer. It doesn’t support inductive charging, but NFC and Bluetooth and it is much more affordable than the 250€ sound system.

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