NOMAD Base Station Apple Watch Edition Wireless Charging Dock REVIEW
When my iPhone Xs Max arrived last month, I was very excited to start using it. I loved the big screen and how everything looked on it. I used it so much that first day that when bedtime rolled around, I was down to the bare minimum battery level. It was time to put it on charge and head to bed. What I didn’t take into account was the charging station I was using for my Apple Watch and iPhone wasn’t compatible with the newest iPhone models. I was shocked when I got the “this accessory isn’t supported” warning when I plugged it in. I really didn’t know what I was going to do for charging on my nightstand at that point. I didn’t like the idea of having two charging docks — that’s just too many cables for me. So, I’ve been on the lookout for a charging system for both my Apple Watch and iPhone that is compatible with my new iPhone Xs Max. Finally, Nomad produced a solution for me with the Base Station Apple Watch Edition.
Nomad, a company that focuses on creating products for the minimalist, released the Base Station Apple Watch Edition not long after the Base Station Hub Edition. The Base Station at its core is a premium wireless charging pad designed for the new iPhones that support wireless charging (iPhone 8 or newer). In addition to the charging pad for the iPhone, the Base Station Apple Watch Edition includes a built-in Apple Watch charger. That in itself is unique because there are only a handful of Apple Watch charging stands that integrate the Apple-approved watch charger. In most cases, you have to provide your own Apple Watch charging cable.
The charging pad is covered in premium leather and for a touch of style and it has 3 Qi-certified coils. Each coil provides up to 7.5W of wireless charging power to the connected device. There are three small LEDs (one per coil) charging indicators on the front of the charging pad (white — fully charged, amber — charging). They dim at night thanks to an ambient light sensor. It does support nightstand mode for the Apple Watch, too. Nomad does note within the specs of the dock that you should not charge your phone wirelessly with a steel plate or magnetic back as it may cause rising temperatures, which can damage devices.
- Black padded leather surface with aluminum chassis
- No-slip grip rubber feet
- Qi-certified (works with all Qi-enabled devices)
- International EU & UK adapters included
- Does not charge Apple Watch or AirPods wirelessly
- Compatible with Apple Watch 44mm/42mm and 40mm/38mm, Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, and Apple Watch Edition, Series 1, 2, 3, 4 (steel, sport, and Nike versions)
As I mentioned, I was very excited to have the opportunity to use the Base Station Apple Watch Edition because it solves a bit problem for me. The dock comes in a well-designed box. Nomad’s branding is clean and you can easily tell what you are getting from the pictures on the box as well as the details provided. The back of the box illustrates some of the main features of the dock including the triple wireless coils in the wireless charging pad. The one issue I truly have with this charging dock is the pictures that used to illustrate the charging capabilities and compatible devices for the dock. The images include the Apple AirPods. As indicated above in the spec section, the Base Station does not charge the AirPods wirelessly. Apple has announced that they plan to release a wireless charging case for the AirPods, but that is yet to be released. Even though the fine print on the box mentions this, I still don’t like that they are pictured on the wireless charging pad. I think it’s very close to ‘false advertising’.
As far as charging goes, the Base Station Apple Watch Edition has exceeded my expectations. When I tested out the dock, I used an iPhone Xs and Series 4 Apple Watch. The watch had a 56% battery charge while the phone only had 11%. I charged both devices for approximately 50 minutes and the watch gained 38% while the phone gained 31%. This showed a charging rate of 0.62% per minute for the iPhone and 0.76% per minute for the watch. On another occasion, I charged the iPhone Xs again for about 60 minutes and it gained 32%. That time the charging rate was only 0.52% per minute. Either way, I feel that this charging pad provides more power for wireless charging that some other wireless chargers I’ve used.
One thing I really want to commend Nomad on is the integration of the Apple-certified Apple Watch charger. I’ve used countless charging docks for the watch that require you use your own charging cable and that infuriates me to no end because I like to reserve my precious Apple Watch cables for charging on the go. I love that this charger didn’t require me to wrap the charging cable round and round inside the dock or that I had to sacrifice the use of a cable to a semi-permanent, singular purpose.
I’ve been a fan of Nomad as a company and of their products for a very long time. They make solid, sleek products that are useful for all types of users. For me, the Base Station Apple Watch Edition is a home run and I would recommend it to any users of the newer watches and phones. It’s compatible with the more recent models of iPhone and Apple Watch and it has a minimal footprint on your nightstand. There is one single power cable that extends out the back and even though the power adapter that is attached is quite large, it delivers when it comes to charging your devices. The Base Station Apple Watch Edition retails for $119 USD and is available for order starting today on nomad.com.