NOMAD PowerPack With Tile Tracking REVIEW
Some products are interesting and deserve to take a second look to see if they still hold up down the road. Jon took a look at the NOMAD PowerPack with Tile back on January 20, 2017. So two years later and numerous batteries have hit the market since the NOMAD battery was released, so how does it stand up two years later?
The Nomad PowerPack is an ultra-rugged power bank with a 9000mAh capacity. The battery has integrated Bluetooth tracking featuring Tile. The battery is ready for fast charge compatible devices and has both USB-C and USB-A output charging ports. It also supports pass-through charging. The power bank has a rugged TPU rubber case is military-grade and drop resistant (1.2M drop-tested). The PowerPack even features AmbientIQ — a technology that measures ambient light levels and adjusts the LED status lights accordingly. That way they are always viewable — even in bright sunlight. The PowerPack is designed to keep you charged no matter where your journeys take you.
- Polycarbonate frame & TPU rubber exterior
- Mortise and tenon joints
- Panasonic lithium battery
- 13.5cm x 7.5cm x 2.5cm
- Capacity: 9,000mAh (29.6wh)
- Input: USB C 5V/3.0A (cable included)
- Output 1: USB A 5V/2.4A
- Output 2: USB C 5V/3A — 12V/2A with Fast Charge technology
- iPhone and iPad
- Android phones and tablets
- PowerPack supports USB C, but it does not support USB PD (Power Delivery) so it will only trickle charge your Macbook.
Certifications USB 2.0, CE, FCC, UN38.3, RoHS, The Tile and Tile design are trademarks of Tile, Inc.
One of the things I noticed right away was that NOMAD updated the packaging for the PowerPack. The original packaging for it was still a box, but it was mostly black with a few color accents. NOMAD has switched their color scheme for their packages to more muted tones (grey and white). The same type of information is included on the front of the box (ultra-rugged exterior, 3X charges, 9000mAh, Mil-Spec 1.2M). The inside of the box is fitted with cut foam to keep the battery and charging cable safe when being stored. I think this is a nice touch, too, because products can easily shift when being moved in their retail packages. The back of the box shows another view of the power bank — the port side. You will again find the basic information of the device featured on the box, but there are a few additional details including the explanation of AmbientIQ.
With the battery being 9000mAh, I thought it would be heavier. According to various online stores, the PowerPack weighs in at around 14 ounces, but it has a nice weight disbursement as the battery really doesn’t feel like it weighs almost one pound. I’ve used many other large capacity batteries that feel much heavier than the PowerPack.
I love the rubberized case because I feel as though it keeps the battery well-protected as well as providing me an easy way to grip the power bank. The rubberized case keeps the PowerPack protected along with anything it might smack against while rolling around inside of a backpack. I do want to point out that even though it’s a rugged-style battery and features military-grade drop protection, the PowerPack is not water resistant. The ports are open to the elements and do not have a cover to accompany them. So it is possible for dust and water particles to infect the ports.
The PowerPack was sort of ahead of its time because it was originally released with USB-C as its input charging port as well as one of its output charging ports and that was in 2017. Here we are two years later and I feel like USB-C is just now becoming mainstream. There are still a lot of power banks and other accessories that utilize Micro USB as its main connection port. This irks me quite a bit because even though I know it’s still being used, it is outdated technology and accessory companies should be moving towards the future not remaining stagnant in their product designs. That’s why I was so happy to see the PowerPack featured USB-C, but still included USB-A for devices that were not compatible with USB-C. With the USB-C port, users can achieve up to 3.0A of charging capabilities while the USB-A port only allows for up to 2.4A. It is important to note here that even though Apple does have a USB-C to Lightning cable, the iPhone limits the charging speed to 1.5A as a maximum.
When it came to testing the PowerPack, I was very interested to see how it would hold up to updated technology in the newest iPhones. My main testing subject was an iPhone XS. After 40 minutes, the battery in the iPhone gained 31%. That averages out to 0.78% per minute as a charging rate. I was using the USB-A output port and a standard Lightning cable to charge the phone. This was a slightly better charging rate than other batteries I’ve tested recently. The iPhone XS has a battery capacity of approximately 2,658 mAh, which means you could get 3 full charges out of a fully charged PowerPack.
In addition to its charging capabilities, the PowerPack makes it possible to find it remotely — should you ever lose it — using the integrated Tile tracker. First of all, Tile makes it super easy to add the tracker to their app. When you go to the app, you simply tap on ‘add device’ and then select ‘Nomad’. At that point, you tap the Tile button to activate it in the power bank. The Tile within the PowerPack and the app sync together beautifully and without any outside assistance from the user. At this point, you just use it as you would normally. If you leave your Tile somewhere or say, it slides in between a set of couch cushions, you can use the app to send the jingle to the Tile. If you can hear it (it’s really not very loud), you can find the PowerPack by following the chime of the Tile. This is the only problem that I have with the Bluetooth/GPS trackers — I can’t hear them. I have high-end hearing loss so it’s next to impossible for me to hear those high-pitched chirps. My fiancé doesn’t have a problem hearing them but did admit that this Tile’s chirp seemed a bit low volume-wise. Either way, you can still use the Tile app to locate the PowerPack’s last known location and track it down that way if you can’t hear it. I love that this feature is included with the PowerPack because a power bank is something that’s easy to leave behind somewhere. Plus, because it’s part of the design of the battery, the Tile is powered by the PowerPack and won’t need to be replaced.
I continue to be an avid fan of NOMAD. Their well-designed products really speak to me and I believe that with every product release, the designers at NOMAD are really looking forward. This is evident with the inclusion of USB-C starting in 2017. I feel like the PowerPack excels at design. It’s low weight, advanced charging ports, and included Tile are all premium features that users will appreciate. Even though it feels like a big ‘win’ to me, I also feel like the PowerPack fails when it comes to the volume of the Tile alert and the price.
At the time of this review, the PowerPack is $119.95. I think if you are just needing a battery and not a Tile then you can find other 9000mAh power banks at a much cheaper price. What sets this battery apart from others is that integrated Tile and the fact that it never needs to be replaced like other Tile models. The fact that this battery is something you can toss in a laptop bag without worry and know that you can always find it makes it worth the investment to me.
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Originally published at macsources.com on March 12, 2019.