Nomad is one of the best brands to shop if you’re looking for new accessories for your Apple devices. They make awesome leather cases for your iPhone, durable (and colorful) Apple Watch bands and lots of high-end wireless chargers. One of their newest accessories falls into the latter category: the Base One Max, a 3-in-1 wireless charger for your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods that’s available to purchase starting today.
Ahead of its launch, I was sent a sample to check out to see whether this $170 wireless charger is worth picking up. Spoiler alert: It definitely is, but only if you care about having the nicest thing.
If you want a sleek wireless charger that can juice up your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods all at once, the Nomad Base One Max is worth the splurge. Just know that there are cheaper alternatives out there.
What we liked about it
Nomad’s signature high-end design
It’s well established that Nomad is one of the best in the accessory market when it comes to design, and the Base One Max 3-in-1 is no exception.
This thing is as well-crafted as you can get. It features a metal body with a two-tone design and glass surrounding the MagSafe charger for the iPhone. There’s a huge rubber foot on the bottom so it doesn’t slide around on your desk, and it weighs a whopping 27 ounces. Yeah, this thing ain’t going anywhere.
It comes in two different colors: Silver or Carbide. I got the Carbide model to test, and it’s a sleek-looking device. Those who want a bit more glitz from their wireless charger will want to grab the Silver model, thanks to its lighter tones and luxurious aesthetic, but the Carbide’s just as nice if you want something sleeker and minimal.
It also comes with a 2-meter USB-C cable with a braided finish for connecting to power, which is a nice touch.
Charge your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods as fast as possible
Speaking of power, that’s really why we’re here: What’s it like to charge your devices using the Base One Max 3-in-1?
Very nice, as it turns out. The Apple Watch charger is propped up so you can use your watch in Nightstand mode for glancing at the time in bed. Behind it is a groove where your AirPods can go to get juiced back up. Nomad had to switch up its engineering approach with this Base One charging station to fit the extra coils, but they made it work. It’s easy to find where to place your AirPods to charge them, and I haven’t had to reposition them due to a failed placement attempt (at least not yet).
The other side of the Base One Max houses the MagSafe charger for your iPhone. The charger is painted white because it’s MagSafe certified, which is a requirement of Apple’s MagSafe certification program. What you need to know is that it works as well as any other MagSafe charger, plus it’ll juice your iPhone up at full speed.
Thanks to the MagSafe certification, the Base One Max supports 15W charging on the iPhone, which means you can charge all your devices at full speed from this single unit. Other 3-in-1 chargers can achieve the same thing, but it’s still cool to see all this happening from one charging station, especially since all it requires is a 30W power adapter to get it working.
What we didn’t like about it
No 30W power adapter included
That leads me to my main point of contention with the Base One Max: There’s no power adapter included. Nomad sells a 30W power adapter on its website that comes with the necessary USB-C port, but it’s an extra $30, which will bring your total cost to $200. That’s a lot of money for a fancy charger.
Of course, if you already have a 30W USB-C power adapter on hand, that’s great — you won’t need to go out and buy another one. But for those who don’t, the price of the Base One Max will get even higher.
Alternatives are often much cheaper
If you don’t want to spend upwards of $170 on a 3-in-1 charger for your Apple products, you don’t have to. There are plenty of alternatives that are frequently much cheaper.
Belkin’s $150 BoostCharge Pro immediately comes to mind. It too sports a premium design and supports 15W MagSafe charging on the iPhone, and it’s $20 cheaper than Nomad’s charger. There are also much cheaper options like Mophie’s 3-in-1 Stand that can charge the same three devices for $90; you just have to live with slower 7.5W charging on the iPhone.
At the end of the day, I love Nomad’s Base One Max, but you have to know what you’re getting into. You should buy this if you want a really nice object to put on display on your nightstand, desk or countertop that can also charge all your Apple products at full speed. But if you can live without its fancy look, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives available.