Nomad Base One Max 3-In-1 Is The iPhone, Apple Watch And AirPods Charger Apple Should Have Made

Desk chargers for Apple devices are nothing new, but the new Base One Max 3-in-1 from Nomad takes things to a whole new level of elegance, simplicity and efficiency.

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Nomad, if you don’t know the brand, is one of the most accomplished makers of Apple accessories, from superbly tactile Horween leather iPhone cases to an Apple Watch protector that transforms a regular Watch so it looks just like the rumored Apple Watch Ultra 2. The Base One Max 3-in-1 is its best charger yet and charges three items simultaneously: iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods.

When Apple introduced wireless charging to its iPhones with the iPhone X and iPhone 8—something it had already had with the Apple Watch since day one—it brought an unintended consequence. It was easy to misplace the iPhone on the charging pad, especially late at night when you were sleepy, say, and wake in the morning to find it hadn’t charged.

So, Apple introduced MagSafe, a ring of magnets on phone and charger that snapped the iPhone satisfyingly into place. It later introduced this to AirPods charging cases, too.

What Apple never introduced was its fabled AirPower charging pad to charge the iPhone, AirPods and Apple Watch all at the same time. But something like the new device from Nomad means I no longer miss that device.

This is a beautifully designed and built charger that’s a real pleasure to use. Design is always front of mind for Nomad, and the gleaming, bold look is statement enough to catch the eye. There are two versions, Carbide and Silver. Both look great.

The second unintended consequence of wireless charging, one that arrived with MagSafe, is that when you lifted the iPhone up, the lightweight charging pad would come with it. That’s not the case with the Base One Max 3-in-1. At 755g, it’s heavy enough to stay put, which again makes it satisfying to use. The metal and glass build give it the necessary heft, but a soft-touch rubber surface ensures there’s a gentle, scratch-free landing for your Watch and AirPods.

The weight does mean that you probably won’t want to tour with this charger, though it’s not impossible.

Nomad doesn’t supply a charging plug though, with Nomad’s signature attention to detail, there is a lovely braided cable (2 meters long). Note that you need a 30W adapter to power this accessory, though happily Nomad sells one of those, for $30.

There are a couple of other things to note. The Watch charger is not capable of the faster charging that recent Watches can manage. However, as this is almost certainly going to be used as a bedside device, this is not a major problem.

Attention to detail is also found in a tiny rubber strip that is bundled in the box. It has adhesive on one side. It’s there so that if you have a smaller Apple Watch and you find it’s not charging routinely, the pad can be unobtrusively put in place.

And the AirPods recess works best with open Watch bands—some closed bands aren’t quite so convenient. That said, the Trail Loop on the Apple Watch Ultra stretched round the AirPods Pro and the Braided Loop tucked in neatly, and in both cases the AirPods charged happily. However, the regular Solo Loop proved that bit too springy and unceremoniously shoved the AirPods Pro off the charging pad. Detaching the Loop from one end solved this, but isn’t ideal.

Of course, the AirPods also charge from the iPhone pad.

The previous Nomad Base One Max is still available, and handles Watch and iPhone, and again you can also charge AirPods and any Qi-compatible phone, from the iPhone pad.

You’ll have got the picture now: this is a premium product. So, the $170 price tag ($200 if you choose the adapter as well) may not come as a surprise. It’s not cheap, then, but it is spectacular.

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