Nomad Base One Max Review: The MagSafe Charger Apple Should Have Made


  • 1 – Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 – Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $149.95

Justin Duino

Nomad makes some of the best leather cases and accessories for Apple’s devices. Its MagSafe chargers are no different. If you’re looking for an all-in-one charging dock for your iPhone and Apple Watch, nothing is holding me back from recommending the Base One Max—if it’s in your budget.

Here’s What We Like

  • Premium build quality
  • 15W MagSafe charging
  • Weighted to avoid any movement

And What We Don’t

  • Expensive
  • Requires you to supply a 30W charger

The Perfected 2-in-1 Apple Watch and iPhone Dock

  • Weight: 900g (2lbs)
  • Dimensions: 189mm x 90mm x 47mm (with Apple watch charger)
  • Charging Speeds: iPhone (and other Qi devices): Up to 15W, Apple Watch: 5W

You’ll know just how premium the Base One Max is the instant you pick it up. Its metal build quality not only looks and feels high-end, but its weighted base (which comes in around 2lbs) also makes this charging dock hefty. That weight, plus a rubberized base, ensure nothing moves when you pick up your magnetically attached iPhone.

Looking around the Base One Max, you’ll find a dust- and scratch-resistant TPU surrounding the Apple Watch charger and a glass layer elevating the MagSafe puck. The added height ensures that your iPhone can fit comfortably on the charger, no matter how large the camera bump. The additional space also gives you extra room to get your hand around your smartphone and pick it up.

Because the Base One Max is MFi certified, the MagSafe portion of the dock can charge your iPhone 12, 13, or newer at 15W. This charging speed is double the 7.5W that non-official MagSafe and standard Qi wireless chargers can deliver to your iPhone.

Unfortunately, the Base One Max does not fast charge your Series 7 (and newer) Apple Watch. You’ll still have to use the included puck to quickly juice up your watch’s battery. And if you’re comparing the Base One Max to the MagSafe Duo (more on that below), Apple’s accessory also doesn’t support fast charging.

You Must Bring Your Own Power Adaptor

Nomad, unfortunately, has joined in on the trend of not including a power adapter in the box, first started by Apple with the iPhone 12. Below is a statement found on the company’s website explaining why:

“We believe that many people already own multiple power adapters and that providing additional units creates unnecessary waste. Excluding adapters means we can make our packaging smaller and lighter. This allows us to transfer more product from our factories to our warehouses in fewer shipments, and in turn reduce our carbon footprint.”

While I understand the reasoning, I don’t agree that people have extra AC adapters laying around their home—especially those that meet Nomad’s 30W requirement for the Based One Max. Thankfully, the company still includes a premium USB-C to USB-C cable in the box.

If you decide to pick up the Base One Max, I recommend grabbing the TECKNET 65W Three-Port charger (our favorite phone charger), Nomad’s 30W power adapter, or Nomad’s 65W charger (if you’re planning to charge additional devices like an iPad or AirPods).

The Best Phone Chargers of 2022

USB C Charger TECKNET 65W PD 3.0 GaN Charger Type C Foldable Adapter with 3-Port Fast Wall Charger Compatible for iPhone 13 Pro Max/13 Pro/13/13 Mini, MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, Switch, Galaxy S21/S20

Apple 20W USB-C Power Adapter

Amazon Basics 100W Four-Port GaN Wall Charger with 2 USB-C Ports (65W + 18W) and 2 USB-A Ports (17W) – White (non-PPS)

Anker Wireless Charger, 313 Wireless Charger (Pad), Qi-Certified 10W Max for iPhone 12/12 Pro/12 mini/12 Pro Max, SE 2020, 11, AirPods (No AC Adapter, Not Compatible with MagSafe Magnetic Charging)

USB C Car Charger 48W Super Mini AINOPE All Metal Fast USB Car Charger Adapter PD&QC 3.0 Dual Port Compatible with iPhone 13 12 11 Pro Max X XR XS 8 Samsung Galaxy Note 20/10 S21/20/10 Google Pixel

Techsmarter 11-Port Charging Station with 100W Five USB-C PD, PPS 25/45W, Five 18W USB-A Ports & 15W Detachable Wireless Charger Pad. Compatible with MacBook, iPad, iPhone, Samsung, Dell, HP, Yoga…

Nomad Base One Max vs. MagSafe Duo Charger

Nomad Base One Max vs the Apple MagSafe Duo Charger
Justin Duino

When Apple announced MagSafe alongside the iPhone 12, it also unveiled the MagSafe Duo. Like the Nomad Base One Max, this official charger can juice up your iPhone and Apple Watch simultaneously.

Portability is the most significant difference between the two accessories. The Base One Max is heavy and the Apple Watch charger is fixed in place. In comparison, the MagSafe Duo Charger allows you to flip down the Apple Watch adaptor and fold the entire device in half.

The MagSafe Duo Charger shares one of the Base One Max’s biggest cons: it doesn’t come with an AC adapter in the box. To get the most out of the charger, Apple recommends buying its 20W USB-C Power Adapter for 11W wireless charging speeds or a 27W or higher USB-C power adapter to get 14W.

My recommendation for which dock to buy depends on your use case as the price of both accessories is nearly identical. Grab the Nomad Base One if you only want a bedside charger. Pick up Apple’s MagSafe Duo Charger if you want something you can travel with. It can also double as a permanent nightstand charger, but it doesn’t look or feel nearly as premium as the Nomad option.

Apple MagSafe Duo Charger

Wirelessly charge your iPhone and Apple Watch with the MagSafe Duo Charger. No extra accessories required.

Should You Buy the Nomad Base One Max?

Nomad Base One Max charging an Apple Watch and iPhone
Justin Duino

The only thing that would hold me back from recommending the Nomad Base One Max to everyone is the price. Coming in at $150, it’s already one of the most expensive charging docks available. Add $20 or more for a 30W charger (if you don’t have one available), and this accessory becomes an actual investment. I think the Base One Max is worth the cost from a quality standpoint. There are cheaper options that will work just as well, but none match Nomad’s premium build and appearance.

Of course, if you don’t have an Apple Watch, the Base One Max is overkill for you. Fortunately, Nomad also sells a slimmed-down version called the Base One. It is identical to the Max in both looks and quality but without the Apple Watch half of the charger.

If you’re looking to save $50 compared to the Max, you can grab the standard Base One and use your Apple Watch’s included charger separately.

You can buy the Nomad Base One Max in Carbide (black) and Silver (pictured above) for $149.95.

Rating: 9/10

Price: $149.95

Here’s What We Like

  • Premium build quality
  • 15W MagSafe charging
  • Weighted to avoid any movement

And What We Don’t

  • Expensive
  • Requires you to supply a 30W charger

File source

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button