It should be no surprise that Pitaka makes both Judie’s and my smartphone cases of choice. The company also makes great chargers and, as the title of this review says, their new Pitaka Air Omni 6-in-1 Charging Solution is something special. It’s currently available for backing on Kickstarter; I have an early version and love it.
Pitaka describes the Air Omni this way:
6-in-1 Charging Solution:Experience charging like never before with the Air Omni. Charge your iPhone, Android devices, Apple Watch, AirPods and Samsung Ear Buds, iPad, and even your Mac – all at the same time.
They go on to say that this is the last charger you will ever need and I’m happy to say that isn’t hyperbole. When you see how many devices you can charge simultaneously you will not only want an Air Omni, but you are going to want to give them as presents to those you love. It is that good!
And while the Air Omni isn’t inexpensive, it is currently $129 on Kickstarter and will retail for significantly more, it will actually save you money.
The cost of buying a separate charger for each of your devices can be well over $300, not to mention the cost of regularly replacing old power cables. The Air Omni saves you money, time, and space by covering all your charging needs on a single portable pad.
Let’s take a walk around this Swiss Army Charger.
It measures 6.7” by 8” by 1.2” and weighs just over 1.77 pounds. It was designed using the aerospace-grade Aramid fiber that has become a Pitaka staple thanks to its smooth feel, lightweight, and extreme durability. You might wonder why they use Aramid fiber and not the carbon fiber you might expect. As they explain:
Through rigorous testing, Aramid fiber has been shown to be a tougher and more flexible alternative to carbon fiber. It is also highly scratch and flame resistant, smooth to the touch, easy to clean, comes in multiple color options. Unlike carbon fiber, Aramid fiber is not conductive and therefore safe to the touch as part of a wireless charging pad.
In addition, the Aramid fiber looks cool!
When you look at the Air Omni, it looks like a plain, black box with a white circular disk in the center.
Ultra-Fast Charging: The Air Omni’s powerful all-in-one 18W fast charger powers your phone to 50% in just 30 minutes.
Subtle indicators on the front half of the Air Omni outline the ideal positioning of your wireless charging-enabled phone.
At the same time, it is worth noting that the Air Omni has an advanced chain coil charging pad design that ensures devices will always charge wirelessly even when not positioned “optimally.” Having grabbed my phone off chargers from other companies only to find that it was not properly placed and had no charge left, I love this advancement.
Certified by Apple’s rigorous Made for iOS (MFi) standards, the Air Omni offers safe, fast charging. The featured Apple Watch pop-up charger can charge your smartwatch both flat or upright with the push of a button.
The white disk at the center of the Air Omni is, of course, a charging disk for Apple Watch. It offers an output of 5W. It lays flat if you want to lay your watch down but, with the press of a side button, it rises to hold your Apple Watch in nightstand orientation. It is a slick design and it really works well.
To the left of the Apple Watch charger is another subtle indicator.
This identifies the ideal position for charging earbuds with wireless charging such as the Apple AirPods 2, AirPods Pro, or the Samsung Galaxy Buds. This area has an output of 5W. (I’m still waiting for wireless charging for my Jabra and Master & Dynamic true wireless earphones so, for now, these are is of little use to me.)
Behind the Apple Watch Charging disk is one of the most innovative aspects of the Air Omni.
Lightning to Type-C Toggling: Whether you have an Android or an Apple device, the Air Omni’s unique adapter toggle has you covered: simply press the button to easily switch between the lightning or Type-C connectors. Tested over 3000 times by PITAKA’s expert technicians, the Lightning to Type C Toggle is guaranteed to meet the highest quality standards in today’s market.
There is a small window in which you can see either a Lightning or USB-C connector.
Pressing a button hidden at the back rear portion of the Air Omni toggles between the two connectors.
That means the Air Omni will work with both my iPad Pro with its USB-C connector and my iPad Air with its Lightning connector. Since Apple is currently using two different charging ports on its mobile devices, having this kind of flexibility is great. In addition, it also means I can use this charging location with both my iPhone or my Pixel 4.
Behind the Lightning/USB-C connectors, you can see the hinge of the metal tablet stand-in “closed” position. When not in use, the stand sits safely on the underside of the Air Omni. As you begin to pull it up either the Lightning or USB-C connector begins to rise into a position where it becomes available to a power-hungry device. The hinges on the stand are tight enough that the stand will hold your mobile device at almost any angle you want.
But there’s more.
The Air Omni can even charge your iPad horizontally, allowing you to use it as it charges.
Included with the Air Omni is a small piece of plastic in the share of a shallow “U.”
This connects magnetically between the Apple Watch charging disk and the Lighting/USB-C charging connector and allows you to place a tablet in landscape mode for easy viewing. Here’s the thing. When your tablet is in landscape it obviously can’t sit on the Lightning/USB-C connector. That’s where the two charging ports on the side come in.
Behind the button that releases the Apple Watch charging disk, there is a USB-C port and a USB-A port. The USB-C port outputs PD 18W or QC 18W and can even be used to charge a MacBook. The USB-A port has a quick charge output of 18W. When both ports are in use, they output a total of 15W.
These ports can be used to charge two more devices and, if your tablet is in landscape on the Air Omni, you can simply connect a cable to one of the two side charging ports and use and charge your device at the same time.
Pitaka meant it when they wrote:
While most wireless chargers on the market can only handle a few devices at a time, the Air Omni has been designed to handle all your charging needs.
But there’s even more. On the left side of the Air Omni when facing it there is a hidden drawer. A slight press in not only releases it but also turns on an internal light so you can see what is inside.
The storage area isn’t large, but it is certainly spacious enough for your rings, some pills, some earplugs, or other small items you want to keep handy. It’s small details like these that make this charger as impressive as it is.
I was excited when got my first phone with wireless charging. The initial charging stands I purchased left something to be desired, however. They were one-trick ponies, the phone had to be placed rather precisely to get a charge and they were slow. Chargers have gotten faster, more refined, and more capable over the last year or two and the Pitaka Air Omni is a prime example of what can be done when a company spends the time to really think through what devices people actually use and how they use them. The Air Omni is a fast, safe wireless phone charger. It is a speedy charger for Apple Watch and AirPod Pros. It has a built-in charger that toggles between Lightning and USB-C and it has two additional charging ports on the side. All of that combines into the one bedside or desktop charger you need. Add in the fact that it looks great and, if you back it on Kickstarter you can get it for as little as $127 and I have no doubt Pitaka has another hit on their hands. If you use multiple devices and find yourself having to play musical cables you are going to love this! It’s a fantastic charger and you can back it here.
A personal note: Like many of you, Raina and I have been sheltering in place. Because we attended a conference where a number of people were ill, we started early and are in our eighth week of this. Living in a New Jersey town where many residents commute into the city, it will come as no surprise that our community has been hit hard. A few weeks into this “journey” I received an email from Roger, one of Pitaka’s PR representatives. It read, “Dan, things are easing up here a bit, but I hear your community is being hit hard. I’ve sent something your way.” A week later a box of surgical facemasks showed up. But as if that wasn’t enough, when the Air Omni arrived last week for review, I opened the box to discover that Anna, our other PR contact at Pitaka had snuck some additional masks beneath the Air Omni. I love Pitaka products, but these acts of unsolicited kindness make me a customer for life. Check out their entire lineup of great products here.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the Pitaka Air Omni
What I Like: Well built; Looks great; Charges up to six devices at once; Chargers devices at optimal speeds while protecting them from overcharging; Apple Watch can be laid flat or charges in Nightstand Mode; Cute little lighted drawer is great for a few small items you don’t want to lose; Toggle between Lightning and USB-C
What Needs Improvement: Useful for everyone but ideally suited for those of us deep into Apple’s ecosystem