Nomad Base One Max Review: A Gorgeous Way to Charge Your iPhone and Apple Watch Simultaneously

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The Lowdown

TNomad Base One Max is a fantastic charger, and it’s a great addition to Nomad’s growing wireless charging line. At $149.95, it isn’t inexpensive, but the build quality and beauty of the Base One Max makes most other chargers look and feel like little more than toys.

Overall
4.5

Pros

  • Excellent build quality with substantial weight
  • MagSafe charging aligns phone for flawless, fast charging
  • Rubber feet prevent sliding and damage to surface
  • Included charging cable is tough and built to last without fraying
  • Provides 15W official MFi MagSafe charging speeds for your iPhone

Cons

  • Nomad Base One Max does not ship with a 30W USB-C wall adapter
  • I would love to see the next iteration include an additional port or two on the back for charging an iPad or a second phone
Nomad Base One Max Review: A Gorgeous Way to Charge Your iPhone and Apple Watch Simultaneously Listen to this article

Some weeks ago, Nomad introduced the Base One, a beautiful Qi wireless charger specifically designed for Apple’s iPhone and its MagSafe Charging system. Now they’ve introduced the Base One’s “big brother.” The Nomad Base One Max is everything I love about the Base One, but it’s even more convenient because it has a built-in Apple Watch charger.

Nomad Base One Max retail box

Unlike previous wireless chargers from Nomad, beautiful as they were thanks to the refined design and Horween leather, both the Base One and the Base One Max are made of metal and glass. Both are surprisingly heavy thanks to their weighted bases, and they have rubber feet on the bottom so they won’t slide when placed on a glass surface or cause damage to any surface they might be placed upon.

Using the same design language as the Base One, the Nomad Base One Max has a raised official MagSafe charging platform that will dissipate heat.

Magnets built into the charger grab the iPhone when it is brought close, aligning it with the charging coils so you will get the fastest, safest wireless charging.

As we saw with the Base One, the weight of the Nomad Base One Max is significant enough that when you grab your phone, it will lift from the base smoothly despite the magnets that had been holding it for charging.

Nomad Base One Max in retail box

The Nomad Base One Max looks like an extended Base One that adds an integrated Apple Watch puck with a soft and protective touch charging base.

Weighing in at about two pounds, the Base One Max is a serious piece of kit that feels as substantial as it looks. Like the Base One, the bottom of the Base One Max is made from brushed aluminum, which is available in either Silver or Carbide.

The version with the Silver base has a white finish under a floating glass panel, while the version with the Carbide base has a glossy black under a floating glass panel; both are gorgeous!

The Nomad Base One Max lying on a desk

The Base One Max ships with a braided USB-C to USB-C cable; this tangle-free cable is substantial, and like all of Nomad’s cables, it is designed to last for years.

 

The official MFi MagSafe charging platform delivers 15W of power which is plenty for topping off your phone mid-day or giving an empty phone a full charge overnight.

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

An Apple Watch charging on the Nomad Base One Max

The inclusion of an Apple Watch charger means I need just one accessory on my nightstand to charge both of my daily drivers.

The author's Apple Watch and iPhone charging on the Nomad Base One Max

I love the Nomad Base One Max’s design, and upon receipt, I immediately put the review sample next to my bed. Thanks to the weighted design that keeps the Base One Max in place and the MagSafe alignment magnets built into the charger, it is the best bedside charger I’ve yet found.

There are, however, two aspects of it that aren’t ideal.

First, unlike Nomad’s excellent Base Stations, neither the BaseOne nor the Base One Max ship with an AC Adapter. You can purchase a 30W charger from Nomad for $29.95;  if you don’t already have one, you might as well go ahead and do that when you place your order, so you don’t run into any issues.

For example, when I first set up the Base One Max, I didn’t realize I had done so with a 20W adapter; as a result, the Apple Watch charger worked, but the MagSafe charger didn’t. Only after reading up a bit and learning that a 30W adapter was required did I track one down and get the charger working properly.

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Long story short, if you don’t already have a 30W charger and you don’t add the Nomad 30W charger to your order, neither the Base One nor the Base One Max will work properly; it’s just something to keep in mind when placing your order.

The second aspect is less of an issue and more of a hope. I love the fact that the Nomad Base Station Hub can not only wirelessly charge two devices at once, but it also has a USB-C and a USB-A port on the back for charging additional devices.

The Nomad Base One Max has neither of these two ports. As a result, when paired with the proper USB-C Wall Adapter, it does a great job charging an iPhone and an Apple Watch, but that’s all it can charge.

The back of the Base Station Hub has two additional charging ports.

The back of the Base Station Hub has two additional charging ports.

Hopefully, Nomad will consider releasing a third Base One model that includes an additional charging port or two. Doing so would make for an elegant and refined all-in-one charging station that I would happily be the first person in line to purchase.

Apple Watch and iPhone charging on the Nomad Base One Max

Even without an included power adapter or additional charging ports, the Nomad Base One Max is a fantastic charger, and it’s a great addition to Nomad’s growing wireless charging line. At $149.95, it isn’t inexpensive, but the build quality and beauty of the Base One Max makes most other chargers look and feel like little more than toys.

The Nomad Base One Max sells for $149.95; it is available directly from the manufacturer.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Excellent build quality with substantial weight; MagSafe charging aligns phone for flawless, fast charging; Rubber feet prevent sliding and damage to surface; Included charging cable is tough and built to last without fraying; Provides 15W official MFi MagSafe charging speeds for your iPhone

What Needs Improvement: Base One Max does not ship with a 30W USB-C wall adapter; I would love to see the next iteration include an additional port or two on the back for charging an iPad or a second phone

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.