Nomad Base One Max review: Magnetic chargers for iPhone and Apple Watch

AppleInsider is supported by its audience and you may earn commission as an Amazon Partner and Affiliate Partner on eligible purchases. These affiliate partnerships do not affect our editorial content.

Announced Tuesday, Nomad’s new Base One Max is a two-in-one desktop charger that powers the Apple Watch and iPhone, the latter via Apple’s MagSafe.

This new charger arrives just over a month after the first MagSafe from Nomad. The Base One was released as a single charger but carries a particularly high price tag.

The first rule is to grow up

The Base One Max is a larger version of Nomad’s Base One MagSafe charger. They use the same materials, come in the same colors – carbide and silver, and are licensed by Apple.

Nomad’s Base One Max and Base One

The MagSafe dial is on the right while the Apple Watch dial is on the left. There’s plenty of room for even Apple’s biggest iPhone.

Around the back is a single USB-C port. It is positioned directly behind the MagSafe unit.

Nomad's Base One Max runs on USB-C

Nomad’s Base One Max powered by USB-C

With the MagSafe module, you can charge your iPhone up to 15W while the Apple Watch dial is 5W. There is no wall adapter included, so you have to provide it yourself.

You will need at least a 30W charger to charge both devices at full speed. Fortunately, Nomad includes a color-matched USB-C cable in the box that’s wrapped in nylon for enhanced durability.

Charging AirPods on Base One Max

Charging AirPods on Base One Max

Aside from the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series, MagSafe can charge any Qi device, albeit at slower speeds. A non-MagSafe iPhone can charge up to 7.5W and you can charge AirPods as well.

Nomad’s Base One Max has a zinc alloy core for weight with an anodized aluminum exterior. Once again, we looked at the silver option, which has a shimmering effect in the light.

The MagSafe dial sits on a raised glass surface, providing ample coverage of the massive camera bump found on the iPhone 13 Pro.

New Apple Watch tablet on Base One Max

New Apple Watch tablet on Base One Max

The Apple Watch dial is positioned horizontally, allowing the Apple Watch to lay on its side. This makes an excellent bedside companion with a nightstand. It also ensures perfect compatibility with many watch strap styles.

Improved value proposition

With the original Nomad Base One MagSafe Charger, we found it to be a bit pricey compared to what it offers. A single MagSafe charger will save you $130 before purchasing the required USB-C brick.

Charging iPhone and Apple Watch

Charging iPhone and Apple Watch

Base One Max balances the equation closer to what we consider reasonable. It costs $20 more than the Base One, but can now charge two devices simultaneously.

We’re not saying this is inexpensive, or even average, but it’s a better value proposition than Nomad has offered before.

Should you buy the Nomad Base One Max?

When we reviewed Base One, we included other MagSafe fee multiples that you can charge instead. If you’re curious, at $150 you can get three MagSafe balls and a fast-charging Apple Watch tablet for the same price.

Nomad One Base Max

Nomad One Base Max

The Nomad Base One Max will likely entice more buyers with its ability to charge multiple devices simultaneously, as it should. If we could get one change, it would be the inclusion of fast charging support on the Apple Watch Series 7.

Apple still seems slow or unwilling to distribute the fast charging units to third parties. At least outside of Belkin. This leaves Nomad to either launch a product without its support or wait indefinitely for Apple to accept.

It is clear that the Bedouin chose the first. Since the Apple Watch Series 7 is still less than a year old, it’s likely a small subset of Apple Watch owners, and hopefully Nomad will release an updated version in the future.

In the meantime, this charger is still capable and one of the very few licensed MagSafe devices on the market. Just be prepared to pay for it.

  • 1 USB-C input
  • MFi Certified
  • Better value than Base One single
  • Premium and high quality materials
  • The bundled cable is nylon braided and long
  • Turns the scale at two pounds
  • USB-C brick is not included in the box
  • Still an expensive charger
  • No fast charging for Apple Watch

Rating: 4 out of 5

Where do I buy?

The Nomad Base One Max is available to buy for $149.95 directly from Nomad in your choice of carbide or silver.