Nomad Review: The Pod is an Apple Watch Stand Made for Off-the-Grid Travel With its Built-In Battery

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The Nomad Pod, with its built-in battery, is one of a small selection of Apple Watch stands able to offer functionality beyond simply holding the Apple Watch charger in a more accessible position. Priced at $60, the Pod is a compact, modern-looking Apple Watch stand that's small enough to fit in a backpack or bag and able to keep the Apple Watch's battery full when traveling away from the grid for a few days.


    I've been testing the Pod for several weeks now to see how it stacks up against other Apple Watch docking options on the market, both as a travel companion and as a stand at home on my desk.

    Setup and Design

    The circular Pod is made up of two pieces: a plastic and aluminum base that holds the Apple Watch charger and cord in place, and an aluminum faceplate that snaps on over the base to hide the cord from view. The Pod is made from brushed aluminum in Silver or Space Gray that matches Apple's MacBook, iPhone, and iPad lineups, and its minimal design will let it fit into almost any decor.


    Size wise, the Pod fits into the palm of a hand and is quite similar to a hockey puck both in diameter and thickness. It can potentially fit in a generously sized pants pocket or a jacket pocket, but its thickness and round shape makes that less than comfortable. At one side, there's a micro-USB port to charge the Pod itself, a button that activates the Pod's charging function, and a 4-LED indicator for displaying battery life. It also ships with a Nomad-branded micro-USB cable.

    Click here to

    Article Link: Nomad Review: The Pod is an Apple Watch Stand Made for Off-the-Grid Travel With its Built-In Battery
  2. sulpfiction macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2011
    Philadelphia Area
    Waiting for something that utilizes nightstand mode better.
  3. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    205mAh for a full charge isn't that much. I think a hand-crank battery charger should be able to get that done in not too much time.
  4. markgpearse macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2010
    I just purchased Nomad's "Stand for Apple Watch" in Space Gray. The stand itself is well constructed and very stable. However, I was somewhat disappointed with its construction for the following two reasons: (1) with the watch on the stand you can see a bit of the cord that attaches to the charger behind the watch and (2) the grooves that go down the back of the stand are not deep enough to fully high the white cord.
  5. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    I don't see how "off the grid" and Apple Watch (a device that brings connectivity and information to another immediate level) go together at all. The Apple Watch is the opposite of being "unplugged" or "off the grid".

    Just sayings all.
  6. larrylaffer macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2009
    Los Angeles
    I was just about to post the very same thing. toplel m9
  7. roykoolcrank macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2015
    There must be something wrong with the battery you received. 1800/200 (or 18/2) = 9
    How can a 200 mah drain an 1800mah battery and only get 3 charges? The math just doesn't add up.
  8. Kissaragi macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2006
  9. roykoolcrank macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2015
    Its not pretty, but the watch straps around the anker astros. If you need a month of charges that is.
  10. WarHeadz macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2015
    Long Beach, California
    I still don't get this the point of this device.
  11. PowerBook-G5 macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2013
    The United States of America
    I believe that this should read watchOS 2.
  12. Jimmy James macrumors 601

    Jimmy James

    Oct 26, 2008
    Lol @ Apple Watch battery stand for "off the grid".
  13. mfram macrumors 65816

    Jan 23, 2010
    San Diego, CA USA
    I just picked one of these up to be more 'clean' with the charging cable. I got a micro-USB charging cable with it, not the dongle-looking thing the reviewer got.
  14. Denmac1 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2007
    Lost in Space
    I had first ordered their stand before the final model came out and I was very disappointed in the changes they made based on the price they were charging. I, at that time, had also considered the pod as an additional product.
    After realizing that their customer service, IMHO, was very lacking, I cancelled the purchase. I believe the concept is good, but their follow through and pricing are out of line. I thought it very poorly of them when they choose to ship product to Best Buy before fulfilling their original customer orders.
  15. christarp macrumors 6502


    Oct 29, 2013
    We're not anywhere close to perfect efficiency. We lose a lot of power to heat and other various reasons.
  16. lw9090 macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2008
    I used mine in Vegas. Able to fully charge on airplane so I'd be ready for a night on the town but I also go in the 30% off so only paid around $40 for it. It also came in handy when running WatchOS beta 2 when battery life was poor.
  17. Benzy macrumors member

    Sep 9, 2008
    How do you charge the watch with stainless steel link bracelet that can't be unbuckled?
  18. Wayfarer macrumors 65816


    Jun 15, 2007
    Don't promote this corrupt company. I'm still waiting for my refund after I preordered the Apple Watch stand in April. It arrived in July and there was no way to get a refund through the website, and the developer would not respond to my emails. A number of people had similar issues. Now I'm stuck with a $59.99 hunk of aluminum that I no longer need. Buyers beware.

    See this thread for more insights:
  19. manu chao, Sep 19, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015

    manu chao macrumors 603

    Jul 30, 2003
    First, you need to multiply the mAh number with the voltage to get the actual amount of energy a battery with a given mAh rating can give off. But let's assume the voltage is the same for both batteries, so its value cancels out.

    There are a number or reasons why this Nomad device can only provide three full charges. For once, a battery that delivers 205 mAh requires more than 205 mAh to be recharged. I don't really know how much more but I think at least 20 to 30% more. When you charge a battery and you feel the battery getting warm, that is where this extra energy is going: heating up the battery. And a battery getting warm while it is being used (as is in supplying energy) is another example of energy that had to be transferred to the battery during charging that is not available as electrical energy.

    Secondly, inductive transmission adds its own set of losses. How much very much depends on the implementation, including the distance between the two coils which are used to transmit the energy. This is what likely contributes the bigger portion to this overall loss of energy. In this example here, the total losses are about 67% (that count of getting three charges is only an approximate one). If you look at the losses with phone battery packs (where there are no losses of inductive charging), you can get an idea how large the losses of inductive charging (in this implementation) are. And the implementation is largely given by the design of the watch.

    If we were to make a guess that the inductive transmission looses 50% of the energy, 900 mAh would arrive inside the watch, or 300 mAh per watch charging cycle. Assuming a 'charging loss' of 30%, 210 mAh of useable electrical energy would end up in the watch battery.

    If this 50% loss due to the inductive transmission sounds like a huge waste of energy, it certainly is. It is the price we pay for convenience. What makes it generally acceptable is the overall tiny amount of energy the watch actually uses compared to other devices in hour life.
  20. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Sep 27, 2008
    I don't understand why MacRumors continues to promote a company with such low morals and ethics. This company hosed dozens of MacRumors forum members and hundreds of its customers during the development/launch of the Stand. Nomad was downright shameful in their business practices and consumers need to steer far, far away from this company.
  21. Simoleon547 macrumors member

    May 25, 2014
    In addition to what the previous poster said, in my insignificant research on rechargeable batteries, the current drawn from a battery effects the total capacity that can be gotten out of it due to internal resistance. Basically, the higher the rate of current coming out of it in Mah, the more resistance inside it from one cell to another, that's where the heat comes from. Batteries designed for high drain devices have low internal resistance but also tend to live for fewer recharges.
    I don't know the minimum charge rate for an Apple Watch, but if it charges somewhat fast compared to the battery capacity then the number of charges for this thing makes sense.

    Regardless, they probably use NiMH batteries. So for the price of this thing you could just build your own with the most basic understanding of parallel and series circuits and instead of 1,800 mah you could have 16,000 worth of Eneloop batteries. Just cut open an Apple Watch charger USB cable, wire them up and get a nice case. It would go for a month on one charge and the cells would outlive you.
  22. Noah_Dentzel macrumors newbie


    Jun 9, 2015
    Hi roykoolcrank,
    A lot of the battery power is lost via wireless charging, this is the nature of wireless charging (and will happen with any battery pack). 3-4 charges, however, is still quite a bit. Keep in mind that you'd need around a whopping 12,000 - 14,000 mAh battery pack to get the same number of complete charges of iPhone 6 Plus from a battery pack.
  23. Noah_Dentzel macrumors newbie


    Jun 9, 2015
    Hi Wayfarer,

    We respond to and take care of all customer service issues and I'm very sorry if your issue hasn't been resolved. The best way to get something resolved is to email (or We strive to take care of every single issue.
  24. Noah_Dentzel macrumors newbie


    Jun 9, 2015
    Bryan + Macrumors community,

    We admittedly were delayed in our Stand earlier this year due to an unexpected manufacturing delay and a slower than expected shipping process. I've posted on Macrumors previously with an apology and explanation. We worked directly with every delayed customer to see that any issues were resolved, and in case there are any remaining issues, we remain committed to resolving them. We did deliver all Stands and we did everything we could to expedite them and to work with customers to see that any complaints were properly addressed.

    I do understand where you're coming from, and I hope that our on-time product shipments moving forward help to make up for our Stand delay. We're doing everything we can to exceed the improved order + shipping expectations that we are committed to.


  25. Denmac1 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2007
    Lost in Space
    Noah still hasn't explained why Best Buy had them first without shipping to pre order customers.
    Very happy with my $20 Spiegen stand.

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25 September 18, 2015