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Nomad today announced the launch of the Base One, its first official MagSafe wireless charger. For a long time, Belkin has had the only official MagSafe charging options, but that's starting to change now that third-party accessory companies are able to get Apple's Made for iPhone-certified hardware.

nomad-base-one.jpg

The Base One is using MagSafe components sourced directly from Apple, so it is able to charge a MagSafe-compatible iPhone at up to 15W (except for the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini, which max out at 12W). Non-MagSafe magnetic charging options are limited to 7.5W, much like any other Qi charger.


At 15W, the Base One can charge at the same speed as Apple's official MagSafe Charger, so what Nomad is bringing to the table is it own spin on design. The Base One is priced at $130, so it's $90 more expensive than the MagSafe Charger, making it a premium option. It's worth noting that some of that cost comes from Apple's own hardware fees, as this is using MagSafe technology sourced from Apple.

nomad-base-one-1.jpg

The Base One has a shiny glass surface and a heavy aluminum body that you can get in either silver or gray. It undoubtedly feels like a high-quality product, weighing in at 515 grams, which is more than a pound. On top of the glass surface, there's the soft-coated MagSafe charger, and a set of feet on the bottom lift it up slightly and add protection for whatever surface it's placed on.


nomad-base-one-4.jpg

You might think that at the heavier weight it would able to remain on the desk without lifting when you want to pull your iPhone off the charger, but magnets are strong and that's not the case. You need to do the same tilt lift or lift with a finger under the iPhone that you need to do with other MagSafe charging options. The glass surface does collect some fingerprints and dust, but it's easy to clean off.

nomad-base-one-3.jpg

According to Nomad, the Base One is designed to look great on a desk, which it does, but at this price point it's as expensive as multi-device chargers from Belkin, Mophie, and others, so it may not be worth the high cost for some users. The Base One is a single-device charger, so it only works with one iPhone at a time.

nomad-base-one-2.jpg

It can be used to charge any MagSafe-compatible iPhone at the supported wireless charging speed, plus it can also charge AirPods or an older non-MagSafe iPhone, though the magnets won't work. It connects over USB-C and comes with a braided USB-C cable, but there is no power adapter included so you'll need to supply your own 30W+ charger.

nomad-base-one-5.jpg

Bottom Line

The Base One for Nomad will likely appeal to those who want a high quality charging accessory for their iPhone, but at $90 more than a $40 MagSafe Charger, I find it hard to justify the price.

Yes, it looks nice on a desk, it's more attractive than a plain MagSafe Charger, and the USB-C connectivity is great, but for that kind of money, I'd rather shell out for a more versatile multi-device charger.

How to Buy

The Base One can be purchased from the Nomad website for $130.

Article Link: Review: Nomad Launches 'Base One' Official MagSafe Charger for $130
 

iStorm

macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2012
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2,213
Um, yeah... I think I would rather pop in my own official MagSafe charger into this for $13:


Elago's even has a reusable adhesive bottom, so it stays on your desk rather than sticking to your phone when you pick it up.
 

jclo

Managing Editor
Staff member
Dec 7, 2012
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An extra $90 and they couldn't even be bothered to make the actual puck in the middle black to make it entirely uniform?

Since that's hardware from Apple, they don't have control over it. Similar to the official Apple Watch charging pucks, which are typically always white.
 
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techfreak23

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2013
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Besides the price, that glossy finish is going to be a giant fingerprint magnet. You'll likely have to press off the base with your fingertips to get the magnet to detach.
 

4jasontv

Suspended
Jul 31, 2011
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Am I the only one who doesn't have issues with normal Qi charger pucks? I like MagSafe when I want to charge while using the phone, but if it's just sitting on my desk Qi seems to work great.
 
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justiny

Contributor
Jul 28, 2008
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MagSafe charger for $40 (sometimes on sale for $30) and a really nice, high quality custom made MagSafe puck holder on Etsy and you’re still saving $50 bucks.

I know MFi certification isn’t cheap, and this looks damn good and premium, but damn Nomad. I hope this ends up on one of your biannual clearance sales a year from now, then I’ll consider picking one up.
 

nutmac

macrumors 603
Mar 30, 2004
6,074
7,384
Even if I am willing to overlook the price, I cannot accept that:
  • The rubber charging surface is not color matched
  • Lacks charging status indicator
  • Cheap connector on the USB-C cable
  • Kinda thick looking at 3/4 inch
 
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Macintosh TV

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Nov 3, 2021
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It's worth noting that some of that cost comes from Apple's own hardware fees, as this is using ‌MagSafe‌ technology sourced from Apple.

That's not true. The MFi Program only gives you specs required to communicate with Apple devices and get properly certified. It does not mean you use their technology or have to source anything more than a spec from Apple.

It's no different than an aftermarket car parts maker getting the required specs from the vehicle manufacturer and then making OEM spec'd parts, which aren't actually sourced from the auto maker.
 

Xavier

macrumors demi-god
Mar 23, 2006
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Columbus
I like the Nomad products, especially the Nomad base station. This one though does seem pricey for what it is
 
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lazyrighteye

Contributor
Jan 16, 2002
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Am I the only one who doesn't have issues with normal Qi charger pucks? I like MagSafe when I want to charge while using the phone, but if it's just sitting on my desk Qi seems to work great.

Prior to my 13 Pro, I was using a fairly cheap Qi off Amazon. Maybe $12 for two. Worked perfectly fine. My 13 Pro camera bump doesn't play nice with that Qi puck, so I picked up a MagSafe. While I like it, bulletproof charging, I do think I would be more interested in a MagSafe for overnight charging and a cheap Qi for any mid-day desktop charging needs - which, admittedly, I am not needing to charge my 13 Pro during the day. So scrap everything I just said. ?
 
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GermanSuplex

macrumors 68000
Aug 26, 2009
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Insane price for the functionality. I'd like to think that even if I was wealthy I'd pass on items like this, but who knows.
 
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