Nomad mobile 'Pod' charger quadruples Apple Watch battery life
With a 1,800mAh lithium polymer rechargeable battery housed tightly inside, the $59 Nomad Pod, due out in June, packs enough power for four complete charges of Apple Watch.
David CarnoyExecutive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
ExpertiseMobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakersCredentials
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In 2012, Nomad started out making the ChargeCard and other innovative mobile charging products for the iPhone. Now it's jumping headlong into the Apple Watch accessories market with two new products, a mobile charging solution, the Pod, and a swanky stand and charging station, the Stand, both of which cost $59 and will allegedly ship in the next few months. (The San Francisco-based company ships internationally, with the US price converting to around £40 or AU$80.)
The Nomad Pod for Apple Watch is the more interesting product. It's a portable power station and cable manager with an integrated lithium polymer rechargeable battery that packs enough power for four complete charges of the Apple Watch.
Of course, it seems a little crazy to have to carry around a portable charger for your smartwatch. But as soon as Apple told us we were looking at about a day's worth of battery life, we knew there would be accessory companies out there prepping mobile charging solutions for the Watch -- including potential charging bands like the $250 Charging Strap (yes, the price is absurd).
At $59, the Pod is certainly more affordable, though still not cheap. Weighing in at 80 grams or 2.8 ounces, it's "smaller than a hockey puck" and measures 72mm in diameter and 25mm thick (2.8 by 1 inch).
Inside you'll find a USB Type-A port used for connecting the Apple Watch charging cable. Nomad says Pod is the first Apple Watch accessory that charges with the new USB Type-C cable and it also has Micro-USB as a backup. A "military-grade" aluminum lid provides protection.
When can we expect to see the Pod? Well, Nomad says it'll ship by June 1, or a little over a month after the Watch first starts shipping to consumers. But that date isn't set in stone.
The Nomad Stand will allegedly arrive a month earlier, on May 1. It's built from a solid piece of military grade extruded aluminium, Nomad says, sounding a little like Apple's Jony Ive. And it also serves as charging stand, incorporating the Watch's included charging puck and cable into its design (you provide Apple's accessory). It's stabilized with copper ballast and a high-friction rubber base.
Most people expect the Apple Watch to sell well, but many remain skeptical that it will be a runaway success, particularly at its high launch prices. But Nomad founder Noah Dentzel is a Watch believer.
"We think it's going to be absolutely massive," he writes in an email. "We're really focusing on building out Nomad as a leading brand in Apple Watch accessories and other watches once there's some competition (maybe from Pebble Time). I think it's only a matter of a few years before smartwatches overtake smartphones as the primary mobile device people use. Smartwatches will soon have 3G, phone-calling capability, and everything you need. Think about it, it's the same thing to lift your phone to your ear to take a call as it is to lift up your wrist."