Nomad has a new MagSafe charger for people who don’t mind splurging for aesthetics. The Stand One charger is an upright magnetic iPhone stand with true 15W MagSafe charging. But unlike its $149.95 Base One Max, which also accommodates an Apple Watch, the $109.95 Stand One, which is available now in black or silver, just charges your phone, though it does look pretty while it’s doing it.
MagSafe is MagSafe, and aside from holding your iPhone upright at a nice 21-degree angle, the Stand One doesn’t do much more than a $40 Apple MagSafe puck or Belkin’s $60 one. (Like those two chargers, it is at least real MagSafe and not a Qi charger in a magnetic ring like most MagSafe-compatible chargers.)
There’s nothing wrong with spending more money on something that looks and feels nice, but for $110, you have to really want its 1.35 pounds of lovely glass and CNC-machined aluminum.
I’ll concede that cheaper charging pucks do not hold your iPhone upright at a nice 21-degree angle on your desk or a table, but you know what does? A handful of other official MagSafe chargers that also charge your Apple Watch and AirPods for just $40 more. Or for only $20 over the Nomad Stand One, you can get a MagSafe power bank that acts as a stand and also holds 10,000mAh of battery power.
The difference between those and the Stand One is that Anker’s 3-in-1 Cube, Belkin’s 3-in-1 BoostCharge Pro, and Mophie’s Powerstation Wireless Stand with MagSafe don’t look quite as sleek, and they’re not built to quite the same hardcore level as the Nomad.
The Stand One isn’t Nomad’s first upright MagSafe charging stand. It also sells a slightly less elegant $59.95 MagSafe Mount Stand for the Apple MagSafe puck. The new Stand One is basically that with the MagSafe puck built in, though it still requires you to provide your own 20W USB-C power adapter. When you consider that Apple’s MagSafe Charger normally costs $40, you start to understand the price delta between Nomad’s two stands. And one big advantage of the Stand One is its two-meter / 6.6-foot nondetachable USB-C cable, which is twice as long as the Apple puck the older MagSafe Mount Stand is designed for.
But comparing Nomad’s own existing and new stands in a vacuum overlooks many options hovering around this price. As much as I admire the build and finish of the Stand One, having tested it in person, I can’t help but look at it and feel even Apple’s $129 MagSafe Duo charger is a better value — and there’s a part of me that hates that floppy, overpriced thing. I usually recommend other chargers over the Duo, but it starts making sense when compared to the Stand One.
The new Nomad certainly has a lovely fit and finish, just like the bigger Nomad Base One Max. Its hefty weight keeps it firmly planted so you can detach your phone with one hand, and it securely holds it in landscape orientation for watching videos. I just can’t help wishing the flat section of its inside crook had a secondary Qi pad for charging a pair of earbuds — or just something, anything else.
The going rate of 3-in-1 chargers with official MagSafe support seems to be $150, so proper MagSafe is a pricey affair in the world of charging accessories. I just struggle with why you’d opt for a one-in-one charger instead of spending a couple extra Jacksons on something with much more versatility. Most people can do better for the money. But if the look of the Stand One strikes you and you’re obsessed with the all-caps AESTHETIC or you’re making desk setup TikToks, well, flex on.
Photography by Antonio G. Di Benedetto / The Verge
Correction March 23rd, 4:12PM ET: An earlier version of this article indicated that the Nomad Stand One requires a 30W USB-C charger. In fact, it will also work with a 20W adapter. We regret the error.
Nomad’s initial materials didn’t specify, and our statement was based on the wattage required for its earlier charger. Chuck Melber, Marketing Director of Nomad writes, “It only requires a 20W adapter, not 30W as our earlier MagSafe chargers needed. By moving to a captive cable we were able to decrease the amount of power needed to provide 15W of wireless charging.”