Well, we finally got our hands on a few Apple Watch chargers and took a couple of weeks to see how they performed with everyday use!
The Apple Watch Community has been following some of these products since they were raising money on crowdfunding sites and we are so stoked that they are finally produced and in the wild. There have been so many products hitting the market and so many more being created that we are loving this time of excitement and innovation for Apple Watch accessories.
This review will be comparing 3 different Apple Watch Charging solutions and we will be utilizing the following categories for our assessment: Overall Aesthetics and Design, Functionality, Portability, Future Proofing and Overall Value.
First up… The WatchDock Steel Apple Watch Charging Stand!
Here are the details from WatchDock themselves and the WatchDock Steel can be purchased HERE for $25.
A Colorful Charging Dock for Apple Watch
Charge, Protect & Display Apple Watch, WatchDock STEEL is a simple docking station that makes recharging Apple Watch a snap!
Simple Charging Dock
Simple and Easy Charging Solution
WatchDock STEEL is a simple charging dock for Apple Watch with the perfect balance of strength, weight, protection and a high level of finish.
Low Cost Solution
Most Effective and Low Cost Solution
We have been working on the most effective and low cost solution to provide a Charging Dock for Apple Watch.
Variety of Colors
WatchDock STEEL comes in a variety of colors:
SPRING FORWARD GREEN
Weight and Stability
WatchDock STEEL Provides the Weight and Stability
WatchDock STEEL provides the weight and stability to dock your Watch on Apple’s magnetic charger reducing any ‘wear and tear’ on the Apple components.
Overall Aesthetics and Design: A
WatchDock Steel is a simple and elegant “hanging”-style Apple Watch charger. The first thing you will notice is that there is no wasted material or unnecessary ornamentation to try and “pretty up” this charger. The color selection means that you can make a statement on your desk, nightstand or dresser or keep it clean and subtle and unnoticeable, as it blends in right next to your iMac or Macbook. It takes mere seconds to insert or remove the charging puck and the magnetic cord keepers make sure the charging cord is out of the way, without causing any unnecessary wear and tear on the cable covering.
The WatchDock Steel is easy to use, as the magnetic charging puck attaches to the Apple Watch once you place it in the vicinity of the top of the stand.
The Watch Dock Steel is very lightweight while also feeling very sturdy and strong. The open space between the top of the dock and the base instantly makes me think that I could fit it in my luggage and potentially roll a t-shirt or pair of socks in the middle to keep it from moving around. The magnetic cord keepers also help to wrap the cable around the stand and keep the USB end attached and not unravelling.
Future Proofing: A
The WatchDock Steel can hold the Apple Watch both horizontally and vertically which means that you can utilize the WatchOS 2 functionality and, as long as the charging puck exists, any future Apple Watch versions should be able to take advantage of using this stand.
Overall Value: A
The WatchDock Steel is an amazing solution to charging your Apple Watch for $25. The colors are fun and the design is a perfect compliment to your desk or nightstand. The price is fantastic and knowing that you are supporting a successful Kickstarter campaign just makes sense. We have been big fans of this project since inception and getting our hands on the final product did not disappoint.
Next up… The DODOcase Apple Watch Charging Stand!
Here are the details from DODOcase themselves and the Watch Charging Stand can be purchased HERE for $99.99.
- Luxury charging dock for home or office
- Rich elegant California American Walnut
- Weighted solid steel base for sturdy placement and easy, one-hand lift-off
- Carved hidden wire routing to keep cord organized
- Fits all strap designs and all watch models
- Travel mode allows you to easily wrap cable and charger in one package
- Handcrafted in San Francisco
Overall Aesthetics and Design: B+
This natural wood Apple Watch Charger has a very beautiful grain and has a great finished feel. The bottom is a polished steel base and gives the dock a sturdy element when handled. The grooves and cuts are clean but the Apple Watch Charging cable doesn’t seem to fit perfectly and requires some poking and prodding to stay in the carved channel.
Similar to the Watch Dock Steel, the DODOcase offers a comfortable place for the Apple Watch to charge with the help of the magnetic charging puck.
The DODOcase stand instructs its users to wrap the Apple Watch Charging cable around the neck of the charger for travel, but, unlike the Watch Dock Steel, does not offer any way to hold the end of the cable in place, unless you tuck it into itself. The size and weight of the stand would make it more difficult to travel with and it seems to have been designed more for sitting on a classic wood desk or dresser.
Future Proofing: A
The DODOcase stand does support WatchOS 2 updates and, based on its design, should make it easy to use with any other future iterations of Apple Watch.
Overall Value: B
For $99.99 the DODOcase Apple Watch charging stand offers a great, Made in the USA look and feel and would be a nice addition to your home or office. We really appreciate the quality, weight and smell (c’mon, it’s real wood!). If you are looking for a charging stand that will compliment a wood desk or dresser and you are planning on leaving it there for the most part, DODOcase could be a great solution for you! For $99.99 though, we think it may be somewhat overpriced, especially when you consider that you could buy both of the other products being reviewed today and still have money for a Starbucks coffee!
Finally… The Nomad Pod for Apple Watch!
Here are the details from Nomad themselves and the Pod can be purchased HERE for $69.95.
|Pod for Apple Watch|
|Size||72mm (diameter) x 25mm (height)|
|Technical||1800 mAh high density lithium ion rechargeable battery, Micro USB (in), Type A USB (out)|
|Materials||Precision stamped and anodized aluminum casing, polycarbonate plastic enclosure, Dupont Versollan TPE rubber base|
|Charge Inputs||Charges with Micro USB|
|Charge Outputs||5V / 1A Type A for both 1m & 2m versions of Apple Watch magnetic charging cable|
|38 and 42mm versions of Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Edition (for use with 1m & 2m Apple Watch magnetic charging cables), and A USB for all other devices.For Milanese Loop and Link Bracelet Apple Watch bands, we recommend disconnecting one of the lugs when charging from Pod|
Overall Aesthetics and Design: A
We love the overall feel and look of this Apple Watch charger. The Aluminum casing is a familiar color and instantly makes you think that this is something for an Apple product. The size is great and doesn’t take up much space. One plug, one button, white led lights = great design and futuristic look.
The built-in rechargeable battery offers a utility that other watch stands have yet to introduce. After plugging in and wrapping your Apple Watch charging puck around the inside of the Pod, the magnetic puck easily connects to the Apple Watch when laid on top of the puck. As Nomad mentions above, any band or strap that is not two pieces must be disconnected from Apple Watch on one end, which can make it a little uncomfortable to charge in small spaces or, in my instance, a dresser already littered with watch winders, wallets and keys. However, we really like the ease of charging the Apple Watch with our Sport bands and Modern Buckles. Also, due to its height, it seemed that my Apple Watch was constantly getting bumped off of the charger when I was placing or removing things from the top of my dresser.
Clearly, Nomad Pod for Apple Watch was MADE to be portable. The size and rechargeable battery make it easy to have in your pocket or toss in your bag or luggage. The micro USB cable/fob is included and works best with a MacBook, the length does not reach an iMac or wall charger adapter very easily.
Future Proofing: C
The Pod for Apple Watch will not support the WatchOS 2 Nightstand mode due to the watch laying flat. This was an obvious design decision to make the Pod portable and small, but we have to consider that limitation when thinking of future software and updates. As long as the Apple Watch Charging puck stays the same, we will keep this product in our bag!
Overall Value: B+
The Pod for Apple Watch is a unique charging solution that feels and looks very Apple. The rechargeable battery feature is a great idea for when you may have fallen asleep wearing your Apple Watch and didn’t have time to charge it before showering and getting the day started (I think everyone at AWC is guilty of this!) It’s small and portable and is easy to use, so if you are a mophie user and used to having a backup charging solution, then this little guy should be a great solution for you!