Nomad this week launched its latest wireless charger, the Base Station Pro, which is unique because it uses Aira wireless charging technology to allow up to three devices to charge regardless of where they're placed on the charging mat. The Base Station Pro was first announced in October 2019, so it has been in development for some time.

basestationpro
Because of its ability to charge multiple devices with no specific placement required thanks to a new kind of charging design, the Base Station Pro has been likened to Apple's now-canceled AirPower charging accessory.

When it comes to design, the Base Station Pro is a flat, wide charging mat that's sized to accommodate multiple devices such as smartphones and the AirPods. It works with any Qi-based wireless charging accessory, but it is not compatible with the Apple Watch, which does not use Qi charging.

nomadbasestationdesign
The Base Station Pro measures in at 8.7 inches long, 5.5 inches wide, and 0.5 inches thin, and it features an aluminum base with a leather pad, much like Nomad's other wireless charging options. It looks and feels heavy and high quality, as it should for the $230 asking price. It comes with a braided USB-C cable, a 30W USB-C power adapter, and interchangeable plugs for different countries. Three LED lights at the front let you know when a device is charging.

nomadbasestationrear
Aira's FreePower technology used inside the Base Station Pro features a unique 18 coil matrix built into a circuit board along with software algorithms designed to detect a smartphone regardless of its orientation, which allows an iPhone to be placed in any position and orientation on the charging mat. As long as the wireless charging coil inside the ‌iPhone‌ is somewhere on the mat, the ‌iPhone‌ will charge.

airacharging
The large form factor of the Base Station Pro allows it to accommodate multiple iPhones along with the AirPods or AirPods Pro. I'd say that it comfortably fits two iPhones at the same time while also providing power to AirPods, but it also fits three naked iPhones if you have three to charge.

nomadbasestationtrio
I've tested a multitude of wireless chargers at this point, and the flat chargers where you need to make sure to match a coil in the charger to the coil in the ‌iPhone‌ can be frustrating to use. If you're off by a bit, your device isn't going to charge, and it can be hard to get the correct position, especially in the dark on a nightstand or when you're in a hurry.

nomadbasestationanglediphone
The Base Station Pro addresses that issue. I was able to put my ‌iPhone‌ on the mat at any angle and it successfully detected it and initiated charging. The one exception is right at the edges where there's a bit of a dead zone due to the design of the charger. I had to make sure not to put my AirPods too close to the edge or they wouldn't charge, but that wasn't an issue with the ‌iPhone‌.

I do find it frustrating to have to adjust the positioning of my devices when using standard flat wireless chargers, but I'm not sure it's a big enough problem to justify spending $230 on a wireless charger that has little to offer beyond an elegant design and the nifty any-device-anywhere charging. I think the Base Station Pro is a top tier charger with useful functionality that heralds the future of wireless charging, but do you know what also effectively solves the wireless charging positioning problem? A multi-device charging station with an upright charging space paired with a smaller charging mat like the Logitech POWERED 3-in-1.

airaexploded
The Base Station Pro supports up to 7.5W wireless charging for Apple devices, which is the maximum speed that an ‌iPhone‌ can charge at. In my testing, I was able to charge an ‌iPhone‌ XS Max from one percent to 18 percent in a half hour with one device on the charger.

I was able to charge the ‌iPhone‌ XS Max from one percent to 21 percent with three devices on the charger in a half an hour, so the Base Station Pro is distributing power evenly and multi-device charging doesn't cut down on charging speeds.

nomadbasestationdualiphones
After an hour, my ‌iPhone‌ XS Max was charged from 1 percent to 38 percent, and all of these charging speeds are in line with a 7.5W wireless charger. For devices that aren't iPhones, the Base Station Pro charges at a maximum of 5W, and that includes Android devices that support much faster wireless charging speeds. For that reason, it's not the best charger to use with non-Apple smartphones and devices.

In fact, on Nomad's website, it lists the Base Station Pro as compatible with Apple devices and Samsung Galaxy S10 and S20 phones, with support for Google Pixel devices and other Qi-enabled devices "coming soon."

nomadbasestation3
There are some quirks with the charger that don't make for the best charging experience. When I set down an ‌iPhone‌, it takes several seconds for the charging to kick in, whereas with other chargers, it's close to instantaneous. I've also run into a bug where my ‌iPhone‌ continually stops charging for just a second and then reconnects, with the disconnects happening every 20 minutes or so.

The Base Station Pro's firmware can be updated by plugging it into a computer, so some of these issues I've been experiencing may be able to be solved with a future update.

Bottom Line

The technology that allows devices to be placed on the Base Station Pro in any spot with no rearranging necessary is useful, but the high price point of the wireless charger is a barrier to entry and I'm not sure the convenience of not having to adjust the location of a device to make sure it's charging is worth such a premium.

nomadbasestation4
Unlike some other charging station options, the Base Station Pro is limited to charging Qi-based devices and has no Apple Watch charging puck, which may be inconvenient for Apple Watch owners. It also would have been nice to see an additional USB-C or USB-A port at the side for charging iPads and other devices at this price point.

You're not going to want to use this charger with non-Apple devices due to the charging speed limitations, and don't count on it when you need power in a hurry because it's slow even with iPhones and AirPods (like all wireless charging).

Aira's charging technology worked well in my testing and offered a glimpse of where wireless charging is heading in the future. I hope to see this functionality roll out to additional products and eventually come down in price, but for now the convenience of drop and go charging is likely too expensive to make it appealing to the average consumer.

There may also be a wireless charger coming from Apple in the not too distant future even after the cancelation of the ‌AirPower‌, if rumors are to be believed. There have been reports of work on a small wireless charging mat, though it's unclear when it might launch. Apple enthusiasts may want to wait for Apple's wireless charger, which could perhaps use similar technology.

How to Buy

The Base Station Pro can be pre-ordered from the Nomad website for $229.95. Shipments will begin in late September.

Update

The Base Station Pro is able to be updated over-the-air, and new firmware is being introduced for reviewers to solve some of the issues that I had during my testing. Base Station Pro units that go out to consumers will have the new firmware installed by default, so no update will be required.

The firmware update adds improved performance when charging two or three devices simultaneously, improved support for Google and Samsung devices, and improved device detection speed. Nomad has also released an add-on Apple Watch charger.

Update 2

As of May 2021, Nomad and Aira do not plan further firmware updates for the Base Station Pro, which is something to keep in mind for those who plan on purchasing. The Base Station Pro also has reduced wireless charging efficiency for the iPhone 12 models and slower charging times, so we no longer recommend it.

Note: Nomad provided MacRumors with a Base Station Pro for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Nomad. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Tag: Nomad

Top Rated Comments

MacDevil7334 Avatar
26 months ago
The prices for these all-in-one Qi chargers are getting ridiculous. $230 for a charger!? I mean, being able to charge multiple devices without thinking about placement is useful. But, not $230 useful.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jdclifford Avatar
26 months ago
$230? SERIOUSLY? I'll pass
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TorontoBoy44 Avatar
26 months ago
As wireless charging becomes the norm for electronic devices, I wish manufacturers could come up with a specification of charging *efficiency* (i.e. 10 watts of charging at the device, costs 20 watts at the plug). And maybe reviewers can make a measurement of efficiency independently.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PSeg90 Avatar
26 months ago

Nomad | 18 coils = $229

AirPower | 22 coils = $299?
Nomad = Exists
AirPower = Does not exist
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
26 months ago
Macrumors: Do a giveaway of this please.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
44267547 Avatar
26 months ago
I see the benefit for ‘multi-device‘ charging, but this price point is just way too far off base for consumers to find this attractive. I know the Airpower was originally supposed to be between $250-$300, but if you look at Amazons marketplace for wireless charging, there is a variety of chargers that you can use that may not accomplish this many devices at once, but for a much cheaper price point that can be spread around the household for different charging locations.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airpods pro black background

AirPods Pro 2: Five New Features and Improvements to Expect

Sunday August 14, 2022 3:28 pm PDT by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro are finally nearing launch, with a release expected later this year. If you are considering upgrading to the new AirPods Pro once they are released, keep reading for a list of five new features to expect. In addition to all-new features, the second-generation AirPods Pro will likely adopt some features added to the standard AirPods last year. H2 Chip ...
iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
10th Generation iPad Render

10th-Generation iPad With Major Design Changes Reportedly in Production Ahead of September Launch

Monday August 15, 2022 8:02 pm PDT by
Apple's rumored 10th-generation iPad is currently in production and will feature "major" design changes, according to a report from Taiwanese website DigiTimes. A mockup of the potential 10th-generation iPad design by Renders By Shailesh The report did not provide any specific details about the 10th-generation iPad's new design, but rumors suggest the device will feature a larger 10.5-inch...
ios 16 lock screen feature2

Apple Seeds Sixth Betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Monday August 15, 2022 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the sixth betas of upcoming iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the updates coming a week after Apple released the fifth developer betas. Registered developers can download the iOS and iPadOS 16 profiles from the Apple Developer Center, and once installed, the betas will be available over the air. iOS 16 introduces a revamped Lock...
apple watch se

Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series 8: New Features to Expect If You've Waited to Upgrade

Monday August 15, 2022 2:44 am PDT by
The Apple Watch SE was announced in September 2020 and has been a popular Apple Watch model for customers looking for their first smartwatch or an affordable Apple Watch. Apple Watch SE customers may be wondering, however, what's in store for them with the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 and what new features they can expect. Continue reading to find out. Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series ...
odyssey ark 1

Samsung Launches $3,500 'Odyssey Ark' 55-Inch Curved Gaming Display

Monday August 15, 2022 7:15 am PDT by
Samsung today announced the launch of the Odyssey Ark, which the company says is the world's first 55-inch 4K curved display with a 165Hz refresh rate for improved gaming performance. Samsung first previewed the monitor at CES, but it is now available to order. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Priced at $3,500, the Samsung Odyssey Ark features mini-LED technology...
top stories 13aug2022

Top Stories: New Battery Percentage Icon in iOS 16, USB-C AirPods Rumor, and More

Saturday August 13, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
This week brought some shocking news for iOS 16 beta testers, with Apple bringing back the iPhone battery percentage to the status bar after a number of years. Other news and rumors this week included word that Apple has started recording portions of its media event planned for next month to introduce the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8, claims about iPhone 14 Pro pricing and Apple's...