A wonderful product that makes charging multiple devices easy and efficient.
Wireless charging is not a new feature for smartphones by any means but for iPhone users it is. And, with a new population of smartphone users entering into the wireless accessory game, there are new wireless products being released almost daily. Recently, one of my favorite companies, Nomad, released the Wireless Hub. Nomad has always been a company for the minimalist. Their tagline Own Less, Live More really speaks to what they are all about — creating minimalist, practical tools that keep us powered on the go. That’s what their new Wireless Hub is all about — providing a single product to keep all your devices powered conveniently.
SPECS & PACKAGING
The Wireless Hub, in my opinion, is a great device with kind of a lackluster name. Looking a little like an oversized hockey puck, the Wireless Hub can power up to 5 devices with its high-power output. There are LED charging indicators with an ambient light sensor that will dim the LEDs at night.
The hub has a max output of 30W. The wireless charger is built directly into the top of the hub. It has a max output of 7.5A and is compatible with the iPhone X/8 as well as all wireless enabled Android smartphones. The charging hub is located beneath the wireless charger in a recessed area that houses 3 USB-A ports and 1 USB-C port. The USB-C port has a max output of 3A and supports fast charging. Two of the USB-A ports only support 1A max output while the third port will push out 2.1A. The hub is powered by a 12V DC power adapter.
The packaging is quite impressive in my opinion. It is branded with Nomad’s traditional look and has a lovely photograph of the device in use on the front. The box provides a description of the device in two languages and gives the following information:
- Charge 5 devices
- Fast charge USB-C
- Wireless charging top
- Weighted rubber base
- 50% charge in 30 minutes: iPhone X & 8 charges 50% in 30 minutes using the fast charge USB-C port. High-end Androids charge extremely fast using the USB-C, but may not guarantee 50% charge in 30 minutes.
- Wireless: With a rubber, anti-skid top the Wireless Hub is the perfect location to wirelessly charge your device. The charger is a 7.5W output and a LED light indicates the charge of your wireless device.
- 1 X Wireless: iPhone X & 8, wireless-enabled Androids
- 1 X Fast Charge USB-C: iPhone X & 8, most Androids
- 3 X USB Ports: All USB enabled devices including all iPhones, all Android phones, wireless headphones, GoPro, portable speakers, etc.
When you pull the exterior covering off the inside box, you will see a friendly “Hello, Nomad” greeting on the top of the interior box. Inside the box, you will find the hub and its power adapter resting in some pre-formed foam. The device pulls out easily and has very minimal set-up. In fact, the only documentation included in the box is an FCC warning card.
The Wireless Hub is basically an updated version of the Nomad Multi-port USB Hub. Nomad has two multi-port charging hubs — a 5-port and a 3-port — that evolved into the Wireless Hub. The design for all three devices is essentially the same. They are all round and house a USB-hub beneath its surface. The biggest difference between the Multi-port Hubs and the Wireless one is the built-in wireless charger on the Wireless Hub. I like that Nomad actually has this product as three different versions though because there are a lot of mobile users out there that don’t have a wireless enabled phone and they could still get use out of this device.
When I first pulled the device out of the box, I thought it was slick looking. It’s a very subtle device and it blends in very well with most decor. Since I’ve started using the iPhone X, I have really taken a liking to the ability to charge my phone wirelessly. I HATE cables. Therefore, having a wireless charger available in my most used spaces — namely my office, bedroom, and living room — is preferable. The Nomad Wireless Hub is taking up a permanent residence in my office because I felt that I would benefit from the extra charging hub there. I say that to point out that this is more than just a wireless charger and you should plan out where you want it to live.
As a wireless charger, the Wireless Hub has worked wonders. It’s been able to charge my phone with no problems. I’ve not noticed any big heat exchanges while charging the iPhone X. In fact, the only odd issue I’ve had is that the phone will work itself off of the charging top. I’m not entirely sure what causes this. I will have my back turned and all of a sudden I hear a “thunk” sound from my phone siding off of the charger. The only thing I can think of is that the vibration of my phone when I receive notifications is causing the movement. I had hoped that the silicone ring on the top of the charger would prevent this, but so far, it has not.
The first round of testing I did involved plugging in my Apple AirPods and an iPhone 7 into the USB 1A ports. I also plugged in a portable battery into the USB-C port. The LEDs on the front turned orange to indicate that a charge was taking place. From those three devices charging simultaneously, I did not perceive any extraneous heat transfer. Using a non-contact infrared thermometer the areas around the charging ports registered between 75-83º F. This is exceptionally cool for chargers that are actively charging. NOTE: I did notice the longer I charged my devices, the warmer the hub got. It still only got up to 88º F though.
The next test I ran had to do with the real power output from the USB ports on the hub. I have a USB Digital Tester that is basically a multimeter for USB devices. It will show the voltage current and power capacity. In order to use it, you have to plug the device being powered into the object you are testing and use the tester as the middleman to connect the circuit. I tested two different device with the tester. The results are outlined below.
iPhone 7 – For this test, I had to use a USB extension from the USB hub to the tester and then I used a Lightning cable to connect to the phone. This was done because of the shape of the tester and the placement of the USB ports on the hub. After 6 minutes of charging with a USB 1A port, the iPhone 7 gained 4% battery.
- USB 1A: 4.24V, 0.29A
- USB 2.1A: 4.30V, 0.30A
Anker PowerCore+ 26800 Power Bank
- USB-C Port: 4.66V, 0.00A – I’m not sure what was happening during this part of the test. The tester wouldn’t register the time of the testing, but power was still passing through the tester because the battery continued to charge.
I, unfortunately, don’t have a good way to test the voltage/amperage coming off of the wireless charger.
The Nomad Wireless Hub is a really nice addition to an office space. I’m not sure that I would recommend it for living areas like bedrooms simply because it’s a charging hub. I feel like charging hubs are best utilized where you can charge multiple things at one time. And in my opinion, I don’t want to have a bunch of cables sticking out from the bottom of the Wireless Hub like octopus tentacles. To me, that would be the definition of clutter in my bedroom — in my office though, it makes more sense for charging several devices at one time.
I do recommend this charging device for all types of users but would highly suggest that you consider your personal use of the device before deciding that the Wireless Hub is for you. It may be that the standard Multi-port Charging Hub would work better for you if you don’t have a wireless charging device. With that in mind, the Nomad Wireless Hub is a great option for charging wirelessly and providing a power outlet for multiple devices at once.