We’ve done some pretty extensive testing on the Apple Watch series--from guides on how to pick the best Apple Watch for your activity level, to hand-tested reviews of the latest Apple Watch Series 8, we know our way around a smartwatch.
The Apple Watch certainly doesn’t boast the longest battery life compared to other fitness trackers, but its extensive smartwatch features certainly make up for this fact. So regardless of which Apple Watch you have, you’ll eventually need to recharge it. You do receive a magnetic charging cable in the box with the watch itself, but you'll still need to pair that with a power source. Pulling all that together to use while on the fly can be, well, a process.
Otterbox’s latest accessory aims to fix this by pairing an Apple Watch charger with a power bank. It’s not the first to do it (and it isn’t the cheapest at $50), but the Power Bank with Apple Watch Charger stands out with certified parts, a premium build, and a bunch of extra functionality.
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A Premium Build That Stands By Itself
Otterbox is not a newcomer to design and that’s quickly evident with this charger. It’s built from a combination of plastic and a premium matte aluminum outer shell. It’s a bit hefty at 0.40 pounds, but I’ve easily been able to toss it into a backpack, bag, pants pocket, or even a coat pocket.
It stands vertically at just over three inches and features the magnetic Apple Watch charging puck front and center. It’s also important to note that this is MFi Certified and Made for Apple Watch, meaning you shouldn’t run into any issues with compatibility, or it breaking down anytime soon as with some cheaper alternatives.
On the front is a tiny Otterbox logo and four LED indicator lights and buttons for powering it on or off. The rear features a single USB-C port that can be used to power up or recharge the accessory itself. But it’s two-fold since you can plug in a USB-C cable to charge another device as well.
The bottom of the charger features a rubber grip to ensure it stays in place. Whether it’s on your nightstand at home or being used as you’re traveling, the charger can stand on its own and you can magnetically attach the Apple Watch.
As a whole, the design here feels like something Apple would have created. Otterbox crafted a really nice gadget. Since it’s been designed specifically for the Apple Watch series, the magnet in the charging puck is strong enough to hold an Ultra as well as any former model. I’ve tested it with a Series 1, Series 3, SE generation-one, Series 6, Series 7, Series 8, and a second-gen SE as well as the Ultra. You can easily place the watch for a quick recharge and have no concerns about it falling off.
If you’re a fan of using Nightstand Mode on the Apple Watch--aka when you dock it and the watch is used as an alarm clock, complete with a button to snooze--this accessory is a perfect match. Since it’s self standing, this provides your Apple Watch with its own nightstand, and this functionality works when running off the built-in battery or when it’s plugged in via USB-C.
- Related: Apple Watch Series 8 Review
From that perspective, you could just plug this in and use it as a stationary charger on your nightstand or counter. But with a 3,000mAh battery inside you can also get up to four full recharges on an Apple Watch like the SE or Series 8. Milage is a little bit shorter with the Apple Watch Ultra given the larger internal battery.
For some, this could become a travel essential especially for trips that stretch for a few nights. I even found myself bringing it along for train rides if I noticed my Apple Watch battery depleting. And the whole setup here supports fast charging, meaning that if you have an Apple Watch Series 7 or newer you’ll be able to recharge it faster. Otterbox says the power bank pushes out up to 15-watts.
Not Just for Charging an Apple Watch
Via the USB-C port on the back you could plug in a Lightning to USB-C cable to recharge an iPhone, or really any USB-C cable to power up another device. And since second-generation AirPods Pro support charging via the Apple Watch charger, you can also magnetically attach those to the front.
- Related: Apple Watch SE (Second-Gen) Review
A Must-Have Apple Watch Accessory
Even after just a few days of use with Otterbox’s Power Bank with Apple Watch Charger, it’s clear that it is an excellent accessory addition for anyone with an Apple Watch.
Whether you want to upgrade your charging at home or want to make traveling a bit easier, the $50 is well worth it.
Furthermore with the holidays in full swing, it’s an excellent gift or stocking stuffer for anyone with an Apple Watch or who might be getting one.
Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.