Nomad has long been known for its high-quality iPhone accessories, but did you know the company also has accessories for Pixel devices? Yep—the Pixel 3 and 4 are both covered with case options, but the company also sells high-end wireless chargers and USB-C cables that work with Pixel.
I’ve been testing the Rugged Case for the Pixel 4 XL, as well as the company’s Base Station wireless charger and Kevlar-coated USB-C to C cable for the last several weeks. And, man, they’re all impressive.
Let’s take a closer look.
The Nomad Pixel 4 Rugged Case: Classy Protection
If you’ve been reading my work for any amount of time, you probably know my feelings on cases: I generally don’t like them. Don’t get me wrong—they’re necessary. But I’m not a massive fan of bulking up most phones, especially when they have a sleek aesthetic like the Pixel 4/XL.
That said, if I have to use a case, I want it to be something I actually enjoy. The Nomad Rugged Case offers just that—it’s not just a case that protects my phone, but one that looks and feels good doing it.
The Rugged Case comes in both black and brown and is available for both the Pixel 4 and 4 XL ($49 each). Regardless of color, both cases feature a polycarbonate body paired with a TPU bumper and a classy leather back. Like most leather products, it will show a patina with time and use, though the brown model will show this more than the black one.
Since I have an “if it comes in black, buy it in black” philosophy on most things, I opted to test the black case (which I assume you’ve already figured out by the photos), and I love the look of it. The leather feels and looks good, though in just a few short weeks mine has taken quite a beating (and I still can’t figure out how?), with scratches and dings aplenty in the soft leather backing. But I kind of think that’s the point, too—leather wears, patinas, dings, scratches, and all that other stuff that just says, “Hey, I use this thing.” There’s a certain rugged charm to it, and I dig that.
If I have one complaint about the Rugged Case, it’s with the buttons—man, they’re really stiff. I hoped that they’d start to loosen up with use, but so far that hasn’t happened. I’ve gotten used to how hard they are to press over time, but I’m still not a fan. I wish the TPU were softer and more pliable around the buttons.
Nomad Base Station: Power, Power, and More Power
Surely a wireless charger is a wireless charger, right? Nah. Some are slow; others are faster. Some are big; others are small. Some are flat; some are stands. Some charge multiple devices; others only do one at a time.
The Nomad Base Station ($99)? Well, it’s sort of a collection of chargers all in one package. It has three wireless charging coils so it can charge two devices at once, but it also has a pair of USB ports on the back—a 7.5-watt USB-A port and an 18-watt USB-C PD port. That’s a lot of charging from one sleek, thin charger. Love it.
Sticking with the “give me all black everything please” style, I’ve been using the black Base Station for the last few weeks. There’s also a version with a walnut base ($139) to add a little extra class for you sophisticated folks out there. Either way you go, the actual charging pad is covered in black leather, which looks fantastic.
It’s smaller than other multi-device chargers I’ve used or seen, which is nice because it doesn’t take up as much room on my desk. Despite its small form factor, though, it can easily handle charging the Pixel 4 XL and iPhone XR at the same time. Only need to charge one device at a time? No worries—just lay it longways on the charger. I love that feature because it takes all the guesswork out of getting the phone lined up perfectly with the coils. Good design.
But like I said, it also has a pair of USB ports on the back, so if you need to charge other things, you can—I was even able to charge up my Pixelbook with the 18-watt USB-C PD port (though the lid had to be closed). And you can use both ports plus the pad at the same time for juicing up four things at once. That’s pretty solid.
It also has a pair of LED indicators to let you know when each half of the wireless pad is working—and they even automatically dim at night. It’s not even that they’re very bright in the first place, but that’s a nice touch.
While we’re focusing on Pixel-related stuff here, it’s also worth mentioning that there’s an Apple Watch-friendly version of the Base Station, too ($139). Or, you know, you can just plug your Apple Watch charger into the regular Base Station’s USB-A port. Whatever.
The Nomad USB-C-to-C Cable: You Could Beat Someone to Death with It
You know the thing I said about all wireless chargers being different? Well, it sort of applies to USB-C cables, too…but maybe to a lesser extent. There are good USB-C cables out there, then there’s the Nomad USB-C cable, which is on a different level altogether.
This is by far the thickest, most robust USB cable I’ve ever seen. Like, you could legit hurt someone with this thing if you needed/wanted to. Maybe you could keep it handy in your bag for self-defense…and charging your phone.
So, why is it so damn thick? Kevlar. Not just one layer, either—it has an inner layer of Kevlar, wrapped in another layer of Kevlar. “Yo dawg, I heard you like Kevlar, so I wrapped your Kevlar in Kevlar.” – Nomad, probably.
But it’s not just a thick-ass cable that might be able to stop bullets (don’t test this), it’s also suitable for 100-watt USB-C PD charging, so you can use it on a laptop if you want to. It also has a built-in cable tie (read: a big ol’ piece of rubber) to keep things nice and tight when you’re not using it.
Okay, so here’s the bottom line: this Nomad stuff is legit. High-quality legit. Sure, it’s a bit pricey, but anything worth buying is worth spending money on, right? I think so.
So yeah, if you’re looking for a nice case, and dope-ass wireless charger, or a USB-C cable that can double as a weapon, this is your gear. Get it.
Here’s What We Like
- High-quality accessories for the Pixel 4
- The Base Station can charge 4 devices at once
- The USB-C cable is the most robust cable I've ever seen
And What We Don't
- The buttons on the case are very stuff and hard to press
- The leather on the case may be a little soft and get damaged easily