You can complain all you want, but if you want the benefits of a smartwatch, you’re going to have to get used to charging your timepiece almost every night. But as with every Apple device, there are plenty of accessories that promise to make this more convenient, and with Otterbox’s new power bank, you can even leave your Apple Watch’s charging cable behind when you go traveling.
As much as we love how easy it is to attach the Apple Watch to its magnetic charger at the end of a long day when we’re already half-asleep, proprietary charging cables are still an annoyance. As Apple begrudgingly moves towards making most of its hardware USB-C compatible, it’s doubtful it plans to stick a USB-C port on the Apple Watch, and it doesn’t seem likely the wearable will ever be compatible with standard Qi wireless charging hardware.
Otterbox’s new 2-in-1 Power Bank is yet another device that can be used to charge the Apple Watch should you find yourself without access to a power outlet before it dies, but with a more useful design than other solutions we’ve seen. It features a magnetic charging mount for the Apple Watch, and with the power bank standing on its end, it can turn the wearable into a bedside alarm clock, using watchOS’ Nightstand Mode for the effect.
Inside is a 3,000 mAh battery that can recharge an Apple Watch up to four full times—more than enough to keep it running during a long weekend excursion—but the power bank can also be used to charge other devices by using its USB-C connection that’s accessible even when the power bank is standing on its end. Four LED lights on top indicate how much charge is left, and there’s a power button to prevent accidental discharges.
At $50, it is more expensive than the Apple Watch Magnetic Fast Charger cable, but if you’re the type who likes to buy extra chargers to travel with, the added functionality of Otterbox’s alternative sounds like it’s more than worth the extra $20.