One of the biggest headaches that comes with owning an Apple Watch is keeping it charged. While I’d like to think I have a fail-safe charging routine, I still find myself needing more juice at times when there’s not a charging cable around.
Enter the OtterBox 2-in-1 Power Bank with Apple Watch Charger, a $49 gadget that might be the best Apple Watch accessory I’ve ever tried — and I’ve tried out a lot of Apple Watch accessories.
I’ve used portable Apple Watch chargers before, and while some had conveniences like a compact design or keychain loop, none sufficiently recharged my smartwatch. A smidge more stamina comes in handy from time-to-time, but I would rather have a power bank that can provide enough charge to let my smartwatch survive a full day. You’d feel the same, right?
This OtterBox device functions like many other portable chargers, with a USB-C port for charging your smartphone or other mobile device. But it also has a wireless magnetic charging pad that holds an Apple Watch while juicing it up. The best part? It stands upright, so you could leave it by your bedside and glance at your Apple Watch as if it were a clock thanks to Nightstand Mode.
You could also make it a permanent fixture on your night table or desk, treating it more like an Apple Watch charging station. But I’ve opted to make it a device that comes with me most places I go. Whether it’s to work or on a weekend getaway, I toss this power bank in my bag. It weighs just 6.4 ounces, which is much lighter than many portable batteries I might travel with.
The OtterBox 2-in-1 Power Bank with Apple Watch Charger promises up to four full charges for an Apple Watch, as tested by the Apple Watch Series 7. I used it with both the Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra, and saw similar results in terms of speed. It took approximately an hour and a half to juice my two Apple Watch models to 100% from practically dead.
Gravity was perhaps the only thing that worried about this charging device. With the Apple Watch hanging upright, I thought it would fall off at some point. But I haven’t had that issue — even with a variety of different Apple Watch bands, the charger’s magnet takes care of business.
The magnetic charger isn’t only suitable for the Apple Watch, though. One of the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen)’s underrated upgrades lets the wireless charging case charge on the same platform as an Apple Watch. This has already been clutch for me several times, quickly topping off my AirPods Pro battery at the gym or during a long commute.
While there are several ways to make your Apple Watch last longer, from the Apple Watch low power mode to knowing how to enable Apple Watch optimized charging, sometimes my smartwatch simply loses steam (a.k.a., I forget to charge it.) So whether it’s to stay connected or closer my Apple Watch rings, having a high-quality battery backup with me while I’m out and about is a game-charger.
Need a holiday gift or stocking stuffer for someone with an Apple Watch? The OtterBox 2-in-1 Power Bank with Apple Watch Charger is my recommendation. Pair it with an Apple Watch deal, and you could very well win Christmas.
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Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.