Kanex GoPower Watch Battery Charger Lets You Leave the Cable at Home

In Apple, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Opinion, Review by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

While the Apple Watch design allowed us to not have to physically connect the charger to the Watch itself via wireless charging, you still have to carry a specialized Apple Watch charging cable with you if you plan on traveling with your Watch. Of course, many of us are used to carrying a bunch of cables – we are far from having pure wireless charging for everything – being able to eliminate specialize cables from the mix and just carry a couple is much better that having a bag full of digital spaghetti. AND, when you are on the go, sometimes plugs are not readily available so having a portable battery charger for your smart devices is pretty much essential. The Kanex GoPower Watch lets you leave one of those custom cables at home and bring portable charging power with you!

HighTechDad - Kanex GoPower Watch - in box

Many of the available Apple Watch charging solutions, portable or fixed, require you to “provide your own charging cable.” So essentially, they are just holders for your Watch AND the cable (the one your Watch came with). In my mind, this sort of defeats the purpose of having a secondary charging solution for your Watch. And, there are very few “certified” manufacturers of Apple Watch charging cable. These cables, Apple’s or via a 3rd party, are still not exactly cheap, starting at $25 and going up. To manufacture a solution, you need to have an inductive charging “puck” (the circular, magnetic portion that connects to your Watch to charge it). There aren’t that many really unique and good Apple Watch charging solutions out there…until Kanex developed their GoPower Watch.

Unique Charging Abilities of the GoPower Watch

The Kanex GoPower Watch is more than just an Apple Watch charger. It is a battery as well which means you can charge any USB powered device also. While primarily designed to provide mobile charging ability to the Watch via the magnetic charging dock (which uses inductive charging obviously), there is also a USB port where you can plug in the cable of your smartphone.

The internal battery is rated at 4,000 mAh which means you can charge your Apple Watch up to 6 times. For me, that gives me six days of not having to “plug the watch into the wall” via the regular charging cable. But that also means you can split that charging capacity with other devices. However, it’s important to remember that 4,000 mAh is not that huge, especially if you have an iPhone 7 Plus which will gobble up about half of the GoPower Watch’s capacity. So power management is in order here.

But the important thing to remember is if you are just going for a couple of days, the GoPower Watch is more than sufficient to power a Watch and iPhone overnight (if you don’t have a handy wall plug).

HighTechDad - Kanex GoPower Watch - box open

Another big point, made more important recently by the news of knock-off Apple cables and chargers, is the fact that the GoPower Watch is Apple MFi Certified so it is specifically made to fit the appropriate Apple devices.

You can charge your Watch and iPhone simultaneously too as the power push is split between devices. And, there is pass-through charging which means that if you have the GoPower Watch plugged in and charging, and you have devices connected to it, those devices will charge first.

HighTechDad - Kanex GoPower Watch - charging

On the front of the GoPower Watch is a circular LED which shows the charge and battery level status. I leave mine just plugged in so that it’s ready to go in a pinch.

On the back, there are two USB ports, a standard USB charger port for you iPhone, and a micro USB port to charge up the GoPower Watch itself. Yes, alas, you do need to have two cables handy then – your standard iPhone charging cable (e.g., Lightning cable) and a standard micro-USB cable. But that’s it! Nothing else special!

HighTechDad - Kanex GoPower Watch - ports

The GoPower Watch is a bit larger than I would expect it to be. It’s kind of the size of a fat, hockey puck. Actual dimensions are: 3.07” x 3.22” x 1.0”. And it only weights about 4.0 ounces probably because the casing is plastic instead of metal.

It is compatible with Series 1 and 2 Apple Watches of both 38mm and 42mm sizes as well as other smartphones (for the USB charging).

My only minor complaint about the design (apart from it being a bit “fat”) is that you need to lay the watch flat on top. For one, you can’t easily take advantage of the Nightstand Mode (which I really like) unless you prop it up manually.

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HighTechDad - Kanex GoPower Watch - charging propped

Also, if you have a watchband that doesn’t open up, like the Link Bracelet which is what I have and love, you have to find a way to rest the GoPower Watch on top of the band. Not a big deal, but a design consideration for Kanex for their next edition. This could probably all be solved if you put the charging “puck” on a movable arm somehow.

Regardless, Kanex has an Apple Watch portable charging solution that others don’t have (yet). It retails for about $100 and you can currently get it on Amazon for about $85. For emergencies, it’s a pretty good portable battery to have I feel.

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HTD says: Got an Apple Watch? You need to have power to charge it on the go without having to bring a special cable. The Kanex GoPower Watch is the solution!

HighTechDad's Ratings
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3.6

Summary

Got an Apple Watch? You need to have power to charge it on the go without having to bring a special cable. The Kanex GoPower Watch is the solution! While the GoPower watch is a bit bulky (and it just might be easier to carry a battery and the cable), it is actually nice not bringing the cable. For about the same price though, you can get a very robust portable battery solution. It is easy to use though by any member of the family.