Started by three former Mophie executives, Nimble is a new company taking a fresh approach on making accessories like power banks and wireless chargers. With the mantra, “Tech for Good” Nimble thinks users should know where products come from, how they are made, and the impact they have on the environment.
We recently got to test out Nimble’s full lineup of thoughtful new accessories, read on for our full review.
Nimble is looking to set itself apart from the competition in a variety of ways, but most notably with its eco-friendly focus. Nimble is using fully recyclable aluminum, plant-based plastics, and skipping chemical adhesives.
On the wireless charger lineup, you’ll find durable yet soft fabric made from organic hemp and recycled plastic bottles. All the products feature a subtly speckled thermoplastic elastomer (TPU) in some way. Each product ends up with a unique design due to the use of the natural mineral, mica.
As for the packaging, Nimble uses simple designs made from recycled paper, and leaves out plastic, dye, and ink.
Another differentiator for the company, it’s set up as digital-only and isn’t going into brick and mortar retail locations. This allows it to save on costs and passes those along to consumers. Each product page on its website offers a comparison to the cost of a similar name brand product.
Nimble also includes a bag with each purchase to recycle your old devices. With pre-paid shipping, the company is serious about putting its money where its eco-friendly mouth is.
Alright, let’s dive in to the products…
- Capacities ranging from 10,000 mAh to 26,800 mAh
- All models feature USB-C for input and 18W PD output
- Each charger includes 2-3 USB-A ports
- Easy to use battery status indicator
- Made from recyclable aluminum, plant-based bioplastics, and other naturally occurring materials for less impact on the planet.
- Every product is unique. Made with soft-touch TPE, which requires less energy to produce, and uses the natural mineral crystal, mica, to create a design where no pattern is ever the same.
Materials and Build
As is no surprise with the resume of the founders, Nimble’s portable chargers have a premium build and quality feel that easily compete with offerings from Mophie, Belkin, and other name brands.
To my eyes, the aluminum is about two shades darker than Apple’s current space gray on the MacBook Pro. All the chargers feature the two-tone design with aluminum and the speckled TPU which offers a nice aesthetic and softens both the look and feel.
A well-implemented tri-color battery status indicator sits on the side of the chargers. Nimble uses six LEDs, the first one flashes amber or green to indicate charging (amber for fast charging, green for standard) and the other five detail battery capacity. A blue button to check the battery status sits on one side of the LEDs while the Nimble elephant logo sits on the other.
Another clever feature found on all the portable chargers is a magnetic, removable cable holder. It attaches to the bottom of the charger and offers a clean, integrated way to keep track of your cables.
It’s great to see all of these chargers feature USB-C for both input and output. Two of the variants feature one USB-C port and two USB-A ports, while the other two models include one USB-C port and three USB-A ports.
For all models, the USB-C PD port offers 18W input and output, with an additional USB-A port designated for fast charging.
All Nimble products feature a 30-day return period and a one-year warranty.
Using Nimble Portable Chargers
In my testing, I found Nimble’s portable chargers to be great products. From the slick look and feel to knowing the company is serious about creating accessories in an eco-friendly way, there’s a lot to at here.
There are four models in the portable charger lineup. Nimble has named them after the amount of days you can expect to get out of them if you stick to charging just your iPhone.
- 3-Day Fast Portable Charger (10,000 mAh, $50)
- 5-Day Fast Portable Charger (13,000 mAh, $60)
- 8-Day Fast Portable Charger (20,000 mAh, $70)
- 10-Day Fast Portable Charger (26,800 mAh, $100)
In my use I found the 10,000 mAh model to recharge from empty to full using the 18W power adapter in just under 2.5 hours, just over 3 hours for the 13,000 mAh version, roughly 4.5 hours for the 20,000 mAh, and over five hours for the 26,800 mAh.
Just for fun I plugged in each of the chargers to my 15-inch MacBook Pro. While my Mac said the internal battery wasn’t charging, the 18W output was enough to keep my battery floating at the current level while it ran off the external batteries during a normal workday.
In a pinch, these could be even better backup power options for 13-inch MacBook Pro and 12-inch MacBook users.
As for the magnetic cable holders, I really like the innovative approach and convenience. However, one downside I noticed was that with the chargers resting on a table top, the cable holder’s magnetic connection is slightly broken as the edges extend just a bit past the charger itself. It doesn’t come completely off, but a slight tweak to the size of them could solve the issue easily. Alternately, a bit stronger magnet would probably also do the trick.
Another change I’d like to see would be Nimble including the 18W power adapter in the box with all of the chargers. Currently, it only comes with the 10-Day Fast Portable Charger, and is sold separately for $13.
- 7.5W wireless charging for iPhone, 10W for Android devices
- Wireless Pad and Wireless Stand feature USB port to charge a second device
- Designed with fabric made from organic hemp and recycled plastic bottles, and constructed with plant-based bioplastics derived from corn, sugarcane and other naturally occurring starchy fibers
- Includes USB-C cable and power adapter
- Compatible for charging through cases
Materials and Build
All of Nimble’s wireless chargers feature fabric designs sourced from organic hemp and recycled plastic bottles. It’s quite soft to the touch, I’d most closely compare it to a pair of well-worn jeans. The bottoms of the three wireless chargers all feature the Nimble signature speckled TPU for a non-slip experience.
Nimble offers three wireless chargers, plus the Travel Kit option:
- Wireless Dual Pad $50
- Wireless Pad $40
- WIreless Stand $40
- Wireless Travel Kit $60 (currently sold out)
Using Nimble Wireless Chargers
Speaking of slipping, I was excited to find that even when juicing up my iPhone X without a case with the Nimble chargers, they didn’t slide around or vibrate off the wireless coils.
All the wireless chargers feature USB-C and include the USB-C to USB-A cables and the 18W power adapters.
One of the features I enjoy most about Nimble’s lineup is that even the Wireless Pad and Wireless Stand that charge one smartphone include an extra USB-A output to charge a secondary device like Apple Watch.
I really like the versatility of the Wireless Stand. It quickly converts between a pad or stand charger with a kickstand and small lip that bumps out. The only thing to watch out for is the lip won’t hold iPhones in thicker cases. However, it worked successfully with my jimmyCASE (without holding cards).
The Wireless Travel Kit (currently sold out) is a slick package that bundles the Wireless Pad with a companion wall charger with built-in cable storage. As a whole, it offers charging for three devices total.
The wall adapter portion with cable storage seen below magnetically attaches to the Wireless Pad for a clean, compact package.
The Wireless Dual Pad offers a clean and simple option for charging two iPhones at once. However, it skips out on the extra USB-A port found on the rest of the lineup.
All in all, I think Nimble has created a compelling lineup of products. They have a solid build quality, sharp look and feel (as long as you’re cool with fabric-wrapped gear) and do it all using an eco-friendly approach.
As for pricing, I think Nimble is hitting a nice balance between the product specs/features and offering eco-friendly options. The portable chargers and wireless chargers are more expensive than the budget options on Amazon, but still cost less than what you’ll pay for Mophie and other similar name brands. I think there’s enough of a market that is interested in investing in a company with a good mission and solid products for Nimble to be successful.