Pitaka Power Dongle for Apple Watch review: Tiny travel charger

Juice up your Apple Watch anywhere with this tiny travel charger [Review]

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Pitaka Power Dongle for Apple Watch review
Be ready to charge your wearable wherever you go with the Pitaka Power Dongle for Apple Watch.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Pitaka Power Dongle for Apple Watch is a lot more portable than Apple’s own charger. And it looks better, too.

I tested this Apple-certified charger through real-world use. Here’s why it belongs in your luggage.

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Pitaka Power Dongle for Apple Watch review

The word “dongle” turns many people off. Don’t let that happen this time — Pitaka’s makes your life easier, not more hassle. It’s a travel-size Apple Watch charger useful on trips, and you might also want something this small in your desk to be sure the wearable is always ready to go.

Of course, Apple Watch comes with a charger, but having a second one is wise. If you forget to charge the device overnight, you’ll want a way to juice it up wherever you are. The Pitaka Power Dongle for Apple Watch is ideal for that.

Hardware and design

Rather than taking up room with a lengthy cable, as the standard Apple Watch charger does, this travel version plugs straight into your Mac, iPad or wall power adapter.

It has a USB-C connector for exactly this reason. There’s a cover that protects the connector in transit. This clings onto the accessory with magnets. Plus, the cover also magnetically clings to the other end of the charger so you won’t lose it when you’re powering up your wearable.

I generally used Pikaka’s charger with my iPad Pro, and also tested it with a power bank and wall power adapter. The USB-C ports on any Mac work just as well. The Apple Watch clings magnetically to the accessory, so it doesn’t matter if the charging mat is horizontal or vertical. Or upside down.

It is compatible with any Apple Watch model.

Pitaka Power Dongle for Apple Watch charges from any USB-C port
All Pitaka’s Apple Watch charger needs is the USB-C port in an iPad, Mac or wall charger.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Size

The dimensions of the Pitaka Power Dongle for Apple Watch are determined by the size of the Apple Watch charging mat, which is 1.2 inches across. When this is built into a plastic casing, Pitaka’s accessory ends up being 2.2 inches by 1.6 inches, and 0.38 inches thick. It weighs 1 ounce.

That’s very pocketable. Or the device fits easily in a purse, backpack or briefcase.

The charging mat is the usual white, but the rest of the casing is a dark translucent plastic that looks cool. The design offers rounded sides that are comfortable to hold.

Pitaka Power Dongle for Apple Watch performance

I believe in real-world testing, so had the accessory power up the battery in my Apple Watch Series 3. On average, the wearable’s battery level was going up 1% a minute.

I did a comparison with the charger that came with the Apple Watch. It charges at approximately the same rate as Pitaka’s.

Just note that there’s a lot of variation on both. All Apple devices charge more quickly when their batteries are nearly empty, then more slowly as they approach full. And Apple Watch will slow its own wireless charging process if it starts to get too warm.

Pitaka Power Dongle for Apple Watch final thoughts

Pitaka Power Dongle for Apple Watch
Pitaka’ s Apple Watch charger is portable enough to be easily pocketable.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

I believe strongly that anyone who travels even semi-frequently should keep chargers for all their computers and other gear permanently in their luggage. That ensures you won’t arrive at your location with no way to charge your devices. And this is even more important with Apple Watch. Finding a USB-C or Lighting cable isn’t that hard. You aren’t likely to run a cross an Apple Watch charger in a gas station.

If you are regularly on the go for work for fun, slip Pitaka’s charger into your bag and you’ll be ready… whether you’re in New York or New Delhi.

Pricing

Pitaka Power Dongle for Apple Watch has a list price of $59.99. It’s available for less, however.

Buy from: Pitaka

Buy from: Amazon

If you want to shop around, take a look at my review of the Satechi USB-C Magnetic Charging Dock for Apple Watch ($39.99).

Or there’s the Ampere Apple Watch Charging Cable ($29). As its name suggests, it includes a short cable.

Pitaka provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.