28 Comments

Summary:

Google’s Nexus One Desktop Dock will set you back $45, charges the phone and pumps out Bluetooth audio. But is this accessory worth it? And how well does it — or doesn’t it — work? See for yourself in this video.

nexus-one-dock-thumb

UPDATED. Google shipped my Nexus One Dock two days ago and it arrived this morning, even though I picked the free ground shipping. I’ll give them credit for the shopping experience — it was seamless and obviously the delivery was quick; on a Saturday morning, no less! The dock has a very minimal look and feel, which is good and bad. You’ll see why in the video — I’m not convinced the metal interfaces between dock and handset work consistently.

Then there’s the price question — is it worth $45? That’s a personal decision of course, but keep in mind that the dock includes a duplicate phone charger for the phone; so you’re getting both a dock and second charger.

And then there’s that wireless Bluetooth functionality to pipe music from the phone to external speakers that you provide. I initially wondered why Bluetooth would be used, but now I see why — without a USB interface between phone and dock, there’s no other way to get data or music between the two. About that Bluetooth — there’s a limitation that I didn’t expect.  I really like the “night mode” however — although I didn’t show it in the video, the phone displays the time in an old-school, green alarm clock color that’s not too bright.

Update: The dock actually is capable of streaming Bluetooth audio when the phone isn’t in the dock. Thanks to Josesxi for pointing out another review demonstrating it. Perhaps there’s an issue with my phone or dock because it’s a hit or miss type of function for me.

  1. looks like its using the NFC and SSP profiles of bluetooth 2.1, and thats neat.

    basically, two device that supports this will pair if brought within proximity.

    i am guessing they are using the same NFC system to bring the clock thing to front, and maybe also shut down the music if the NFC (it has a range measured in centimeters) goes out of range.

    Share
  2. It’s a nice looking dock and I’d like something that looks like this for my HD2. However, the whole thing seems a little over-engineered (not sure why you need bluetooth to stream audio to a dock???) and Android seems to let the whole thing down (hopefully the bugs will be patched sooner rather than later). Still, it’s a nice looking dock.

    Share
  3. You should apologized to Google for such hack job.
    Here is better more honest review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HsG4xCVb2s

    Share
    1. Thanks for sharing the other video review. After watching it, I see that the phone can indeed stream music over Bluetooth when out of the dock and I’ll add an update to the post.

      But this also illustrates why I said the dock is working a little inconsistently. Although my phone and dock were paired — they had to be for the music to stream initially — the Dock wasn’t showing under my Bluetooth connections. Why it lost the pairing, I don’t know. Why didn’t it remember my audio output settings, when the box was checked? Again, I don’t know.

      Share
      1. I’m not sure how Josesxi can possibly think you did a bad review. You demonstrated each problem you noticed right on video.

        As it turns out after watching the second review, the fact that the audio stops through bluetooth is likely just a design decision as they want you to explicitly set your preferences up to have it stream through the bluetooth when off the dock. However, I think that doesn’t match users expectations very well. It seems if docking the phone makes a bluetooth connection for audio, that connection should persist until you go out of range and stay disconnected until docking again — that would have made it much easier for users to understand.

        Share
  4. US$50 for a flaky peace of empty plastic?? C’mon..

    Share
  5. I Love my Motorola DROID Dock for $19.00, also came with an extra phone charger. Doesn’t have the BT Music App that the N1 has, but I stream Pandora / Slacker via WiFi and VZW’s 3G Network all day, so it is not an issue. Also has the dimming feature and weather App built in.

    Share
    1. 20 bucks is what a dock should cost no matter what! how do you justify a 50 dollar dock. Did you get an “official” droid dock is that why it was 20 bucks or is that what they run?

      Share
  6. $45 for a cradle and 2nd charger is definitely worth it in my opinion. I recently had to buy a cradle for an iPaq and was charged $50 – and that was without the required AC adapter! I like to keep my phones in a cradle as well when not in use, it just makes charging and syncing all that easier.

    The audio streaming feature is definitely cool, and it would be huge to see it work with the phone outside of the dock. I would pay for that feature alone.

    Share
    1. “The audio streaming feature is definitely cool, and it would be huge to see it work with the phone outside of the dock. “

      I’ve just updated the post as you were leaving this comment. Turns out that it does, but has been hit or miss on my unit. Even when it works, the wireless music stops playing when removing the phone from the dock as shown in the video. You have to manually go into the Bluetooth settings and re-connect and then play your music. Not seamless — at least on my units, that is.

      Share
  7. Any plans to make your videos actually viewable on some of the leading mobile devices? You know… iPhone, iPad, … ;)

    Share
    1. Yup. We’re looking at the options and kicking around some ideas. YouTube worked well for us in the past and then we tried the WordPress player, which also works well, but of course is pretty useless on a mobile device — even ones that don’t start with the letter i. ;) Hopefully we can get it sorted out in the next few weeks.

      Share
      1. Great news, thanks for the quick reply, Kevin!

        Share
  8. Sorry for changing the subject, but what desk do you have? I’m looking to buy a new desk and yours look pretty nice Kevin.

    Share
  9. It’s a nice looking dock, very nice :)

    Share
  10. Kevin,

    Do you not think that an explanation for the metal contacts rather than the USB is that this will enable a spare battery to be charged in the cradle ? (with a small adapter sleeve).

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post