The following contest is scheduled for one fall. Making their way to the ring, weighing at least half a pound each: a bunch of smartphone docks.
Grovemade’s iPhone Dock, pictured above, pairs walnut or maple with stainless steel to form a minimalist 1lb 8oz block for your phone to rest on. In case the weight isn’t enough, the base also uses “microsuction” to grip surfaces, ensuring this dock won’t be hanging on to your phone when you undock.
The Grovemade Dock is BYO cable, and the internal cable management, while elegant, doesn’t really have space for a braided cable like the upgrade version of your favorite. There’s also no back support for larger devices, so this really isn’t a tablet friendly dock.
Elevation Lab’s Dock 3 is an Apple-esque single piece of aluminum. It weighs 1.4 pounds, and that combined with the “NanoPad” suction on the bottom means it’s not going anywhere. Available in black, red, silver, and blue.
The Dock 3 has an MFI-certified Lightning cable built right in, though the fact that the cable is just plain white plastic cheapens the look for some of the colorways in our opinion (it can be changed out).
The customizable bumpers are a brilliant way to support most cases and still maintain a firm hold, though of course the closed design of the dock means there’s a theoretical size limit on future giant phones, and tablets are a no-go.
Superlatives: Strongest hold, easiest to use in the dark, most Apple-esque.
The Henge Docks Gravitas weighs in at a massive 2.5 pounds while maintaining an impressively small footprint. Interchangeable inserts increase compatibility with various cases and ensure compatibility with future phones, but the unused ones have to be stored or recycled.
An external USB port means moving the stand and changing the cable are easy (and that this stand is Lightning only), and there’s also an audio out port which none of the other options we’ve tried feature.
Superlatives: Heaviest, best option for tablets.
Depending on whether you upgrade to Marble, Native Union’s DOCK+ is either one the cheapest, or the most expensive option on this list, which is made more notable by the fact that both options ship with the braided cables Native Union are known for.
The standard and marble docks are some of the lightest on the list at 1.2 pounds and 1 pound respectively, and don’t feature any kind of suction or adhesive.
Superlatives: Best included cable by far, marble option is the most high-end, best complementary Apple Watch Dock.
The HiRise’s height makes it the most ergonomic option for your desk, but that same height combined with the lighter weight, no suction, and thin pedestal basically take it out of the running as a good nightstand option.
Superlatives: Most ergonomic (on your desk), cheapest.
In a different approach, budget smartphone accessory makers are taking the magnetic mounting solutions tens of thousands of our readers have purchased for their cars and adapting them for everywhere else.
Shep recently checked out the Bestek Pedestal Stand, which takes advantage of the metal plates you likely already have attached to your device or case, while I got my hands on the clamp version from Nite Ize that’s part of their Steelie system.
These are both great options, especially if you’re looking to outfit your home and work desks, nightstands, cars, and more with mounting components that your devices can easily move between. Even super simple, stationary magnetic mounts are now available as stick anywhere solutions.
How are you charging your device, mounting it ergonomically in your car and on your desk, and keeping it within reach and easily dockable in the dark on your nightstand? Tell us in the comments.