Product: Grovemade Maple Phone Dock
Rating: Strong Recommend*
Charging stations usually don't impress me. I mean, what's to be impressed by? Usually it's a clock with a charger or a simple plastic dock. The Grovemade phone dock changed all that. It's lovely, impressive, and weighty enough to do double duty as your secret weapon.
Let's start by talking about the weight of most docking stations. With the exceptions of clock radios and some of the sound docks on the market, most are so light, your phone will knock them right over if even a little off balance. Even docks sold by the phone manufacturers are stupidly light, rendering them useless in most common situations. Not so with this Grovemade design. The dock is made of intensely heavy steel at its core, which means it's basically impossible to knock over. Plus, the fit of the maple cover over the bamboo gives it a visual lightness, adding a magical aesthetic element to a dock that weighs in at over 10 pounds.
While Grovemade advertises this device as an iPhone dock, I believe you could use this dock with similarly sized smartphones. The design allows you to slip your charging cord through a plastic clip which then clicks into the dock and secures it tightly into place. There's one clip that's clearly designed for the iPhone 5 lightning cable, but there's also an additional clip in the package which is wider for the iPhone 4 30-pin cable. A few tests showed that my Kindle charger worked well in this clip, though.
Another huge plus to this dock is that my iPhone case can stay on my phone while charging. This is a common complaint for dock charging stations, because the way the chargers stand, the phone is often a little too wide with a case on it. Because the Grovemade is free-standing, without any elements surrounding the phone, this isn't a problem.
There's not a more attractive, versatile and durable charging station on the market. While some might not like the fact that the lightning cable isn't hard-wired into the dock, I actually found this to be the biggest selling point. It allows you to keep the dock as you trade up your phones, which is a big deal when you're spending $100. Plus, the simple design means it won't go out of style, either.
Pros: Weight and style are impeccable. The interchangeable clips allow for use as phone chargers evolve. Bonus points for being able to keep most phones cases on the phone while charging.
Cons: The price is steep, but the craftsmanship is evident.
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. This specific product was provided by the manufacturer for testing and review purposes.