They say “Hindsight is 20/20” and although that may not always be true, time does give us the benefit of experience. If I would have written this review after using the Google Nexus One dock for a short time it would have been very different. After using the dock for 4+ months I’ve done a 180 degree turn on many of my initial impressions. Let me give you my “Monday morning quarterback” observations.
My initial impressions of the car dock, very functional, sturdy, love the metal support arm, love the bluetooth, hate the press & turn locking /mounting mechanism, hate the left to right slide in to lock phone into dock (See diagram below)
I’m still using the dock but with several reservations. The metal support arm of the car dock which I initially liked because of the added rigidity gets extremely hot after it sits in the window exposed to the sun for more than just a few minutes. The plastic would get hot enough on its own but with the additional heat being radiated from the metal support arm and ball joint the dock gets so hot that I’m worried about the long-term effects of attaching my phone to the dock for long trips when used for navigation.
A couple of the features I initially didn’t care for are now my favorite features of the the dock. The left to right slide in to load the phone into the dock is very secure and fast. At first I had trouble getting the pins aligned properly and had to at times remove and reseat the phone in the dock to situate the phone properly and activate car home app while docked. Now I can practically throw the phone into the dock one handed and don’t think I could get it improperly docked if I tried!
I had a similar experience with the mounting system to fasten the dock to the windshield. I was used to the flip lever locking mechanism and didn’t care for the press & turn locking mechanism on the Nexus One dock. After using it for awhile I wished all the windshield mounts used a similar mechanism. See my photos below (Click to Enlarge).
The Nexus One car dock can be used as a Bluetooth speaker phone as well as to play music and media. Using the dock as a speaker phone is a mixed bag, I’m happy the option is available since its the only way to conveniently receive calls while the phone is docked for navigation.
On the negative side the call quality is mediocre. On most calls I could hear the caller ok but callers at times have problems hearing me, asking me to repeat myself frequently enough that I only use the dock as speakerphone during navigation.
Using the dock for music is out of the question! The speaker is horrible, tinny sound and lacks volume, the worst car stereo system is better that the Nexus One dock for music. If you’re not especially particular you might find it acceptable to listen to a podcast or for the occasional audio book through the dock. I wish Google would have incorporated an fm transmitter into the dock so that we would have the option to use the cars audio system.
One last thought on the heat issue, my dedicated Garmin gps system also gets hot when left in the window for extended periods but not like the Nexus One Car Dock. I wish I had a way of measuring the temperatures, the difference is striking.
They have to find a more efficient way of insulating the Nexus One when using the phone docked for navigation. Although the phone has performed flawlessly in the dock to this point, I’m reluctant to continue using it for navigation on long road trips for fear of what the prolonged thermal exposure may do to my phone.
- Charges phone while docked
- Multiple mounting options (Windshield and Dashboard)
- Bluetooth enabled
- Headphone Jack accessible while docked
- Elegant Styling
- Easy Press & Turn Installation
- Car Home App while docked
- Docking requires removing any protective case
- Poor Speaker System
- Exposed metal arm heats dock to unacceptable level
Original posted 04/04/2010
After a couple of false starts the Nexus One car dock is available in the google phone store. The dock can charge your phone’s battery and establishes a bluetooth connection automatically when the phone is inserted and gives you the option of using the dock as a speakerphone.
Once the phone is inserted in the dock the Car Home application opens giving you convenient access to the Navigation menu. See the graphic below:
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