Every long-term Mac fan knows about a company called Belkin. This company has been around for a while, designing and selling all kinds of 3rd party accessories for Macs, as well as iOS devices. They wouldn’t be around this much, without interesting, innovative and quality made products. Still, Belkin has gone through some ups and downs, but their latest product, made for Apple’s iPhone 5, seems to be doing a lot of harm while receiving a lot of negative reviews from the customers as well as other professional reviewers. This is why we took it for a test, and decided to get our own opinion.
This product is named “Charge + Sync Dock with Audio port for iPhone 5”, so I guess they could have come up with a catchier name, which could be marketed a lot better. This is basically a dock, made for iPhone 5 and the newest generation of iPod Touch, since it uses Lightning cable to charge your device. Just by looking at it, you can see that this is not a typical dock, and that designers tried to create a product with aesthetics which are complementary to Apple’s design philosophy. While it does seem interesting with its curved shape and grey tones, you have to wonder why its looks the way it does. It seems big, and lifts your iPhone very high, for a simple dock. The reason behind this is somewhat complicated two-piece design, and some technology behind that visible AUX cable.
In order to use this dock, you first need to set it up. This means that you need to separate outer grey shell from the rest of the body, which will reveal a small passage for your Lighting cable, since you’ll need to use the one you’ve got with your iPhone 5. Simply place a cable so that its tip is visible and return the outer shell, which is attached magnetically. Now, this is where the real problem comes up. This mechanism works well in theory, but it simply doesn’t work well in practice. This magnetic attachment should firmly sticks the Lightning cable, so you can effortlessly place you iPhone and lift it up in a second. Well, when you try to lift it up, it will also pull a whole Lightning cable, so you will have to detach it with your hand. Perhaps you can detach it without puling a cable if you hold this dock very, very tightly which is a real problem.
Next problem is that audio port which “allows you to listen to a music using headphones, while charging your iPhone 5”, as Belkin stated. That is also a good idea in theory, since iPhone 5 now has audio port placed right next to a Lightning port. I never had a need to listen to a music, while holding iPhone in a dock, but I assume that there are some music lovers who would like this. However it’s just too much work and too much cables wrapped around this dock. In case I really need to use my headphones, I would simply get rid of this dock which is non-functional mediator.