The iPhone 5s dock is a simple piece of high quality white plastic as most (if not all) of the previous docks have been. The dock does not come with anything except the built in Lightning connector built in to the base of the dock. Don't be fooled, however, a lightning cable is still required in order to run the electricity to the dock to charge the iPhone. Most third party docks require you to thread the lightning connector through the dock and prop it vertically to connect the phone. With the Apple dock, you plug your existing lightning cable to the back of the dock. The dock also has a line out jack in the back which can accommodate headphones for any outgoing sound.
The cutout on the base of the dock assists in propping up the phone vertically. The iPhone sits in the dock pretty much vertically with just a hint of tilt backward to provide a bit of viewing angle. I found the the angle at which the iPhone is situated a little too vertical and would have preferred a little more angle back similar to the 3rd party docks like the Belkin I have at work. The base cutout is very slim and can only accommodate a naked iPhone (i.e. without a case). The fit is very tight and requires a bit of effort to line up and push down the iPhone to get a charging connection. On my iPhone 5s, I have the very thin Ghost Armor skins on both the back and the sides and the phone is still able to fit properly. I am not sure why Apple didn't increase the size of the cutout to allow thin cases (including Apple's own 5s case) to work with the dock. The lightning connector itself allows for a pretty solid connection and is certainly strong enough to keep the phone in an upright position. Putting the iPhone in takes a bit of effort and pulling it from the dock certainly requires two hands, one to hold the dock down and the other to pull the phone from the dock. While there are some docks that are heavy enough to not require a two-hand extraction, I think the lightning connector is the primary culprit as to why two hands are needed.
Overall, my opinion of this dock is "meh". There are certainly nicer solutions on the market at various price levels. Unless you have to have official Apple accessories for your iPhone, do a little research before putting down the 30 bucks for this dock.
The desktop dock retails at Apple for $29.00.
- Official Apple accessory, high quality plastic used in previous docks
- Built in Lightning connector (see cons)
- 30 bucks, for this?
- Requires a lightning connector cable to provide power
- Tight fit that does not accommodate any type of cases
- iPhone a little too upright, could benefit from more tilt
- Difficult to insert and extact the phone from the dock