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Old July 14th, 2011, 07:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Photon Docks (e.g. HD Station, Car, & Laptop) - Discussion Thread

I'm an Evo owner looking to possible upgrade myself (and a few friends) to the Photon. I had two questions: (1) how will the camera be in comparison to the Evo 4G (not the 3vo); and (2) will it get something similar to the Atrix Laptop docking station?

Thanks guys!

-EDIT 8/10/11- Several posts have been moved to create a new "Photon Docks Discussion" thread.

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Old July 14th, 2011, 08:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bupolo View Post
I'm an Evo owner looking to possible upgrade myself (and a few friends) to the Photon. I had two questions: (1) how will the camera be in comparison to the Evo 4G (not the 3vo); and (2) will it get something similar to the Atrix Laptop docking station?

Thanks guys!
1) No real way to tell how the camera will be in comparison to the EVO. I'd say it'd be comparable at the least and the EVO's camera is not the greatest (although, I've never had any complaints about the rear camera).

2) From what the initial reports have said, it's supposed to get a laptop docking station, but so far I haven't seen it. It definitely has a multimedia dock, which is nice. Since it's geared towards business and personal use, I'd be surprised if they didn't make one.
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Old July 15th, 2011, 04:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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1) No real way to tell how the camera will be in comparison to the EVO. I'd say it'd be comparable at the least and the EVO's camera is not the greatest (although, I've never had any complaints about the rear camera).

2) From what the initial reports have said, it's supposed to get a laptop docking station, but so far I haven't seen it. It definitely has a multimedia dock, which is nice. Since it's geared towards business and personal use, I'd be surprised if they didn't make one.
Concerning the camera, are there no specs on the quality of the lens or light sensors being used? I think those have been two of the big things that Apple has done better than these android phones: using better tech with respect to the camera.

This would be so disappointing if they did not roll out a laptop docking station. But can they make it less than $500? $500 for a small monitor and keyboard is ridiculous.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 11:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Concerning the camera, are there no specs on the quality of the lens or light sensors being used? I think those have been two of the big things that Apple has done better than these android phones: using better tech with respect to the camera.

This would be so disappointing if they did not roll out a laptop docking station. But can they make it less than $500? $500 for a small monitor and keyboard is ridiculous.
Who really cares what apple does. I know I don't. As long as my camera prevents me from needing a point and shoot camera, I'm good. Apple's rear camera lens was researched to be the same lens on iphone4 as evo and one other phone I'm pretty sure...it's posted in evo forums.

As for laptop dock, I can't see it being $500. Is that how much the atrix dock is?
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Old July 16th, 2011, 08:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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once again I've been hearing that the Photon won't be coming with a keyboard dock, but honestly hope those rumors are false. Cause they really can't let AT7T be the only ones with that idea.

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Old July 17th, 2011, 02:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Who really cares what apple does. I know I don't. As long as my camera prevents me from needing a point and shoot camera, I'm good. Apple's rear camera lens was researched to be the same lens on iphone4 as evo and one other phone I'm pretty sure...it's posted in evo forums.

As for laptop dock, I can't see it being $500. Is that how much the atrix dock is?
I thought it was $500 for the phone and dock.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 10:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I thought it was $500 for the phone and dock.
I really don't know. That's why I was asking.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 10:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The Atrix dock is $500, phone not included.

Amazon.com: AT&T Laptop Dock for Motorola ATRIX 4G (Retail Packaging): Cell Phones & Accessories
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Old July 17th, 2011, 01:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Damn that's way expensive. I remember a lot of place had a sale on it though right after it came out.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 04:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i can live with that. Just may take a bit longer to get the money.

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Old July 17th, 2011, 08:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Who really cares what apple does. I know I don't. As long as my camera prevents me from needing a point and shoot camera, I'm good. Apple's rear camera lens was researched to be the same lens on iphone4 as evo and one other phone I'm pretty sure...it's posted in evo forums.

As for laptop dock, I can't see it being $500. Is that how much the atrix dock is?
I recall the Evo had a lens that was same/similar to the iphone4 but the iPhone4 is still viewed as having the superior camera because of the light sensor and some other stuff I don't understand.

I don't think the Evo has a camera that's good enough to not take another camera if you're going anywhere interesting, which I think is such a bummer. I am just hoping the Photon have a camera that's as good as can be on a cell phone (that was the only reason I am referencing Apple, I don't own apple products).
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Old July 17th, 2011, 09:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I recall the Evo had a lens that was same/similar to the iphone4 but the iPhone4 is still viewed as having the superior camera because of the light sensor and some other stuff I don't understand.

I don't think the Evo has a camera that's good enough to not take another camera if you're going anywhere interesting, which I think is such a bummer. I am just hoping the Photon have a camera that's as good as can be on a cell phone (that was the only reason I am referencing Apple, I don't own apple products).
The auto settings on the EVo are a bit out of whack, Ive played around with the settings on my phones camera and gotten better pictures manually setting it up than relying on the auto settings. I dont know how that would compare to the iPhone 4s pictures since Ive never had one near me to compare.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 09:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I recall the Evo had a lens that was same/similar to the iphone4 but the iPhone4 is still viewed as having the superior camera because of the light sensor and some other stuff I don't understand.

I don't think the Evo has a camera that's good enough to not take another camera if you're going anywhere interesting, which I think is such a bummer. I am just hoping the Photon have a camera that's as good as can be on a cell phone (that was the only reason I am referencing Apple, I don't own apple products).
I have been completely happy with the evo camera, so as long as the photon is as good or better, I'll be happy.

And yes, you're right about I phone camera based on light sensor, but I didn't really think the I phone camera was stop dramatically better as reviews said.
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Old July 18th, 2011, 08:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks Guys!
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Old July 26th, 2011, 02:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Does anyone know if the camera on this phone is 'dual stage'? I just found out (of course) that my 9630 blackberry actually has a dual stage button! All this time.... DOH.

Anyway - anyone know if it does? Shawheim?
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Old July 26th, 2011, 05:36 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Does anyone know if the camera on this phone is 'dual stage'? I just found out (of course) that my 9630 blackberry actually has a dual stage button! All this time.... DOH.

Anyway - anyone know if it does? Shawheim?
That's a good question. I'd like to know as well.

On the video that shawheim did, I was surprised at how smooth the zoom was and how clear it remained until of course it got to the end of the zoom area (which for any phone camera, gets a little blurry). Just the fact that you can zoom while in the process of recording a video is just a big plus for me.
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Old July 26th, 2011, 06:41 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Dual stage camera?
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Old July 26th, 2011, 07:06 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Dual stage camera?
Sorry - I should clarify. I mean to ask if the dedicated BUTTON is dual stage. meaning, a half press focuses, and a full press shoots.
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Old July 26th, 2011, 07:38 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The OG Evo Camera is not really that great... especially noisy in low-light environments... Evo 3D isn't any better... those who claim that are just feeling light-headed from the dual-core awesomeness...

The specs are different for the iPhone4 camera versus Evo 4G, but are similar... not sure why they come out so much better though.... (they do)
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Old July 26th, 2011, 09:23 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Sorry - I should clarify. I mean to ask if the dedicated BUTTON is dual stage. meaning, a half press focuses, and a full press shoots.
Ohhh, ok. That makes sense.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 05:00 AM   #21 (permalink)
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The top line Motorola phones seem to always feature a superior camera. I'd be surprised if the Photon didn't far surpass the Evo in this regard, and I'm on record as an Evo camera supporter, if that means anything.

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The OG Evo Camera is not really that great... especially noisy in low-light environments... Evo 3D isn't any better... those who claim that are just feeling light-headed from the dual-core awesomeness...
Please attack only issues, not people for their personal views, thanks.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 10:58 PM   #22 (permalink)
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The Atrix Lapdock is $299 @ Best Buy. Still overpriced, as we can get a Honeycomb Tablet for not much more.

I fully intend to get my hands on one however, just to see if it can be modified to work with the Photon. Pretty sure it can be MacGyver'd using micro usb & hdmi extension cables...but I'd rather see a more convenient solution.
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Old July 30th, 2011, 02:32 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I may not have my phone yet, but you better believe I'm prepared for tomorrow!



Purchased from the only Sprint store in the local 15 mile radius that had both in stock, so I got my premier 25 percent off. Picked up dry install invisible shield, which didn't even have packaging yet, but probably won't use the full thing, just the screen protector until the sgp screen protector is made.

If anybody wants to buy the back and side skin off me, 10 bux shipped via paypal gets it, but if you use credit card through paypal, I'll have 2 charge extra cuz of the fee.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 03:15 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Default Pics of Photon Car dock and HD Station Contents

Here are some pics of what comes in the Motorola Photon specific Car Dock and HD Station boxes:

Quote:
Car Dock

- Dual USB port car charger

-3.5mm adaptor

- Car Dock (w/ USB input slot)

- USB to micro USB charger
- My impression compared to the HTC EVO 4G car dock. It's better prepared overall to offer up a good experience for a phone specific car dock. I wish they designed it so that the charging port is on the base of the dock, like HTC, so that when you swivel the phone from side to side, it doesn't move the charging chord. Nontheless, it still a very nice looking phone specific dock and I personally feel like it was worth the money I spent, especially with the 25% off.

Quote:
HD Station

- Wall charger

- HDMI cable

- Remote control

- Dock

- Impression: It seems pretty cool. Not sure how much I'll end up using it in th end, but glad I got it with the 25% premiere discount. The fact that it has a remote control gives it a definite 1-up on the original EVO dock.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 03:30 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Nice pics! Where can I buy the car dock? Also how do you get the 25% off? Do you have to be premier gold? Or will silver work too?
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Old July 31st, 2011, 05:31 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I went into my local Sprint store to show my friend, the manager, as he had made sure to call me when he got them in on Friday. (It was the first call I got on my Photon! Friday at 5:30pm, he called and said "they came in! and I replied, "I'm talking to you on one!")

He had one each of the Home & Auto Docks. They were on sale for $99 (Home) & $49 (Auto) no premier discount. ....I bought both.


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Nice pics! Where can I buy the car dock? Also how do you get the 25% off? Do you have to be premier gold? Or will silver work too?
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Old July 31st, 2011, 12:04 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I went into my local Sprint store to show my friend, the manager, as he had made sure to call me when he got them in on Friday. (It was the first call I got on my Photon! Friday at 5:30pm, he called and said "they came in! and I replied, "I'm talking to you on one!")

He had one each of the Home & Auto Docks. They were on sale for $99 (Home) & $49 (Auto) no premier discount. ....I bought both.
I want that web dock
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Old July 31st, 2011, 01:00 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Nice pics! Where can I buy the car dock? Also how do you get the 25% off? Do you have to be premier gold? Or will silver work too?
Thanks. Bought the car dock and HD station through one of the Sprint stores.

25% off for premiere customers purchasing 2 or more accessories, which is why I needed to find a Sprint that had both (which there was only this one out of 6 Sprint stores I checked in my local area). I have premier gold, but I think that applies for silver also.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 03:51 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Anyone else having problems with the holster case + car dock? The phone + extender piece of the car dock fits perfectly, and everything looks/sounds great. However, when I remove the extender piece and use the holster case, it will fit, but setting doesn't stay flush so the audio cuts in and out.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 04:39 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Default Car Dock + Case = no good?

I just got my Photon today, and I'm loving every moment of it. Such a big upgrade from my old Hero. Anyways, I purchased the Car dock and a case (with the holster) from the sprint store.

After playing around with the car dock, using the insert and naked phone works perfectly. The car app launches and everything is fine.

Then when I take out the insert and leave the phone case on, I have problems. The phone doesn't go into the dock completely flush. I have to tightly squeeze the phone and dock together for the car app to launch. It's annoying.

Anyone else having problems with a case and car dock?
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Old August 1st, 2011, 02:17 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Photon "Living room" dock and Car Dock

Well, I've now had a chance to play with both the car dock and the livingroom dock, or whatever they call it.
First the Car Dock. It sticks, it rotates, it works. There is a line level out near the USB based car power plug that is not volume controlled. It appears that when making and receiving calls, if that is plugged into your car Aux jack, it puts the phone in "speaker phone" mode. Not my first choice but given all of the potential car audio enviroments, it's the most fool proof. If you press the speaker button during the call (turning it off), it plays through the car audio system but alas, the caller cannot hear you. I haven't tried putting the car audio cable into the earphone jack on the phone but I suspect that will allow you to both hear the caller through the car audio system and speak to them (through the phone mic) as if it were not in its dock... And then the audio out would be phone volume controllable. I choose the convenience of never having to worry about the audio cord and using it in speaker phone mode. The car dock app is nice. Big buttons and you can assign your favoritie apps.. Very nice.

The living room dock is small, comes with the correct HDMI cable (glad I didn't get one from Fry's) and has 3 USB outputs, an audio out, and a power supply. When you put the phone in the dock, you can have the photon's normal screen mirrored on you TV (complete with rotating) or have it boot into a cool desktop version complete with a firefox browswer. The photon turns into a tablet/keyboard. Total coolness. I plan on getting a bluetooth keyboard and mouse which would actually make it useful. My wife and I watched an episode of "flashpoint" through the netflix app on the phone (in mirror display mode) and using the home audio system. Since we already have a PS3 in the main system, this can now be used in our bedroom to watch netflix (or whatever from my DLNA server) on our bedroom TV. Cool. Nice. And actually useful! Oh, and you get a little remote control with somewhat useful capability that only works (as far as I can tell) in the "duplicate display" mode...
Sprint took 25% off since I bought both at the same time: Out the door price of about $130..
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Old August 1st, 2011, 02:57 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Great write up. 2 quick questions:
1. If you buy the car dock do you still need a car charger? Meaning, I know when the phone is in the dock it charges, but lets say you're in the car and have no use for the dock at the time, does the cord allow you to plug it into the phone and charge it while the phone is on your lap? Im basically trying to see if I buy the car dock do I still need a regular car charger or if the dock alone will do double duty and save me the $20.

2. Did you buy these items online at sprint.com or in an actual store? If in a store do you have to mention the 25% or does their computer automatically gie it when your acct pulls up and sees your a Premier member?

thanks.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 05:31 PM   #33 (permalink)
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The car charger comes with a three basic pieces: the dock, an USB to microUSB cord, and a car adapter (with two USB ports ). You essentially plug the car adapter into your car, plug the USB cord into the car adapter, and then plug the microUSB into the back of the dock. I don't see why you couldn't eliminate the dock and plug it straight into the phone.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 06:59 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Default No web desktop without the "living room" dock.

I tried hooking the photon up to the inexpensive Amazon.com cable and it did work well. It came up with the options of mirroring the display, playing media, or a picture gallery view. No neat webtop on its own.

On my 55in Vizio lcd you could see the pixels when blown up that much, but pretty good all in all. It did a passable job when I played a netflix movie on the photon and on the big screen in mirror mode. It would still respond to the bluetooth keyboard ok, but the webtop mode would still be better. I tried taking a small 1/3 in neo magnet and sliding it at different angles, but could not trigger the full mode like is possible with some of the droids.

Again, the Motorola bluetooth keyboard is on sale for half off at bestbuy for $35.

Also, I have a y-adapter that gives me more than one 12v outlet in my truck. It also has a usb power port. I plugged the photon's power/data cable into that and it charges my photon in the truck without any other adapter.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 08:58 PM   #35 (permalink)
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hmmm Good observation. So basically if one has a case on the Photon it can't fit into the dock. Makes sense but also annoying.

TS
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Old August 1st, 2011, 09:48 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Just wanted to give you all an update on the Car Dock. I personally feel like it was SO worth the money I spent. Motorola provides WAY more bang for the buck than HTC does with their Car Docks.

What I didn't show, when I posted the pics Photon Docks (e.g. HD Station, Car, & Laptop) - Discussion Thread, was there is a 3.5mm adaptor that splits near the car charger and can connect directly to the car stereo (rather than having to plug the 3.5mm adapter into the phone itself.

It works great, but unfortunately my adapter went bad in my car, so I'm waiting for my new one to be delivered.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 11:37 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ackrite55 View Post
Has anyone placed a skin-fitted Photon in the HD doc? I plan to use the OtterBox Defender.
Haven't even set up my HD dock yet, but I know the car dock was built with extra room for a people that use cases on their phone. They have an insert for people like me who don't use a case. Motorola really thought the car dock out very well. Other than the charging plug connecting to the back of the holder, and not creating a retractable neck for more adjustment levels (for ideal viewing), I'm extremely happy with the car dock. I'll have my feedback on the HD dock this weekend when I set aside time to set it up.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 12:31 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Not at the stores I went to. It was 129.99 at every store I visited until yesterday. When I went to another one today to confirm that it wasn't just a special at that one store I was told the price just got dropped.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 12:40 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Not at the stores I went to. It was 129.99 at every store I visited until yesterday. When I went to another one today to confirm that it wasn't just a special at that one store I was told the price just got dropped.
Wow, really? The Sprint store I went to sold the HD station to me at 99.99 + the additional 25% off (premier discount) because I also purchased the Car Dock at the same time. That was on Saturday, prior to the phone release!

Overall, I did the math (based on the $129 value that was on the box), I basically purchased the HD station at retail price and got the car dock for free! My total was $130.48 (including CA sales tax).
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Old August 4th, 2011, 01:09 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Yeah, when I was at the store last night and noticed the reduced price I asked about it and she even said "no, it's $129.99" until I showed her the sign and she confirmed the price with her manager.

That's New York for ya!!
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Old August 4th, 2011, 01:14 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Yeah, when I was at the store last night and noticed the reduced price I asked about it and she even said "no, it's $129.99" until I showed her the sign and she confirmed the price with her manager.

That's New York for ya!!
Hahaha...Nice! Sounds much like places in L.A. also. What's funny is, when i was asking about both docks, the girl said the price of the HD Station, so I asked her to check the system to make sure because the official Sprint press release had stated a $99.99 price tag. Sure enough, she checked her system, and she confirmed. For me, that was a done deal and I asked them to hold both docks for me. They only got 1 HD station at that store, so I was lucky (considering the 4-5 stores I checked prior only had 1, but not the other.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 01:16 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wubbie075 View Post
Yeah, when I was at the store last night and noticed the reduced price I asked about it and she even said "no, it's $129.99" until I showed her the sign and she confirmed the price with her manager.

That's New York for ya!!
Did they scan it at the register? It will ring up as $99. When I went in Sunday morning to get the phone and dock, I was surprised to see the dock with a $129 sticker and I told the rep it should be $99. It scanned as $99 when she rang me up.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 02:19 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Bumping this thread so that people know there's a discussion thread about any and all docks for the Photon.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 03:05 PM   #44 (permalink)
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still no word as to whether or not we can connect the dock to a laptop (let's say a mac) in order to bypass tethering fees?
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Old August 10th, 2011, 04:00 PM   #45 (permalink)
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still no word as to whether or not we can connect the dock to a laptop (let's say a mac) in order to bypass tethering fees?
Connect the dock to a laptop in what way? HDMI?
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Old August 10th, 2011, 04:42 PM   #46 (permalink)
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still no word as to whether or not we can connect the dock to a laptop (let's say a mac) in order to bypass tethering fees?
I use easytether to tether to my mac via USB - don't need dock. I tried PDANet but couldn't get it to work.

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Old August 10th, 2011, 05:28 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McLogan View Post
I tried hooking the photon up to the inexpensive Amazon.com cable and it did work well. It came up with the options of mirroring the display, playing media, or a picture gallery view. No neat webtop on its own.

On my 55in Vizio lcd you could see the pixels when blown up that much, but pretty good all in all. It did a passable job when I played a netflix movie on the photon and on the big screen in mirror mode. It would still respond to the bluetooth keyboard ok, but the webtop mode would still be better. I tried taking a small 1/3 in neo magnet and sliding it at different angles, but could not trigger the full mode like is possible with some of the droids.

Again, the Motorola bluetooth keyboard is on sale for half off at bestbuy for $35.

Also, I have a y-adapter that gives me more than one 12v outlet in my truck. It also has a usb power port. I plugged the photon's power/data cable into that and it charges my photon in the truck without any other adapter.


I plugged my phone into my 50 inch plasma with a htmi cord but unless I am streaming 1080 from the web the picture looks less than ideal. The streaming 1080 looks great. Does the dock do anything to help this out? In other words does it somehow convert 720 so that it displays better on the bigger screens? I am assuming that is why it shows pixals?

DC
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Old August 11th, 2011, 01:09 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Default Webtop not an option when in dock

I just got the Photon and HDMI dock. When I put the phone in the dock, the only options that show up in the application picker are Widget Clock and Dismiss Picker. A red Moto icon floats around the HD screen, but no mirroring, no WebTop. Any suggestions about what I am doing wrong?
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Old August 11th, 2011, 01:14 AM   #49 (permalink)
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This happens to me all the time when I have the Sprint case on mine. I just have to yank it out and keep dropping it back in till I get the webtop option. If I remove it from the case and drop it in, the webtop option pops up immediately.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 01:17 AM   #50 (permalink)
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I'm not using a case. Even still, I tried taking it on and off several times, still no WebTop option...
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Sprint and Motorola have teamed up to bring us the Motorola Photon 4G, the carrier's first international handset with Android. It's a 4.3 inch powerhouse with its dual-core Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and more. ... Read More

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