I've been looking for a good desktop charging cradle for my Galaxy Nexus so I thought I would take a look at Seidio's latest offering. Here is my review:
There was a bit of excitement in the Android Interwebs when Seidio announced their Desktop Charging Cradle for the Samsung Galaxy S series of devices. It is marketed as a cradle mainly for the Galaxy S3 but does work with most Samsung devices with the micro-USB port on the bottom. As a Galaxy Nexus owner, I was very excited to see this product announcement as most of the options for the GNex have been pretty lackluster, if not totally non-existent. Seidio has a good name in the accessory industry and I loved their Charging Dock for the OG Droid, so I decided to give their newest Desktop Charging Cradle a try.
The Cradle is billed as a charging dock but can also serve as a dock for sycing, using either the USB cable that came with your phone or the one that is included with the Cradle. I’ve found that it does both things well. The Cradle design itself is not really anything jaw-dropping, though it gets the job done. It has a nice matte finish and includes a LED indicator to let you know when the Cradle is juiced. Many charging docks/cradles have this feature but a lot of the time they get it wrong by placing the bright LED on the front of the device. Most people use charging docks on their bedside table for overnight charging and a blaring LED in your face is not the best thing in the world. Seidio took this into consideration and placed the LED on the back of the Desktop Charging Cradle. A nice touch and one that is appreciated.
The first thing you’ll notice with the Sieidio Desktop Charging Cradle is that it has a good weight to it. Not too heavy but not too light that the Cradle will topple over when a phone is docked. I wish someone would release a proper dock for the LTE Nexus that took advantage of it’s POGO pins. Alas, we are not that lucky. The Seidio Cradle uses the standard micro-USB connector, which is understandable as this makes the Cradle widely available to many Samsung devices.
While the micro-USB connection is a good thing, it also brings with it some negatives. While my Nexus is docked in the Cradle, I’ve noticed it can sort of shift from left to right. It is not the actual connector on the Cradle that is moving, it is the phone. The connector isn’t getting a solid grasp in the port. Now, this could be the fault of the Nexus’ port or even just the fact that this Cradle is advertised/meant for the Galaxy S3. The movement could also be attributed to the lack of support around the connector, allowing the Nexus to move freely from side to side. This issue bothers me but does not detract from the effectiveness of the dock; I could, however, see this as potentially harmful to the device’s micro-USB port. Then again, maybe we shouldn’t be shaking our phones in desktop docks!
The micro-USB connector sits straight up when nothing is docked. However, when you place your device in the Cradle, the connector tilts back to allow the device to lean on the Cradle’s back support. This allows for many different phones/configurations to be docked in the Cradle. You can dock a naked phone, a phone with one of Seidio’s cases (the SURFACE, ACTIVE, or ACTIVE with Metal Kickstand) or in my situation, a phone with a TPU case. I think this was a smart decision by Seidio but at the same time I wish they went about the design a different way. While sitting in the Cradle, my device would, well, bounce a bit. If I tapped on the top-half of the screen it would give a little bit, causing the phone to bounce. This is something that I could see bothering users quite a bit. Mind you, this was with my TPU case on my phone. When I took the case off of my device, the bounce would still be there but I also felt like the Cradle had less of a hold on my phone. It would tilt back so much that I was worried a bit about it tipping over. But, to the Cradle’s credit, it never tipped over. Seidio has given it enough heft that the unit will not topple over unless you really push hard on screen of your phone...and why would you do that?
So, after using the Seidio Desktop Charging Cradle for a week, would I recommend it people looking for a docking solution? Yes, I would, but with the caveats I mentioned above. Your phone may wiggle and bounce a bit in the Cradle but it still does what it says. Maybe the Cradle works better with the Galaxy S3, but many, many people have the Galaxy Nexus and will want to try out this dock. I am going to keep using the Seidio Cradle but if I notice the wiggle getting worse, then I will more than likely stop. All-in-all, the Seidio Desktop Charging Cradle for the Galaxy S3 (and other Samsung devices) may not be the best cradle Seidio has made, but it is one of the only players in town and that makes it worth checking out if you’re in the market.
- High-quality build
- Charges and Syncs
- Works with most cases
- LED indicator on back of Cradle
- Included USB cable
- Device may shift on micro-USB connector
- Tilting mechanism is a bit wobbly