Review: Apple iPhone Lightning Dock

Apple’s new iPhone Lightning Dock ($39) is the company’s first since 2013’s iPhone 5s Dock and iPhone 5c Dock. As one would expect, this new dock is compatible with the company’s newest iPhones, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. While the previous two docks placed the Lightning connector in a recessed slot, the Lightning connector here is extended, allowing for greater case — and device — compatibility. Also included on the back of the dock is an audio-out port — the port uses the phone’s headphone volume controls for connected headphones or speakers. The dock doesn’t come with a Lightning cable, so you’ll need to supply your own, which is accommodated by an input on the back of the dock.

Review: Apple iPhone Lightning Dock

iPhone Lightning Dock is small, but sturdy for its size. At about 2.68” x 1.93” x .34”, it’s almost the same width as an iPhone 6, matching it quite well. We found there to be no issues connecting any uncased iPhone to the dock. It was a mixed bag when trying out iPhones in cases. iPhones in relatively thin cases did well — as seen below with an iPhone 6 Plus docked while in ZeroChroma’s VarioProtect case. But the dock can’t quite accommodate bulkier cases, such as Otterbox’s Commuter or Griffin’s Survivor All-Terrain.

Review: Apple iPhone Lightning Dock
Review: Apple iPhone Lightning Dock

Out of curiosity, we also tried docking an iPad mini and iPad Air 2. The dock will actually accommodate and charge either device without tipping over — even while the devices are in some cases — but we wouldn’t really recommend it. It’s an OK option for an iPad mini, but even a slight touch can knock over the iPad Air 2 while docked. There’s a reason it’s called iPhone Lightning Dock, after all.

Review: Apple iPhone Lightning Dock
Review: Apple iPhone Lightning Dock

At $39, iPhone Lightning Dock adds a $10 premium to Apple’s previous Lightning docks, but it’s more versatile, letting users connect a wider range of iOS devices and offering improved case compatibility. Overall, it’s a fine dock if you prefer its basic design — the small footprint will certainly be a plus for many users — and it earns our general recommendation.

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Our Rating


Company and Price

Company: Apple

Model: iPhone Lightning Dock

Price: $39

Compatible: Lightning iPhones, iPod touch 5G

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