There are no shortage of docks for the iPhone, a good number of which help double as speaker systems, in addition to charging your iPhone. These are great if you enjoy waking up to music from your iPod or using it as a stereo somewhere in your home. For travelers who need a simple nightstand clock and those not looking for an audio system, the selections for a simple charging dock are minimal. We might just have found one, so read on for our comprehensive Kensington Nightstand Charging Dock for iPhone review.
With the 30-pin dock connector at the bottom of the iPhone, a good number of docks require your iPhone sit in portrait mode. If you are trying to utilize your iPhone as a bedside clock replacement, then you probably want a proper landscape orientation. The Kensington Nightstand Charger comes with a standard 30-pin to USB cable and travel charger. On the other end is a block that plugs into the bottom of your iPhone. The angle of the Nightstand Charger allows it to act as a kickstand, meaning that you can stand your iPhone in portrait mode.
Once you set up your iPhone, you can use one of the countless apps for time and alarm purposes. Kensington offers a free app titled Nightstand that is available in the App Store. One big issue for me was the lack of an alarm clock. The app requires that you use the clock for time, but Apple’s clock for setting alarms. I like to keep things easy, with everything in one app. That’s why my personal favorite is Alarm Clock Pro, which is priced at $0.99. It allows you to wake up to music and or your choice of alarms. I find it incredibly easy to set the clock and it has a 100% track record when it comes to waking me up. It also supports gestures and can provide some basic weather information. Again, there are numerous options, so find one that is best for you.
Below are the three different clock faces available in the Kensington app.
The Kensington Nightstand Charging Dock is a function over form type of iPhone accessory. When you unplug your iPhone, you are left with a not so attractive charging brick. Even when it’s plugged in, the dock looks heavy next to the iPhone. If you travel, I certainly could see this as a great option as opposed to taking a standard charger.
- Low-cost charging dock
- Ideal for travelers, alarm clock users
- Free Kensington companion app available, can be used with any of your favorite clock apps
- Not attractive, looks worse when iPhone is unplugged
- Companion app doesn’t have built-in alarm functionality
- Wall jack could be smaller
If you are looking for an accessory that will help transform your iPhone into a nightstand clock, the Kensington Nightstand Charging Dock is a no-frills option that will get the job done. I’d highly recommend a third-party app with built-in alarm functionality such as Alarm Clock Pro, rather than having to switch between two apps. With the free app and small footprint, it makes for a good option for travellers and those who value function over design.
The Kensington Nightstand Charging Dock for iPhone or iPod touch retails for $39.99. You can find it at various online retailers for as low as $24.99.