Ideally, a docking station will let you place an iPhone in a convenient position. Some of them also provide charging and/or other features. For example, the Scosche reviveLITE II Docking Home Charger for iPod and iPhone doubles as a wall charger. The iPhone (or iPod) docks directly, so you don’t need to keep track of a dock-to-phone USB cable. The docking door is spring-loaded, allowing you to charge a phone that’s in a case.
The reviveLITE II also comes with a frosted-LED nightlight, complete with an on/off switch. The docking home charger has a USB port, too. So you can charge a second device, like a USB headset, at the same time.
Logitech Clock Radio Dock S400i
The right dock can do so much more than just recharge an iPhone’s battery. The Logitech Clock Radio Dock S400i can also act as your alarm clock. You can wake up to FM radio, a buzzer, or music on your iPhone — and if you’d like, with an optional “fade in” so the wake-up volume will start low rather than jolting you awake.
Alternatively, you can go to sleep listening to your tunes. The radio will turn off when the “sleep time” that you’ve set arrives. Other features include stereo speakers, adjustable presets for the FM radio, a back-up battery, and a wireless remote control.
Logitech‘s Radio Dock sets its time from the iPhone, and it will charge a docked iPhone even when the radio isn’t playing. In case of power interruption, the built-in back-up battery lets the Dock keep displaying the time and delivering audio and alarms. (However, the back-up battery won’t recharge the iPhone.)
Mountek MT5000 Universal CD Slot Mount
Want to use your iPhone while driving? Although Mountek’s MT5000 Universal CD Slot is not specifically designed for iPhones, Mountek contends that, “If you’re looking for an iPhone car mount or one for your HTC, Samsung, LG or Motorola device, rest assured that your smartphone will fit nicely in the mount!” After the phone is mounted in the auto, you can glance at the screen while driving (but please do so carefully!) for activities like GPS navigation. Despite its name, the holder installs either directly into your CD player slot (which might be getting scant use these days, anyway, if you even have one) or between the grooves of the dashboard.
If you or your intended gift recipient can wait until after the holidays to get a car dock, a start-up named iBoltco plans to show a product named the iProDock Alumina for DriveTime at the CES show in January, 2012. The new car docking station will purportedly work with all iPhone models, using a suction cup to let you position your iPhone on either the dashboard or windshield. The mount is “all-weather,” so the Alumina will stay in place no matter what the weather or climate. A swivel ball in the back of the cradle lets the driver switch between portrait and landscape orientation. According to iBoltco, the iProDock Alumina (MSRP $35 to $40) is also compatible with “virtually all cases including the thicker Otterbox and Ballistic type.”
Bose MIE2i Mobile Headset
The Bose MIE2i mobile headset offers great audio, along with StayHear ear tips for “in-ear stability,” meaning that this Bluetooth headset should stay in place even when you’re exercising or doing other strenuous activities. According to Bose, the company’s Triport acoustic headphone structure “produces tonally balanced audio with deep low notes from small, in-ear headphones.” The MIE2i is designed to let you easily switch between music and phone calls on your iPhone.
Tekkeon TekCharge MP1550 Mobile Power & Battery Charger (and other power choices)
Chargers and mobile power packs might not sound all that exciting, but for the serious iPhone user, a product like this can come as a very welcome gift. The iPhone’s battery won’t necessarily last all day if you’re doing GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi or other power-intensive activities. Also, while the iPhone does come with a small and elegant USB power adapter, that doesn’t help if you aren’t near a wall socket.
You can pick from among dozens of portable power choices, though. Some, like the Tekkeon TekCharge MP1550 Mobile Power & Battery Charger (MSRP $24.95), use AA batteries which are easy to buy by stopping at any drug store or convenience store. While the TekCharge holds four AA batteries, some other models need only take two AAs.
Certain pocket chargers, such as the Energizer XP2000 (MSRP $39.99), use built-in rechargeable batteries. Depending on battery capacity, these chargers will “refill” an iPhone one to three times on a charge.
Some products, like the Tekkeon TekCharge MP 1860A, now come with two USB ports, so you can recharge phone and Bluetooth headset at the same time. Other chargers build in AC prongs or car-outlet (“cigarette lighter”) plugs
For more charging power, consider the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation External Battery for iPhone, iPad an iPod (MSRP $79.95). With its 4000mAh battery and 2.1 amp fast-charging circuitry, the Mophie will refill an iPhone fast, and it can even add juice to an iPad. (Note: However, the Mophie won’t do a full recharge to an iPad.)
Finally, for done-in-one flexibility, the ZaggSparq (MSRP $99.99) delivers a 6,000mAh battery — enough to charge most smartphones four times. It also folds in two USB ports, AC wall-charging circuitry, and fold-up wall prongs.
Regardless of which iPhone accessories you decide to buy (or not), have an iHappy iHoliday!
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