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Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus Pogo Dock

samsung galaxy nexus pogo dock

On Thursday, one of our readers noticed that the Galaxy Nexus Pogo Dock was available to be ordered, so naturally, we jumped on it. Ours arrived this morning and we have already had enough time to play with it a bit and put together this video to give you guys a sense of its worth. As one of the more expensive docks we have ever seen, it must do something extraordinarily special, right? Not so much.  

The build quality is of the highest, the device fits snuggly, and it does indeed charge through the 3-pins on the side of the device. The clock app launches automatically when docked and you can plug in headphones or a 3.5mm cable to play music externally. You can hook it directly up to a PC, but it doesn’t initiate the file transfer protocol and you can’t use adb. The extended battery does fit. Cases, probably not so much. So is it worth buying?

At $90, this sucker is not cheap. With its lack of HDMI-out like the portrait dock that may some day arrive, it would be tough for me to tell anyone to jump all over this. In the back of my mind, something keeps telling me that the price has to drop when it hits Amazon or Verizon or some other outlet. While I can see myself using this by the bed or on my desk every single day, $90 is a bit much.

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  • Dirty Dan

    $90!?  How many Apple logos did they put on this hunk of plastic to justify that price?

  • http://www.facebook.com/timothy.cronin1 Timothy Cronin

    For 50 bucks more I got the laptop dock for my Razr maxx.  90 bucks for only an audio player/charger?  Seems legit.

  • Dustin

    $90?!?!? Nothing to say but ludicrous. 

  • Arnol Lopez

    Is there a compatible dock app available on the market?  Would be nice if it displayed time, weather  and had player controls.

  • http://nottheeternaltao.blogspot.com/ jimstoic

    I use my old OG Droid, in its dock, as my bedside clock, so I don’t need to use a dock with my Galaxy Nexus, but if this ends up costing, say, $30, I might give it a try.

  • Say what?

    Kellen, why are you confused that the dock doesn’t support adb or HDMI out? The only connections being made are through the 3 pins and not the data enabled micro usb on the bottom of the phone. Did you really think data would transfer through the pins? 

  • GNEX(MOTOX)

    actually yea.. it can’t use adb etc cause they’re just pins.. to charge from not hooked into the motherboard.. so yea .:( 

  • Skyskioc

    Cant wait to see this on OVERSTOCK.COM ! Thats what Im talking about. Probably gonna be $29.99 soon

  • Jdstell

    We should go occupy Samsung until they reduce the price of this dock.

  • PSU_DI

    Kellex, do you have an MHL adapter, I’d love to know if I could use that for HDMI.  If it does work through the pogo pins I’d be happy with it.

  • Eric

    Does this charge at AC speed or usb speed?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/4PGXFNWJENOZW6DKMNPDXMKVKA Jeff

      Can someone who bought one of these please answer this question?

  • Deltaechoe

    I do just love how samsung is implying that you will break your phone’s charging port if you don’t use this dock…

    “The pogo pins increase the longevity of your device as well as
    you’ll refrain from placing stress on the phone connector every time you
    plug in to charge”

    this is a direct quote from samsung’s website, decoded from sales talk it means, buy this dock or your phone will break because our usb charging ports are crappy

    • chudilo

       If they think the microUSB should not be stressed, they should’ve included this with the phone! I already paid for the Extended battery that should have been included with the phone in the first place! There is no way this should be over $30-$40

  • http://twitter.com/justinhaglund Justin Haglund

    There is no way I’m paying more than $40 for this, no matter how convenient it might be. $30 is reasonable, $40 is steep, $90 is highway robbery.

  • Ken Price

    A lot of people having problems with it.  It does not go into dock mode when the phone is inserted, and since it is not in dock mode, the audio line out does not work either.

    • chudilo

       I call BS on this statement. that would require a lot of people to have actually purchased this stupid thing for $90 and I won’t believe that either.

    • fartbubbler

      I have two, and mine work perfectly.  Every time.

      • jodytamar

        mine does not go into dock mode, or start the clock app.  considering i have been reading that if it goes into car/dock mode, the external speaker is disabled, i’m GLAD it doesn’t!  i’ve long since stopped using a regular alarm clock, and just use my phone (although i had to find the D2 sound files in order to get an alarm loud enough to actually wake me, since all the sounds pre-loaded on the GN are worthless to me).  i just plop it into the dock, start the clock app.  fortunately, the clock app has a dimmer function when you tap the screen, since you can’t get to the power button (dur. i call design flaw!), so at least i won’t annoy my husband with a brightly lit phone on my nightstand! 

    • Gottheguds112

      I am having the same issue. Any fixes, or responses from Samsung on this matter?

  • EC8CH

    One a related note:

    What the hell does an internet blogger need to get up at 7:05 in the morning for?!?

    Thought all you guys slept in till noon :-P

  • Benjamin Mackie

    Re read the reviews, this thing is terrible.
    Cons:
    -Have to take case off to use
    -No built in speakers (comeon, even the HTC Rhyme’s dock had built in speakers)
    -No file transfer/pc support
    -No MHL support via device

    Pros:
    -not made of plastic
    -screen lights up

    Bottom line:
    Get the following
    -Coat hanger
    -Plyers
    -Electrical tape

    You can build a better looking dock for the price of maybe $2

    • Deltaechoe

      I built mine out of cardboard and duct tape (and my mhl adapter), DIY super ghetto style

    • Kuboo99

      For a bit more money you can make one of these.

  • Bill Anderson

    @kellex:disqus ! Open it up! Let’s see what’s inside!

  • GawkerRedesignSucks

    How come no one talks about the battery charger you can buy through Verizon?  It comes with an extra battery and will charge the device and the spare simultaneously.  It will even hold the device in portrait or landscape.  It’s a great option for people having battery issues.  When you get home from work, just pop in the spare and keep rollin’.

    Check it out:

    http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/store/accessory?action=accessoryDetails&archetypeId=12922&accessoryId=49880 

    • ABerry5

      Do you know if you can charge it with a car charger? I’d love to use it in my car just to charge a second battery

      • GawkerRedesignSucks

        Probably.  It just plugs into a USB chord.  There are a lot of USB car adapters.

  • Benjamin Mackie

    $90? Are you kidding me? If it had HDMI out, MAYBE, but thats just absurd

  • Derek Stiles

    The only reason I would buy that is if, when I connect it to my TV/monitor/pc, Ubuntu boots up.  Otherwise this is perfect enough for me: http://www.staples.com/Staples-Black-Wire-Mesh-Business-Card-Holder/product_920019

    • Kaufkin

      works for me – Only Criticism I would say is vibrate mode on that would be a PITA. I’d put a rubber liner on it to cut the vibe. (shelf liner would do great…) probably has a sku on staples.com, but I’m too lazy to look it up. OTOH, going to go shopping later…  

  • EC8CH

    One plus to this dock is you can use it to stream over bluetooth to an audio system while not actually in the dock.

    Still not worth $90, but an added bonus over a typical dock that uses the usb port for charging.

  • JulianZHuang

    i will wait for ebay bootleg. 

  • http://twitter.com/kirilv Kiril

    Kellen, stop saying “you can’t have HDMI for whatever reason”. You know the reason. HDMI (MHL) requires at least 4 pins. For that matter, so does adb or data transfer. Charging requires 2, audio requires 3 — that is why those two work. We have known this forever.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25001493 Hank Godwin

    I’d say…$40 is a little more reasonable.

  • Bill Anderson

    USB requires 4 pins, so you can’t get normal USB functions over 3. I would love for you to pull this $90 thing apart so we can figure out what is connected to that 3rd pin. Are they using SPDIF for audio? Is there some kind of communication to tell the GN that it is in the dock? There must be some IC in there…

  • TheRealBeesley

    I need one of these for work so bad.  I listen to music and podcasts 8 hrs a day and I need to quickly unplug my phone and go about 6 times a day.  So I might be able to justify the $90 for this.  Put aside $45 this week, $45 next week.. done deal.  I know its pricey, but I think I’m one of the few who could justify the price right now based on what I need it for.  Hmm….  decisions. 

    • fartbubbler

      I’m in the same boat. Sit at my desk almost all day long and use my phone to stream Pandora, Gmusic, etc.  I splurged and actually got two.  Used a gift card I had from the in-laws from Christmas.  

      Really, as much as I will use it- all day, every day, it was (sort of) justifiable.  

      Also thinking about all the wear and tear and plugging and unplugging of the USB port.

  • lamenting

    I would buy it if it had HDMI out and a built-in 1850mAh battery.

  • Shane Smith

    Does the Dock come with another AC power cord?

    • fartbubbler

      just posted above- the dock is supposed to come with the power cord.  Mine didn’t, but I called Sammy, and she pulled up my order #, and the item #, and said that the dock is supposed to come with the power cord.

      • Levi Wilcox

        Mine didn’t either. Doesn’t look like anyone got any cables. 90$ gets you the dock only.

  • ddevito

    When I can dock my GNex and use Ubuntu on the desktop then sign me up.

    • David

      Check out the Tizen.org project.  Supposedly they are developing a replacement OS for Android devices.  Not entirely sure what makes it different from MIUI or Cyanogen mod, other than perhaps it will match their OS for a bunch of other devices – all Linux-based.

  • Just Woke Up

    Morning voice?

  • garbagedick

    did it come with a power cord as well?

    • fartbubbler

      mine didn’t!  But I called Samsung immediately, and she said that it was supposed to, so I’ll be getting mine shipped out to me.  

  • Jeremy Edwards

    It’d be worth $35 if it did HDMI, real USB, and audio jack.

  • Rob Becker

    $25 max

  • EC8CH

    K:

    I assume you are running Nova Launcher?  I wonder if the stock launcher would go into landscape mode while docked since to my knowledge the stock android launcher doesn’t have a landscape orientation.

    • Binglut9

      Yes it would

      • EC8CH

        Really? All the press shots I saw before hand showed the homescreen still in portrait orientation while in the dock.

    • Bill Anderson

      The stock launcher does have a landscape mode. I can confirm connnecting a MHL-HDMI adapter to get your phone on a TV, puts it in landscape. I assume the same happens with the dock.

      –Bill

  • Patrick

    I wonder when this is going to arrive at verizon stores, I might buy it if I could get mine 25% off

  • D Mccut

    Does anyone know if the MHL adapter works with this dock? That would fix the HDMI issue but still spending more money then should be.

    • EC8CH

      no way hdmi is passed through the 3 pogo pins.

      • CORYK333

        Disclaimer: I dont mean this in a bad/sarcastic way at all.
        When is DLife gonna start cutting you a check for always responding to questions & commenting respectfully 10+ times on all posts??? Been going on since waaaaay back & never in a “troll-like” manner. Come on Kellex, give this guy a spot in the DL crew, recognition is due!

        • EC8CH

          HA.. thanks.

          Don’t know about the never a troll-like manner though. Made my share of enemies on DL, but I hope I’ve made more people laugh than I’ve pissed off.

          • 1bad69z28

             I am waiting for you to start up your “Dear Verizon Letters” again lol those were classic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • 1bad69z28

          EC8CH has been on the payroll since I was a member back in 09, lol he’s an old timer and he remembers when Geroge Lucas was just kicking around the term “Droid” for Star Wars back in the 70′s LMAO!!!!!!

            

  • http://twitter.com/Kanestapler Kane Stapler

    Can you use an MHL cable if you plug it in the back?

    • EC8CH

      nope

      • TheRealBeesley

        How do you know?  Curious.  Do yo already have one?

        • EC8CH

          no, but there is absolutely no way an hdmi signal can be passed the three pogo pins.

        • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

          I would doubt that the 3-pin connector could pass HDMI through. Also, the Samsung sales page for the dock says nothing about HD anything. It’s just a charger with the ability to line-out audio.

          • EC8CH

            is the audio passed over bluetooth or through the pogo pins?

          • TheRealBeesley

            It has a 3.5 mm Line Out.  I’d say the pogo pins?   

          • EC8CH

            that’s not how the Nexus One 3-pin dock worked:

            http://www.androidcentral.com/review-nexus-one-desktop-dock 

            it’s just odd the sammy page for this dock never mentions bluetooth.

          • TheRealBeesley

            Man, that would really suck.  If thats the case… forget this thing.   

          • EC8CH

            gives you the ability to steam while not actually in the dock though.  you could hook it up to your stereo and stream with the phone in your pocket. Some people might like to have that ability.

            Would also explain why the price is so much higher than other usb docks.

          • TheRealBeesley

            I guess… But if ur gonna have it in your pocket… why have a dock?    Idk..  doesn’t make sense to me. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25001493 Hank Godwin

          Because it is impossible.

    • Bill Anderson

      MHL, by definition, requires 5 pins. 3 won’t cut is. Also, USB needs 4, so the USB connector on the back is power only…

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    $90 is robbery.

  • EC8CH

    I need this…. but not for $90, I’ll wait for it to hit 3rd party retailers.  I’ll probably bite at $50.

  • Liderc

    I’ll take one when it’s 39.99

  • Vin2Win

    Agreed, not worth $90. Will wait till price drops.

  • David Hussey

    How securely does it hold the phone?  I’m thinking it might be decent mounted on a dashboard in a car if the phone won’t fall out on every corner.

    • fartbubbler

      the phone is very tight in the dock.  I’ve turned it half-way-over, and the phone is still stuck in the dock.  Very solid.  

      The phone has to be very tight in the dock to get the 3 pin to hit just correctly.  It’s very well made. 

  • http://twitter.com/zero_cool96 Nick

    does it work with the extended battery?

    • EC8CH

      “The extended battery does fit.”

      • Deltaechoe

        If you can really call it an extended battery…

  • http://twitter.com/dtriscari19 David Triscari

    Can not justify 90 for this. I just cant.

  • Michael Forte

    Not worth it.

  • maratu

    I just want the car dock. Please, my headphone jack begs you.

    • James Payne

      Can’t relate with this any more.  I am so ready for that car dock already.

    • SecurityNick

      I tried to click the like button about 40 times and it doesn’t work.

    • Michael Forte

      Same here. Never really cared about these kind of docks. Just give me a decent car dock!

      • 1bad69z28

         I am driving/selling a friends Toyota Yaris, since he and his family relocated to Germany. I am now thinking of buying this cool comuter car from him because it get 40 mpg. Yeah, that’s right 40 mpg!!! 

        Anyway, the Yaris has a 3.5mm jack in the console for ipod connectivity, so of course I connected my Galaxy Nexus and not only can I play music from my Nexus but the phone integration works rally great. My wife called and it was like wow she was sitting right next to me.

        I am wondering if anyone else has tried this in their vehicle??? Or any other type of integration of using their Android device. The navigation and speech recognition works flawlessly too.

        I bought the 3.5mm cable at Radio Shack (both ends have the 3.5mm ends) for $12. Just curious to hear about others using something similar or a car dock that ties into your radio and uses your car speakers.

        • dmoulton

           I have been doing this with my Original Droid and now my Galaxy Nexus for about 2 years. I had to add input jacks to both my cars, but it has worked great since doing that. I talk on the phone hands free and it pauses Rdio for me when I make a call or one comes in.

          • 1bad69z28

            Man, wow I should’ve been doing the same lol I actually tried to see if my Jeep Wrangler had the output jack on my aftermarket radio and it didn’t about a yar ago so I was bummed and thinking of buying another radio. but if I can just instal output jacks then that would work as well.:)

          • dmoulton

            I used this: http://goo.gl/tdRND in both cases. It plugs into the antennae jack at the back of the car stereo. Its not ideal, and there is some static, but all in all I’m pleased.

          • 1bad69z28

            Cool, that could be something I could use for my Jeep, thanks for the idea :)

          • Philip A. Kaiser

            All of a sudden I am not looking so silly using a tape adapter in my benz.. lol!

          • 1bad69z28

            @Philip A. Kaiser, A cassette adapter?? Your not talking about one of those cassettes that fools the cassette deck to play the ipod are you lol man if you are you need to get an putput jack installed :) My wife had something similar to that with a bunch of wires coming out of her lexus. I told her to get rid of all of that crap . too many wires.

            She got rid of the old Lexus and we know have an Audi All Road and again ahe spent like 200 for some adpter kit that had to be installed specially becuase of the Audi electronics for her ipod. I was just shaking my head lol

          • LionStone

            Hope you didn’t get rid of the Z28!!

        • AlexKCMO

          This is what I do with my Droid X and car dock.  It looks kind of stupid, but it works really really really well.

          • 1bad69z28

            It may look stupid but just htink it cost us pretty cheap to utilize an output jack, some companies out there that I’ve researched on htis will charge you an arm and a leg for their system and you’ll have to have sombody to install a radio or some sort of kit for 300 buck or something. for 12 I can have full access to my device w/ hands free navigation, speech recognition and music playing in my car for cheap.

            Now if I can customize a car dock that’s light, sturdy, looks cool and can swivel then that would be something lol :)

        • http://quiklives.tumblr.com quiklives

          I have an older Honda CR-V with a tape player but no CD player. This would have been a problem in the past, but I got a tape-to-3.5mm adapter for like $10 at Target and use it to play music through the car speakers, it works like a champ. For calls, though, I still use my bluetooth headset.

        • TC Infantino

          I have a Dodge Caliber and did the same thing.  I first did it with the OG Droid, the suction cup windo mount from Verizon, and some modifications.  I removed the suction cup from the rest of the mount at the hinge, then took out my center console and bolted the arm of the mount into a pocket that is under the factory radio, which is also where I routed the charging wire and the Aux 3.5 wire. The dock holds the phone right under the radio and within easy reach.  And I was very lucky in that the Rezound car dock had the same type of slide in clip on the back as the OG Droid dock, so I just bought the Rezound car dock and used the dock/cradle from that and attached it to the arm that was already installed in my center console.  Works great through the cars stereo, and as a hands free phone as well.  Only thing better would be a custom radio that allowed you to dock the phone directly into it and gave you full integration and a 7″ touch screen on the front of the radio that mirrored the phones screen.

          • 1bad69z28

            I htink its great that a lot of the members here have found alternate ways to make thier device work in their vehicles and NOT pay hundreds of dollars doing . Maybe kellex should do a story on this topic :)

  • Tabe

    Let me know when you have a hands-on with the vehicle dock….

    • Levi Wilcox

      They are not making a 3 pin vehicle dock. Better bit the bullet and get that plastic hunk of crap at verizon.

  • Gerret Walczak

    I’ll wait for the “we have a bunch of these in inventory because we overpriced them and nobody bought any” sale.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      For sure.

      • TheRealBeesley

        Kelex: 

        Was the audio through bluetooth or the pogo pins?

        • Levi Wilcox

          Audio goes through the pogo pins. Also audio works fine when nothing is plugged into the 3.5mm jack.

          • EC8CH

            you sure about that?

            I believe the pin just pairs the phone to the dock over bluetooth.

          • Levi Wilcox

            I am sure about it. I have it right in front of me.

          • EC8CH

            That’s for the clarification.  Other’s are backing that up as well:

            http://androidforums.com/verizon-galaxy-nexus/503783-pogo-dock-finally-available-cdma-nexus-2.html 

            It’s weird though because the Nexus One had the same three pins, but it’s dock used bluetooth for the audio.

            With the dock plugged in can you turn your phone’s bluetooth on, and without the phone in the dock search for bluetooth devices?  Does it see the dock as a device?  If it doesn’t that should verify that the dock doesn’t even have a bluetooth receiver in it.

            Thanks….

          • Levi Wilcox

            I don’t see it listed at all and there’s no FCC certification for the dock which is a pretty good indication that it doesn’t have a radio in it.

      • Levi Wilcox

        Was a charging cord included when you got your dock or did you have to use your own?

        • mortodestructo

          Have to use your own :/

      • Gottheguds112

        Kellex, what Android vesion were you using for this demo?
        I’m on 4.0.2 rooted stock and the device never enters dock mode but it does charge, audio out also doesn’t work. Just wondering if this is software based? Samsung reps have no info on it.

        • Jaguar12

          I was on version 4.0.2 and my dock wouldn’t activate either.  I have just recently took the plunge and updated to 4.0.4 and can verify that dock mode is now working.

      • 4n1m4L

        too late now.

    • Benjamin Chow

      Me too. $90 is a bit much.

      • M1ghtysauc3

        Echo?

        • Noyfb

          For that  much money it should have external speakers on the dock to amplify the music and alarms. It is just a glorified battery charger.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10215724 Raj Bhatt

    Yikes, I see they are on the same pricing scheme as the MOTOACTV. Gadgets for the 1%.

  • lamenting

    Wake me when the price goes down to $30.