And here we have a look at the iBOLT car dock for the Samsung Galaxy S3. If you've used iBOLT docks in the past, you'll be pretty familiar with this one. It's sturdy in design, flexible in application, and it offers a safe and effective way to use your Galaxy S3 in the car, whether it's for navigation, communication, or just to keep things charged.
Read on for some more thoughts on the iBOLT car dock for the Samsung Galaxy S3.
It's a little easy to overthink this dock, because there's a lot going on. But it's also a pretty simple endeavor. Mount the dock. Pop in the phone, plug in the microUSB charging cable into the back of the dock, the plug the shorter, attached cable from the dock into the phone itself. Flip down the hold-back bar at the top, and you're in business. A blue LED lights up to let you know you're charging, and your phone should automatically kick into car dock mode.
As with previous iterations of the iBOLT docks, you can mount this one top-down, from the windshield itself, or bottom-up, from the dash. If mount on the dash, you'll likely need to use the included adhesive disc so you'll have a smooth, flat surface to mount to. (And don't forget the alcohol wipe before you stick the disc to the dash.) The ball-and-socket joint gives a great deal of movement so you can get things just how you like 'em.
This isn't a small dock. iBOLT docks have always been a bit on the beefy side. But they're also plenty sturdy. And this one's got a lot of functionality built in. Out of the box, all you have to do is slide in your standard-issue Galaxy S3, and you're on your way. But what if you use a case? iBOLT's got you covered. There's an insert that you can pop out (it slides out vertically) to accommodate a thicker GS3. The dock also comes with some adhesive pads you can put on the dock to protect that case and ensure and even more custom fit. That's a nice attention to detail.
The dock comes with a somewhat ridiculous 9 feet of cable (that is, ridiculously awesome), and it's not just a microUSB power cord. There's also a 3.5mm jack attached to this thing, and you'll plug that into your car stereo's AUX port (if you have one). To get audio to output over the USB port, you'll most likely need to go into the dock settings on your phone, so don't freak out if it doesn't work out of the box. If you're not worried about having audio output and don't need that 9 feet of cable, any USB charger you already have should work just fine.
Another fun fact: The rear-facing camera is left wide open, and iBOLT's using that as a selling point, as you can record your journey as you see it from the car's cockpit. We've had issues with the video recording upside down, but that's fixable with a little software magic later.
- A solid dock, with lots of motion
- Relatively simple installation
- Long (9-foot) cable adds flexibility
- AUX audio output
- Good instructions in the box
- Not the sleekest of designs
- You'll need to tweak some settings to get the audio output to work
The bottom line
iBOLT long has been a top name in vehicle charging and navigation docks for Android smartphones, and that trend continues with the Galaxy S3 dock.
What you get here is a solid car dock that serves as a charging point as well as a way to easily get music from your phone to the car stereo via the AUX port. If you can overlook the slightly obtuse (but extremely functional) design, this one's a dock that should serve you well.