One of the ways to gauge the popularity of a smartphone, and one that I’ve found quite interesting throughout the history of Android is the availability of quality compatible accessories. I started getting jealous of iPhone owners back in 2011 – I was hunting for a measly screen protector for my HTC Thunderbolt while they were rolling in thousands of cases, docks, speakers and lenses flooding the market. Times have changed and with Samsung’s meteoric rise over the past year, accessory makers have caught on to the fact that Galaxy owners love their add-ons just as much as iPhone owners do.
But that popularity and the booming market it creates brings with it the inherent rise of ridiculously unnecessary products -- enter the Rokdock by Rokform, a $100 paperweight that is the very definition of the frivolous, overpriced accessories a popular smartphone can spawn.
The Rokdock is rather aptly named: it’s a dock, yes, made from aircraft-grade aluminum, giving it a “rock-hard” look and feel. But beyond the striking design, the attractive paint job, and the undoubtedly sturdy feel, the Rokdock is just that: a dock. It doesn’t have any special features, no bells and whistles; it’s not designed for multimedia consumption or audio playback. It’s simply a dock in which you sit your smartphone. Expecting more for a steep $100? Don’t.
So looking at the Rokdock for exactly what it is (a dock, remember?), it’s actually quite a nice piece of hardware. It looks like something straight out of the Starship Enterprise, and feels like it could withstand anything short of a nuclear explosion. At three pounds, the Rokdock can easily double as a weapon, and its universal size and shape means that a number of Samsung devices, including the S3, S4, and Note 2 are compatible. There’s no doubt that this is likely one of the most attractive, and certainly the most sturdy, Galaxy docks on the market today.
But oh, that pricetag. Call me crazy, but for $100, I expect some sort of unique features. Double as a speaker! Support horizontal docking! Harness the power of the sun to charge my phone in ten minutes flat! Or, at the very least, include some USB, HDMI, and 3.5mm ports like the cheaper Smart Dock from Samsung. But the Rokdock does none of that. And even if it did its job perfectly, which shouldn’t be too hard given its limited functionality, I might be able to stomach the inflated price – instead, I noticed that my S4 wiggled significantly within the dock, and the included USB cable (the only one that will fit within the Rokdock’s opening) isn’t nearly long enough for the Rokdock to find a comfortable home on my desk. No thanks.
If you’ve got $100 to blow on a dock and aren’t looking for any bells and whistles, don’t let me stop you by any means. Heck, you might even sleep better at night knowing you have a three-pound brick within arm’s reach. But for those who need their $100 to buy more than a really heavy paperweight, the Rokdock should be avoided at all costs.