It seems like we've been waiting forever for the official Samsung Galaxy Nexus desktop dock to arrive, and when we saw it finally appear in stock we had to grab one. It came in today, so that means it's review time!
When you open the package (which was just a brown cardboard box, nothing fancy here), you notice that it's pretty heavy. It's not ridiculously heavy, but it weighs about twice as much as the phone. Combine that with the rubber base plate, and it's not going to slide around from the weight of a cable. It's pretty sturdy. It's plastic, of course, but it's hard coated plastic and feels very nice. I almost don't want to say this, but it feels nicer than the plastic the phone itself is made out of. It's a solid grayish-black that matches the color of the GNex itself. On appearance, it gets high marks.
The reason we all have been wanting this one is because of the pogo pins. There's three of them, and they line up with the three contacts on the phone to provide a charge. In the dock itself, there's also a small recess so that the power button isn't depressed when you drop the phone in. Around back, there's a 3.5mm line-out jack and a micro USB connector. The micro USB connector only provides power, so you can't transfer files of debug through it. The line-out jack is a standard 3.5mm jack, and it works well with speakers of headphones. You'll need one or the other, because when it enters "Car Mode" by going in the dock, the external speaker is silenced. It's a bit of an annoyance, and one I'm sure could be fixed with a bit of hackery.
When you drop the phone into the dock, it enters Car Mode and everything goes horizontal. We've seen this with other phones when docked, so we weren't really surprised. Everything turns, and you'll have no problem maneuvering through the OS while it's docked.
Samsung lists this on their website as being for the i515 only, which is the Verizon LTE version. We took a gamble, and it seems to work just fine with the unlocked GSM version as well. We just have to mention that officially, this one is only for the i515. They also want $90 for it. That's a lot of money for a desktop dock.
So is it worth it? As I mention in the video (after the break), maybe. If you're the type of gadget geek who has to have the best as soon as it's available, then yeah, go on and order it. You'll be pleased with the way it's built and the way it works. If you just need a desktop docking station for your Nexus and the thought of spending $90 on one is a bit much, them you might want to wait and see if a third party comes up with a good solution. Either way, I'm glad I got this one. Hit the jump to see a short video and some more pictures.