Z Ultra dock.

While things aren't perfect, docking the Z Ultra GPe makes for a nice desk or bedside clock or Daydream frame

It's been a while since we had a Nexus or "Nexus-like" device with an official accessory dock. The Galaxy Nexus was made better with it's dock, even though Samsung wanted far too much money for it. If you ended up buying one, you know what I mean. Having your device sit docked at your desk or on your nightstand was handy, and the fact that things worked well between the phone and the dock made it easy. We like easy.

We were really happy to find out the Sony Magnetic Charging Dock works pretty well — and is just as easy — with the Z Ultra Google Play edition.

Z Ultra dock.

It's an unassuming little thing. A couple square inches of plastic, with a cut-out that you can stand the Z Ultra in (in landscape) to dock it. It has a magnetic pogo-pin setup, so the phone isn't going to go anywhere and the base of the dock itself is grippy and sticky so it will stay in one place. While the phone is docked, it charges. Couldn't get any more simple.

You control what you see on the phone's screen via the Daydream screen saver intent. If you have an app that will act as a stand alone screen saver, say something like Dayframe, it can start by default if you allow it, but by default you'll be digging into the Daydream settings. It's actually nice to find a use for these. Set up how you want your Daydream to look and feel, and that's what will happen when you dock the Z Ultra. 

Z Ultra dock. Z Ultra dock. Z Ultra dock.

Now not everything is perfect, though. If you turn Daydream off, your phone will light up and you'll be looking at the lock screen. If you turn the screen off, it will come right back on. That means you can't sit the phone in the dock with the screen off for faster charging, or those times when you just don't feel like looking at it.

We have no idea if Sony plans to support the Magnetic Dock for the Google Play edition "officially." The bug that refuses to let the screen turn off may never get fixed, and for some of us that's a deal breaker. If you think you can live with seeing a Daydream while the phone is docked, having this big phone sitting right there where you work, or using it as a bedside clock is really nice, and an experience we don't get enough of from manufacturers and accessory makers. I've set the Daydream to be just the clock and in night mode so it's dim, and am going to use it. If you want to do the same, you can find the dock for $40 on Amazon.

 

Reader comments

The Sony Z Ultra Google Play edition and the Magnetic Charging Dock make a (mostly) great team

17 Comments

I have to draw the line somewhere. I think that over 6" you really are in tablet territory.

Yeah I know she said that too, but she got used to it

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As per request, comments containing "THIS" and "AGREED" are hear by outlawed. Use "Spot on old chap" or something similar. Also by request, I have increased the size of my signature and added a few more dashes. No one should suggest how another person posts. Unless it is that "FIRST" crap. That absolutely adds nothing.

Using this as a phone is nuts. I ordered a Google play edition but not to use as a phone but to use to replace my Nexus 7 LTE tablet.

This (I'm sorry I had to)
I wish they'd put the damned z1 on the play store. That is a awesome looking phone.

Merry Christmas! Posted From My Wonderful (but defective) N7 2013

Yeah I love Sony's design. But they have failed at getting in the US market.
Come on Sony

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I still think "This" and "Agreed" are fine, but if NoNexus says they aren't, they are officially outlawed. Posted from My Nexus 7(2013).

I recently bought the Z Ultra GPe and the official Sony Dock. If you download Sony's Smart Connect app, the dock doesn't keep the display on by default. You can use the app to program actions when the device is docked. It can start apps, change volume levels, read your text message and even post to Facebook. Overall, I am pleased with Sony's accessory apps for the Xperia line and that they all seem to work with the Z Ultra GPe. I ordered the SBH52 headset/handset combo, and it has an app as well. The SBH52 can receive notifications similar to a Pebble/other smartwatch. Very cool! Of course, I bought it to more easily take phone calls.