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.
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.
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.
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