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iBolt xProDock Connect Universal Phone Mounting System Review

The iBolt xProDock Connect is the latest universal docking station with NFC support from iBolt to securely position your phone in an easy to view position while driving. The differentiator the iBolt xProDock Connect has over its competition is the application they have developed to make your experience safer and easier to use. The overall design of the iBolt xProDock mounting system is well thought out and offers a lot of features.  The bottom two arms holding your phone are adjustable in every direction and slightly hooked to ensure your phone is never going to fall out.  Even with the…

Review Overview

Design
Built
Function
Value

Strong and Secure. Its staying in my car!

Summary : An excellent phone dock that stays attached in extreme heat and holds your phone securely no matter what the size. It gets my thumbs up!

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The iBolt xProDock Connect is the latest universal docking station with NFC support from iBolt to securely position your phone in an easy to view position while driving. The differentiator the iBolt xProDock Connect has over its competition is the application they have developed to make your experience safer and easier to use.

The overall design of the iBolt xProDock mounting system is well thought out and offers a lot of features.  The bottom two arms holding your phone are adjustable in every direction and slightly hooked to ensure your phone is never going to fall out.  Even with the largest of cases on your phone this dock is still going to adjust to accommodate the size.  I’m still using my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and it fit easily into the dock.  Even with my largest case, I had no issues at all.

 

The iBolt xProDock Holds any Phone

iBolt xProDock Connect Expansion Size
The iBolt xProDock is a universal docking system that expands to be compatible with most smartphones from 2.6 inches to 6.7 inches wide.  This allows the dock to hold even the largest phones such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 with a case.

The ROK II suction mount can be mounted on the dashboard or windshield with ease. The suction cup design is also sticky to provide extra grip on your dash or windscreen.  After using the iBolt xProDock for a couple of weeks, removing it from my windshield proved that the griping strength of their design is very high and took me a good deal of pulling to remove it.  this is a good sign as I’ve used plenty of docking systems in the past and when my car sits in 90 degree heat with direct sun, I’ve frequently come back to find my dock on the floor of my car.  This has failed to happen with the iBolt xProDock to date, proving the strength and reliability of the section mounting system.  iBolt also include a stocky backed disc for soft surfaces if you decide you wanted to attach the xProDock in a place where the ROK II system failed to fasten.

The expandable locking system is strong and ensures your phone is never going to fall out.  It’s a two handed operation to insert and remove your phone.  The previous dock I was using, i was able to install and remove one handed and I wasn’t sure about the double handed approach, but after using the dock for a few weeks now, its second nature.  I feel better with the extra security and knowledge that my phone is never going to fall out of the dock.

Turn your Phone to any Angle

iBolt xProDock Connect 360 Degree Rotation
The minimalist design of the mounting system allows for buttons, cameras, and charging ports to be open and accessible and the 360 degree swivel action available allows you to view your phone in the vertical or horizontal position with ease.

Want to record a time-lapse video of your latest trip on some back country roads?  No problem! If you ever feel like taking video while you’re driving down the road, the design and rotation system allow you  to get the perfect angle for any phones camera lens.

iBolt also include an NFC tag so you can automatically launch the Dock’n Drive Android application available for free in the Google Play Store by simply touching your phone to NFC tag as you insert your phone into the dock.  The NFC tag is on a small tether that you can attach to the dock or anywhere else you’d like to keep it.  It would have been nice to have an NFC tag built into the base so you didn’t have worry about a separate NFC tag, but it wasn’t enough of a worry to affect the overall experience of the product.

Charge your Phone with Included Cables

Also included with the iBolt xProDock Connect is a six foot charging cable pre-attached to the docking unit.  The six foot cable is hard wired into the base of the dock and a short tether come from the dock and plugs into your phones charging port.  I like the way they attached the cable as it prevents any stress on the USB port of your phone and makes it easy to attach.  Previous docks without hard attached cables have forced me to somehow drape the cables over the docks to try and lessen the stress on my phones USB ports.

Check out the promo video from iBolt below:


iBolt Dock ‘n Drive Application

iBolt have tried to take the user experience one step further by designing a free application that goes hand in hand with iBolt xProDock, or any other docking system you care to use for that matter.  I have to give them kudos for the simple fact that they’ve thought about the entire user experience.  They’ve thought about safety and the types of usability that makes your driving experience safer.  Disabling text message automatically when you start using the system is an excellent idea as its one of the single largest causes of driving accidents today.  Some of you won’t want to use this, but at least the choice is there.

The iBolt Dock’n Drive application is designed to make you’re driving experience safer.   Not that you want to be using your phone at all while your driving, but if you do, then you want large buttons and an easy to use interface.

With Dock’n Drive up to 30 tiles can be set as large short-cuts to favorite Apps and Direct Dials frequently used when driving.

When you have your NFC tag setup on your iBolt xProDock, you also have the following additional benefits:

  • Automatically turn on your Bluetooth and turn off your WiFi
  • Incoming SMS messages can be paused using the ItCanWait feature to prevent distractions
  • The Dock’n Drive application is automatically launched and becomes your “home screen”
  • Your screen saver can be turned off so your phone screen is always viewable

 

Here’s the iBolt Dock’n Drive promo video


Conculsion

iBolt have created a great product in the iBolt xProDock Connect and continue their successful line of docking and phone accessory products.  I always continue to use the best products I review and the xProDock is staying in my car for now.  I’ve got some more docking systems here that will be reviewed in the coming weeks, but for now I can tell you that you won’t go wrong purchasing an iBolt xProDock Connect docking system.  Out of anything I found with the xProDock system, it would have been nice to have the NFC tag built into the base so you didn’t have to worry about losing it or swiping your phone against it before inserting it in the xProDock, but that’s a minor complaint.

More information can be found on the iBolt website, the iBolt Connect kits section and the iBolt Dock’ Drive application page.  You can purchase the xProDock directly from iBolt for $39.95 or you can search around and see if there are are better prices out there, but I didn’t find any real big savings.  For what they are offering, I think the $39.95 price point is good value for money.

About Simon Walker

I was an IT consultant for 20 years and ran my own web design and development company for an additional 3 years. I have been involved with technology from birth. OK, that maybe an exaggeration, but it sure is a long time. I'm also an avid Home Theater geek and self appointed installer for friends and relatives. My first serious modding of Smart-Phones started with my T-Mobile WING and now Android devices. I'm also a bit of a photographer, although Android has kind of taken over my life and photography has taken a back seat.