Nexus One car dock

The Nexus One became available for sale on January 5th. The Nexus One Desktop Dock accessory was on sale a little over 3 weeks later, on January 27th. Finally on April 6th, almost exactly 4 months after the release of the phone, Google has announced that the car dock is available for purchase.

We were teased with glimpses of the car dock in Google’s Nexus One video series ‘The Story’, specifically in the 5th video titled ‘Day One’ (embedded below).

I’ve yet to find any reviews of the dock, but I suspect we should see quite a few by the end of the weekend. Google seems to be pretty quick when shipping anything Nexus One related, so those who ordered the item on the 6th should start receiving their packages shortly, based on their shipping method. I’m excited that I can finally get rid of my $5 generic phone/mp3 dock for an official, Google sanctioned piece of hardware, but I’m less than thrilled about having to drop $55 in order to do so.

Things get really confusing when you start digging into the car dock’s manual and help site. Google seems to be tip-toeing around the issue of how you’ll get the audio out of your phone and into the stereo. They mention that there is a built-in speaker, and that it can be used for media playback, turn-by-turn navigation, and speakerphone, but really, who would want to listen to their music through a speaker built into a dock? I’d be interested to see how this actually plays out once people start getting their hands on the device.

Otherwise, the dock should basically function like the desktop dock. It provides a cigarette lighter adapter that plugs into the dock itself and sends juice to the phone via metallic contacts, just like the desktop version. Upon mounting the phone, the dock will also launch the Car Home program which should allow for easier access to the phone's functions while driving.

It seems the phone will use bluetooth for the transmission of audio to the dock, which has already caused concern amongst users because it will interfere with those who would prefer to use bluetooth headsets rather than the speakerphone.

I plan on picking one of these up myself as soon as I can and will be back with a full video review and write up – provided I don’t wrap my car around a tree while fondling the touch screen.

Google Nexus One car dock

Chris Dehghanpoor
Chris is an Android devotee based out of Houston, TX. He enjoys indie rock, general geekery and long walks on the beach. If you can't find him online, he's probably playing Plants VS Zombies.
  • Jake

    $55?? Is there another dock that's cheaper but offering similar features (specifically carhome autolaunch)?

    • Chris Dehghanpoor

      Actually, yes, there are cheaper docks that offer similar features, but none offer car home. But is it really worth $55 to do something that can easily be done by pressing an icon?

      Granted, I'm probably going to be buying one of these anyways, but I still think the price is a little nuts.

  • MaxLaw

    I bought the Nexus One car dock, as I wanted to have the phone's mapping directions available. You might want to have an always on screen software (Toggle Screen is free on the Andoid market) and click on it before putting your Nexus One into the car dock. I was a bit surprised to see that the screen would orient to horizontal for the "Car Home" but not for the regular home screens. Guess I should have known that, had I thought it through. For now, I say "Yes, buy it," but I am not enthusiastic in recommending it, like I am about my Nexus One phone itself.

    • Chris Dehghanpoor

      Yeah, I'm bummed that the home screen and incoming call screens aren't in landscape mode, but not entirely surprised. You may want to look into a home screen replacement. If you want something that still keeps the minimal look of the android home screen/launcher, you may want to check out 'helixlauncher2' http://www.appbrain.com/app/com.helixproject.launcher

      That will autorotate.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Do any Android phones even have horizontal home screens in stock ROMs? I'm not entirely surprised that the N1 is behaving this way, though it's extremely unuserfriendly and a pretty terrible oversight. I'm willing to bet support for horizontal home screens will come in the next upgrade or 2 though.

  • Dan

    $55 not expensive at all considering it is custom designed for the Nexus One for a perfect fit and most importantly it's a BT Speakerphone. Good luck finding one that fits the N1 perfectly and includes BT Speakerphone for any less.

    I know my Motorola BT speaker that clips on my visor cost more than this. Quit your moaning it's not just a holder. If it were than $55 is ridiculous but it's also a BT speakerphone.

  • http://iandouglas.com/ ian douglas

    I'm disappointed that they don't give more information about the dock in terms of what's included in the box, length of wires, etc. I'd consider picking one up, but I don't want to have to start rewiring my dashboard or having wires dangling all over to make everything work.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      We bought one and I'll have Chris get back to you with the details and post here.

      We'll also be doing a full review shortly.

    • Chris Dehghanpoor

      Hey Ian,

      My plan was to have a full text and video review this week, but some family issues came up and it's been delayed. Look for it in the next few days.

      As far as what's in the box, you get the dock, a plastic circle with an adhesive side to allow the dock to stick to non-smooth surfaces, and your standard cigarette lighter type micro-usb car charge. I'd say the cable on that is about 3 feet, but it's the corded extendable type. I don't think many people will end up having problems with the length. This cord plugs directly into the base of the dock.

      If you'd like to listen to music or audio from your phone and you *do not* have a bluetooth stereo system, you will have to run a cable from your stereo system to the headphone jack on the phone. So, at worst you'll have two cables.

  • Mark Dorsey

    Loved the dock but with minimal use the dock broke at the clip (where you insert the phone into the dock). Good luck getting a refund or a replacement.

    Waited six months for this thing to ship, finally got and enjoyed it for 3 months with light use and it broke. What a crock. Letstalk.com was of no use and confirmed my earlier suspicions that they have zero customer service.