I’m on the search for the best iPhone docks, and it’s a tough search. Even a year after the iPhone 5′s release, there just aren’t many good ones. Thanks to Kickstarter and a few very smart designers, that’s changed over the past few months, and the OCDock is one of the coolest, slickest docks you can buy. Just make sure you own an iMac or Cinema/Thunderbolt Display.
The OCDock (a play on OCD dock) is made to keep your desk completely clutter free, and it does that very well. The minimalist and Apple-esque design, with a flushed aluminum coat and a sturdy metallic feel, makes it fit in more with the iMac it’s made to rest on than the iPhone 5 it’s built for. That’s alright though, because the absurdly-clean finish needs to look great with the computer or display more than the phone, and of course a white or black iPhone 5 fits in just fine with the silver frame.
If there’s any tragedy of the OCDock, it’s the requirement to fit on an iMac or Cinema/Thunderbolt display. As much as I love both devices, most people who own iPhones don’t own any of those, even among developers. The MacBook Pro is still the top Apple computer, which puts a huge limitation on who can actually use the OCDock. I used a makeshift emplacement to keep the OCDock steady (actually the excellent Ten 1 Magnus iPad stand) to test it. The OCDock doesn’t fit at the edge of a tabletop properly, and there’s no way to put it on anything normal.
For iMac/Cinema/Thunderbolt Display owners, there are a few other slight glitches that need to be ironed out. The razor-thin USB cable, made to hide beneath the screen’s stand, isn’t particularly long and doesn’t stay put very well. The makers also note a few issues with the device, like how it doesn’t consistently sync with the Thunderbolt display and can repeatedly turn charging on and off. I’ve experienced the latter and found that it occurred only when the OCDock didn’t receive enough power, which shouldn’t be a problem for the iMac/displays.
The more musically-inclined will also be upset that when docked, there is no auxiliary port. As I’ve tested iOS 7 and iTunes Radio, the OCDock made it impossible to listen to an iPhone or iPod. Then again, if you are using a Mac of some sort, then you could just listen to the music of your choice directly through the computer. But it’s still a problem; our lives now revolve around the phone more than the computer. No option to listen to audio on the phone is a serious handicap.
One final stab at the OCDock is how stable it holds the phone. It isn’t pitch-perfect; the OCDock has a slight bounce thanks to the Lightning connector, so every tap has a slight kickback. It isn’t major; compared to other docks the sway is half as bad as it should be. Certainly manageable, but if you’re looking for a dock to use the iPhone with as opposed to stand it upright, the OCDock isn’t for you.
For $80, the OCDock is a good buy if you own an iMac or Apple display of some sort and don’t mind the obvious missing features. The design is perfectly Mac-centric, it has a perfect fit on a clean desk. It’s minimalism at its finest, though perhaps too far in this case. The OCDock does work with plenty of cases that I’ve tested with as well, though the extra weight makes the iPhone even less stable when docked. I love the look, but there are a lot of missing pieces on the OCDock that keep it from being great. Great for users who just want to put their phone down to charge at the desk and perhaps a little iPhone use. The more you plan to use your iPhone, the less you’ll want this great looking dock.
Bottom Line: A beautiful but limited dock that’s great for looks and charging, but not great for regular on-desk iPhone use.
A beautiful but limited dock that’s great for looks and charging, but not great for regular on-desk iPhone use.