With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Google's third Nexus Android smartphone, Samsung has also announced the upcoming launch of some handy accessories which make the use of the Galaxy Nexus even more convenient. For road warriors, Samsung is launching its Galaxy Nexus Card Dock Kit, designed for home and office use is the Galaxy Nexus Desktop Dock and made for the home use is the Galaxy Nexus HDMI Dock. All three docks are able to charge the Galaxy Nexus from an external source, through the inbuilt micro USB port. However, while the HDMI Dock is connecting through the device's micro USB port, the Card Dock and Desktop Dock connects through the 3-pin connector on the right side of the Galaxy Nexus.
The Card Dock's micro USB port is located next to the 3.5 mm stereo headset jack on the windshield part of the mount. The device is full enclosed by the dock, hiding the power on/off button, but featuring a separate volume rocker which pushes the device's volume rocker. On the back are open areas for the camera and the loudspeaker.
The multi- angle neck allows to operate the device in portrait and landscape mode and once connected, the Galaxy Nexus knows that it is connected to the Car Dock and starts the "Car mode" app (indicated by a steering wheel icon in the task bar) which allows to use the device's home screen in landscape as well (the shortcuts in the taskbar curtain are not part of the Car mode but another 3rd party application not related to the Car Dock).
It should be noted that the Card Dock above is the designed for the GSM version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The CDMA version for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus looks similar but lacks the the pin connectors as well as the inbuilt micro USB port which means the device itself has to be connected to the power cord, which makes it more inconvenient for permanent use.
The Card Dock for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is not yet available but should be released anytime 1st quarter 2012. It's expected that it will be available for around 49 Euro.
The HDMI Dock allows to connect the Samsung Galaxy Nexus to flat screen TVs to output the device's screen and audio to a large living room TV. Basically, it's a stand with inbuilt MHL adapter which also charges the Galaxy Nexus, even if not connected to a flat screen. The HDMI Dock comes with a micro USB port on the back and a HDMI port on the right side and features the same steel grey color as the Galaxy Nexus.
While the HDMI Dock works also great as a charging cradle as well as for hands-free calls, the portrait mode is somewhat unfortunate since the screen turns to landscape mode if a movie is played through an attached HDMI cable. On the other hand is nobody watching a movie in parallel on the device screen and the flat screen TV and therefore it's more an unfortunate design limitation than an annoying problem. Unfortunately, the HDMI Dock is lacking a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack, which can be used to connect the dock with an amplifier, as the Desktop Dock has it but then again, this is the multimedia HDMI dock.
The HDMI Dock for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is not yet available but should be released anytime 1st quarter 2012. It's expected that it will be available for around 44 Euro.
Cheers ~ Arne