When Apple released the iPhone 5, a couple iPads, and a new lineup of iPods, they gave the accessory industry a good kick in the shorts by removing the outdated 30-Pin connector and replacing it with the versatile, sleek, and significantly smaller Lightning connector. Since then, there have been very few new docks to pop up on the market that work with iPhone 5 (no doubt due to Apple’s higher licensing fees). Not be be put in the corner by Apple, Bluelounge has officially introduced their first dock that is designed for iPhone 5, coined “Saidoka.”
The Bluelounge Saidoka (presumably pronounced side-dock-a) is designed to be docked by your side, allowing for usability of the phone when docked. Much like all Bluelounge products, The Saidoka is offered in 2 distinct models, each in 2 colors, coming in either Black or White, and available with either a 30-pin connector ($29.95) or Lightning connector ($49.95). Bluelounge sent me a white, lightning equipped Saidoka to check out, and I can only assume the 30-pin version is equally impressive.
Measuring in at less than an inch tall, the Saidoka is the perfect desk, counter, or nightstand accessory. It features an elegant, simple design, which compliments the iPhone’s industrial feeling. The Saidoka, unlike most other docks, emphasizes the perfect angle for using your iPhone while working at a desk. When docked, the iPhone is pitched at the same (or very similar) angle to the Apple keyboard. This means your iPhone can be closer to you, and interacting with incoming notifications is much simpler than commonly found with an upright docking option.
Bluelounge, not to overlook the subtleties of a great product, have incorporated their brilliant micro suction rails on the bottom of Saidoka, which creates a seal with any smoother surface you place it on, preventing the dock from sliding when you dock, undock, or use your iPhone. When you want to move the dock, simply lift and the suction will let go, without leaving any residue or damaging the dock.
Also incorporated into Saidoka is a removable, rubber insert, that (when removed) allows you to dock your iPhone without removing the case. While this is very convenient in theory, I found that 2 of the 3 cases I typically use were either too wide or had enough padding at the bottom that the lightning connector didn’t make enough contact to reliably charge my phone. While I fully understand that accessory makers, like Bluelounge, can’t accommodate every possible case option, I think an open sided dock could have eliminated at least one of my issues (and would have expanded the Saidoka to also support iPad or iPad mini with Lightning connector.
Verdict: [rating: 4]
All-in-all, Saidoka is a great looking case, and it definitely serves it’s purpose very well. I’ve alternated having mine on my desk and on my nightstand, and it’s been great in both instances. At work, I can simply glance down and see notifications, while keeping my phone fully juiced. When it’s time to turn in for the night, I can dock my iPhone and know that it won’t buzz off the nightstand if I get several calls, and I won’t knock it over searching for my alarm clock when it goes off.
- Micro-suction rails keep Saidoka in place
- Removable insert to accommodate cases
- Micro-USB provides power to Saidoka
- Micro-USB port feels flimsy
- Case inset doesn’t accommodate several cases
- Lightning version is expensive
If you are willing to overlook the higher cost, and want a sleek way to keep your iPhone docked, Saidoka is a great option. Check it out, and see all of Bluelounge’s great products at bluelounge.com.