One of my favorite features on smartphones in 2016 was the modular capabilities that Lenovo added onto the back of the Moto Z lineup. The Moto Z, Moto Z Force, and Moto Z Play all had pins on the back of the device that let you attach accessories like battery packs, camera modules, and projectors.
Incipio, who also makes the Offgrid Power Pack and three different back plates for the phones, recently came out with its Car Dock as well. The dock is intended to hook onto your vent to hold your phone upright at dashboard level. The clamp that attaches to the vent has a knob that allows you to adjust how tightly it grips it and the bolt on the back of the dock allows you to loosen it enough to turn the dock 360 degrees. I’m more of a landscape person so I appreciate the ability to have my phone sit like this while I’m using Android Auto.
My biggest concern before I received the Car Dock was how tightly it would hold onto the phone. Not tight enough and the phone would easily fall and too tight and you’d never be able to release it if you needed it quickly. Incipio really nailed this aspect because you can literally shake the dock and the phone won’t move, but the quick release levers on the back of the dock make it incredibly easy to release the phone and go. It’s a frustration free design. I don’t know it’ll hold up in cases of car crashes, but most bumps and shakes shouldn’t cause an issue.
One of the nicer aspects of the dock is that it leaves the bottom and sides of the device completely free. All of the buttons and ports are open, so you can easily charge your phone or use the 3.5mm headphone jack on the Moto Z Play while the phone sits in the dock.
When you place your Moto Z on the dock, Android Auto instantly starts. You can exit Android Auto, but the fact that it pops up immediately and is the main point of function is kind of annoying. I was interested in the dock because I often don’t have a good place for my phone in my car and I’d like a nice dock to keep it out of the way. I would like to use the full functionality of my phone at stop lights or if I pull over without having to detach my phone from the dock. It’s a minor annoyance but it certainly does turn me off from using it.
The build quality is pretty sturdy. Made out of hard plastic, the Incipio Car Dock is definitely made to last. Is it the most premium thing in the world? No, it isn’t but then again I don’t know if it would be affordable to anyone if Incipio made it out of higher quality materials. The dock already costs $64.99 on Incipio’s site and at Verizon, the only two places you can buy it right now.
I don’t personally think it’s worth that much, but if you are in the car a lot and are looking for an Android Auto solution, you may disagree with me. Incipio did well with the Car Dock and I’d count it as another successful Moto Mod, I just wish the price was a tad lower. I’d even venture to say that around $50 it would be pushing the upper limits of what I’d be willing to pay.
I’m hopeful for the future of Moto Mods, especially when bigger companies like Incipio are putting out multiple third-party accessories.