Tech crazed individuals, such as ourselves, greatly benefit from charging stations. They’re a nifty solution to clean up our potential of a rats-nest clutter of charging wires. But as we gander through our options, we notice a common trend: a lack of finesse. No one has really developed a dock that is more than just a box with slots and power ports. That is, until Udoq came by.
This startup imagined more for a charging station, one that will not only look good on a tabletop, but that provides unheard-of flexibility. But naturally, this kind of premium solution comes at a…premium. Let’s investigate if the Udoq is worth the investment.
The Udoq is unlike any other dock you’ve seen. In profile, it looks like a standard stand, but in practice, it goes beyond that. The first thing we need to relay is that the device is highly customizable. You buy it the way that will specifically work for your mobile device inventory. Udoq’s solution for this is by offering the dock in four different widths: Udoq 250, 400, 550, or 700. The model numbering represents the length in millimeters.
Recognizing that you may be unsure of which size to opt for, the company has this nifty “configurator” on its website. They’ve logged dimensions for most mobile devices out there, and you can virtually add the ones you have and see how much space they’ll take up (therein, which is the dock size you need).
That takes us to the price. For just the stand themselves, the starting Udoq 250 model goes for $89, all the way to the $159 Udoq 700. This is pretty steep for a dock (bear in mind these prices don’t include the charging equipment you’ll need to add on next). But Udoq sees this device as a life-lasting investment, rather than those much cheaper, plastic charging stations that may fall apart or cease to work. An advantage of the independent charging accessories is that if they fail, you don’t have to replace the entire dock, just the failed bits.
How the Udoq charging works is that the ports come up from the cylindrical base where the mobile devices sit, and the wires expel the rear.
This makes for a very clean look from the front, and the devices are in an organized, lined-up arrangement when placed. Note that the dock takes up a narrow area on a tabletop, but its length can get overbearing with the longer models. This can be seen as a downside of this side-by-side design, as opposed to the stacked design of some other charging stations. In turn, a benefit is that you can still interact with any of the devices without picking them up. It’s also important to know that you cannot adjust the angle of the back plate; the dock is rigidly constructed. Udoq believes that its 77-degree tilt is the perfect and only angle you’ll need. It’s fine for us, but we’d still like the choice.
Udoq offers an option to adhere a box compartment on the back to further clean things up. With our model, it has included a 4-USB RAVPower charging brick, which all fits in the compartment (cables and all), and the result is simply a single wire that you plug into the wall. Very nice.
The function of a normal charging dock is simply assessed – just place the mobile devices and see if it works. Things aren’t that simple with the Udoq. The company sought to make the charging dock more efficient and comprehensively flexible for different situations.
There are solutions out there that get around the different charging standards (i.e. if it’s Apple or Android, or micro-USB or USB-C) by just simply lining their dock with USB-A ports. You use whatever charging cable standard you want, and voila.
This method wasn’t good enough for Udoq, because you’ll still see a series of wires. The company’s solution was to design the dock with complete connector flexibility. At the foot of the dock is a barrel section that houses the connectors. Each connector can slide to any position, allowing the system to accommodate different mobile device sizes (from smartphones to tablets).
A cool thing is that you can pop off either of the ends and completely remove the connectors and their cables. This exemplifies Udoq’s goal of flexibility. The feature lets you choose the specific set of connectors that works for your setup. Additionally, you can tack on more connectors if you add another device in the future (assuming the dock isn’t already filled up), or replace a connector standard if you upgrade to a new mobile device with a different one.
It also allows you to control how your device(s) faces when plugged in. This doesn’t matter for the newer reversible standards like USB-C, but if you’re still on micro-USB, simply pull the connector out and reverse it if needed.
A drawback to achieving this design is that the connectors have to be proprietary. They must be housed in a cylindrical module in order to work. So you must buy the cables from Udoq, which aren’t the most cost-effective. Granted, they’re quality cables, but you’re going to be paying a pretty penny when things are all said and done.
That’s not all. Udoq thought of a couple more considerate features. The connector housing lets the user change the seating height of the jack. So you can correct the mobile device’s seating on the dock if it’s too high. Udoq also addressed the fact that not all devices have a centered charging port. The device could still be placed in the dock, but it would flop on one side. Hence, pre-installed is a little resting plate that is adjustable by height and can slide to any position, just like the connectors.
We appreciate how Udoq went all out with their vision of the best dock possible. It’s the most premium, cleanest, and flexible dock out there. The company has also thoughtfully addressed things that could’ve been a flaw in the design.
The elephant in the room is the price, though, which we imagine will be too much to ask for by many people. For instance, if you opt for the dock and connectors we have – Udoq 400 with each of the four connectors available: micro-USB, USB-C, Apple 30-pin, and Lightning – you’ll be at a total of $176. And this isn’t counting the cable/charger box on the rear or 4-USB charger that we have shown, which aren’t standard. Our review unit is probably $200 or more; this is a lot for a charging dock. Sure, it’s a very nice dock, but it’s ultimately still a dock.
It’ll be up to you if that’s worth it. Fortunately, the stand should last forever, that is, assuming that your future collect of devices doesn’t overlap the size you’ve chosen.