Today we’re looking at the Gdock from Grace Digital. The Gdock is a rare find, it’s a fully capable bedside speaker with a Samsung Galaxy specific docking system and the capability to launch your phone’s desk clock app when launched. The main issue with this type of device in past experience has been focus. You will either have a good/great speaker with a horrible docking method, or the reverse, a great docking method and an afterthought of a speaker. For the most part, the Gdock is a completely thought out and well executed example and I think it should inform the rest of the market of android specific speaker docks going forward.
Praise aside, the current gdock lacks Bluetooth connectivity, a universal docking system, and you can not dock your phone while in a case. While the Bluetooth connectivity can more or less be overcome with an included remote control, the specific docking plates mean that if you ever stray from Samsung, this dock will likely become obsolete and that just isn’t really acceptable in today’s constantly changing smartphone market. Also, when phones retail for 700 dollars, you can’t go case-less these days. Bedside docks need to keep that in mind and find a way to accommodate. iLuv and Philips both have decent enough universal docking systems on the current market. The good news though is that Gracedigital has made the docking plates easily switchable to allow different device specific docks for the original galaxy note, galaxy S 2, 3, and beyond.
The speaker itself reaches a high enough volume to fill a medium sized room without distorting the sound at all. The vocals can get buried at times in some songs. The Bass is punchy when close, but not forward enough in the overall mix to be an amazing speaker. You can use the included remote to play with bass and treble though and find some decent sound on most types of music. The dock itself is also pretty big, and they’ve used the free space to put in two full range 3” speakers and a class d amplifier. It outputs 16 watts of power. The Gdock draws power through an included UL approved desktop power adapter (100-240v / 12V 1.5A + 5V 1A) you can also purchase an optional 2200 mAh rechargeable battery that advertises 6 hours of playback time. Optional battery pack will NOT charge the phone though, it reserves its power to play music. You will find 4 buttons on the top of the gdock. Volume up and down, power, and an input select button. The included remote mimics those controls while adding a mute button, eq, and bass and treble controls. An Aux in can be found along the back and you can connect just about anything with the included 3.5mm adapter.
We can hope that in the future a universal docking plate and Bluetooth functionality will materialize. For now though, in my opinion, the Gdock is the most complete speaker dock you can buy for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 without its case.
Thank you to GraceDigital for supplying product to review.
Main advantage: Samsung Galaxy specific docking plates, very decent speaker, included remote control with adjustable EQ settings.
Main concern: Specific dock doesn’t allow a case, no bluetooth
Unique features: interchangeable phone cradles that fit Galaxy S2, S3, Note, and Note 2
How much: Currently sold for $99.99 through amazon.com
Alternatives: iLuv’s IMM377 or multiple docks from Phillips Fidelio Line
Is it worth buying: If you can wait a minute than do so, hopefully Gracedigital will catch on to the market demand and find a way to release that universal docking plate. At that point, I can give a clear and loud definitely worth buying to the gdock
ENJOY YOUR GADGETS!