I’ve been looking for the perfect smartphone dock, and I’ve tried several candidates so far. My next contender is the Sarvi Dock, an undulating aluminum stand whose makers claim it works with a variety of cases and smartphones. Let’s see what it can do.
The Sarvi dock has a feature that you might not think is important at first, but I found it to be crucial in any dock that wants to lay claim to the world’s best: It has a couple of sticky skids on the bottom that keep it firmly attached to any smooth surface.
Why is this sticky characteristic important? You want to be able to pick up the phone with one hand, an important capability when you need to answer a call quickly or grab your phone in a rush. This one feature contributes significantly to the overall usability of any charging dock.
The Sarvi dock is a successfully funded Kickstarter project and is now in production. It’s made of high-quality aluminum, and feels silky smooth to the touch. I like its curvy shape, winding its way around and culminating in a padded arch that supports the back of just about any smartphone.
An ingenious system of clamping a Lightning cable, 30-pin adapter or micro-USB plug to the dock lets the connector stand up and away, keeping it from blocking even the bulkiest case. As you can see in the gallery above, I got the excellent and cheap iBlason Armor Box case ($20) for my wife’s iPhone 5C with which to test the Sarvi dock. Both dock and case fit together beautifully, passing my trials with aplomb.
To prepare the Sarvi dock for use requires a slightly tedious but not impossible routine. Driving tiny screws with the included micro-Phillips-head screwdriver, I attached the appropriate bracket that holds the connector in place.
As you can see in the video below, the next step is to adjust the angle of that connector to perfectly fit the girth of whichever case you’re using. After a few minutes, I had my Lightning connector (not included) firmly planted exactly where it needed to be, and its cable securely squeezed into the dock’s base.
The result is wonderful. The dock holds fast to almost any desk or table, and stays put when you remove your smartphone. It’s easy to instantly and single-handedly mount or dismount the phone from the dock. And I quickly grew fond of its stylish flair and the lively green-colored special edition (you can choose black or silver — our green test unit was one of a special edition of 100 docks).
Lo and behold, I’ve found the world’s best smartphone charging dock, and its name is Sarvi. The best news of all is this high-quality and eminently useful accessory is dirt-cheap, retailing for a mere $35. That’s a far cry from other more-expensive docks.
I’d say go for it, but you can’t yet. The company’s had production problems with its iPhone Lightning connector receiver kits, and will be shipping the product to customers soon.
In fact, the dock’s not available even for pre-order on the Sarvi site. Sarvi reps tell me there will be more units available at the end of May, 2014, and urge you to contact them to get your name on the list for the next production run.
That limited availability at this early stage doesn’t change my opinion of this stellar product. Sarvi dock does the job of holding and charging a smartphone better than any other, even when ensconced in the most protective of cases. Highly recommended.
Pics by Charlie White. Thanks to Sarvi Designs for the review unit.