* Prices may differ from that shown
When it comes to gadgets I love having the latest product and I have the iPad 3 and I have an iPhone 4 and recently I got fed up of charging my phone via the usual mains route so I wanted to get myself a cheap docking station, and this is what I ended up with.
== The Product and Azatom ==
When I first went searching for a docking station I found a wide range of different types somewhere huge in terms of size and look and other had more accessories then others.
I was on Amazon and it took me by surprise how this one company had many types of docking stations at a very reasonable price. The look was impressive to me because you have nothing to assemble when the product arrives.
You have some speakers which are designed on this rather impressive black coloured plastic and at the front is the docking area which is nice and square and has a perfectly fitted area to place you iPhone or iPod.
The only accessory you do get is that you have a nice remote control to help you when it comes to changing songs and more about this later on. If you do lose the control for whatever reason there is buttons on the docking station as well.
You are given the mains connector as well and to be honest just having a few items to use and nothing to assemble your brain tells you that perhaps the price is too cheap and something will not work.
Azatom is not a brand I am aware off besides them being on Amazon so I was sceptical now as to how the product might fail and it would be a terrible situation if this occurred. To my joy the item worked perfectly and did more than I ever expected it to.
== Features ==
With any electrical item there is always going to be features which impress or dismay you and this item perhaps has very little faults in terms of what it offers.
This item will charge all types of iPods according to the item description and all iPhones so if you are worried you have an older phone or iPod you might assume this gadget will not support your product but it does.
There is 24 watts of sound coming from this small device and it might not seem like much too some people but to give you an idea of how good this can be I saw a similar docking station offering just 5 watts in sound quality priced at £75.
The fact you have a remote control is excellent and again this works on all the various phones and musical systems you plug in from Apple. This is good because some menus might be different compared to other and more newer designs.
The product weighs a very low 540 grams which is astonishing to me because on the pictures you can see online it seems to be a heavy and bulky product which perhaps has too much going on but it does weigh very little which is a huge relief.
The item in terms of size is 25cm x 8cm x 6.3cm which is pretty good and in terms of taking up room these items could fit easily I would assume on a mantelpiece or shelf unit and mine sits on my desk which is easy to situate.
This item is scratch resistant which is very handy because there is a lovely black finish with a certain gloss which makes it very nice to look at and it looks expensive so having this scratch resistant element helps.
You can charge your device and you can also listen to music from your own music library or even from other areas such as the radio.
== My Experience ==
I got this item in a small box which seemed as if I would need to assemble it all together and it was not like this at all. I pulled the item out and plugged in the mains connector and I was ready to go.
You have a blue light which flashes up on the front of the docking station which signals when the item is on or in standby mode. The one problem in terms of the light is that when you are putting your phone into the docking station to charge your phone the blue light tends to flash on and off and it is annoying.
I put my phone into the slot provided and instantly the phone was charging and then I began to use the remote control. I just pressed the play button and the music began to play on my phone which was excellent. The sound quality on the lowest setting was excellent so I began to gradually increase the volume.
I found that outside my home at full blast this item can be heard which for me shows how good it truly is and when you have an item which can be heard like this it shows you have good value for money.
I continued using the remote control pressing to play a new song and pausing my songs and everything worked very quickly and it was amazing quality throughout my play around with the product.
I even went as far as using the radio on the device which was good because all I needed to do was load up the radio application I had installed on my phone and then I could listen to the radio on my docking station whilst doing other work and it was fantastic.
I did find that my phone was weird when it came to how much time it took to charge to 100%. I put my phone which had 10% battery power onto the docking station it was as if the docking station wanted me to play music. When I was playing music it seemed the power increase went quicker compared to when I am not playing music.
== What Else it Needs? ==
In my view this item does not need a lot of help because it offers a lot already. I would perhaps suggest having a variation of colours because black is the colour everyone seems to go to but having an option like white would help because some people have a white iPhone and having a black docking station might not appeal to them.
I would perhaps put a clock somewhere on the item. I understand this item has an iPhone already and you could easily check the time but perhaps having a little clock on the speaker which is highlighted when you want it to be it would be a nice extra feature.
The ability to have that annoying blue light disappear would be excellent. It is alright having a blue light to show the item is on and on standby but when charging if you are watching television and the light is flicking on and off during the charging process it would annoy you like it does me.
I think the item could perhaps do with a bit more support on the iPhone and I appreciate the item is in a docking station but perhaps a couple of hand grips at the side would be a good idea. My cat walked past and pushed into it and made it disconnect from the docking position so the charging never took place so having that ability to hold the product in more securely would be a good idea also.
== Final Thoughts ==
If you want a cheap and reliable product which can charge and play your music/radio from a small and light weighted item this is the item for you.
I brought this for £34.99 which is an excellent price and although it does not have perhaps the biggest wattage in terms of sound and it also does not have an alarm or clock feature the item is good.
It will depend on what you want your docking station to have when it comes to making that decision on a docking station. I think the appearance of this item looks very cool and stylish and it would appeal to many people.
My final rating for this item would be 7 out of 10.