Owners of the iPhone have a wide range of accessories available to them, but unfortunately this is not the case when it comes to owners of Android phones. In particular, there is almost nothing available in the way of docks that will both charge the phone and that has speakers for the audio output.
The iHome iHC5 was the closest compromise to a device that would charge, provide speakers and also a clock for the Xperia X10 mini. The iHome iHC5 does not charge devices, instead offering just a cradle to hold the phone, but you can plug a charging cable into the phone whilst it sits in the cradle.
The fact that the device was essentially a two part system was somewhat annoying, with the main unit and a separate dock to hold your device. Certainly it took away from the neat and tidy appearance that was wanted, and the need to trail an additional wire made this even worse. And yet it was functional, and with the range of devices that the speakers hopes to support it is somewhat understandable that universal charging was not possible.
A remote control is supplied, to supposedly increase the range of use. This worked ok-not wonderfully, as sometimes the buttons failed to respond. It wasn’t a matter of range-sometimes the buttons would fail to respond even if you were literally on top of the player, and would require multiple button pushes in order to get it to work.
Pairing the phone with the device wasn’t too hard, and was started through the phone. The connection is secured by using a pairing code. Once paired it was possible to start playing music through the speakers. One of the blessings of it being a bluetooth device is that you can use multiple devices through the device without having to have extra wires running to all of them-instead you simply have to bring them within range and start the bluetooth streaming.
Sound quality from the speakers was not ideal. It was certainly better than the inbuilt speakers on the phone was capable of, and it was also a lot louder than the phone could manage. Yet it remained tinny and unpleasant to listen to. It’s ok in small doses but not good when you want to listen to music for a longer time.
Unfortunately the advertised use as a speaker phone wouldn’t work. It may be a fault with the one particular device, or that the phone did not support it, but either way calls could not be made. However, since a good speakerphone was already included on the phone this seemed rather unimportant anyway.
Given the wide range of device types and sizes that run the Android operating system, it is incredibly hard to find devices for them that are comparable to the iPhone clock docks. This is one of the very few devices that are available, and provides some very useful functions for owners of Android, or one of the many other brands of phone that are available.