Content Nav Menu 

Just Mobile AluBolt lightning dock for iPhone/iPad review

on May 13, 2014 4:00 am

just mobile alubolt 01

Sometimes I feel like Don Quixote on some quest to find… the perfect iPhone dock.  The Just Mobile AluBolt is the latest iPhone dock to grab my attention.  Will it be the one for me?
just mobile alubolt 02

 

just mobile alubolt 03

Inside the box you find… the dock.  That’s it.  No padding, nothing.

just mobile alubolt 04

The USB cable is permanently attached.  You don’t have to supply your own.

just mobile alubolt 05

just mobile alubolt 06

Weighs in at 157g, or just over 5-1/2 ounces.  A little light, if you ask me, for a desktop dock.

just mobile alubolt 07

Not much on the bottom but a slightly grippy base and a logo.  The hook and loop tape on the cord is a nice touch.

just mobile alubolt 09

Presto!  Wait, the AluBolt doesn’t work with my case.  Not again…

just mobile alubolt 10

Okay, let’s try again with the case off.  That’s better.

just mobile alubolt 11

From the side, the AluBolt is sleek and pretty, like something Apple would have designed.

just mobile alubolt 12

just mobile alubolt 15

just mobile alubolt 16

An interesting trick with the dock is that it’s slightly adjustable to accommodate different case thicknesses.  It pivots with a slight spring-loaded action.

The AluBolt does account for case thickness, but not depth at the bottom of iPhone cases.  The AluBolt’s Lightning adapter isn’t long enough for cases with any thickness at the bottom, which rules out quite a few case designs.

As for one-handed operation?  Forget it.  I needed two hands.  5.5 ounces just isn’t heavy enough.

In the end, the Just Mobile AluBolt lighting dock is gorgeous and clever, but not clever enough for those of us who use cases on our devices.

 

Product Information

Price:$49.95
Manufacturer:Just Mobile
Requirements:
  • Lightning-equipped iOS device
Pros:
  • Minimalistic
  • Looks nice
  • Comes with USB cable attached
Cons:
  • May not fit your device if it has a case
  • Not for one-handed undocking

Comments

  1. 1
    Sandee Cohen says:

    @Andy

    Thanks for this great review. It is vital that people know if an iPhone/iPad accessory will work with a case on the phone.

    It’s hard to know, though, as some cases will work. They don’t have material all around the Lighting Adapter.

    I discovered this the hard way. My spouse’s case does work with the adapters Apple sells to convert older cables into the Lightning plug. So I imagine this dock would work with her current case. There is no material around the port on her case.

    But the other cases I bought us don’t work. The port is surrounded by material.

    Fortunately, the case material is soft enough that I could snip off the rubber around the port. The case still stays on securely.

    But it’s interesting that few (if any) case manufacturers provide all around images to let people know if the port is surrounded or not.

    That could easily be a selling point on their case. “Does not interfere with Lightning Adapter plugs for accessories.”

    Now that I’ve “circumcised” my case, I’m on the hunt for a dock. I will consider the AluBolt.

    Meanwhile I would love some sort of protective plug I could put over the Lightning Adapter port to protect it from dirt, moisture, etc while on the go. Especially in my pocket where I tend to collect almond shards, sweetner powder, lint, etc.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    David Florence says:

    Hi Andy,

    I have been trying various stands since the original iPhone – never really that happy. Ended up using Ottie Car mounts – I have them all over my house, car and office. They work with about every case I have – all nine of them. That said, I just added the new Mophie Plus Dock to my repertoire. It works one handed. I have one for home and one for the office. Plus, I get a few more hours usage out of my 5s with the extra battery.

  4. 4
    Sandee Cohen says:

    @Julie

    That’s PERFECT!

    And the price is extremely reasonable.

  5. 5
    Andy Chen says:

    @David Florence: I actually use a similar Panavise mount that lets me rest my phone at my desk. Nothing fancy. I don’t even close the “arms”.

  6. 6
    Robert Peralta says:

    The two-handed removal is a big deal for me. Instead I bought the EverDoc by FuzDesigns. It looks sleek, minimalist, and one-handed removal. The website is fuzdesigns.com…you can buy it at their website or Amazon.

  7. 7
    Andy Chen says:

    That EverDoc looks good.

  8. 8
    Gail says:

    Sarvidesigns is coming out with a dock that WILL work with iPads and IPhones in cases, as well as most other cell phones. I’m holding out for that!

Leave a Reply