With so many docks on the market, ElevationLab makes the seemingly bold claim that its new ElevationDock 4 is “the best dock for iPhone.” However, it didn’t take me very long with the product to realize that the company isn’t exaggerating; it is hands down the best iPhone dock I’ve ever used. Here’s why…
ElevationLab has been making great Apple accessories since 2011, and no doubt gained a big boost in popularity when Apple Stores started selling its NightStand for Apple Watch in 2015. Now, the company is out with its fourth generation ElevationDock for iPhone and iPad and we’ve been able to test it out for the last few weeks.
ElevationDock 4 is a sharp evolution of its predecessor and brings a mix of great new features along with a brand new design.
Materials & Build
ElevationDock 4 is made up of medical-grade silicone, stainless steel knobs, and a slick, built-in braided 5-foot Lightning cable. In fact, this is the first MFi dock to work one-handed. A nanopad on the underside keeps the dock firmly in place and provides the useful one-handed functionality.
ElevationDock 4 comes in two color options: MatteBlack with a black/gray braided Lightning cable and MatteWhite with a silver/blue braided Lightning cable. I tested out the MatteBlack color which looks great with the Space Gray MacBook Pro and iPhone X (although it looks great with the Silver iPhone X too).
The silicone molded body gives the dock a smooth and minimal aesthetic and feels great to the touch. ElevationLab added zinc inserts to the dock to give it a nice weight.
ElevationDock 4 has a deeper angle than previous docks from the company at 18° with +/- 4° adjustment via the top steel threaded knob. The lower knob adjusts the height of the Lightning connector so the dock works with most any case.
In the box you get the dock and a handy microfiber bag for traveling. ElevationLab offers a 30-day return period along with a 1-year warranty for its products.
Use & Feel
It didn’t take long for me to come to the conclusion that this is the best dock I’ve ever used because ElevationDock 4 really nails build quality, features, design, and price ($60).
In my use, I’ve loved the stainless steel adjustment knobs. They just look sharp, they feel great to use, and of course there’s the fact that they’re functional to make quick and easy adjustments to the dock to fit an iPhone with various cases or without. You can also easily use the dock with your Apple TV remote, AirPods, or even an iPad (except the 12.9-inch iPad Pro).
As you can see in the images below, ElevationDock 4 works with pretty much any case. I didn’t have any trouble even with the bulkier folio or wallet cases (which both also recess the Lightning port a good deal).
Because of the precision adjustments you can make to the dock, you get really solid support of your iPhone. With most docks I’ve used, you get movement and instability when tapping your screen and have to be careful to not tip over your iPhone. This usually means supporting your device with one hand, while navigating and tapping with the other. But not with ElevationDock 4, with the adjustments and the nanopad base, I didn’t notice any movement of my iPhone, even when tapping firmly, it’s a really nice experience.
The other benefit of the suction created by the nanopad bottom is it really gives the dock a solid grip on tabletops and the one-handed use to take an iPhone off the dock is as smooth as ElevationLab makes it look in its videos.
You might be wondering why Elevation Lab used silicone for the main portion of the dock, I did too. Then in use I realized how nice it is that everything your iPhone (or other device) touches is soft and won’t create any scratches or markings (for those that would prefer a metal build, ElevationLab still offers its ElevationDock 3, but you miss out on some of the nice features with the 4).
I also love that the design is so clean and minimal with ElevationDock 4. The dock almost fades away when being used, particularly highlighting the bezel-less display of the iPhone X.
There’s also the other fine details like the high-quality feel of the braided Lightning cable and even a velcro cable tie for when you’re taking your ElevationDock on the go. You’ll also never have to worry about struggling to plug in your dock with the built-in 5-foot Lightning cable.
When it comes down to it, I think this dock is miles ahead of the competition, including Apple’s $49 offering. ElevationDock 4 features a clean, sharp design, high functionality and flexibility, a great angle and stability for use, and the one-handed undocking is awesome.
With everything you get, plus the fact that it works with iPads and also includes the Lightning cable, the $60 price tag feels like a bargain to me. ElevationDock 4 has become my favorite dock and I’m looking forward to enjoying for many years to come.