Before upgrading to her HTC One S my wife used the HTC Rhyme which was one of the few handsets to come with a dock as standard. The Rhyme dock was a charging unit with speakers for playing media through and connected to the device by way of pogo pins, after her upgrade she was keen to try and replicate the experience.
Price & Where From
£24.95 from MobileFun
In The Box
Cover-Mate HTC One S dock with removable packer
A simple way to connect your HTC One S to your TV
The USB connection method
The HTC One S is not designed to be used with a dock. The only external connections are a headphone line out, and a micro USB port located three quarters of the way up the left hand side of the device. This make the job of third party accessory suppliers incredibly difficult as there is no naturally obvious way to design a dock for use with the S, the lack of Pogo pins and position of the USB port see to that. Cover-Mate have attempted to work around these issues by creating a dock which holds the phone in landscape mode with the USB connector placed relevant to the phone. Does it work? No is the short answer and for many reasons.
To start with the HTC One S has no inbuilt landscape home or dock mode, so when you first plug the phone in you have your phone lying on it’s side with your home screen stuck on portrait. None of the minimal documentation in the box gave any clue how to fix this, and I had to resort to putting the question out on social media to get best suggestions for a Play Store app to help me out. This lack of detail would be a major issue to a non technical or new Android user.
Secondly and even more worrying is the fit of the handset in the dock. The dock comes with a removable plate that allows for use either with or without a case and this part works pretty well, the problem comes with the USB connection. Getting the USB connector to match up with the port on the phone is far from an easy task, as I said earlier the port is not in a central position and this just makes things more difficult. After four or five tries the grating noise generated by connector against the handset begins to worry you, it sounds as though you are damaging your phone. Possibly over time with experience of using the dock this would become a little easier but I would be willing to bet few would persist long enough to find out. In some ways this issue renders the dock useless, it is certainly not a product you can just pop your phone in and out of.
The dock does however have one more feature that you may use, the HDMI output. On the back of the unit there is a HDMI port which allows you to connect your phone to your TV for viewing movies, or even just listening to audio. This part works pretty well, and when connected via HDMI the Sense UI on the S allows screen rotation.