The folks at Grace Digital got wind of the fact that Cali and I recently both adopted Samsung Galaxy Note II phones, and sent us over their gdock GDI-GSD8200 Samsung phone dock, which will work with the Samsung SII, SIII or Galaxy Note I or II. Well, unfortunately for Cali I got my hands on it first! And possession is 9/10th of the law…
I put the Grace Digital on my desk between my monitor and my Drobo, and plugged it in. The first thing I noticed was that in addition to the USB dock that the phone plugs into, there is also a 3.5mm stereo input jack on the back. That’s because the speaker dock also allows a second input. This allowed me to plug my MacBook Air into that jack, because frankly the Air has crap speakers built in.
But I digress.
The gdock GDI-GSD8200 can accomodate different sizes of Samsung phones, and it comes with clips to hold the smaller S series or the larger Note series. I popped on the Note adapter, plugged in my phone and it immediately indicated that it was being charged.
Incidentally, there is enough room in the dock to accomodate a thin case, like a hard shell or silicon case. You can also use it with the Samsung flip cover, though it’s messy and I don’t recommend it. In fact, I don’t recommend that flip cover no matter what… but that’s another story.
At this point I couldn’t wait to hear the 16 watt system, so I fired up Pandora – and got nothing!
I took a deep breath, prayed to the Gods of Android, and dug around in the settings on my Galaxy Note II, where I finally found a dock preference setting to allow the sound to come from the speakers (Accessory >> Audio Output Mode) and BAM! We had contact!
Mmmm! Sounds Good!
Without going into too much detail, after getting the speakers working I became the most hated man in the office for about the next 15 minutes as I blasted the volume throughout the studio. I’m pretty sure that it is indeed pushing out 16 watts, because you can definitely hear it from anywhere in the 4,000 sq ft building.
But even at lower volume levels it is still satisfying, although less annoying to everyone else. The speaker / dock comes with a remote control, and it has buttons on top of the unit for power, input selection and volume. I can’t decide if I like it more because it charges my phone and turns it into a jambox, or because I can share YouTube videos with a group of folks at reasonable volume levels from my laptop.
Grace Digital Earns the Editor’s Choice Award
I haven’t even mentioned the fact that you can purchase a 6 hour rechargeable battery to plug into this little speaker dock, or the fact that the phone can be rotated into landscape or portrait mode, but even without those things this is a fantastic accessory for your Galaxy phone.
We highly recommend the Grace Digital gdock GDI-GSD8200, and we plan to order several more units so we’ve got them at home and at the studio. From now on, the gdock is going to be the only thing worthy of resting the Galaxy Note on.