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Hands on: Native Union Dock for the Apple Watch

Native Union's Apple Watch dock is as versatile as it is gorgeous

Want to show off the new Nightstand mode on your Apple Watch? You’ll want to see Native Union’s Dock, which is versatile enough to show both watch orientations, and heavy enough that it won’t be upset by a passing breeze. In fact, it’s so weighty, you certainly wouldn’t want it to land on your toe.

It’s so weighty, you certainly wouldn’t want it to land on your toe.

Native Union is known for its minimalist, simple designs, and the Dock is no exception. The main body is a square block made from aircraft grade aluminum, but it’s covered in a soft touch, matte silicone. The Native Union logo is printed on the base, but it’s otherwise completely smooth and flat.

It’s also lovely to the touch. Soft, almost grainy in the hand, it’s warm and grippy. It won’t be slipping off any desks in a hurry, and it stuck steadfastly to our glass work surface. A cylindrical aluminum barrel slots into the base and is secured with a magnet. Again, it’s not going anywhere without a solid tug.

Once it’s together, the barrel can be rotated to get it at just the right angle, and the standard Apple Watch charger slots into its body. The cable is wrapped inside the barrel, and pokes out the opposite side. It’s a shame, and would have been more attractive if it was fed through the body, but that would disturb the free movement that makes the Dock so versatile.

Build quality is excellent. Outside of the weight, there are minimal moving parts, so nothing will snap off accidentally, and the magnet is super strong. If there’s a complaint here, it’s that the silicone cover manages to attract dust, lint, and hair.

Perfectly weighted, very versatile

The Dock is weighted perfectly, and it can sit flat on a table so the Apple Watch shows the new Nightstand mode while charging. It’s held in place firmly, and doesn’t budge. Watch Sport owners will prefer to do the strap up, though, otherwise it flaps around unattractively, and it’s easy to knock the Watch out of position. During the day, if you’d prefer the regular Watch face view, then the Dock can be switched to an upright position, with the Watch held out to the side. Since the dock displays both modes, it provides the best of both worlds.

We recently reviewed the Belkin Watch and iPhone dock and were disappointed that Nightstand mode didn’t work. The Native Union Dock lets you view your Apple Watch in either mode, so it’s not stuck in one position.

There are two versions of the Native Union Dock. The standard version seen here, which costs $60, and a special edition made of marble. Not only does the marble version look ultra classy, but it’s also fantastically heavy, and could almost double as a ship’s anchor. However, the $120 price tag is steep, considering it doesn’t do anything different from the $60 version. We appreciate the minimalist beauty of Native Union’s Dock, and recommend the standard model over the marble version, unless disposable income isn’t a problem.

Highs

  • Cool, minimalist design
  • Versatile dock supports Nightstand mode
  • Solid and well built

Lows

  • Attracts dust and lint
  • Marble version is expensive
Andy Boxall
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
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