Manufacturer provided accessories are great, but expensive (if they are available at all). We look at 2 dock alternatives for the Z2 and M8.
First up, the Z2. An official Z2 dock is available, the 'Sony DK36 i1 ii'. The problem? It's £22.50 from Amazon, which isn't exactly cheap. The dock has a magnetic attachment to line up the charging pins and is particularly useful as it saves wrestling with the annoying port cover flap on the Z2. It has a removable insert to accomodate being used with cases fitted.
As an alternative, we've tried out the matching dock from TDS, priced at a much more reasonable £9.75 on Amazon. From a features perspective, it matches the genuine article exactly.
So what's it like? In the box you get the dock itself and a microUSB cable. The dock is light, but feels well made. It has rubber strips on the bottom to stop it slipping around on a desk and most importantly, the magnet itself for locating the device is nice and strong. In my testing, it's worked 100% of the time and i've quickly got used to dropping my device in the right place. I'm impressed, particularly at the price! An important point to note is that using the dock, charging is as speedy as ever.
So what about the M8 dock? With the M8, it's a slightly different situation - there is no official solution, so third party is your only option. I went for the VicTsing dock priced at £8.99 on Amazon. As with both docks, I suspect you'll see the same product cropping up with different names on and fractionally different prices.
As with the Z2 dock, you get the dock itself and a microUSB charging cable in the box. It too is design to work with cases and without. I tried naked first - which is how I like my phones - and the fit is excellent. the device drops in convincingly and looks great too. As I don't really go for cases, I tried with the HTC standard issue M8 case. Of course, you'll need to chop off the flap for the charging port but frankly, if you value your sanity, you've probably done that anyway. The result? A very nice fit too with the insert removed. Excellent!
The glossy front of the dock looks more expensive than it is and the back is a more utilitarian matte finish. The bottom of this dock also has 4 round rubber pads to prevent slippage.
Overall, when you buy this kind of product you often expect that it's going to be a bit naff, but then it's cheap. Both these docks were a pleasant surprise - hence why you're reading this - and go to show that you don't need to spend a fortune to get something that does the job nicely. :)