Top critical review
The good and the not so good
on January 26, 2015
I needed to find a new bedroom clock/radio with docking station for my iPhone 5s. The important features to me were (1) small size, (2) LED display, (3) time synch from iPhone to clock, (4) able to dock the phone with a case on, (5) charges my iPhone while I sleep, and (6) battery backup. Radio quality was not even a factor as I never listen to music in my bedroom and I wake to a chime on my iPhone.
Why do clock manufacturers prefer to use an LCD display instead of LED? LED displays only the time usually in red, amber or green with a black background, producing very little light. An LCD display lights up the entire rectangular display window. I don't want a bleeping nightlight while I sleep. The nice people who answered my question about this feature told me it was no problem because you could set the brightness way down (see my comment below). And, the only LED docking clocks I found were either too large or had poor reviews. so, I bought the Sony ICFC11IP.
Here are my pros and cons of the Sony ICFC11IP clock/radio:
1. Small size
2. Synchs time from iPhone
3. Synchs not only time from your iPhone, but loads your alarm times from the phone as well. A helpful feature if you plan to wake to the clock radio or beeping.
4. My iPhone docks without having to remove my case
5. Radio sounds really nice if I ever care to use it
1. LCD display is too bright (if you want to also be able to see the time). The Sony ICFC11IP has the following brightness settings:
a. High - much too bright to sleep with
b. Medium - still too bright for me
c. Low - very dim (good) but difficult to see the time (not so good)
d. Off - no display at all
2. Time synch requires a special app download called "D-Sampli"
3. The time synchs only when this special app is running on the phone.
(my old iPhone 4s and clock/radio didn't require a special app)
4. Arrives with EST time zone set. I live in the PST time zone, so after synching the phone and clock, the clock showed the time 3 hours in the future until I set the appropriate time zone. So, why should the clock be concerned with time zone? When I synch my phone, the clock should just take the time from the phone. I don't understand the need for this feature at all.
5. Out of the box, the clock started beeping at 12 noon. This was not even an alarm time on my phone. Why was this alarm automatically set by the manufacturer?
6. Using the remote to cycle through pre-set radio channels, it will cycle through all available pre-sets, not just those you have programmed. When it hits a pre-set you have not programmed, you get just static noise. It should be smart enough to bypass these unprogrammed pre-sets.