Home PageFacebookRSS News Feed
PocketGPS
Web
Read the current newsletter! Weekly
Newsletter
SatNav,GPS,Navigation
Get Speed Camera Warnings For SatNavs Get Speed Camera Warnings For Android Get Speed Camera Warnings For iPhone
Brodit Active Adjustable iPhone Cradle Date 24th May 2010

Review by Darren Griffin

 

If you are the lucky owner of an iPhone 3G or 3GS and you wish to make use of one of the plethora of satnav apps then you'll quickly realise that you need three things:

  1. iPhone navigation app of your choice.
  2. A solution to hold the iPhone.
  3. An in-car power supply.

Brodit 521106The iPhone 3G and to a lesser extent, the 3GS, have less than stellar GPS chipset's. Unlike the performance we have come to expect from PNDs, the iPhone is very fussy about its signal and so the more you can do to improve it the better.

 

Consequently a cradle affixed high up on your dash will ensure it gets the best possible sky view and improve your view of the screen at the same time.

 

There are of course many solutions available; from the budget vent mount clips and simple clamp type holders all the way up to the custom cradle, specifically designed for a device and matching the quality of an OEM car-kit.

 

We make no secret of the fact that we are all huge fans of Brodit and their products. Whilst far from cheap, they are well made, sturdy, secure and provide a form fitting solution that mates with a vehicle specific ProClip.

 

The ProClip is a no-holes 'clip' that attaches to your dash. There are models available for almost any common car and the beauty of them is they can be installed AND removed without the need for screws or the drilling of holes.

 

When you change your car, all you need is a new ProClip, the cradles can be carried over. Better still, if you use one of Brodit's 'MOVE' clips, you can remove the cradle from the ProClip easily and quickly. Great if you have perhaps more than one car that you use or more than one device.

 

Brodit have a range of 3G/3GS cradle options including models with and without power and with and without an adjustable facility. Here we have chosen to review the #521106 model which has 12v power and incorporates the adjustment facility designed to accommodate iPhone's that are protected by a skin or case.

 

If you do not use a case and have no need for the adjustment then #907255 is the cradle for you and offers all the same features minus the adjustment.

 

521106 Active Holder with Tilt Swivel

Brodit 521106This cradle, as has been mentioned above, has a feature that allows the width to be easily adjusted to suit an iPhone in a skin or case.

 

I found it frustrating to have to remove the case each time I wished to use my iPhone in a cradle and so this solution was perfect.

 

The design has the cradle arms split vertically into two halves and a slide that allows them to slide in/out horizontally to accommodate different widths. The sides are secured by four small thumbscrews on the rear.

 

Two deep vertical grooves in each arm locate the iPhone securely and prevent it from falling out even when only loosely gripped.

 

To adjust, loosen the screws and slide the two sides apart, insert your iPhone and then slide together until the cradle holds the phone securely but not so tight as would prevent removal! Tighten the thumbscrews and you're done.

 

The rear also has a tilt swivel to allow you to orient the device when mounted on the dash. Although the actual range of movement is small, it is more then sufficient for most circumstances.

 

The swivel also permits usage in both Portrait and Landscape orientations. Perfect if you prefer your navigation delivered in Landscape.

 

Griffin PowerJoltSupplied with the cradle, and actually built into it, is a Griffin PowerJolt USB lead and cigarette lighter charger. The iPhone, being an Apple device, is very fussy about what chargers work and so Brodit are to be commended on choosing a Griffin solution as these are widely regarded as one of the best iPhone power chargers.

 

This also has an added benefit if your car is a newer model that offers USB connectivity to your head unit. In that case you can plug directly into the USB socket and forgo the Griffin charger. The unit would instead draw power direct from the USB socket.

 

To install in your car you will of course require a ProClip but the solution works as well as ever. The iPhone is easily dropped in to dock, securely held in both Portrait and Landscape modes and the Griffin charger is able to supply power and top up the battery even when navigation is running. Many other chargers struggle to power a 3G and even suffer power drain when the GPS is active.

 

Verdict

Brodit's solution is the only one I have yet found that offers an OEM style drop-in cradle that can accommodate an iPhone in a case and provide power. The design also allows quick and easy adjustment to cope with the vast range of iPhone case designs available.

 

The choice of a Griffin PowerJolt charger is also to be commended. With the iPhone being a very fussy beats where chargers are concerned this choice offers the widest possible compatibility and an output sufficient to keep the handset topped up even when GPS is running. And if you have a car equipped with a USB port then you can easily integrate the iPhone into the audio system.

 

At approx £52 this isn't cheap but if you value your iPhone and use it in-car, treat yourself to a Brodit cradle, you won't be disappointed.

References

Suppliers Web site www.nemesistechnology.com
Pocket GPS Contributor

Darren Griffin

   

 

Nemesis Technology

 

Comments
Posted by Wazza_G on Wed May 26, 2010 10:04 am Reply with quote

Better still have a bluetooth system installed in your car (like I did), a bluetooth earpiece/visor speaker and you never have to have one of these ugly things on your dashboard.

Oh forgot to say, just make sure that the system doesn't rely on rSAP, otherwise an Iphone won't work, it needs to be GSMII or GSMIII for Iphone compatibility.


Be alert.. This country needs more lerts.

 
Posted by batties on Wed May 26, 2010 10:08 am Reply with quote

Wazza_G Wrote:
Better still have a bluetooth system installed in your car.


Not sure how a Bluetooth system works to help you view directions using a GPS sat Nav app! Rolling Eyes


TT Go 720 v8.204
Western Europe Map v8.45
8 GB SDHC card
TT Home version 2.7.5.2014
iPhone 4S with CameraAlert

 
Posted by Darren on Wed May 26, 2010 10:16 am Reply with quote

batties Wrote:
Not sure how a Bluetooth system works to help you view directions using a GPS sat Nav app! Rolling Eyes

Yes quite!


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by MaFt on Wed May 26, 2010 10:31 am Reply with quote

Do they do a passive holder?


MaFt®

 
Posted by Darren on Wed May 26, 2010 10:36 am Reply with quote

MaFt Wrote:
Do they do a passive holder?

Yes, they do one with a pass-thru connector on the base, you can either hook up your own charge lead or not.


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by Wazza_G on Wed May 26, 2010 10:40 am Reply with quote

Well actually, you're meant to be LOOKING at where you're going not at a SatNav screen, so like the TomTom you program it to go blank when the car's in motion. You still get the vocal instructions.

Don't you? Shocked


Be alert.. This country needs more lerts.

 
Posted by Darren on Wed May 26, 2010 11:40 am Reply with quote

Ok, if you have any comments about the review or the mount feel free to post them.

But if you want to debate the safety implications of all windscreen/dash mounted satnav's, phones etc then please start a new thread.


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by mikhael on Fri May 28, 2010 12:50 pm Reply with quote

Hi there,

I read the review of the Brodit holder with interest, as I've recently bought one myself and am very happy with it.

After much procrastination (because it is expensive - £70 for the holder & ProClip - yikes!!), I took the plunge and I'm pleased to report that it's a very well-made piece of kit and works brilliantly.

I have it installed in my Mini & have it mounted on the central column, next to the car stereo (which is a Sony MEX-BT3600U). The 2 are paired over Bluetooth and I stream music & sat nav voice-over (I use CoPilot) as well as having a hands-free phone functionality. The latter isn't great quality, but as the stereo mic is quite far away from me it's not surprising.

I have an iPhone 3GS with a hard case (Incase Slider) which I can very easily drop into the holder, fire up the software and off I go. No fiddling around with cables and setting up holders like I used to do with the satnav - finally! BTW I could plug in the power connector to the USB socket on the stereo, but most of the time I leave it plumbed into the cigarette lighter permanently.

The positioning of it is perfect as it's out of the way, yet with a quick glance or out of the corner of my eye (without moving my head), I can see the iPhone screen very clearly and whether I'm on track or not.

All in all a very good piece of kit which is still pretty expensive, but as it does what it says on the tin without fault, I will say it's worth it.

Also a big thanks to David at DSL Dev. who was terrific in helping me pick the right model of holder.

My £0.02 worth to the debate,

Mikhael


 
Posted by Darren on Fri May 28, 2010 12:58 pm Reply with quote

And now you have the combo you only have to replace the ProClip if you change cars and can swap it between cars if you have more than one.

They're not cheap but they are the best solutions available and work. A worthwhile investment for a device worth £500+ IMHO.


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by mikhael on Fri May 28, 2010 1:46 pm Reply with quote

Yes that's right - it's called a MoveClip. Originally I was going to get one, but I really wanted something that was installed and stayed put in place as there's enough fiddling with having to get the car stereo installed and fire up the software before you even start your engine! Having it all in place is a great convenience (and I guess that's part of what you're paying for).

The adhesive on the ProClip is very strong and grips the central column very well (I have the angled one that sits on the left of the stereo, if the steering wheel is on the RHS). The holder itself screws onto the ProClip with 4 small self-tapping screws. Originally I thought someone had forgotten to drill the holes, but a quick call to DSL confirmed that they stopped doing that as the majority of their customers didn't want holes pre-drilled and wanted to fix their holders on themselves(?). Not having the right screwdriver (i.e. an electric one), it took a bit of fiddling to get the holder attached to the clip, but I got there in the end and now the two are securely held.

I guess I can justify the cost of the Brodit holder if I think back to the older mobile phone car kits which used to cost in excess of £150 - I would say this is at least as comparable quality-wise and it's good value in comparison. If you're serious about having the holder permanently installed, I believe the 527106 version does exactly the same (adjustable holder for iPhones with soft/hard cases), but it's designed for a "fixed installation" (so can be wired in neatly - I guess you'd have to find a friendly car installation professional to do it for you.

I certainly will be very happy to buy these products in future :^)

Mikhael


 
Posted by gregh on Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:54 pm Reply with quote

Hi Darren,

How adjustable is this? Could it be used to hold different phones, ie iPhone, Desire or Samsung Omnia Pro B7330?

Cheers,

Greg


 
Click here to view more comments...
Reply to topic

CamerAlert Apps



iOS QR Code






Android QR Code







© Terms & Privacy

GPS Shopping