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Smart Safety Clip Review

13th August 2003 

 Review by Mike Barrett

  

 

A selection of GPS Mounting SmartClipsHow do you improve a Brodit Mount? This might seem like a strange question as personally I believe that the Brodit Mounts are just about perfect. So how do you improve it?

 

Simple, improve the way it is fitted to your car! How do you achieve this? By replacing the ProClip with a Smart Safety Clip made by Cellustar, a UK company.

 

This review focuses on a new clip to rival the ProClip. We look at the construction and, probably more importantly, the availability and fit of the new clips.

 

There are two elements to a PDA car installation: the PDA holder; and the mount. This review is specifically about the mounts. Although I have focused on using Brodit PDA holders it is perfectly feasible to use just about any holder you want to with these mounts.

 

The review was carried out using 3 Smart Safety Clips, fitted to 2 Brodit PDA holders. The clips were supplied by HandNav Technology, and retail at £14.99 each.

 

 

Why use a Smart Clip?

Monitoring the forums recently HandNav has taking a lot of stick about delivery times mainly to do with the availability of the ProClip. Chetan decided to try and locate a different source for the clips. He found a British supplier that claims to be able to deliver any right hand drive clip within 2 days. It is also claimed that if they do not have a mount in stock then they will make one there and then. This should really improve the supply time.

 

Although the company is UK based they also have the ability to supply left hand drive clips but they will take a little longer as they are made in Sweden. Delivery time for LHD is typically 5-6 days.

 

That said there are other reasons to use the Smart Clip. The main one being the fact that these are not copies of the ProClip, but independent designs, and the clips that I reviewed are much sturdier than any of the ProClips that I have used. I am slowly getting closer to mount utopia.

 

 

So what do the clips look like? How do they Fit?

GPS mount smartclip for Chrysler Voyager I tried 3 clips: Chrysler Voyager; Ford Probe; and a Universal Clip. All of them are constructed from black ABS plastic and not only look, but are, extremely strong.

 

Each clip is moulded to fit between the gaps of the joins in the vent or trim of your car. All the ones I tried had a lip which hooked very firmly into the gaps in the trim.

 

In fact I did my normal trick of making sure that they fitted and worked properly before taking any photos. This meant that I had to remove them to get the pictures. Although it was not difficult to get them off they were very firmly fixed on. This is somewhat gratifying as you really do not want your PDA and GPS dropping due to a badly fitting mount.

 

The other good thing is that when removed there were no marks indicating that the clip had been installed and removed.

 

It is difficult to describe exactly what they look like as they will be different for each car.

 

A common feature to all of them though is two holes in the centre of the face of the clip. I am not sure if this is by design or by accident, but these holes are perfectly aligned for the Brodit PDA holders without the swivel base. I first looked at mounting the swivel base, but there are no predrilled guides so you need to create your own. To do this you need to remove the holder from the swivel base. This was when I realised that the holes matched up perfectly.

 

The universal SmartClip GPS mountHaving discovered this I hunted around and found a couple of nuts and bolts and mated the holder directly onto the clip. I then installed it in the car and found that the angle was perfect. Why bother adding the swivel. When I installed in the second car I found the same thing worked again.

 

This has resulted in a PDA mounting solution that really feels solid. It could almost be part of the car design. This is particularly true with my ford probe, where with the ProClip I had to wedge a bit of plastic into the clip to keep it stable, with the SmartClip it is completely solid and immobile, just what you want.


The SmartClip is available for most cars, but if you want to install in a non- supported car, or to place the clip in a different location then you can use the universal clip. This has two adjustable arms to expand to your required width, varying from 60mm to 90mm. This clip is supplied with two lengths of arm, allowing a certain amount of adjustment. These clips require gaps in trim/vents which are parallel.

 

Chrysler Voyager SmartClip GPS mount installation

Installing the clip in the Voyager was simplicity itself. I simply removed the old ProClip (which fitted into the trim above the vent) and replaced it with the SmartClip. The SmartClip fits at the top and bottom of the central vent. No tools are required to fit it. You will need a screwdriver to fit the holder to the clip.

 

Below are a few pictures of the SmartClip installation:

 

 

 

Ford Probe SmartClip GPS mount installation

Having successfully installed the Voyager I moved on to the Probe. If the installation on the Voyager was easy it was even easier on the Probe. This was mainly because I use a passive holder on the Probe so the PDA holder is not connected to any wires. Once again this simply clipped into place.

 

If you look closely at the pictures below you will see the GPS receiver power/data cable coming out of the top left of the stereo. I have wired a mouse receiver in permanently. This has very slightly altered the gap at the bottom of the vent, which required some packing with the ProClip. Not so with the SmartClip. This fitted snuggly into place and will not move until I want to take it out!

 

 

 

Where can I get one from?
These clips are available in the UK from HandNav Technology Ltd Tel: 020 8443 4337 web www.handnav.co.uk

Buy from handnav.co.uk

 

Conclusion
The SmartClip is the best mount that I have tested so far. It is difficult to make a sweeping statement like that when only 3 clips have been tested, but I have full confidence that it is true. The Ford Probe is not a common car and has been discontinued for a number of years, so getting a SmartClip that fitted perfectly is a good indication that they all will.

 

The clips when installed are so solid that they might be part of the car trim, but they can be removed again with no trace.

 

I do not know if I was just lucky, or if the angles are perfect on all mounts, but being able to use the Brodit holders without the swivel just increased the sturdiness of the installations, and gives me perfect visibility at the same time.

 

 

References

UK Retailers

http://www.handnav.co.uk

Pocket GPS Contributor

Mike Barrett

Pocket GPS Contributor Website

http://www.1st-annuities.co.uk

   

Rating

 

Construction

Installation

Useability

Robustness

Overall Rating 97.5%

How did we achieve these ratings ?

Review Ratings

   

 

Comments ?

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