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Pocket PC Phone Holders Review

 
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lbendlin
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Location: Massachusetts, USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:07 am    Post subject: Pocket PC Phone Holders Review Reply with quote

We have seen a sharp rise in the number of Pocket PC Phones in use, and have taken the opportunity to review a number of ProClip holders for this device class (as well as one HR holder).

Holders are available in passive and active variations, we will focus on active holders here. Active means the holder includes a power connector. The exception in the list is the HTC Universal which doesn't have active holders. The HTC Universal is a good example of the challenges Brodit and ProClip are encountering when they design the holders for newer devices.

Read the review here:

http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/proclipusa2.php
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jimbo_hippo
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to see a decent review of some options. We can walk into a shop and get a feel for the devices we put into these cradles but the pile of redundant mounts I have is testamant to the difficulty of the web when making an informed decision.

To add to the review, I have a recommendation for Universal users and a definate DON'T for the same. My 'avoid' item isn't reviewed here so I'll give a quick overview.

My first choice for my HTC Universal (Orange SPV M5000) was the one you'll find listed on the web as the ' XGPS Tom Tom Custom Powered Mount '. (I won't link to it as it's unfair on any linked supplier to single one out - just google " XGPS Tom Tom Custom Powered Mount" to see a picture) but avoid it like the plague. Bad points are:

You can't open the screen into 'mini-laptop' mode. In fact you can't run in that mode at all, it has to be in portrait folded back (Universal owners will understand what I mean) and since it automatically switches to portrait when the screen is swivelled, manual screen orientation is necessary if you want landscape.
you can't access many of the buttons so even hotkey switching from apps is a nightmare.
It has a powered speaker but when it's plugged in the microphone doesn't work so pray you don't get a call in the next 3 hours! This is a huge oversight since any device that fits this mount is phone-enabled so its not a quirk. (oh and audio quality isn't great anyway)
Looks huge on your dash even without the PDA in it. If you hop out at the shop and take your PDA its still screams break-in!
However you could just leave it in there as it's nigh-on impossible to take your PDA out anyway. You'd probably arrive back at the car and discuss the design with a puzzled thief.

Good points are:

It powers your PDA (but it feels like you're breaking it when you slide it in)
It has RJ 11 power for a GPS reciever
er...... thats it.

So then I trawl the web more thoroughly and come up with the Herbert Richter mount reviewed here. An absolute dream after the previous disaster.

It's small (in comparison) and light. It flexes enough to make popping the device in and out a simple one handed operation but grips it in a way that inspires confidence even if you 'side-mount' for portrait mode as described in Lutz's review. I've tried all the options and now have it on a screenmount gooseneck which rests on the dash and just kicks up enough that I can run in 'mini-laptop mode with a good screen view and keys angled slightly towards me. I've done thousands of miles with it in this position now and it's a joy to use. If I'm in stopped in traffic or stationary I can use the keys laptop style to reply to "gonna be late" texts and reply to emails etc. Entering addresses is also easier than with onscreen keyboards too.

A big gripe for us PDA users is the quick pop to the shops. What do we do with our huge phone? You cant leave it your pocket as its too big, leave it on the seat and its trashed in the footwell 5 mins later. I use this cradle to just drop in the device one handed and unpowered with the screen shut when I do short trips. 2 handed options are a real pain.

When I travel, it slips into a laptop bag easily.

Cheap to buy. It's actually expensive just for a piece of plastic but value for money for a well thought out and manufactured piece of plastic in comparison to others.

You soon get used to connecting the power yourself and the chore is less hassle than trying to get the device out of option 1. A task now requiring one hand instead of 2. I tie the power cable to the gooseneck with a few inches slack so it's easy to do, even one handed. Its simple to find the headphone socket quickly once your used to it and you can use thumb pressure on the speaker area of the device to click home without opening the camera app or similar by accident. I agree with Lutz about forgetting to disconnect but you get used to that too. And since it seems you need a slot-in approach to get around this it's understandable. For conventional PDA shapes i agree it's a bonus but you pay the price in the swivel screen department for the benefit. I prefer to trade in favour of screen flexibility.

The only major gripe is having to power the GPS reciever from a second socket (or twin) and I'm still searching fro a cable that splits the mini-usb to power both which would be superb.

All in all I would recommend the Herbert Richter mount wholeheartedly. The Universal isn't your conventional PDA so conventional drop-in cradles are a compromise. Being able to fold down the screen when i don't need it and even swivel it out is in keeping with the versatility of the device.

Highly recommended.
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alix776
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

brodit do an active mount for the universal that allows you to swich modes

as for a powered speaker on a mount for this device at 70 mph in diahatsu fourtack I could still here the warnings clearly. the mount is the same as the brodit passive mount but has a power connector attached to it you still have to plug the universal in after putting it in the mount,but to me its not a big issue one thing I would recommend is brodit move clips as they allow you to quickly revmove the mount from the dash or the proclip car mount
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jimbo_hippo
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Joined: May 18, 2005
Posts: 444

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that Alix.

My comments were based on the devices I tried. I have just this morning recommended a friend checks out the Brodit products as they seem to be pretty much top of the pile.

perhaps I should have made more of the point about results for your pound. All the Brodit products look (and are reviewed as) superb but they do come at a representative price tag. The HR mount is about as good as it gets for a few quid. I've wasted so many 'few quids' on something budget that I felt duty bound to let people know about something affordable that actually works for something as quirky as the HTC Universal.

Will check out the Brodit stuff just out of interest.

Thanks
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alix776
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

from memory the universal active mount is around 20 30 quid and then you may have to add a proclip to that or if you have aflat surface in the car just add a move mount
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currently using aponia truck navigation on windows phone. Good bye IOS don't let the door hit you on the way out .

Oh the joys of being a courier.
device Lumia 950 xl
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alix776
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Joined: 03/05/2003 14:45:49
Posts: 3999
Location: leyland lancs ENGLAND

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

from memory the universal active mount is around 20 30 quid and then you may have to add a proclip to that or if you have aflat surface in the car just add a move clip
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currently using aponia truck navigation on windows phone. Good bye IOS don't let the door hit you on the way out .

Oh the joys of being a courier.
device Lumia 950 xl
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