Rick Maybury looks at a bunch of accessories
(You keep re-writing my intros... )
E-Z CLIP, £5.00
If you want to carry and protect your phone,
a case or holster is the logical choice but in one way or another most of them
restrict access to the phone, or its controls. E-Z Clip (‘zee’, not zed...) is
a novel alternative. The clip comes in two parts, the holder attaches to the
user’s belt, and a hook fits onto the back of the phone or its battery. Several versions are available, the one for
the Nokia 2110 has a clip that fits in place of the phone’s SIM card cover; the
clip for the Ericsson 237/337 snaps into a slit on the back of the battery. The
clip can also be fitted to other phones, and things like personal stereos, with
a pad of double-sided sticky tape.
Once in pace the phone slots into a V-shaped
groove on the belt-clip, a simple latch keeps it in place. To release the phone
just press a couple of buttons on the side of the clip and lift the phone
clear; it’s incredibly easy to use. The Nokia and Ericsson versions afford as
much, if not more security, as a conventional case or holder with a belt-clip.
There’s a couple of points to watch out for.
We’re not so sure about the universal sticky-tape fitting; a good sharp tug and
the clip could separate from the phone. Unless the surfaces are scrupulously
clean, the adhesive might fail to bond properly, with potentially expensive
consequences. The other one concerns the protruding clip, which might prevent phones
seating properly in some car kits and holders; check first if you’re likely to
be swapping the phone around, or keep a spare battery for in-car use.
Typical Price £5.00
universal belt clip
To fit most
makes and models
telephone (01253) 773177
WHAT CELLPHONE VERDICT 95%
A car’s air vent might not seem like a very
promising place to hang your phone but the Uni-Mount is the second device of
this type we’ve seen recently. The idea is the phone can be safely mounted in a
vehicle, without having to drill holes or resort to sticky fixings. Unlike the
GRM Vent-Mount (WC June), this one bolts, rather than clips, onto the vent, so
it should be quite secure. The Uni-Mount bracket is kept in place by four long
bolts with hooks on the ends, that attach themselves to the inside edge of the
vent’s horizontal vanes. The trouble is they’re a swine to fit. The bolt and
hook have to be threaded through the vent slots, then you have to fish around
inside, to find something to latch on to, whilst at the same time trying to keep
the mounting bracket in place and preventing the vent is moving around. It’s a
We tried fitting the Uni-Mount to several
cars, in each case we eventually managed to get it on, though on one vehicle
(Fiat) it came close to obstructing some controls and the parcel shelf limited
its range of movement. It might be a good idea to check first with the
accessory dealer, if it’s suitable for your car.
Once the mounting bracket has been tightened
down the phone holder slots into place. The holder has a lockable ball and
socket joint, so it can be set at the most comfortable angle. The phone -- in a
case with a belt-clip -- slots into the holder. We’re a little concerned about
a lot of hot air coming out of the vent and playing on the phone and battery,
though it should get some protection from its case. We suggest shutting off or
masking the vent in really cold weather, when the heater is likely to be on
It should be possible to get a reasonably
rigid fit on most cars, though there are exceptions, and in some instances it
might mean the phone is out of the user’s reach, so check first. Bear in mind
also what we’ve said about the fiddly fitting, this is not a job to tackle if
you’re impatient or in a hurry
Typical Price £23.50
in-car phone holder
To fit most
cars and most phones (in case with belt clip)
WHAT CELLPHONE VERDICT 78%
TELEWING MOBILE PHONE HOLDER, £25
Telewing is the brainchild of Swede Jan Hamph.
In between designing products for Bang and Olufsen, he came up with this neat
mobile phone holder. As you can see we’re not exactly short of phone holders in
this issue -- maybe we should do a special -- but this one is different, really.
Most other phone holders have to be semi or permanently installed, and moving
them from place to place can be a chore. Telewing is a genuinely portable phone
holder, that can be attached and detached in just a couple of seconds.
The secret’s in the suckers. There’s two of
them, that cling tenaciously to glass or any clean, smooth surface. One sucker
is mounted on a hinge, on the body of the bracket, the other is on an extending
arm. On both of them the sucker grips when a small lever is flipped. This type
of arrangement gives the holder an amazing degree of flexibility. The suckers
can be spaced, to suit different surfaces or angles, and by extending the arm
fully, it can be pivoted so that it stands upright. The attachment clip can be
reversed so the Telewing can be used as a desk holder.
Meanwhile, the phone has to be fitted with a
hanger, (it’s very similar to the ones used on the E-Z Clip, there’s, also a dedicated
Nokia variant, that replaces the SIM card cover). The ‘universal’ clip attaches
to the phone using a pad of double-sided adhesive tape; bear in mind what we’ve
said about them...
Telewing can be fixed and switched between vehicles,
boats, caravans, you name it, in a matter of moments. It is easy to fit and the
suckers grip well -- it’s almost impossible to shift them once they’re locked
in place. A neat, simple little gadget with a lot of uses.
Typical Price £25
phone holder with sucker pads
To fit most
makes and models
Images, telephone 0171-636 7127
WHAT CELLPHONE VERDICT 85%
HAMA SUCTION CLEANER, £13.99
This widget arrived just a few days to late
to make it into last month’s cleaning accessory round-up; better late than
never. It’s a tiny vacuum cleaner, designed originally for sucking dust out of crevices
in audio and video products, and computer keyboards, but Hama tell us it’s
equally suitable for phones as well.
The device is powered by a pair of AA pen
cells. They drive a small motor, connected to a centrifugal fan, that sucks
dirt in through the nozzle and traps it in a
filter module on the underside. There’s a choice
of straight or kinked nozzles, with a small brush on the end.
Now whilst this isn’t going to give Hoover any
nightmares, it can lift small particles of dust and fluff, that get trapped in awkward
little places. The hinges on the covers on flip-type phones can get very mucky;
microphone, earphone and accessory socket holes are another problem area. The
brush is quite stiff, and can shift more stubborn grime.
In common with the other cleaning products we’ve
looked at, this is not the complete solution, and it’s arguable that a simple
brush would be almost as effective, but where’s the fun in that?
Typical Price £13.99
portable, battery-powered vacuum cleaner
To clean most
makes and models
UK., (01256) 708110
WHAT CELLPHONE VERDICT 80%
Ó R. Maybury 1996 1207