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INTRO

Rick Maybury looks at a bunch of accessories

 

(You keep re-writing my intros... )

 

COPY

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. 

 

THE FACTS

Typical Price     £5.00

Features           two-piece universal belt clip

To fit                 most makes and models

Contact GRM., telephone (01253) 773177

WHAT CELLPHONE VERDICT   95%

 

UNI-MOUNT, £23.50

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 three-handed job...

 

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 full blast.

 

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

 

THE FACTS

Typical Price     £23.50

Features           universal in-car phone holder

To fit                 most cars and most phones (in case with belt clip)

Contact

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.

  

THE FACTS

Typical Price     £25

Features           portable phone holder with sucker pads

To fit                 most makes and models

Contact Digital 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?

 

THE FACTS

Typical Price     £13.99

Features           miniature portable, battery-powered vacuum cleaner

To clean            most makes and models                       

Contact Hama UK., (01256) 708110

 

WHAT CELLPHONE VERDICT   80%

 

 

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Ó R. Maybury 1996 1207

 


 

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