Finding a Cell Phone Holder
Shopping for a cell phone holder seems simple enough, but it can be complicated by unlimited choices. A holder could be a phone case or cradle, the possibilities are endless, spanning from unique novelty cases to a vehicle installed cell charger. Especially with blue tooth, the most common are car kits which I will focus on. Consider these 5 points before you buy. Don’t worry-no technical expertise required. Here are some common options to help select the right one for you.
Universal or Specific? There are holders designed for certain brands or specific models. One of the most important differences is whether you have a PDA or cell phone. This-along with size–is the only distinction that really matters when looking for a universal holder. Universal holders are inexpensive (as low as $10) and have a suction or adhesive mount for any vehicle. They are padded inside to secure a wide range of devices.
Passive or Active- This was confusing to me. I hadn’t heard these terms used to describe a cell phone holder or cradle. Moreover, it was difficult to find their meaning; definitions weren’t readily available on product sites. Eventually, I found it refers to charge. In a plexiglass mobile phone stand nutshell, active will charge the phone while in the cradle, while passive won’t. Although, you can plug a travel charger cable into your phone while it’s on the passive holder. Fixed is installing the active cradle to connect to the vehicle’s electrical system.
Installation- Installation is simple with windshield or dash suction mounts. Adhesive discs are also common and can be placed anywhere. Another solution is a mounting platform like Proclip. The clips to dashboard seams for permanent and secure attachment. A screwdriver is needed but not to screw it to the car-no damage is done. If you’re going for the gold, and want the electrical connection, leave it to a professional.
Mount place and phone size- Mount on the vent, dashboard, windshield, console and cigarette lighter. It’s easier to find cigarette lighter mounts for small phones, keep the bigger models on the dash.
Cost & Extras- Basic (passive) cradles can be less than $10, before shipping of course. Even these have the convenient tilt and swivel option for screen visibility. The price goes up based on features, i.e. a charger for your bluetooth headset or a dual holder for GPS. Some have a USB port for data syncing and charging.
Hopefully, these points have given you a place to start. Now, with an idea of what’s out there, you’re ready to go. Happy hunting!