Category Archives: Mobile Accessories

Best Bike Mounts for iPhone

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Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts

The iPhone is great for internet, email and phone calls, and now thanks to a number of apps in the App Store, it’s also great when you’re out and about. Since Apple added GPS to the phone, the number of location based apps has grown quickly – especially those that track your location when you’re out walking or cycling.

Use your iPhone to track your progress when cycling

Use your iPhone to track your progress when cycling

If you enjoy venturing out on your bike and like to track where you’ve been, how fast you’re going or just find your way home again there are a number of Apps that will help you. One of the most popular amongst cyclists is MotionX GPS, a handy app that lets you track your route, record the distance travelled and monitor your speed. I’ll cover more of these apps in a future post.

MotionX GPS - Available from the App Store

MotionX GPS - Available from the App Store

If you’ve got one of these apps, you can leave it running in your pocket while you’re cycling, but this can often be uncomfortable and there’s always the risk that your phone could fall out.

The best way to use these kind of apps is to use an iPhone Bike Mount. These are secure cradles for your iPhone that clamp onto the handlebar of your bike, making it easier and safer to use.

I’ve had a number of enquiries recently as to which is the best iPhone Bike mount, so I’ve put this guide together that runs through some of the best iPhone Bike Mounts available.

Dahon BioLogic Bike Mount

The Dahon BioLogic Mount looks like it’s going to be an extremely popular option for bike enthusiasts. The mount incorporates a waterproof case that allows you to use your iPhone even in light showers. It has cut outs for your headphones and charger that have rubber covers to prevent liquid getting in.

Dahon BioLogic Bike Mount includes a splashproof case

Dahon BioLogic Bike Mount includes a splashproof case

You might think having access to the charger while it’s attached to your bike is a little unusual, but it’s actually a great feature as it means you can use external batteries or chargers such as the Freeloader Globetrotter to keep your iPhone charged – even when using GPS applications that really suck the power out of your phone. The BioLogic mount is bolted on to your handlebars and has a quick release button that makes removing the case from your phone quick and easy.

Ram Mounts for iPhone

Ram Mounts are one of the most talked about brands of iPhone Mount. Instead of using a bolt to clamp it to your handle bars, it uses zip-ties. The base of the holder has a rubber coating to prevent it from slipping and spinning round. It’s designed to hold your phone securely in portrait mode and has a sprung clip to keep your iPhone in place.

Ram Mount Simple and effective mount for iPhone

Ram Mount Simple and effective mount for iPhone

iPhone Bike Mount

The iPhone Bike Mount is a simple, no frills holder for your iPhone. It fastens securely to your handlebars without the need for any special tools. It has a tilting base plate that also rotates, allowing you to use your phone in either portrait or landscape mode, although the cradle is designed primarily for landscape use.

iPhone Bike Holder

iPhone Bike Holder

Arkon iPhone Bike Mount

We launched a wide range of Arkon mounts earlier this year and they’re all proving to be extremely popular. Their latest iPhone holder is this bike mount. It has a clamp that is bolted together for a secure fix and a fully adjustable cradle. It can be rotated and tilted to ensure good visibility and has 5 arms to hold your iPhone in place – 2 at the bottom, 2 at the sides and a spring clip at the top.

Arkon iPhone Bike Mount

Arkon iPhone Bike Mount

Krusell Bike Mount

The Krusell Bike Mount on it’s own isn’t enough to attach your iPhone to your bike. In order for it to work you’ll need to make sure that your phone is in a case such as the Krusell Classic or Krusell Orbit Flex. Both Cases offer great protection for your iPhone, but personally I’d opt for the Krusell Classic. It covers all of your phone, so will give it some protection against the elements, and the clear plastic window on the front doesn’t get in the way of using your phone.

Krusell Bike Holder works with Classic and Orbit Flex cases

Krusell Bike Holder works with Classic and Orbit Flex cases

The Krusell Bike Mount bolts on to the handle bars of your bike, then the Multidapt clip on the back of the case slides into the mount and is held in place. You can lock the orientation of the phone, but it’s a bit fiddly and involves pushing the clip further into the holder. Customer reviews are all good, but the general feeling is that it can be a bit fiddly to remove your phone from the holder.

Stabilo Bike Mount with Cradles

This is probably the most flexible bike mount that we offer, and by flexible I don’t mean bendy! It’s adjustable in a number of ways and has an extendible arm – although I’m not sure you’d ever need it. You can adjust the angle of the mount at the base and behind the cradle. It secures to your bike using a clamp and allen keys, so if it comes loose while you’re out and about you won’t be able to tighten it.

Stabilo Bike Mount has a choice of iPhone Cradles

Stabilo Bike Mount has a choice of iPhone Cradles

It doesn’t come with a phone cradle – you’ll need to buy these separately and you have a few to choose from. Personally I’d opt for the tall iPhone Cradle. This has a long support that will help keep your iPhone secure regardless of whether you’re using it in landscape or portrait mode. If you’re only planning on using it in portrait mode, then the shorter iPhone Cradle will do the job nicely.

GoRide Bike Mount for iPhone

The GoRide Bike Mount fixes to your bike in a similar way to the Ram Mount, but instead of having a rigid holder, it has a detachable case for your iPhone. This means that you can leave the case on your phone all the time, and quickly dock/remove it from the holder. Unlike the Ram Mount, this holder can be used in both portrait and landscape modes.

GoRide iPhone Bike Mount

GoRide iPhone Bike Mount

If you’ve seen any other types of iPhone Bike mount that you think do a great job, let us know using the comments form below.

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A Dock for your HTC Desire…

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Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts

The Desire is a great smartphone, but it needs great content on it in order for you to really enjoy it and get the most out of it. You can transfer all your photo’s, music and video’s to it using the cable that it came with the phone, but let’s face it, a USB cable doesn’t do much to show off your fancy new phone.

If you want everyone in the office to see your new toy as they walk past, or just be able to disconnect your phone quickly and easily without fiddling around with cables, you’re going to need a Desire Dock or Desire Desktop chargers.

There are a few available, so I thought I’d take a look at some of our most popular ones to see how they compare.

1. HTC Desire Desktop Charging Cradle

This is a quick and easy way to charge your phone while keeping it up to date with your latest music downloads, TV Shows and Photo’s. It connects to a spare USB port on your PC or laptop and can be used with a USB Mains adapter to turn it into a stand alone charging dock. It has a blue LED indicator that lights up when your phone is charging.

HTC Desire Desktop Charging Cradle

HTC Desire Desktop Charging Cradle

2. HTC Desire Dual Desktop Charging Cradle

This is essentially the same as the dock shown above, but with the addition of a built in battery charger. This makes it the perfect choice for anyone who has a spare battery for their Desire as it means you can charge both batteries at the same time, instead of having to charge one, remove it from the phone, replace it with the dead one and then start the charge cycle all over again.

HTC Desire Dual Desktop Charging Cradle

HTC Desire Dual Desktop Charging Cradle

3. Deluxe HTC Desire Desktop Charging Cradle

The Deluxe Charging Cradle is the most popular style of cradle . It looks excellent and has a hi-gloss finish. Behind the phone is a lift up cover that houses an additional battery charger so that you can charge a spare battery at the same time.

Deluxe HTC Desire Desktop Charging Cradle

Deluxe HTC Desire Desktop Charging Cradle

4. Smart Stand – HTC Desire

While the Smart Stand won’t charge or sync your Desire, it’s still a great way to watch videos or flick through your photo’s while you’re at your desk and is the only custom stand for the HTC Desire that will hold your phone in landscape mode. If you want to sync content to your phone, you’ll need to use a Micro USB cable. The Smart Stand has a sprung clip at the top that holds your phone securely in place and a weighted base that stops it from falling over.

Smart Stand - HTC Desire

Smart Stand - HTC Desire

5. Desk Genie Non-Slip Charging Desk Stand

The Desk Genie is a great all round Desk Stand, but has received a mixed response in the office when it comes to the Desire. The coating on the Desire doesn’t stick all that well to the Desk Genie, so unless you’ve got a case or cover fitted to your Desire, you might struggle to keep it in place. On the bright side though, the Desk Genie includes a charging cable for your phone and also doubles up as a memory card reader.

Desk Genie Non-Slip Charging Desk Stand

Desk Genie Non-Slip Charging Desk Stand

There are a number of other HTC Desire Desktop chargers available, but these are the the most popular ones at the moment. Head over to the main site to check out the full range of HTC Desire Docks.

More Desire Docks are due in the coming weeks and I’ll update this post as and when they become available.

Fully Integrate your car kit with Unika from Parrot

The Parrot MKi range of Car Kits are still the best car kits on the market. They’re fully compatible with just about every handset out there and no other Bluetooth Car Kit can come close to them on the number of features. With them being this great, you’d think that it’s not possible to make them much better, but Parrot have raised the bar again and introduced the Parrot Unika to further enhance the MKi Car Kits and allow you to fully control them using the controls already fitted to your steering wheel.

Fully integrate your Parrot MKi Car Kit with Unika

Parrot Unika integrates your Parrot MKi Car Kit with your Steering Wheel Controls

As standard the MKi car kits include a wireless remote control that will let you answer and end calls, activate voice dialling, control music playback and adjust the volume of calls and music which is great, but finding somewhere to mount the remote in car can be a little bit tricky.

Parrot Remote can be mounted on steering wheel or dashboard

Parrot Remote can be mounted on steering wheel

The MKi Car kits come with a couple of mounting options for the remote control – an adjustable strap that lets you attach it to your steering wheel or an adhesive plate that you can stick to the dash of your car. Both of these mounting options are good, but you can’t beat the stereo controls built into the steering wheel of your car. I’ve had the MKi9000 in my car for about a year now and I still try to adjust the volume with the stereo controls instead of the Parrot Remote.

Since the launch of the MKi series last year, the technical team at Parrot have been working hard to fully integrate the kits into cars and have just released the Unika – an additional control box that allows you to connect the Mki & RKi Car Kits to the stereo controls on your steering wheel, completely eliminating the need to use the remote control.

The Unika can be fitted to most vehicles, and if you’ve already got an MKi car kit fitted you can retro-fit one to your car without too much hassle. If you’re technically minded you should be able to fit it yourself, although you will probably need to remove some parts of your dashboard, I’ve just changed my car and didn’t fancy pulling it apart, so I got AutoTec to fit mine for me. The cost for the Mki9000 car kit, Parrot Adapter Cable, Parrot Unika and fitting worked out at £279. The kit and accessories on their own add up to about £210, so fitting was only about 70 quid which I think is more than reasonable.

Unika is compatible with Vauxhall, BMW, Ford & Honda Steering Wheel controls

Unika is compatible with Vauxhall, BMW, Ford & Honda Steering Wheel controls

Once installed, the Unika will use the the buttons on your steering wheel to control the kit instead of the remote control. The buttons that you use for each function will vary depending on your vehicle, and you don’t need to have any phone buttons on the steering wheel as the Unika will ‘re-map’ the functions of the steering wheel controls when connected to your phone or iPod. When you’re phones’ not connected you’ll be able to use the controls to operate your radio or CD player as normal.

You can check to see if your car is compatible and find out which buttons perform which function in your car on the Parrot Unika Support Site.

At the time of writing this post, these were the prices for the kit and accessories:

I’ve had mine in for a couple of days now, and I’m still getting familiar with the controls, so I’ll update this post in a couple of days time to give you an idea on how well it works.

Hands on Review: Clip & Talk Bluetooth Car Kit – Solar Edition

Solar power has been making an appearance in more and more mobile phone accessories over the last year or so. Initially only available as stand alone Solar Powered Chargers, the technology has now found it’s way into mobile phone cases, Bluetooth Headsets and Bluetooth Car Kits.

Of all of the accessories available, Bluetooth Car Kits are the most logical accessory to make use of solar power – after all, they do spend most of their time either on your dashboard or sun visor.

Clip and Talk Bluetooth Car Kit - Solar Edition

Clip and Talk Bluetooth Car Kit - Solar Edition

Until recently there were only a couple of Solar Powered Bluetooth car kits available – the LG HFB-500 and the Drive Solar Pro. The latest car kit to join the range is the Clip & Talk Solar Edition. The Clip and Talk range has always been a popular kit that offers great value for money. Mobile Fun recently asked me to write a review for them so I thought I’d put the latest addition to the Clip and Talk family to the test to see how it performs. Continue reading

Choosing the right accessories for your HTC Hero

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Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts

The HTC Hero is the most highly anticipated Android handset to be released. Not only because it’s only the third handset to be released running the new operating system from Google, but because this one is available without network or Google branding. Instead, HTC have put their own interface on top of the Android operating system to make it easier to use and improve how the menu system looks.

There’s no doubt that the Hero is going to be an incredibly popular handset this summer, and if you’ve invested in one, you’re going to want to keep it looking at its best and working to it’s full potential. To do that you’re going to need a few accessories, but with so many accessories for the HTC Hero available, choosing the right ones for your phone can be a bit of a minefield.

To help you decide on the accessories that you need, I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 Accessories for the HTC Hero .

1. HTC Hero C300 Leather Carry Case

The Hero is a smart looking phone that needs a smart looking case. The C300 has been designed to fit most HTC smart phones. It has cut outs for your charger and handsfree/headphones, as well as a hole in the bottom to make it easier to push your phone out. It’s made from a high quality leather with grey stitching and a soft suede lining that helps to keep your screen fingerprint free. The front of the case has been toughened to give your screen extra protection against crush and impact damage. On the back, the case has a couple of mounting options. The first is a sprung belt clip that allows you to attach it and remove it from your belt quickly and easily, the other is two stitched belt loops that allow you to keep the case on your belt permanently with no chance of it falling off.

HTC Hero C300 Case

HTC Hero C300 Case

Continue reading

A guide to the best HTC Hero Cases

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Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts


The HTC Hero is a difficult one when it comes to finding cases for it. Its funny ‘chin’ – the angled section of the phone under the screen – makes finding a case that fits it well extremely difficult, especially as all the case manufacturers took their time in releasing cases that are specifically shaped for the Hero.

It’s taken a while, but I’ve managed to track down 10 cases for the HTC Hero, so with more cases available and after hearing feedback on some of the cases I’ve put this list with cases that are made specifically for the HTC Hero. I’ll still keep my eyes open for any other cases that come along, and I’ll update this post as and when they become available so you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed or bookmark this post so that you don’t miss out on any new ones that become available.

HTC Hero

HTC Hero

Now before I go on to the cases, there is one thing that I’ve noticed on the Hero that I feel I need to warn you about – particularly if you have a white one. The plastic that the housing is made from seems to discolour quite easily, the dye from clothing or some cases may transfer on to the phone, which will require quite a bit of effort to clean off and it means that if your phone isn’t protected, it might end up looking worn quite quickly on the corners and on the back cover.

Normally, I’d recommend an InvisibleSHIELD full body protector to stop this kind of discolouring of the case, but if you try to remove an InvisibleShield from the phone, it will peel the paint off too, so for that reason avoid InvisibleShield for the HTC Hero.

Noreve Tradition A Leather Case for HTC Hero

Noreve are a designer case that to be honest I’ve never heard of. They produce premium leather cases that give Piel Frama and PDair a run for their money. This case for the Hero fits the phone so well it’s surprising. When I first saw the ‘chin’ on the Hero I didn’t think that this style of case would work, but Noreve have proved me wrong. The case is the same shape as the phone and moulds around it beautifully. The whole case is hand crafted from top quality leather and leaves your camera, charging ports and volume keys accessible. The case has a detachable ratchet clip that locks eery 15 or so degrees on the back that can be removed easily to leave the back of the case perfectly flat.

Noreve Leather Flip Case for HTC Hero

Noreve Leather Flip Case for HTC Hero

Continue reading

Hey – where did all the posts go?!

Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts

Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts

Don’t worry, all 200+ posts are still here, but this weekend I’m having a bit of a spring clean to freshen things up.

Over the last 12 months the way that I’ve been writing posts has been changing quite a bit and some of the older posts are a bit hard to read so I’m taking a few days out to tidy them up and get them back on here.

I’m also getting ready to move this blog to http://www.unofficialmobileblog.co.uk where it will be running on its own server, away from wordpress.com. The installation and template is nearly ready to go and I’ll be flicking the switch on Friday 28th August, the style of the site will change slightly because this theme isn’t available on a self hosted one, but other than that it should be the same to use.

Posts will start coming back in the next few days although most will only reappear on the new site. After the change things should be updated a little more often.

If there’s something you want me to cover regarding mobile phones or accessories leave a comment and I’ll get it scheduled in.

Thanks for bearing with me!