Sunday, March 6, 2016

Phone Car Mount

Phone mounted via a CD slot magnetic phone holder.I drive quite a bit as my commute to work comes out to 120 miles round trip. During those trip my phone is on most of the time running one or more application to make that driving easier. Among other things I typically use Waze for social alerts about the road conditions, Overcast to play one of the numerous podcasts I subscribe to or Pandora to play one of the custom radio stations, depending on the mood of the day.

Koomus Pro CD-Slot - M car mount.I typically used to put the phone into an opening next to cup holders down into the console between the seats. And it’s less than convenient to reach down there and pickup the phone up to check on the alert, switch a podcast or rate a song.

Koomus Pro CD-Slot - M car mount.Because of that I wanted to get a convenient car mount for my phone to raise it to the eye level. The most common holders are mounted on the air vents or are attached to the windshield. I didn’t really want to glue anything anywhere. Both of those options have problems — I don’t want hot air blowing onto my phone during winters and I don’t want to block air vents in general. And mounting on the windshields obstructs the view of the road and would be too far to conveniently reach.

With phone attached.The other day however I stumbled upon another way to mount the holder that I haven’t heard of before — CD slot. This is probably the least used piece of the whole entertainment system in my car that also happens to take quite a bit of space. And it seems mounting the phone via it is a perfect solution for my car. The position of the phone doesn’t block any vital controls or the main screen and is very easy to reach.

Case and the metal plate.I opted it for a magnetic car mount — easy to just stick the phone on without fiddling with the arms of the mount — made by Koomus. The only downside is that you need to attach a metal plate to the phone for the magnet to work. There are two options — glue it on or put it between the phone and the case. I had a spare Apple case layout around that we got by accident for free, but I prefer my phone without the case. So that’s the downside. Now I have a case. Gluing the plate is an uglier option.

Vertically mounted.The magnetic hold is very very strong. I tried attaching the phone to the mount and waving my hand with it violently. It doesn’t budge. Initial driving tests went well. It really is convenient to have it there. It’s easy to put on and take off and it stays dead still while driving.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Vaja ivolution Top SP Case

Front cover.Never posted a note about the 2nd Vaja1 case that we ordered — ivolution Top SP. Alena uses this case on her phone.

This is my own personal opinion of the case and since I’ve never extensively used it myself treat it as such.

Rear cover.I think it offers superior phone protection when compared to my case at least with regards to having all corners covered.

The leather itself is soft and very pleasant to the touch, much nicer that the shiny plastic on iPhone itself.

Bottom. The front cover swings down.The screen is protected really well, but as you can see it doesn’t cover the bezels on the sides of the screen itself, which is a good thing — no issues using the screen near the edges.

Originally I thought that it would be hard or impossible to open the case with one hand, but by now I have no issue with that — just takes a little bit of practice.

Screen is fully covered when closed, yet easy to use when open.The phone in the case can not be docked, if that’s your thing.

As you can see the wear shows after about 7 months of use, but Alena keeps it in her purse along with all other stuff. The wear however is purely cosmetic.

Cosmetic wear on the sides. Access to the side buttons.The cost was $85. There are a lot of color choices for the case itself and for the central stripe. This case gets thumbs up from me. A very good, functional and stylish case by Vaja.

  1. I can’t link directly to the case because Vaja uses Flash on their site. []
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Friday, August 7, 2009

Vaja Classic Retro Case

Front side of a case with iPhone inside.It’s been 2 weeks since we have received our custom cases from Vaja. I’ve been using classic Retro Dockable case daily and I’m at a point where I’m ready to write a form of a review for it.

Back of the case.Here is exactly what I ordered — Plain Vitelino leather1, “Passion” body color, “Sabbia” stripe color, kickstand2, ultra clip3. The total came out to $1114. You can also have them engrave the case with some custom text, but I didn’t get that.

I will start by saying that I’m practically in love with it and this is the best case that I have personally used, seen, or touched. If with other cases I was trying to have “as little” case as possible, this one evokes an opposite emotion. I enjoy it’s bold look and feel.

Cover and stitching close up.The craftsmanship is superb with perfect stitching and perfect tight fit. Leather is very pleasant to the touch. Vaja has a multitude of colors available to choose from, although their Flash “case builder” does not give a true representation of actual colors.

Open case with a phone inside.Functionality-wise it has its pluses and minuses. I feel that the phone is well protected, yet the switches, the speakers, microphone and dock connector are easily accessible. Camera is unobstructed. The screen cover is held down with magnets, but it can easily be flipped open with a thumb, so one hand operation is still possible.

Kick stand.The kickstand on the back allows the phone to be placed on the table with a screen facing you either in vertical or horizontal position, even though it does add some bulk to the case.

I’m still not 100% sold on the belt clip idea, even though I find the implementation great. I used to always wear a phone on a belt clip before the Treo. And I got used to carrying my iPhone in the pocket. The size of the phone doesn’t seem to place itself on the belt. Otherwise the connection between the case and the belt clip is very secure, yet it is possible to unlock and remove the phone with just one hand.

Empty case.Inside, the case has a small plastic protector covering the area around the speaker (all sensors work without any issues), but the the area for the screen itself is just an opening, which is great — there is no reason to have additional screen protectors when there is a leather cover on top of it.

Case flipped open.This brings me to a couple of problems. When placed in the case the screen ends up being recessed and not flush with the case face. As a result some actions that have anything to do with touching the edge of the screen became harder than they used to be. A good example of this would be moving icons from one screen to another. Although soon you learn that you can drag your finger over the edge of the case itself, but still, not as easy as without the case.

Top with, with connector, speaker and microphone on the bottom.Also since the home button is covered it’s not as easy to click and you don’t really get any tactile feedback from it. There is something glued to the back of it, but it doesn’t seem to be big enough. It’s a minor issue as well.

In conclusion I want to say that this is a great case and if I had a choice, I would order it again without any hesitation. You get what you pay for and it certainly is true in this case. Get it?

Update: There is a very thorough video review available by a guy named Omar C.

  1. $6 option. []
  2. Kickstand is a $20 option. []
  3. Belt clip mount, $5 option. []
  4. You can find coupons online to get a decent discount. []
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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Griffin Wave for iPhone 3G

Green case on black iPhone 3G.I’ve never had a case for a phone before. But then again I never had a phone that seems so fragile to a drop. Don’t get me wrong, the build of iPhone seems sturdy and solid, but because of the huge glass display it seems it won’t live through a fall.

After reading a number of reviews on different sites I decided to trust iLounge and their opinion. Out of several B+ graded1 cases they had Griffin Wave seemed the most visually appealing, yet slim, to me.

Griffin Wave cases sold as a pair.We ended up picking up a pair of these at BestBuy yesterday. They didn’t have any color choices and they were sold as a pair — one was black and white and another one was green. Both of these are translucent to some degree.

Griffin Wave case in black iPhone 3G.After putting the case on one thing becomes apparent — it feels amazingly good in hand compared to the naked plastic of iPhone. It stops being slippery and it won’t collect grease the way iPhone does.

The cases came with a screen protector, but I decided not to install it. It’s very unlikely that glass is going to get scratched, and I don’t want to sacrifice even a small portion of touch screen sensitivity.

Griffin Wave case on black iPhone 3G. Back side.The fit of the case is also very nice, except for one corner where there is no locking mechanism of any kind is present. There is a 1/3 of a milliliter gap between the top and bottom parts there which annoys me slightly. Otherwise I think it’s a very good buy.

  1. B+ was the highest rating for iPhone 3G cases on iLounge. []
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