ProClip working on wireless charging for in-car mounts. We tell you why we like 'em.
Update: We now have a discount code...see below.*
Moment of humble-brag: I bought a new car recently and since it’s my first new car I’m suddenly into accessories for it. Enter in ProClip, one of the top recommended companies who manufacture in-car mounts for literally everything mobile.
We had a few conversations with Johan van Mierlo, Global Partner Development Manager at ProClip at CES 2013 and truth be told their products are quite compelling for those considering a superior setup for their vehicles.
The benefit of going specific
While ProClip do make “universal holders” which are themselves quite impressive due to their high quality, the company’s bread and butter is the ability to custom make mounts for any vehicle going back to 1972. In other words, you’re not buying a universal piece that you have to suction cup to your windows, but are instead buying a mount custom made for your car.
In fact, the company doesn’t need to receive “X” amount of orders before it can manufacturer a specific mount. Due to their manufacturing setup (located in Sweden), they can literally do “an order for one”. Sure, if it’s a 1973 Dodge you may pay slightly more but for the knowledge that you’re getting a specific part to fit your vehicle, it may be well worth it.
In addition, the mount you buy is not only specific for the car to ensure maximum efficiency in placement and stability but the corresponding holder is also custom made for your phone.
Lumia 920 and HTC 8x mounts selling like hotcakes
Before CES we actually ordered a Lumia 920 holder to give it a going over and as it turns out, we got briefly backordered. In speaking with Johan he confirmed that the version for 920 was selling very well, especially in comparison to the 8xx series which was not as popular (their version for the HTC 8X is also selling a lot due to its worldwide availability).
Although it’s anecdotal, we can add this as more evidence that the current crop of Windows Phone 8 devices are resonating with consumers as third party companies are starting to feel the effects.
What about Qi wireless charging?
Glad you asked. When we first mentioned the Lumia 920 ProClip setup, the first question we all had was “Does it do it Wireless charging?!”. The answer was “no” but we now have some clarifications on that and some good news.
Turns out there are quite a few considerations that need to be accounted for before tossing in a wireless charging setup. Here are just a few that ProClip shared with us:
- Qi Wireless frequencies can interfere with Push-button ignitions
- Qi Wireless frequencies can interfere with tire pressure sensors
- Coil placement and number can vary
- Is wireless charging enough to power the device and trickle charge it while using navigation?
Ah, you see now. It’s not as easy as just tossing in a wireless charging plate to make this happen. Choosing the right frequencies and making sure there is enough power are all crucial to this project.
For instance, on the flat wireless charging plate made by Nokia there are actually 3 coils whereas the stand only has one. While having more coils is better, since ProClip can make the wireless configuration more universal, it also drives up the cost.
The good news is ProClip is working with the Qi Wireless group and they are very confident that they can make this work. In fact, the Lumia 920 mount has a nice “gap” between the back of the phone and the mount. Traditionally ProClip does this to allow ample ventilation so the phone doesn’t overheat (which is itself brilliant) but it should be enough space so that a wireless charging pad can slip behind it.
We’ll have more on the Qi wireless version of the ProClip mount when it becomes available but rest assured, the company is actively working to get it done and do it right.
The high quality angle
We’re not here to tell you how to spend your money but if you tossed down some serious cash on your Windows Phone and you drive, ProClip seems to be your solution.
On our original article, numerous comments from readers like you heavily endorsed the company and their products. Much like Nokia, when a company’s fans speak out, we listen.
One of the benefits of the ProClip system is the high quality of parts. They’re not mass produced through injection molding but rather ABS plastic, which is sturdier and more reliable. Indeed we just received our Accord/Lumia 920 setup and the materials are solid (we’ll have a more thorough review later in the week).
Of course with excellence comes a price and the 920 holders range from $34 for just the holder to $80 for the hard-wired setup. In addition, the car mounts themselves are another $30 meaning you can easily drop $100 or more on the full system.
That’s quite a jump from a $30 universal holder but at least from our previous experience, those devices rarely live up to their promise. Plus in comparison to the car we just bought, it’s a drop in the bucket for a more superior experience.
Coming to the Windows Phone Central Store?
And yes, we’re going to see if we can stock some of the more popular Windows Phone accessories in our Store, so you can help support two companies at once. These things are complicated so I can't give you a firm “yes” or “no” or even a when, but we’ll be working to make sure you folks get the best accessories out there.
Head to ProClipUSA.com for more information on ordering or wait for our review in a few days.
*Update: In case you're ready to order, ProClip has extended a 10% discount code applicable now through Monday night. Simply enter in WPCCES13 during checkout to get the reduced price. Now, because the Lumia 920 ones are selling fast, you may have some lead time before your item ships, so keep that in mind.
And for you HTC 8X fans, we'll also do a review of that holder next week as well.