Strike Universal Alpha Cradle for Smart Phones

 

Posted by: Jason McIsaac

 

I have been looking for a Car Cradle to replace my old Samsung one for some time and I think I have finally found one in the Strike Universal Alpha Cradle for All Smart Phones.

 

I completed a review of the Strike Alpha cradle for the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 with an OtterBox Defender Case this year and found thier products to be pretty solid, the Universal cradle is no exception to the rule.

 

Features

 

  • Integrate seamlessly - With the cradle being fully pass through compatible, Strike has allowed your Alpha Cradle to be used with any Bluetooth car kit, entertainment unit or your computer.

  • Holds, charges, protects and boosts the signal of your phone.

  • Accepts 12/24 Volt charging with voltage spike protection.

  • Engineered to ensure the handset sits flush against the passive antenna connection. Providing superior signal boosting performance.

  • The internal passive antenna booster is specifically tuned for Australian networks including Telstra Next G and all 4G. Comes with FME male for external antenna connection.

  • Designed, engineered and made in Australia for Australian conditions.

  • 3 Year Unlimited KM warranty.

  • *Unique Patent Pending Design.

  • For information or support on Alpha Cradles please click here.

 

Source: www.strike.com.au

 

 

What you get with your Strike Cradle

The pack includes the following items, the main cradle clips on the to the swivel mount.

  • Strike Alpha Car Cradle Cell Phone Holder

  • Windscreen Mount

  • Cigarette lighter power supply

  • Quick start guide

  • Micro USB charging adapter

 

 

Up Close and Personal

Below is a Gallery of the Strike Alpha Universal Cradle, showing of the different components. 

Strike Alpha Universal Cradle

Strike Alpha Universal Cradle

The cradle feels very solid in have and the arms open very wide to accommodate my Huawei Mate 8. The front face plate connects to the Windscreen Mount.

Cradle Release Button.

Cradle Release Button.

The Strike Alpha Universal Cradle has button on the right hand side close to the top to release the arm clamps. This took a bit to get used to as my old Samsung one was at the bottom on the back.

The Ball Joint.

The Ball Joint.

I liked the motion of the ball joint, I can lock it to a viewing angle that suits me or my wife can adjust to the view angle she likes.

Strike Alpha cradle Suction cup

Strike Alpha cradle Suction cup

I found the suction cup to be be extremely strong and so far has not detached from the window-screen.

USB Charging

USB Charging

The Universal cradle has a USB cable attached at the bottom of the cradle for Android phones (ref to the iPhone section on Strikes website).

USB Charging

USB Charging

As you can see the USB charger is connect to the base of the cradle via clamp screwed into the bottom.

Removing the USB cable.

Removing the USB cable.

I personally found that the USB cable would get in the way, and the main reason I removed it is my Huawei Mate 8 has a 4000mAh battery so I really don't need to charge it at all during the day, even though I am a power user.

External Aerial

External Aerial

The Universal cradle comes with an attached External aerial, I am with Vodafone Australia and find that my coverage is pretty good in all the areas I commute to, so not a something I would use, however if I was traveling around Western Australia and had an external aerial this would be a huge plus. Truck drivers and the like would find this to be a must.

Car Charger

Car Charger

The cradle comes with a solid charger and fits well with in my car as my cigarette lighter socket is in the middle console by my hand-brake and doesn't get in the way.

Dash Mount

Dash Mount

For those that do not want to connect the Cradle to their windscreen Strike supplies a dashboard mount, I used this for Strike cradle for my Samsung Tab A 8". This was a better option in my wife's car as her windscreen slops further away from the dash.

Installation of the Strike Alpha Universal Cradle

The installation of the Strike Alpha Universal Cradle was pretty straight forward, you will need to connect the front face plat with the swivel arm, this is just lining up the four holes on the back of the base unit to the four prongs on the swivel arm.

You will need to insure that you clean the windscreen before attaching the suction cup, this is to make sure you have a good connection to the windscreen, I have found just applying a small amount of moisture to the suction cup before attaching it assist a better connection.

The photo gallery below shows how the cradle looks attached, in this example I had to use my wife’s Huawei P8, it has a 5.2” screen and is very thin.

Strike Alpha cradle attached

Strike Alpha cradle attached

The Cradle was easy to attach, make sure that the windscreen is cleaned before attaching.

Huawei P8 installed

Huawei P8 installed

I was originally going to use the P8 as my camera, but my wife hadn't charged so use my Mate to take the photo's.

Phone installed

Phone installed

The clamps click in with a nice sound and the phone is very secure, easy to get in and out.

Clamps

Clamps

Just a close up of the clamps and how they curve around the front of the phone.

Viewing angle

Viewing angle

I like the fact that I can change the viewing angle from left to right or even up wards.

Landscape view

Landscape view

If you use you phone for GPS Maps then this works so well, if you place the cradle and phone in the center of the windscreen you can use your phone as a dash cam.

Swivel Arm

Swivel Arm

The Windscreen Mount is very solid with minimal movement. The phone is in landscape mode.

Swivel arm and unit

Swivel arm and unit

Good view of the clamps, swivel arm and suction cup.

Comparison: Strike vs Samsung

I have been using a Samsung cradle for the a number of years and it is ok, the main issue I have is that the suction cup is detaching from the windscreen and more so if it has been a hot day. Below are four photo's two from each the Strike Alpha Universal Cradle on the left and the Samsung on the right.

 

As you can see the the Strike cradle body is wider and that the arms (clamps) open up a lot more, my Huawei Mate 8 is a large phone (6" screen) and it has a slim case on it, it only just fits in the Samsung cradle, where as the Strike cradle still has a bit more room.

 

It took me a bit to get used to where the release button on the strike but have it down pat now, the Samsung release button was at the bottom so was easy to get to. The issue I had with the Samsung was that it kept loosing it suction on the Windscreen and sometimes it would fall off with my phone in it while I was driving, not the best thing. 

 

Strike Alpha Universal Cradle 

Here is a video by Strike show casing their Car cradles.

 

Testing the Strike Alpha Universal Cradle

I put the Strike Alpha cradle through its paces over the last 3 weeks or so. 

 

Speedbumps: Here in Perth and especially here in Wellard, I found that the Strike Cradle didn’t bounce as much, and the phone was still very solid. Now I went over a number of speedbumps slowing down to 20kms and going over some and 50km, the cradle didn’t even seem to care.

 

 

Freeway Travel: For me this is where the Strike cradle came into its own, I used my Mate 8 as a GPS navigation (my Holden Cruze has one built in but hey it’s a test) and it worked brilliantly, with the Huawei Mate 8’s large 6” screen just works.

 

I like that the cradle could move from portrait to landscape with only a twist of the cradle and a little tightening of the ball joint.

 

Sun / Heat: If you have been to Perth, Western Australia you would know that we have some hot summers, so far this Spring it has been mild, except last week we have couple of days higher than 25oC one day was actuall 35oC and my car was parked at my local Train Station in direct sunlight. I came back to my car at the end of the day and the cradle was still attached and it did drop off when I places my phone in the Cradle. This is a huge tick from me. 

 

 

Roundabout / Corners: I have found that due to the larger size of my Huawei Mate 8 it used to bounce a bit going around corners or large roundabouts and as stated above it could also loose suction on the Samsung cradle.

 

Wew have a large number roundabouts and some are large, and I have found that the Strike cradle just sits there with hardley any movement at all. 

 

Conculsion 

So, would I recommend this car cradle? 

 

I would have to say Yes, it meets and exceed my expectations, it was just so solid for all the testing I through at it and just everyday usage. I put it through a barrage of tests and it still performed so well.

 

The Strike Alpha Universal Cradle is not just designed for your Truck Drivers or someone doing long hauls, it my personal view it is designed for everyone be it the school Mum, the Business Dad, or even Grandad.

 

What I liked about the cradle was it is just so solid, from the construction of the unit, to the strong suction and it does look good.

 

Click on the images below to find your next Strike Cradle.

 
© THE EDC ZONE 2014
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