While many will simply keep their Windows Phone in their pocket or case while in the car, a good many will opt to secure their Windows Phone in a car cradle. These cradles come in a wide range of styles and allows your phone to be easily accessible while driving whether you use the phone as a GPS navigational tool or just to see who is calling before you trigger your hands-free device.
OSO is offering a NFC enabled car cradle the company hopes will catch your eye. The OSO Push Mount is offered in three different mount options and with the NFC support, you can have your NFC enabled Windows Phone launch your favorite traveling app when mounted in the cradle.
In using the OSO dash mounted cradle for the past few days, it comes across as a solidly built option worth considering. However, there is one feature that seems to hold this cradle back.
The OSO Push Mount is your typical pinch-styled cradle that has to side clamps that pinch your Windows Phone into place. A large center button triggers a spring when your phone is pressed into the cradle that collapses the clamps.
A push down lever sits at the top of the backside of the cradle that, when pushed down, will extend the side clamps and release the Windows Phone. The cradle connects to one of three mounting options by a ball joint that has a tension screw that allows you to adjust the angle of the cradle.
The three mounting options include a suction cup for dash or windscreen mounting, an air-vent mount that hooks into the blades of your car's air vent and a CD mount that slides into the CD player of your car.
The OSO Push Mount stands out with its built in NFC support. You program the cradle as you would any other NFC tag. Pick your favorite NFC Tag app with write capability (such as the Nokia NFC Writer), choose your poison, hold your Windows Phone up to the cradle, and program the Push Mount to launch and app, change a setting or any of the other NFC supported commands.
It's a nice feature that can come in handy. You can program the OSA Push Mount to launch your favorite navigation app, launch Nokia's Car App or tweak a setting like turning on Bluetooth.
While we used the dash/windscreen model for testing, the air-vent and CD mount shared the same quality construction.
The suction cup on the dash/windscreen mount is the tacky-styled rubber that seems to want to stick to everything. This tackiness creates a better seal with the suction cup, which in turn gives the mount a more secure hold. As you would guess, the mount performs best on smooth surfaces but it held rather nicely on surfaces with a slight texture as well.
While the cradle lacks any bottom support for the Windows Phone, the side clamps do a good job of holding things in place. I did not experience any shifting or sliding of the phone while traveling down the road.
The only issue I have with the OSO mounts is when I go to remove the phone. Personally, I look for four things in a car cradle; secure mount, easy placement of the phone, secure hold of the phone and easy removal of the phone. Ideally, the last three should be accomplished with one hand.
The OSO cradles securely mounts in place, placement into the cradle is easy and the phone rides securely. The problem is that the release button is stiff and you need both hands to safely remove the phone. One hand presses the button and the other holds the phone and cradle steady. Just pressing the button alone will push the entire cradle down and should you be able to extend the clamps, without bottom support your phone will freely fall.
I'm not sure what could be done but the release of the Windows Phone needs to be smoother.
There is a lot to like about the OSO car cradles. You have a nice range of mounting options to choose from, the cradle holds your Windows Phone in place nicely and the NFC support helps automatically launch key apps or features you depend on while driving.
The downside to the mounts rests with the difficulty in removing your Windows Phone. Everything up until this point seems effortless and it would be nice if removing the phone followed suit. It's not impossible to remove your Windows Phone from the cradle but it takes a lot more effort than you may like.
I feel the need to throw out a caveat here. I don't like to dilly-dally when getting out of the car. I want to grab my phone from the cradle and get going without delay. While I liked the OSO Push Mount, the amount of effort needed to remove the phone tarnished its appeal. If the company could find a way to make the release as fluid as every other aspect of the Push Mount, it would shine a lot brighter.
The OSO Push Mount series is an attractive collection of car cradles for your Windows Phone. The NFC tag can come in handy and the mount offers a stable, secure way to tote your Windows Phone while traveling. It's not a bad option to consider, it just requires a little patience when removing the phone.
The windshield/dash mount version of the Push Mount is currently running in the neighborhood of $29.99 is available through OSO directly. The push mounts are also available through OSO's European and Great Britain websites (just click on the appropriate flag at the top of the store's website).