Review of Monoprice Car Mount Cradle with charger for Note 2 w/lots of pics!!!Tips


  1. twister6

    twister6 Guides Guide

    This is a review of Monoprice Car Mount Cradle with car charger for Note 2: HDMI Cable, Home Theater Accessories, HDMI Products, Cables, Adapters, Video/Audio Switch, Networking, USB, Firewire, Printer Toner, and more!

    Let me start first by mentioning this is Monoprice branded accessory. As soon as you take a closer look you will realize this is actually KiDiGi Car Mount Cradle with a much better car charger in a more attractive packaging and only for HALF of the price of the original KiDiGi. Yep, its only $23 for the whole package including 1A Monoprice coiled car charger with LED light. It looks like Monoprice is branching out in their product catalog and now you can take advantage of a deep discount offered to us as part of their volume purchases.

    For those not familiar with original KiDiGi cradle, it offers a unique mount where you slide your phone in landscape position and hold it in place with a secure spring loaded flip latch at the top. The cutout on the back of the mount opens a view to your camera and a flash for those who like to use it as dashboard cam. Also, it has 90degree micro-usb connector built into the mount for easier charging of the phone. The main charging cable from your car outlet goes into the back of the mount where there is micro-usb port which then internally connects to that external charging cable with that angled connector. Although not rated at full 2A, a provided 1A charger/cable should be adequate to power up and to charge your phone during long trips. The mount cradle is connected to an adjustable mounting arm with a suction cup. With a universal ball joint connection you can rotate it 360 degrees, which also makes it compatible with other types of mounting arms that have receptacle for ball joint. Also, the mounting arm has a joint nut to adjust the angle of the arm for a further fine-tuning of cradle position. Unfortunately, the suction cup is a regular non-sticky material which means you can use it on a glass or a smooth flat surface. Most of the other car mount manufacturers switched to sticky suction cup to allow better attachment to textured surface. To compensate for that, you get a disk with a sticky 3M side to position on your dashboard surface, or as an alternative you can use any other mounting arm with a sticky suction cup but you need to find one that has a receptacle rather then ball part.

    Now here is a few very important points. Even so the box says support of Car Mode, Note 2 doesn't support that. Also, its a bit misleading that product description says it support Note 2 with and without a case. There is a spacer insert which could be removed. In theory once you remove it you should be able to insert Note 2 with a case. Unfortunate it will not work with anything as thick as Defender or Extended battery case, it will not even work with something like UAG or thin Case-Mate Tough cases, and it did not work for me even with thin TPU case. Maybe it could work with something like ultra thin air case from Spigen, but I don't have one to test it out. But it works well with a naked Note 2 and supplied insert.
    Overall, its a good value considering what you are getting, but you have to be aware that you will not be able to use Note 2 in the case and also with included suction cup have to mount it only to a flat/smooth surface. Other then these limitations which might be a deal breaker for some, this is a solid car mount with a quality built and unique design.

    Here are the pictures.

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    xenonsupra and DonB like this.
  2. drexappeal

    drexappeal Well-Known Member

    I've been in the Note 3 forums so much more often lately, that I haven't stopped in for a visit. Glad to see you reviewed this one, twister!

    I've been extremely happy with it, since I bought the kidigi one from mobilefun (although, I wasn't too happy to see it for so much less at Monoprice).

    Nonetheless, I'm hoping that it'll work with the Note 3 (there was a little give lengthwise with the Note 2, so as long as it fits the length, then it should work fine). And if it does, I'll link the Note 3 folks to your review here, twister.

    I'll post updates, as soon as I get the Note 3 next weekend and try fitting it in the holder. I should mention that, it's great when paired with a ProClip (Brodit) mounting base. I've posted up pics of my setup before, for those that are interested. I'm sure it's either in the FAQ's thread or somewhere on the car dock specific discussion.
  3. twister6

    twister6 Guides Guide

    Perhaps with N3 (you lucky dog!!!), you can modify the insert (like clipping the ends off) to make it work?

    I also assume you use it in your car without any case, right? Or perhaps with Spigen ultra thin case or Samsung original flip case (the which integrates into battery cover)?

    I was really happy to see Monoprice offering it now and glad they sent me review samples. In my opinion, this would have been perfect if it could fit my N2 with UAG or Tough cases. I like all those spring loaded car mounts/cradles (Arkon is ALWAYS at the top of my list), but the mechanism of this Monoprice/KiDiGi case makes it super easy for one hand operation; just have to live with using N2 naked in it.
  4. drexappeal

    drexappeal Well-Known Member

    I hate cases normally, but ended up finding that super thin custom case from artscow that I've been using on the Note 2 for a few months (until tonight, since I traded it in to Best Buy to get max value).

    I think that was one of the big problems people mentioned about the Kidigi case, since it didn't work with larger cases. The only part I didn't like about the Kidigi/Monoprice dock was having to plug in the micro USB, but after experience such great battery life with the Note 2, it wasn't as important for me to be plugged in all the time.

    I will definitely link your review by next weekend though (assuming it does end up working with the N3).
  5. Toddo97

    Toddo97 Active Member

    So since ibolt has fixed (?) it's early issues, do you like the kidgi/monoprice or the ibolt better?
  6. twister6

    twister6 Guides Guide

    Since I have tested and reviewed almost every car mount, here is my opinion. I always have case on my phone, not the most bulky but I do switch between UAG and Tough and often use Zerolemon with its TPU case. Taking my N2 out of the case to fit into car mount is out of the question, so that crosses KiDiGi/Mono from my list. iBolt is a great case, but I prefer to use only its usb/audio cable and their iBolt Dock'n'Drive app which starts automatically once you connect their cable. For the actual car mount I always come back to Arkon since it's more versatile and more reliable in my opinion. They design and engineer their own products and pay close attention to quality details; the last thing I want is for my phone to drop in the middle of the driving.

    But if you narrowed it down to KiDiGi and iBolt xProDock, the decision really comes down if you do or don't have ultra extra slim case (KiDiGi) or want to use it with any case (iBolt). Plus iBolt with it's cable and its fantastic app will put your phone in a driving mode.
    Toddo97 likes this.
  7. drexappeal

    drexappeal Well-Known Member

    I think iBolt's setup is ok, but i like their design for other phones as compared to their answer for Samsung phones. They made dock and go options for other phones so the x-dock was a little disappointing, especially after it took them forever to finally release it.

    My personal preference is a setup like the dock for the original note designed by Samsung.
    Toddo97 and twister6 like this.
  8. Toddo97

    Toddo97 Active Member

    I forgot about the case thing--with my Seidio Surface, I guess that takes the monoprice off the table for me. It's too bad that there's no clear cut best mount for this and very unlikely for there to be one in the future with the N3 just about out.
  9. drexappeal

    drexappeal Well-Known Member

    I got a couple cases in to test out fitment. Only the extra thin one fit, so I will have to see if it'll work this weekend, with the phone in it.

    I'll update as soon as i do. Length doesn't seem to be an issue yet, but the case is also one of those minimalist cases that doesn't have top or bottom coverage, so I am a little worried the length of the actual phone will just be a little too long.
  10. drexappeal

    drexappeal Well-Known Member

    For those interested, it does work with the Note 3 either naked or with an extremely thin case:

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    Catch is, charge is excruciatingly slow (even with a 2.1A charger).
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