If you’ve ever gone shopping for a car cradle/holder for your phone, chances are you’ve come across plenty of the same old designs with the arm grip and suction cup. Thankfully, there are those that look way more sleek and stylish – as evidenced by the Zyroshell, which was successfully funded on Kickstarter back in October of 2012. Made out of aluminum, the MacBook-inspired Zyroshell can be used just about anywhere, be it your car, office desk or home.
Based on a minimalistic (yet highly attractive) design, the Zyroshell complements a MacBook or iMac nicely with its anodized aluminum body. Essentially built like a flip open stand, the cradle is able to tilt 180 degrees, and even rotates 360 degrees. Beneath the circular dust cap found on the front is an equally large gel pad that is strong enough to hold an iPhone or Smartphone. Using non-adhesive sticky technology, the gel pad is reusable and washable with water and soap.
The Zyroshell also comes with a separate “baseplate”, which is a larger gel pad with a magnet attached to it. Once the baseplate has been applied to the desired spot (windshield, dashboard or desk), the Zyroshell can then be placed right above it, and the magnets will securely click it in place. It is this action that allows the cradle to rotate 360 degrees, as the magnet and bottom cutout are both circular.
Throughout the past several weeks, I’ve really come to enjoy using the Zyroshell, particularly on my home office desk beside my iMac. The generous 10 viewing angles is great and the gel pads have held my iPhone 5 in place – even when I’m driving. Once stuck on properly, I haven’t had my phone inadvertently fall off. To be on the safe side, you’ll want to push your phone firmly against the gel pad and hold it there for a second or two, otherwise it might not give it a real strong grip.
What I’ve ended up doing is leaving the the base gel pad in the car, as I’ve found that the Zyroshell works perfectly well without it on my desk. Sure I don’t get to spin it around, but it’s just as easy to reposition the base however you see fit. And when I need to get in my car to drive somewhere, I simply bring my iPhone 5/Zyroshell and plop it onto the gel pad’s magnet on my windshield.
Even smaller tablets work with the stand. I’ve tested it with my iPad mini and the gel pad can hold it up just fine either horizontally or vertically. As for bigger tablets, I’ve tried it with the original iPad and that is just too heavy for the hinge to stay up.
The weakest link to the whole Zyroshell equation is the actual baseplate. The issue I have is that the magnet is attached to the gel pad via an adhesive tape of sorts; it just doesn’t seem all that secure in the long run. The other thing I’ve noticed is that the base gel pad doesn’t stick as well to my dashboard as other surfaces. This could be due to the fact that I’d waxed it before, but after scrubbing it down with some soup/water, it still doesn’t stick like it does on glass or a desk. Even so, depending on your vehicle there are still several other locations the cradle itself can go (with or without the baseplate), like on the windshield, tucked into the top of the visor or on the console area near the gear shift. A word of caution though: the combination of the aluminum and sun during a really hot day will heat up your phone and Zyroshell quite a bit. So it’s probably advisable to keep it out of the sun when it’s crazy hot.
The Zyroshell is certainly one of the sexier and more versatile cradles out there for the iPhone. The fact that you can use it either at home/the office or in the car is an added bonus. It is also worth noting that the unit I received is among a new batch that have been improved with bigger gel pads and baseplates that provide more grip.
It’s available in both matte silver or black for $39.95 and can be purchased directly from the Zyroshell website.