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THOUGHT: How much do you miss a cradle?
Posted by Arne Hess - on Monday, 20.12.04 - 21:33:49 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 8600x
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Back in the early days of the Pocket PCs, it was good "tradition" to deliver the device with a cradle and also the first Smartphone like the HTC Canary, Tanager or Voyager included one. Now it seems to become more and more common to send the new devices without cradles - doesn't matter if Pocket PC or Smartphone. For instance neither the Motorola MPx220 nor the Orange SPV C500 or the HTC Magician (T-Mobile MDA compact) includes a cradle anymore but it's available as separate accessory only.

As long as my phones were just phones I had no real use for the cradles other than for charging but even this was convenient. Now where I have to charge my devices even oftener as well as I want to sync them with my PC(s) most of them doesn't includes a cradle anymore out of the box. To be honest - this annoys me a little bit and the user experience is slightly lost - without a cradle. I hate it to fumble the cable into the plug - good old days where I just plugged the device into the cradle and when it was charged and synchronized.

Does it makes the devices cheaper? At least the package excludes one (not so expensive) part but I'm not sure if the devices became cheaper at all. If the OEMs take the profit - "no problem at all" - at least that's how capitalism works but from the user point of view I miss my cradles. :-(

  • It was so easy and convenient in the morning when you left the house: you know where your Pocket PC or Smartphone were and it was charged.
  • It was so easy and convenient when you entered the office: it was always the same place to put the device to get it charged and synchronized.
  • It was so easy and convenient in the evening when you came home since you know where to put your device to get it charged for the next day.

Today it's a little bit different:

  • In the morning I'm permanently looking around to find my devices - just to find out I forgot to charge it over night.
  • In the office I forget pretty often to synchronize it every time I'm adding a new appointment just to notice later in the meeting that I don't have the latest appointments or Notes with me.
  • In the evening I have no clue where to put my device which brings me back to the morning where I recognized I should have connected it with the charger.

I'm always a little bit jealous of my girlfriend if she simply puts her Smartphone into the cradle in the evening - well, she will do it at least until Christmas, then she will get an "upgrade" - "for sure" without a cradle which might be a downgrade for her.

Cheers ~ Arne


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Posted by Christopher Spera on 21.12.04 - 17:27:07

I prefer to have a cradle.  I don't like to just leave my devices laying on my desk.  I like to have some place to put them and make sure that they are safe and in a dedicated space.  Devices can get picked up and put in a separate place if there isn't a cradle; and if your desk is cluttered, like mine, you can misplace them.  A dedicated cradle prevents that.

That being said, I was very disappointed with the lack of a cradle in the MPx220.  The review device I have gets knocked around a bit more than I would like it to.  Devices that cost more than $350US should come with a cradle.   When you pay that much for a device, you really need to get something to help you keep it nice.  If the device provider offers a cradle on their higher priced units, it should be included in the box with the device... Just MHO.

Posted by Wolfgang Irber on 21.12.04 - 19:17:50


I'm more the cradle-less user type. To be honest, I rarely use it for charging and synchronising. And the latter only as I'm not able to get Activesync via Bluetooth to work :-(

I have the charger with me most of the time and charge the XDA when its convenient and necessary.
I'm rarely at my desk, hence a cradle is the last item I would miss.

Servus ~ W

Posted by pmaage on 20.12.04 - 22:25:24

I use my Axim X3is cradle mainly for charging the 2nd battery. I cant really remember when I last charged the battery in the axim. For this the cradle is priceless, but if I didnt have a 2nd battery to switch, I wouldnt miss the cradle much. I have to admit it is more convenient than fumbling with the cable for my Typhoon SD4500. But I have yet to forget to connect the typhoon to keep it charged.

Posted by Ralph Hoogerhuis on 21.12.04 - 11:16:43

Arne, you say that for instance neither the Motorola MPx220 nor the Orange SPV C500 or the HTC Magician (T-Mobile MDA compact) includes a cradle anymore but it's available as separate accessory only.

I have not seen the cradle to be available as a accessory and would like to see where I can buy a cradle for my C500 and MDA Compact!

Posted by Thomas S. on 21.12.04 - 13:47:21

Another good use of the cradle:
I sometimes surf the Internet with my PPC in the cradle when connected to the Office-PC (Active-Sync Pass-Through).

It's useful in order to test whether or not a regular web-page can be configured as Avantgo-channel. With the Active-Sync Pass-Through, you don't have to pay anything for Data-Transfer, unlike with GPRS.
Or simply stream N-TV news via Real-TV while doing Office work.

Another thing (obviously less important): Having the PPC in a cradle next to my Office-PC simply looks much fancier (flashy peacock I am)


Posted by yoos on 23.12.04 - 07:02:55

I really need a cradle for my smartphone. I just purchased a SMT5600 and I'm pretty bummed that there is no cradle. It is so much easier to just put the phone in a cradle instead of having to deal with the usb cable laying around, it falling off the desk, and grabbing it to connect the phone. I'm all about convenience.... A cradle can also lessen the amount of scratches the back of the phone will get.

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