Cobra CigFlex with USB – product review
Dec 2011 - As one of the new CES accessories we received a Cobra CigFlex car mobile device stand and USB charger. The unit features a flexible neck to allow for positioning of a mobile device for both optimal viewing and control in vehicles with the auto-accessory port (12v cigarette plug) not located near the eye level of the dashboard.
Pro - very sturdy while driving, locks in position, supports new USB charging direction for devices.
Con - does not come with any USB accessory cables, only one length of the flex neck
Overall - Good product - the device works well, is easy to maintain and is mechanically reliable to hold the product in place.
The Cig-Felx unit plugs into the auto-accessory port and has a standard USB power connector available for use in charging the device in the cradle or a separate device and then has a cleanable “sticky” cradle for your mobile device that can be placed at dashboard level for easy viewing. The cradle placement is secured by an adjustable nut on a ball joint connection centered in the back of the cradle. This allows for both vertical and horizontal use of the mobile device as a communication device, and under the growing trend, as a mapping tool using the GPS feature of the phone.
The plug unit fits snugly in the accessory port of european cars, and is a bit looser in American vehicles. In the American cars, the fit is still tight enough that the mount does not tilt or sag unless it is on a very bumpy roadway. The unit was tested in both the front seat and rear seat accessory plugs. In the rear seat area, it worked well even with objects as large as a 7" tablet/e-reader when used in a mini-van/suv. Most sedans only have a central rear seat accessory port, so the product is not optimized for that application for a side seated user.
For the front seat use (driver and passenger), worked well in large vehicles. The unit features almost a 10" flex neck on the product which is a good size for full size cars and mini-vans & SUVs which tend to have floor or low console mounted accessory ports. The fixed tilt angle of the plug fits well in most of the cars, but several cars that have flat upwardly facing sockets end up with the product with a tilt.
The USB output is fairly high power 1-1.5A so it quickly charges most phones, tablets or other USB charging devices. This lets you connect the devcie via the 3.5mm input jack or bluetooth connection of the card and this way the mobile device can stay charged.
The unit was easy to install an remove and the sticky material to hold the phones in place was easily renewable.