A little flavour of what's in store...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

iPhone Kensington car mount review

My friend garethbraid over at Twitter knows I've been looking into a car mount for my iphone. He tweeted what had i chosen and if it was the Kensington car mount, what I thought of it?

As Twitter only gives you 140 characters to reply, I thought a more in-depth review might be appropriate (and helpful to anyone else considering buying a car mount for their iphone / itouch or ipod - as the Kensington mount fits all three)

First impressions opening out of the box - very sturdy piece of design. The flexible arm from the holder to the suction cup was very stiff - no loose flapping around here!.

The holder was padded in the right places and featured a handy quick release button behind where the top of the phone will rest, to release the two side 'holders' that push in to fit. It can also be rotated independently of the flexible arm so you can twist your iphone screen just like holding it in your hand (probably best not while driving though!).

The suction cup for the windscreen really sticks with a handy plastic (sturdy) lever to clamp up and make the seal complete - I've been driving down some rough roads and it hasn't showed any signs of movement at all.

Fitting was easy - the kit includes a medical style wipe to prepare the glass first - postage stamp size but enough to wipe the patch of window where you're going to place the suction clamp.

Warning! Make sure the wiped area is completely dry before attaching suction clamp other wise it just slides about!

If you prefit the iphone holder (in my case) to the arm which is already attached to the suction clamp, try a few different positions until you're happy with the bend of the arm - it's very difficult to bend it once 'fitted' / in situ.

Try this with the iphone in the holder.

Road Test:
Overall, the holder performs well. It doesn't move about, hasn't dropped my pride and joy iphone and is a sturdy and well built look about it.

My only complaint is that the phone judders with every vibration of the car - transmitted via the windscreen i suspect although the flexible arm does seem to act like a spring on really rough roads.

I've tried positioning the arm so that at its lowest point, it rests onto the dash but this has not steadied it any. It would be really annoying out of the corner of your eye if the iphone screen was lit up the whole time but as it isn't, I think i can live with it.

The Kensington mount does come with sticky pads to affix the iphone holding bracket direct to the dash - probably better (if the pads are as sticky as the suction clamp) for vibration but more tricky for position.

My Kensington iphone car mount came with an additional cable (3.5mm to 3.5mm jack plug at each end) presumably for plugging your iphone etc into a mp3 socket on your car and a jack plug adapter.

More than happy with the quality but wish I'd read that this judder/vibration problem could exist - might have considered a vent mounting instead if that had been the case. One of those things I'll have to live with.

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