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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Kensington iphone car mount review - update.

Kensington iphone car mount review - update.

Regular readers and those who read my initial review of the Kensington car mount for the iPhone will remember that although I was impressed withe overall build quality and the incredible suction cup device it uses (it still hasn't fallen off my car windscreen once despite traveling along some very bumpy back country roads), i wasn't too keen on the amount of 'judder' produced by the springy arm.

I thought it was worth posting a quick update now that I've been using the car mount for a few months.

On the plus side:
It's never fallen off the windscreen! Not once. Also, the pressure grip sides feel really secure and I feel confident that my iPhone isn't going to go crashing to the floor or worse, fly out of the side window as we head into summer and lots of window down, arm out cruising.

I positioned it in the bottom RH corner of the car windscreen so that i can steady my arm on the side door trim to press the 'call' button. The iPhone doesn't support voice dialing (yet) and this was my only reservation about buying the iPhone in the first place. The kensington car mount kit makes button pressing an effortless task - the action of pressing a button not enough to move the sprung arm / holder.

TIP: When I first get in the car, i always select the favourites page of phone numbers (as very often, if i'm going to be calling anybody on a journey - they'll be in my top ten) so all I have to do is press the standby button and the call I wish to make.

On the minus side:
Depending on the direction of the sun, you can get an annoying glare off the surface of the phone whilst driving. That same 'tight-holding' sprung arm makes it difficult to simply 'swing' the phone out of the glare. Perhaps a more central position on the windscreen would fix this?

The side pressure grips - after just a few months, they seem to be a bit hit and miss when pressing the release button to remove the phone. Sometimes they jump back with quite a force, others, you literally have to peel them apart to remove your iPhone. It's a small complaint but one to note nonetheless.

That judder! OK My biggest problem with the Kensington iPhone car mount is the shake and judder transmitted via the car to the phone cradle. It's very off-putting and doesn't make for an easy phone use experience on anything less than a good surface.

The springiness of the arm from the windscreen suction cup to the phone holder, is too stiff (or not stiff enough?) either way, the result is the arm is unable to dampen any judders or shocks and transmits all of the cars movement to the phone. When I first used it, I was worried the vibration would have a negative non-warranty covered effect on the iPhone but it seems made of sturdier stuff than that.

I like the car mount - it suits my usage perfectly - apart from the vibration and constant movement (imagine a nodding dog on caffeine) and I wish I'd read more reviews on this subject before I'd bought it as I would have probably explored a ventilation grill mounting holder first.

If you can put up with the vibration (as I now have too), then the Kensington iPhone car mount kit is an excellent choice. If you can't put up with the constant movement, then it's not for you.

P.S: I've even tried 'lodging' the arm into the dash more to restrict the amount of free space the arm has to bounce around in to no effect (apart from a shiny patch on my dash where the arm rubbed).

Review written by Jonathan Crouch - Technical Partner at Fabulous Photo Gifts

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