IPOW 2 in 1 Car Mount a great help with phone security in the car.
As many of you are aware, with the new year comes many new laws and regulations. ghsa.org shows a detailed chart of the handheld device restrictions by state, which is up-to-date as of December 2015. 14 states and Puerto Rico, Guam and D.C. prohibit all drivers from using hand-held devices while driving. These areas all allow primary enforcement (police see you using your device and can pull you over for that reason alone), similar to seat belt laws on public roads. 46 states ban texting and driving, and no state bans all use by all drivers for all reasons. For a look at your individual state rules you can check ghsa.org or handsfreeinfo.org and search by state. Why does this matter?
I am the primary driver for my family, and also the one most like to use tech while driving. I do not text and drive anymore, but I think I am addicted to notifications. I want to see what is going on, who has sent me messages. I often have my iPhone 6s Plus or my wife’s Galaxy S5 charging in my vehicle. Our current system involves having the charger in the phone and resting on the center console, on our lap or on the seat next to us. This makes it difficult to use maps for navigation, to make/answer calls and in general to use our smartphones more safely.
I have been given an IPOW 2 in 1 car mount (universal for dash/windshield/air vent) to review. I will begin by stating that this device acutely made me aware of what I have been missing. It is helping me to drive more safely and to maintain better focus on the task of driving. I now require less time/effort to get to my phone when a call comes in. Now it is right there, right in front of me and readily accessible.
The outside packaging reveals a basic white box with the name of the device in black. Removing the packaging the instruction manual becomes immediately available. The instruction manual demonstrates the parts and provides and easy to use description and diagram regarding operation. There are three individually plastic wrapped parts: the phone holder, the vent clip and the suction cup mount. You can use the phone holder with either of the included mounts. I find it refreshing that the company thought about this, and included both types of mount. I have never been a fan of the suction cup mount, for devices like my GPS or back up cameras, as I find it difficult to have to look up to gather information. It is clear that the instruction manual was written by a non-English native speaker, which is not really a problem as it is understandable. The pictures are definitely worth one thousand words.
Now to the fun part, reviewing the actual device. The phone holder is very solid and looks quite sporty, with black plastic and red accent rubber and stickers. Initially I was concerned that this would not hold my iPhone 6s Plus, inside of an OtterBox defender case. However, I was very mistaken. Start by pushing the little red button labeled “one” on the instruction manual and then gently slide apart the phone holder sides. The sides will already start to open for you after depressing the button. The manual says that the holder will hold devices to include GPS at a 48 to 98 mm width. I was able to use this with my phone, with room to spare. Step 2, swivel out the resting shelf legs for extra support for the phone. Not only does this cradle the phone on the sides but it also has legs underneath for better support. Again this attention to detail is much appreciated by someone who takes care of their devices.
I am really happy with the phone holder portion of the device. So now I must find a way to attach this to my vehicle. Since I am not a fan of the suction mount style, I started with the air vent mount. Start by unscrewing the plastic piece on the back of the phone holder insert the stick rod from the phone mount through the screw into the slot hole. These are not my words, I have simply used what they called them. Yes, I see the humor in the wording and “that’s what she said readily comes to mind.” Alas, I digress. Once you have the stick rod in the slot hole, tighten the screw. The spring hook on the back of the vent mount was initially in a vertical position. The instructions do not mention this, but it is a swivel that can rotate 360°. I turned the swivel hook into the horizontal position. You then pull back on the spring, showing a hook that will attach to the horizontal pieces of your vent. Releasing the spring puts pressure on the hook, holding the device in place. This is quite heavy when you add the weight of your phone to the holder. The manufacturers thought about this and built in a support on the bottom of the device, labeled E in the manual. I really like this feature and really like that it swivels as well, to allow more positional customization while driving. You can still use your cars vent and with the swivels on the back of the phone holder and base of the vent mount, it is easy to find a comfortable position to rest your device. The company has a real winner with this device.
I initially used this inside of my truck, a Chevy Silverado and then tried it inside of my wife’s Dodge Grand Caravan. Neither one of the vehicles have smooth finish on the dashboard and the suction cup will not work on the dashboard. They do make devices that stick to your dashboard that create a suction cup holder. I do not like these as they do not fit with my desired appearance of my car. The suction cup on the back of the device is quite strong and holds to the windshield very well. You attach the device to the phone holder in the same manner as you did the vent mount. The suction cup mount has a movable arm to improve angle of view and again with the ball of stick rod and slot hole (with the tightening the screw) you can maneuver this to your desired viewing angle. Again, I am not a huge fan of having to look up. I would rather look at the dash or vent region as this seems less disorienting. We are all different, and this company, very thoughtfully, included both mounts.
My wife tends to not be a fan of technology. She asked what was this thing in her car and why she needed it. She, like me, charges her phone and places it wherever she can while driving. She asked “does this charge my phone?” I told her no and then she said she didn’t want the dumb thing. When I showed her how well it held her phone in a position that she could use it for maps/navigation and for quickly making/receiving calls, she actually asked to keep it in her vehicle. Long story short, I now will be purchasing a second device for my vehicle. For my wife to like this device, it must be a homerun. I give this a five out of five for design, ease-of-use and for its potential safety features. We all know it is not a good idea to be distracted while driving. This holder helps to use your device more safely.
The designer obviously thought about multiple devices when manufacturing this holder. This is mostly evident in the shelf foot design on the bottom of the phone holder. It is not a solid shelf and the sides are not solid sides, which allows for charging while inside of the cradle. The cradle itself does not provide any charge. A possible improvement for the company would be inductive charging in the back with charging cases. This is not a setback as the foot design does not inhibit the native charging capability of the devices. I do not know how long the ball and screw system will maintain their strength and tightness. I do know that if the device sags or if it seems to not hold its position, tightening the screw can help. Other holders I have used previously have had some improvement by scuffing up the ball head with sandpaper to improve grip. In summary, this is a good device, one that will help many drivers more safely use their devices. I rate this five out of five stars. You can purchase this device through Amazon.
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