PortaGrip Universal Phone Holder is a great option for a professional-grade mount.
There are a lot of options out there when it comes to mobile device mounts for cars. I’ve tried many, many different options in the market – everything from vent mounts to magnetic ball mounts – and have found that the heavy duty options are usually the best for my uses. Several years ago, I came across a company that made high-quality car mounts for mobile devices and I was immediately intrigued because of the products’ versatility. They were interchangeable with the mounts and built TOUGH. The thing to remember when it comes to car mounts is that you get what you pay for. If you buy a $10 suction cup mount, don’t be surprised when the mount looses its grip in hot or cold conditions and crashes spectacularly to the floor of your car. If you spend a lot of time in your car, the higher quality mounts are going to give you what you want and will really last a long time.
PanaVise is one of those high quality producers of mobile device mounts. To be honest, PanaVise is a company I had not heard of before my visit to CES. They specialize in precision vises, circuit board holders, holding tools and mini arbor presses. They really focus on the professional installers, which is why I wasn’t familiar with them. Meeting their team at CES was worth the trip to Las Vegas because without that trip, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to check out their wonderful products. For the past several weeks, I’ve been driving around with the PortaGrip Premium Windshield Mount in my car and have really been able to tell the difference in quality between it and so many others in the market.
The first thing I noticed when I took the mount out of the box was that there was no assembly required. This is kind of a huge deal as many of the ‘high quality’ brands require at least the mount to be attached to the base. This one was neatly folded up into itself and only had to be adjusted. I was also immediately taken with its weight. While it doesn’t list an official weight on their website, I would say it’s 8-16 ounces and it just feels very solid. It has a reinforced locking mechanism for the suction cup and two knobs on the sides that allow you to lock the arm and mount into place. The mount will actually accommodate phones up to ‘phablet’ size. It has a quick release button for the grip and two foot pads to help support your phone. The description on the website states that you can remove the phone once the size is set simply by rocking it back to forth. I would actually recommend using the quick release button. I would think that would keep the holder more stable. All of the parts in the cradle that touch your phone are rubberized. The backing is securely attached so you don’t have to worry about it peeling off. To finish off my first impressions, I will say that it’s a very substantial mount – much more than you would expect from an automotive store suction cup mount.
What can I say about testing this mount? Well, let’s start with the suction cup. Even though this mount is considered a ‘one hand’ mount, it does take two hands to install it on your windshield. The button/lock combination for securing the suction cup is very smart. I’ve had the mount attached to my windshield in extreme cold and direct sunlight, and the suction cup has stayed securely in place. The suction cup is actually so strong that it will stick to your desk if you have a smooth enough surface. This feature is definitely one of the most impressive.
The quick release button for the cradle is a nice feature, too. I’ve had other mounts that have this same feature and it’s the quickest and easiest way to remove your phone from the mount. That being said, I don’t particularly care for the ratchet-style grip closure. When you squeeze the sides together on the cradle, you get a very noisy clickety-clack from the mount. It’s annoying and I’m always concerned that it’s going to cause something to break. The cradle has done a nice job of holding my phone in place and I haven’t noticed it slipping at all.
Now, as for the driving experience, this mount is a bit larger than what I’m used to and so it takes up more space in my field of vision. It wasn’t a distraction, but big enough to notice. Other than that, driving with it has been a dream. The mount doesn’t shake or otherwise move when the car was in motion. To me, this is the biggest PLUS for the PortaGrip Universal Phone Holder.
PanaVise actually has a really nice option with their mounts – Custom In-Dash Mounting Accessories. I had the opportunity to look at two of them – one for a Chevy Silverado and the other for a Toyota RAV4. These mounting options are really a simple, heavy-duty plate that you install into your dashboard assembly. While it isn’t overly complex to attach (just a couple of screws), you do have to remove parts of your dashboard in order to use them. This is important to consider if you are looking at this type of option. It is a permanent install. That being said, they are very well-built accessories and are made to work with the PortaGrip Universal Phone Holder without the suction cup. It’s a great option for an add-on.
I have been thoroughly impressed with the PortaGrip Universal Phone Holder and suction cup mount. It’s incredibly well-built and I have no doubt that it will hold up well under normal use conditions. Even though I’d never heard of them prior to CES, I am very glad to have discovered PanaVise there. They are a great resource for professional-grade mobile phone mounts.
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