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Product Review – Clingo Universal in-car holder

I’m on the hunt for the perfect car mount for my iPhone. Shouldn’t be too difficult, no?
Well, as it turns out, it’s harder than it looks to find something that really does everything I want it to.

First up, my #1 requirement is that it’s not huge and bulky. I’m not having my iPhone grabbed by hulk hands or anything crazy like that, so that immediately rules out just about all “universal” phone mounts.

My #2 requirement is that it’s easy to get the phone into the mount and back out again. I’m not going to use anything that requires two hands to get the phone into or out of.

With these requirements in mind, I had the fine gentlemen over at MobileZap send me a contender – the Clingo Universal In Car Holder.

Physically, it’s quite a simple thing – a suction cup, an arm and a phone holder. Where this device deviates from the norm however is in it’s method of holding your phone – instead of a clip that has to hold your phone firmly, this uses a (reusable) sticky pad to securely hold your phone. In fact, it’s such a secure hold that the first few times I used it, I actually had difficulty getting my phone off again – It almost felt like it was going to take the back cover off the phone. No danger whatsoever of your phone falling off unexpectedly.

The suction cup holds the windscreen very well and you can, like most of these mounts, adjust the arm to pretty much any angle you need to. The self-adhesive holder for the phone can be rotated to portrait or landscape mode and you can tilt the phone so you can see it clearly while driving. The arm is quite rigid, so that even though your device is held out from the windscreen a fair distance, it doesn’t flop around at all.

The great advantage of this unit is that it is truly a universal holder – it will hold anything with a flat surface very securely. You can have a bare phone or you can have your phone in a case. You can mount a GPS or a camera, or just about anything else you might need to have in the cockpit of your vehicle. It holds a GoPro quite nicely for example – although the GoPro is quite a bit heavier than the phone, as long as you get the sticky pad to make good contact with the back of the GoPro case, it stays in place.

My only criticism of this mount is that the pad is, if anything, too sticky. It really was difficult to get my phone off the first couple of times. Once it’s been used a bit and it loses a bit of stick, it’s all pretty good. If it gets oils, dust or fingerprints on it, you can wipe it down with a damp lint-free cloth and the stickiness is restored.

The mount kit is slim and unobtrusive and you can easily get your phone on and off the pad with one hand. Pair it up with a car charger and you’re good to go. It holds your device securely and you can easily change between landscape and portrait orientation on-the-go.

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