Exogear Exomount Universal Car Mount Review
The Exogear Exomount Universal Car Mount is no ordinary car mount and it has made a big impression on me. You must be wondering how a car mount can cause any excitement. Read my Exogear Exomount review and find out.
I am a gadget lover and I have my gadgets with me in my car as well. A car mount is a must for me and sometimes I even use more than one in the car. My phone will occupy one of it while the other is usually used by my GPS or iPod.
I must have gone through more than a dozen car mounts prior to this. Some of them are included together with the device it is supposed to hold like the car mount that came with my Garmin GPS while others were bought separately like the few that I bought for all the phones that I have owned.
I have used car mounts that come in all kinds of shape, design and size so I would like to think that I am in a good position to write a review on a car mount.
Exogear has released an update to the Exomount called the Exomount2. Check out my review of the Exomount2.
<< Image Credit - Exogear >>
The Problem With Car Mounts - Why can't car mounts stay mounted?
I have used many different types of car mounts but there is a single thing that is common with all of them. All of them worked fine in the beginning but after awhile they all stopped working for one reason or another.
The poorly constructed ones had flimsy plastic parts that broke but the most common reason was that the rubber suction cup stopped working. No matter how I ensured that both the suction cup and the surface that it was supposed to be mounted is free of dust and oil, they just don't adhere well and tend to fall off after a few minutes.
Sometimes this can lead to dangerous situations on the road as the falling mount startled and distracted me from my driving quite a few times but fortunately, it had not caused an accident.
Part of the reason for the failed suction could be due to the fact that I live in a tropical country where temperatures can soar to 40 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit). When the car is parked under the hot sun, the car inside temperature and the windscreen surface temperature can easily soar way beyond that.
However, I am fully aware of the issue of rubber and plastic parts degrading under high temperatures and I do take the precaution of removing my car mount when not in use although I must admit that there are times that I have forgotten to do so. So despite the precautions I have taken, the rubber suction cup or the plastic parts still fail within a year.
Exogear Exomount Universal Car Mount - The Science - What differentiates the Exogear Exomount from the rest of the car mounts
So when I set out to look for a new car mount about a year and a half ago, there were a few criteria that I was looking for:
- Universal mount so that I can use with multiple devices
- Good quality
- Good suction
I was searching on the internet for a suitable car mount when I came across the Exogear Exomount Universal Car Mount on a gadget site. The thing that caught my eye was the Exomount's patented suction technology that enables the Exomount to mount on almost any flat surface including car dashes, metal, glass, plastic and amazingly, even drywall!
The Exomount has a layer of sticky coating on the surface of the suction cup that helps in sticking the Exomount to the mounted surface. The Exomount does not rely entirely on the suction properties of the suction cup. The suction cup mechanism on the Exomount is pretty much the standard mechanism used by most car mounts.
It has a lever that pulls the suction cup upwards to create the vacuum to help the mount to attach to the mounting surface. Usually, if the surface is not smooth and flat like a flat glass surface, the suction cup mounting will not work properly as air will eventually leak into the vacuum area and the mount loses its grip.
With the Exomount's patented suction technology, the adhesive layer provides an airtight seal for the suction cup allowing it to work with surfaces that are slightly textured like the dimples found on a car dashboard or the slightly rough surface of a drywall. It even works on slightly curved surfaces.
I decided to go with the Exogear Exomount because of the better suction technology. From what I have read, the adhesive layer should allow the Exomount to last longer but I had no idea how lasting the adhesive layer is.
Exogear Exomount Universal Car Mount - The Construction - Simple but functional design
The Exogear Exomount is pricier than most universal car mounts and initially I had a hard time justifying to myself to get it. But got it I did in the end. The Exomount came in a clear plastic box that is quite appealing.
The Exomount comes with a clamping jaw that fits phones or GPS devices with up to 5-inch screens which is more than adequate for my Samsung Galaxy S2 phone. My first impression of the clamping jaws was that it was primitive looking compared to the adjustable clamping mechanisms on previous universal clamps that I have used but then I recall that these clamping mechanisms often break down.
The Exomount's clamps may look primitive but they do the job well and no adjustment is necessary when you switch from one device to another. The clamp mechanism is quite strong and the insides of the clamp jaws is lined with a polyurethane lined grip that holds the device in place as well as preventing any scratches. Simple but very effective.
Another advantage of the clamping jaws is that it is possible to adjust the position of the clamped device so that the camera on the phone will not be blocked while in use. This is useful if you plan to use the camera on the phone while it is mounted.
At the neck of the Exomount is a ball joint with a nut that allows adjusting the stiffness of the joint. The ball joint allows the clamp to be rotated 360 degrees around the base plus about 60 degrees rotation up and down. This gave me plenty of room to adjust the viewing angle to my preference and allowing me to mount the Exomount either sitting down on the mounting surface or mounted upside down from my car's windshield.
There are some reviews on Amazon that complained that the ball joint is loose and the mounted device bobs a lot when in use. I had no problems adjusting the nut to get the right stiffness and while my phone does vibrate a little when the road is bumpy, I think it has more to do with the clamp itself rather than the ball joint.
The patented suction cup surface has sticky surface that is hard to describe but it really works.
When you touch the sticky surface it doesn't feel really sticky but when you put it on a smooth surface, it grips like nobody's business even before you clamp down the lever.
In the Exogear promo video for Exomount you see below, someone lifted a 26 lb microwave oven using just the sticky surface without clamping it down.
This sticky surface is the Exomount's secret sauce that lets it stand out from all the other universal car mounts out there.
YouTube Video of the Exomount Exogear in Action
Putting the Exogear Exomount Universal Car Mount to Use - Using the Exomount in an every day situation
In the YouTube video above, you see the Exomount mounted to all kinds of surfaces from wood to metal to glass and I can attest to it that it really does work. I tried the Exomount on all kinds of surfaces around my house and as long as the surface is fairly flat (slightly curved is okay) and is not porous, the Exomount will stick to it.
After having fun with it around the house, I tried it in my car where it is supposed to go. Using the Exomount is easy. Just give the mounting surface a good wipe with a damp cloth, clamp on the Exomount, place the phone or GPS and adjust the angle to your liking.
My primary use for my Exomount is for mounting my phone. I don't need to mount it on the dashboard itself so I decided to mount it on the vertical surface of the center panel. The panel is made from wood and is slightly curved. I've never managed to use a car mount on that particular space as it just would not stick due to the curvature but the Exomount had no problems.
The other use for my Exomount is for mounting my Garmin GPS. For best view to the driver, it has to be mounted either on the windshield or on the dash. I prefer mounting it on the dash as it does not obstruct my view compared to mounting on the windshield. However, my dash is textured with tiny dimples and it is also slightly curved. It would have been impossible to mount any other car mount on my dash but the Exomount again gave no problems.
I have used the Exomount primarily in these 2 positions in my car and never has it failed me by falling off the mounted surface in the last 18 months or so I have been using it. Not even once.
The sticky surface on the suction cup does get stuck with all kinds of dirt and gunk after awhile and the Exomount will lose its effectiveness but you only need to run the surface under the tap and the gunk washes right off with no scrubbing or cleaning detergent required. I wish my dishes were that easy to clean. Leave it to dry and it is as good as new again. I do this every 3 to 4 months.
There are reviews on Amazon that complained that the Exomount suction no longer works after being left in the car under hot conditions. My Exomount is left mounted in my car all the time. Most of the time it is mounted on the lower front panel of my dash so it doesn't get direct sunlight but the insides of my car does get extremely hot as I park under the sun on normal workdays and I live in a tropical country.
There are also times when it is left on the top of my dashboard when I am using it to mount my GPS although this does not happen frequently, maybe 2 to 3 days in a month. Despite subjecting it to much more abuse than my previous car mounts, the Exomount is still working fine.
I am so pleased with my Exomount that I am contemplating getting another one so that I don't have to share it between my phone and my GPS.
Other Uses for the Exogear Exomount Universal Car Mount - Your car mount doesn't have to stay in the car
The Exomount is marketed as a car mount but there is nothing to stop you from using it outside the car. My Samsung Galaxy S2 phone has a pretty good camera and there were a few times that I used the Exomount as a tripod for holding my phone in place to take group shots with the timer function. I can mount it high on a wall to get a high angle shot that even a normal tripod would not be able to do.
On the Exogear website you can see the Exomount used as a cup holder. Another interesting idea shown in the video above is to reverse the Exomount to mount a bigger device. They showed how the Exomount is used to mount an Amazon Kindle by using the suction cup on the back of the Kindle and using the clamps to grip on a car vent or used as a stand to hold the Kindle upright on a table.
The Verdict - The Pros and Cons of the Exogear Exomount Universal Car Mount
- The Exomount is the best universal car mount I have ever used bar none and it certainly lives up to its "World's Best Suction" blurb on the front of the packaging. The patented suction cup technology works great even after one and a half years. It has not failed on me by falling off the dash. Not even once.
- The primitive looking clamping jaws on the Exomount is great for swapping mounted devices quickly without the need for any adjustment. It is quick and easy to mount and remove the device. The clamp design also allows for the phone camera at the back to be used while the phone is clamped in place.
- The Exomount is the only car mount that can mount on all kinds of surfaces in the car from a textured dashboard that is slightly curved to the material covered window pillar. With the Exomount, you have much more options on where to mount your phone or GPS so you can pick the most optimum location and viewing angle.
- The Exomount is the longest lasting car mount that I have ever used and it is still working just like new after 18 months.
- The Exomount is one of the most expensive car mounts I have ever seen.
- This is not a big issue for me but could be for some people. You need 2 hands to insert or remove your device from the Exomount because of the way the clamp is designed. I use either a Bluetooth headset or connect my phone to my car's audio system when I use my phone with the Exomount so I can live with this limitation but it is something you need to consider.
- The sticky coating leaves a faint mark on my dash after the Exomount has been removed. I had to use an alcohol based cleaner to remove the mark. Initially I tried using a damp cloth but that didn't work. On the other hand, it didn't leave any marks on the front wooden panel. You may want to try the Exomount on an inconspicuous area on your dash first. If it leaves a mark, check if you can remove it.
- Sometimes, it can be really difficult to remove the Exomount from the mounted surface due to the sticky suction cup.
- If you do not wipe down the mounting surface before you mount the Exomount, the sticky surface on the suction cup can be pretty disgusting looking after awhile with all the gunk it picks up. Fortunately, it is easy to clean.
Exogear Universal Car Mount Exomount 2
The EXOGEAR Exomount mounts your phone or GPS to any flat surface making it a versatile mount for use in your car, home, work and pretty much anywhere else.