Hangin' In There: The iGrip Mobile Phone Holder
Some time ago, while stopped at a red light, I watched a man crossing the street in front of me.
He was dancing.
Sadly, I was not in a position to record this in any way.
It's not the first time I've seen some fun or unusual thing while driving that I wished I had been able to record and share. These events left me wanting a dashboard cam.
I couldn't afford a dashboard cam, but I did have a cell phone with video capabilities.
That led me to a search for a holder for my cell phone that would allow me to use it as a dashboard camera, as well as being able to use the navigator function. (I don't use my phone for anything else while driving - not even for hands free calls - and even then, I'll get my passengers to operate the phone for me if I can.)
Over the next while, I tried a couple of different types.
The first one I tried was one of those "as seen on TV" products; a dashboard/windshield holder with a sticky green pad that was supposed to hold any type of phone.
It didn't work.
Not only did my phone fall off the sticky pad several times, but the weight of the phone caused the entire holder to come loose from the dashboard. I quickly returned it.
The next one I tried had section with an adhesive base that stuck to the dash, with the phone holder portion removable to be used in a vent.
That part never worked, as our vents are vertical rather than horizontal, so it would just fall out. Plus, the phone couldn't be used as a dashboard cam while being held in a vent.
The dashboard holder, however, worked quite well. I was happy with it for quite some time.
Then I noticed something odd.
I'd come into my van, put my phone in the holder and just couldn't shake the feeling that it was different, somehow.
It moved. I was sure it had moved!
I figured it out when the entire piece suddenly slid down the curve of my dash, eventually falling right off.
The adhesive had melted in the sun!
I tried different ways to rig it, including replacing the adhesive part under the base with industrial Velcro circles.
The adhesive on that melted in the sun, too!
In the end, I gave up. It couldn't be salvaged. I had it too long to return it, unfortunately.
I then spent the next while searching for another holder.
What I ended up getting was the iGRIP universal holder kit. It cost a lot more than the two I'd bought previously, but I hoped this meant I was paying for better quality.
At first, I used it on my windshield. This worked quite well, overall. The downside was that the inside of my windshield gets dusty very quickly, so when I had to readjust it to a better spot, it ended up falling off. I didn't particularly want it mounted on my windshield, so I didn't take the extra effort to clean the glass with an alcohol swab each time I moved it.
For mounting on the dashboard, it came with a disc that could be adhered to the dash, providing a suitably smooth surface for the suction cup. (If your dash is smooth enough, the disc isn't needed, but my van has a textured dash.) The suction cup's grip is remarkably strong! After cleaning the dashboard with an alcohol swab and attaching the base, it seemed to work beautifully.
The litmus test, however, remained. Would the adhesive melt in the heat, like the other devices I tried?
I'm happy so say that no, it did not! After weeks of frequent use, the adhesive remains secure, even on the hottest of days.
The device itself is quite flexible. It adjusts in two areas; one by the base, above the suction cup, and another behind the removable phone holder. This allows the user to set the phone at just the right angle for use and screen visibility. The phone can be easily mounted, with extendable arms on the holder that can adjust for all mobile phone sizes. Support pegs at one end can be removed, with several extra sizes available. A charger cable (not included) can be used while the phone is in the holder, whether it plugs into the side or the base of the phone.
I am extremely happy with this holder and use it pretty much every time I drive. If I had to say I had any issues at all with it, it would be that it's a bit awkward to adjust the screw directly behind the phone holder. Once set, however, there's little need to adjust it again.
I wish I could say that, since getting this, I've been able to record interesting things, like dancing passers-by. Unfortunately, I've found myself needing it for more serious recordings; the abusive behaviour of strikers at our co-op. Yes, a strike at a private residence, and their behaviour has been atrocious.
Not the use I expected of a dashboard cam, but one that makes me extra glad I found this particular holder.
Disclaimer: the device shown on Amazon does not have photos of all the parts and pieces that came with my own kit, such as the adhesive disk or the extra support pegs. However, I've done a search of the exact model number to verify, and the kit is exactly the same as what I got.
Do you use a holder for your phone in your vehicle?
A universal USB car charger is a handy thing to have!!