When I got a new car last fall, I made sure I chose one that would eliminate the need for a lot of the “after market” accessories I had been using. The built-in navigation system meant I didn’t need to have a GPS or use my iPhone as a navigation system any longer. The built-in Bluetooth speakerphone meant I didn’t have to use an after market Bluetooth speaker attached to my advisor. Not only did I get added convenience, but I also got a far better sounding system in the process. Built-in Bluetooth audio streaming meant I no longer needed to have a host of different cables running around, nor would I need something directly attached to my stereo to allow streaming from my phone or tablet. It all makes for a far better collection of accessories and functionality that looks better and works well.
The one thing that has been missing is a safe and easy way to hold my iPhone while I drive. Sure, I’m working hard to break myself from the habit of looking at my phone while I drive, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want it in a safe and convenient place so that I can change the music when I come to a stop sign. My list of “wants” for this small but important accessory wasn’t very specific – I wanted something that was not overwhelming in its size so that it wouldn’t be noticeable and ruin the look of the interior of the car, and I wanted something that worked well and had a great deal of flexibility built into it. I also wanted something that would allow me to hold my iPhone with or without a case or, if the need be, a different device for those times when I’m reviewing a new smart phone or media player.
I found all of my requirements were met in Just Mobile’s small, but thoughtfully designed, Xtand Go car cradle.
Over the past few years I have become a huge fan of the various offerings from Just Mobile. The company makes great accessories that are beautifully designed and functional at the very same time. We’ve reviewed a number of their products, and today we’re going to take a look at yet another one – the X Stand Go Car mount. They refer to it as “The flexible in-car gadget mount”; it is that and much more. Let’s take a look.
From Just Mobile:
Just Mobile Xtand Go™ secures your iPhone 4S/ 4 on your windshield or dashboard while you drive. Thanks to its innovative folding arm, the Xtand Go™ allows you to position your iPhone at exactly the right angle and easily rotate between landscape and portrait modes. The dock connector is kept free for charging.
The Xtand Go™ can be mounted using glue-free sticker or suction cup, and glue-free Go Buttons allow you to use the stand with other gadgets including sat-navs, smartphones and music players.
The cradle comes with the iPhone holder which is specifically designed for the iPhone 4 or the iPhone 4S, a suction mount if you are using it on the windshield, a number of clips with adhesive if you want to connect it to the – and the specific arm for holding and adjusting the device once it is in place.
Flexible mounting system
Mount for iPhone 4S/ 4
Go Button mount for smartphones and sat-navs
Pocket-sized and portable
12.1 x 6.5 x 10.3 cm
4.8 x 2.6 x 4.1 in
The suction mount is rather unusual in that it does not have a lever to create the section, but rather it tightens by rotating one part of the mount around the other end.
The “arm” is unusual as well. It consists of three segmented pieces that can extend, rotate and be moved into various angles.
It even includes a tool that allows you to take the three portions apart and reconfigure them, just in case you need the arm to extend further. This is accomplished by rotating one piece against the other and re-securing it. The 180 rotation lets it extend further.
Like the rest of this accessory, the actual iPhone holder is thoughtfully designed and minimalistic in design. It simply grabs the two sides of a naked iPhone and holds it securely.
As you can see, it also works if you have a rear film or decal on the phone.
I love the fact that it simply grabs the two sides of the phone and leaves the rest of the device accessible and exposed, so that you don’t have a huge block sitting there on the windshield or dash. It also means you can grab the phone toward the bottom or towards the middle. This adds a good deal to the viewing accessibility that you get with the cradle.
As noted, if you do not want to use your iPhone in its naked state or you are using a different device the Xtand will still work. All you have to do is attach one of these included stickers and connectors to the back of the device for the case, and you’ll get the same functionality.
Here’s a look at the iPhone when the cradle is grabbing it, and the arm is attached and somewhat extended.
Here’s a different view of it. Yes, it is minimalistic in design but totally and completely functional.
And here is a better idea of what the arm looks like when it is attached to the suction mount.
So let’s go out to the car and see what options are available when using this.
I quickly and easily attached the windshield mount to the car. I dampened the spot I wanted to use just a bit, I placed the exception amount where I wanted it and I simply did a few rotations of the upper portion. The grip that was created by the suction was excellent.
I then attached the arm to it and extended the three pieces in the manner that I thought would best serve me.
Attaching the iPhone was just as easy, and from there I was able to launch any audio program I wanted.
Here’s what it looks like from the driver’s position.
Ultimately, I decided that I did not want to put my iPhone on the windshield. The reason for this was twofold – I didn’t like the fact that it obscured a portion of my vision, and I didn’t like the fact that I would have to extend a cable from the middle – area to get in order to charge the phone while I drove. I’m trying to avoid cables and this position didn’t allow for that.
I then moved down to the middle console. I attached one of the base mounts to the included glue sticker and then attached it to the console itself. It went on quite easily, and it was securely in place within seconds.
Then I attached the arm to it. (This is what the arm looks like when it is in the closed position.)
I attached the iPhone cradle to it and then put the iPhone in place.
This is what the arrangement looks like from the side. As you can see it is clean, secure, and quite flexible.
Not one to leave well enough alone, I tried moving the entire arrangement a bit forward. This would allow the iPhone to be charged from the cable that extends from the forward portion of the console, and it would keep cables to more of a minimum.
At the end of the day I went back to the first “center console position” because it gave me the best of all worlds. The cables were kept to a minimum, it was positioned perfectly for my accessing it on the go, and it kept it out of the way when I wanted as clean a console and cabin as possible. I have been using it this way for over a week now, and I think this is where it will stay going forward.
Here is a promotional view of the cradle when connected to the windshield. As you can see there is also an option for a white Xtand.
I know it seems a bit funny to be so enthusiastic about something as pedestrian as an iPhone car mount, but this really takes a utilitarian accessory to an entirely new level. The flexibility it offers, the design that went into it, and the overall functionality of it is fantastic. If you are looking for a car mount for your iPhone — or for any other device — this is the way to go. Since I used up two of the three tabs that are included playing around, I only wish they included additional tabs so that I can attach holders to even more cases and devices at the same time.
What I Like: Well designed; works exactly as promised; Flexible; Can be used in multiple places and locations and can be used with multiple devices; One of the best designed smartphone car cradles I have ever seen
What Needs Improvement: I wish there were an option to purchase additional mounting disks and adhesives so that you have you been more flexibility