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Monday
Jul232012

MobileMount Review

Over these past years we've gotten to try numerous kinds of stands and mounts of all shapes and sizes, but none of them were like the one we're reviewing today. The MobileMount is a small, universal suction cup mount that will mount just about every tablet, smartphone and hand held device as long as its got a flat surface for it to leech on without prematurely letting loose. Suction cups are one of our worst nightmares, and we bet you also have your fair share of suction cup fails to share too. Will the MobileMount successfully suck its way to glory? There's only one way to find out.

What first started out as a Kickstarter project is now a finished retail product. The MobileMount will set you back $40 over at BiteMyApple, and that's pretty expensive when you put things into prospective as we're just about to.

Before we get into what's bad, let's go over the good first. The MobileMount has a small portable size you can take with you everywhere you go. It's nothing fragile and it can be tossed into your glove compartment or gear bag. The MobileMount is essentially two suction cup parts joined together by a ball joint in the middle. And it's entirely made out of plastic, and that also includes the ball joint. Contrary to other mobile mounts, the MobileMount is different in that it employs double suction cups that twist and lock to create a superior vacuum seal for better suction power and reliability. It also means that the MobileMount can be compatible with a slew of gadgets in a wide range of scenarios while taking up very little space.

Attaching the MobileMount to your device is pretty straightforward. As long as you've got a device that's got a flat, smooth surface free of any texture or matte rubbery coating, the MobileMount should work just fine. Suction cups love glass, so ideally you'd be better off using Apple's glassy iPhone. In any case you can use the MobileMount to mount smartphones and even tablets with the appropriate requirements - to your car's windshield, desk and just about any flat surface that with a little help of some of the included clear vinyl stickers which we will get into later.

After you've thought about a specific use for the MobileMount, simply twist it to the lock position whilst pressing down to apply pressure on the suction cup. And you should never forget the suction cup rule of thumb, It helps if you slightly wet the suction cup surface in order to get a better seal just in case. Repeat the process to mount your device to the desired location.

The MobileMount is a versatile piece of kit as far as angles are concerned. That ball joint has a wide range of rotational and tilt motion which let's you tilt the iPad or any other device for that matter all the way back to a near flat position from a complete 90-degree, upright angle without any pre-set adjustment levels. You can also pivot your device sideways at a more constrained motion however, roughly a 15-degree angle. The MobileMount will let you mount your device in either landscape or portrait orientation no matter how big or small your device is.

The ball joint does a good job keeping your set desired angle steady even with a big device like an iPad tablet even when touching, typing and swiping on the touchscreen. With big devices like the iPad for example, I noticed that trying to type or even navigate around apps would wobble the iPad significantly until it came to a stand still when left alone. Using smaller devices like a smartphone will yield much steadier results. It's also worth noting that the laid back angle of the MobileMount isn't good for hands on typing, so you're better of using an external keyboard. The MobileMount can also attach to a hard protective case as long as it doesn't have a matte coating or texture to it without any issues. 

The MobileMount works really well as an iPhone windshield mount for GPS use and the ability to swivel the display towards the side for a better viewing angle is great.

Now for the bad news. While the MobileMount's suction cups have a strong bond on glass surfaces, you'll need to use the included clear vinyl circles and stick them on virtually anything that has a matte finish or textured surfaces like a wood desk in order for the MobileMount's suction cups to properly bond. Anything less and you'll see your precious gadget fall flat on its face. I don't know about you, but having to stick these big stickers on my valuables isn't my preferred solution for a mounting accessory, especially when it leaves sticky residue behind when pried off. And that also means sticking a large sticker for the back of your iPad due to its matte finish.

I've been using the MobileMount for quite a while now and have noticed some strange, yet predictable results. Using the MobileMount on a smooth wooden desk with the help of the vinyl sticker resulted in the MobileMount sucking the sticker off the surface creating an air bubble which wasn't there prior, and thus ruining the vacuum seal. After only a few hours of use, the suction cup would lose its hold and will simply detach. MobileMount's claim that the suction cups can retain suction for weeks is obviously false taking normal uses into account.

What's more is that the rubbery coated plastic ball joint creaks when using large devices like a tablet, and after an hour of standing at a fixed position, trying to move the joint again is like trying to move a rusty metal ball bearing for some reason. Twisting to lock and unlock the suction cups is also hard to do as there's no proper grip for your fingers to grab hold of. As you can tell, the bad far outweighs the good here.

The MobileMount is really nothing more than a gas station mini-mart, universal accessory you'd pay not more than $15 for from what we've experienced. It's a shame and a letdown because it does have potential, although suction cups is and will always be a questionable method of mounting due to poor reliability concerns. As far as stands and mounts go, the MobileMount is one of the more expensive types at $40. And considering that it's a simple, little plastic made suction cup accessory that doesn't have the high-quality build or performance to back up its asking price, we think the MobileMount is a pass. Your money is best spent elsewhere. It just goes to show that backing up a popular Kickstarter idea isn't always a good idea.

Bitemyapple.co

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