There are many ways that you can mount a smartphone into a vehicle, and even more ways to mount an iPhone. Let’s face it, the iPhone is the accessories man phone, and there are more ways to bling it out than an Escalade, but that doesn’t mean every mount is created equal. This is definetely not the case, and when you have a erk to only accept things that are quality made than you can find yourself looking in all the right places at the wrong time. Read on for more…
I searched for the proper way to mount my iPhone 4 from the moment I got it. Actually, I had an eye looking for one prior to that, but didn’t know when it would eventually hit Verizon. After getting my iPhone, the search went active, looking at every local store we have, and prowling the internet, hoping to find the right way to mount my phone so I could see it while driving and making an easy to dock charging station. Eventually I realized that most vehicle mounts are just that, mounts, and to charge your phone while in the mount you just plugged in a charger to the bottom. This was not a method that I wanted, so my search continued.
Eventually I fount a few docks that fit my description. Out of all the finalists though, the TomTom stood out as a clear champion. The RocketFish dock at Best Buy was similar, and quite a bit less ($34.99), but you get what you pay for and this dock was very flimsy and cheaply made. A couple of the other options were nice, but even more money than the TomTom, which was already at $99. So, I waited, and a visit to newegg.com gave me a better deal at $79.95, unfortunately it was out of stock at the time. I setup an alert to notify me when it reached stock status, and as soon as I received the email I was on it like a fly on, well, you know!
A few days later, I had my TomTom iPhone Car Kit, and right out of the box I was impressed. The dock is well made, easy to adjust, and came with a mounting plate to easily suction the dock to any surface. As soon as I sat in my truck however, I found an even easier way to mount it (see video). And while my truck has a navigation unit already installed, having my iPhone handy will only make it easier to navigate my way! To be honest, the best part of the dock as it relates to how I use it is that it puts the phone at arms reach and allows me to charge my phone, listen to Pandora or Stitcher radio, and still see when I get an email or text (no, I don’t read or write texts or email while driving).
A feature that I don’t really go over in the video is another great feature of the product that some of us may not need. Both of my vehicles are bluetooth equip for hands free dialing and answering, but the TomTom iPhone Car Kit is another device that can also be used this way. There is an integrated speaker on the back of the dock, and when you connect it to your iPhone it gives you hands free operation while driving. A great perk, but not one that swayed my decision due to my own necessity.
So whats the catch? Non really, the only thing you will need to use the TomTom iPhone Car Kit is a little app on your phone to allow you to dock to it. And what does this app cost? Nothing, really it is included in the price of the dock, but you just visit the app store to download the free app. This allows you to charge your iPhone from the dock and allows the iPhone to use the TomTom GPS chip that is in the dock. The cool thing about this is you can see what satellites you have a signal from and how strong that signal is, just like a standard GPS unit.
Well, I think I have said what I can say. Please be sure to watch the video review, and let me know what you think!