My Griffin iTrip Auto for the iPhone, which had been flaky for about a year, became even flakier and lost its inline remote control function a few weeks ago. So, I replaced it with the Griffin iTrip Auto Universal Plus which does not have an inline remote control but has the advantage of working with other phones like my HTC HD7. The new problem was that I now needed some kind of car mount so I could touch the screen without holding the device (against the law where I live). So, I sent email to a bunch of friends asking for advice. It turns out that one of those friends works for ProClip which sells mounts for all kinds of gadgets. So, (Full Disclosure), my friend offered to send me the mount compotents to deal with my problem. ProClip claims that their dashboard mounts can be assembled and attached in minutes. Here’s what I found…
I received four items from ProClip. The first is a Dashboard Mount specifically designed for use with my car model and year. ProClip’s website has a wizard to help you identify which part number to order for your car. The second item is a Move Clip. This is an optional component but necessary if you want to use more than one type phone with the clip. The third and fourth items are a Holder with Tilt Swivel component. One holder is designed for the iPhone 4 and 4S and features a pass through 30-pin connector that lets you leave a car charger permanently connected. The holder was designed for an HTC HD7 (Windows Phone).
You can see the Dashboard Mount and plastic shim tool to help install it in the photo above.
The shim separates the seam in the dashboard without damaging the finish. The photo above shows how it looks after the installation. If you are wondering if it interferes with the air flow from the air conditioning vent, the answer is that it does. This is a problem when you live in a place with an average daily temperature of about 80 degrees F. I really want to get a blast of cool air from the two vent on either side of the steering wheel. I’m considering moving the mount over to the passenger side. The problem is that it reduces screen readability and my ability to safely reach for the phone.
The photo above shows the ProClip Move Clip. The female plate attaches to the Dashboard Mount. Adhesive tape is provided. But, I opted to use the screws instead. The kit also includes two male plates. I needed this combination because I have two swivel holders for two different phones. You may note that the installation instruction sheet is blank. Fortunately, ProClip provides this documentation online. However, the main thing to remember is that the piece that attaches to the Dashboard Mount should be oriented so the narrow side is on the bottom.
The photo above shows how the Move Clip’s two pieces slide together.
The photo above shows the Move Clip’s female part attached to the Dashboard Mount.
The final piece is the Holder with Tilt Swivel. This is what actually holds a phone in place. There are Holder models for dozens of phones. I have one for an iPhone 4/4S and one for an HTC HD7.
The photo above shows the Move Clip (left) and Holder with Tilt Swivel for the HTC HD7 (right). As mentioned earlier, I decided to use the screws provided instead of the adhesive tape on the back of the Move Clip.
You can see where the Move Clip is attached to the Holder with Tilt Swivel in the photo above.
The completed Holder with Tilt Swivel for the HTC HD7 with Move Clip is seen in the photo above.
This photo shows the Holder with Tilt Swivel with pass through 30-pin connector for the iPhone 4/4S on the Dashboard Mount. Note that the HD7 Holder with Tilt Swivel does not have a USB pass through. And, for some reason, iPhone holder is covered with soft velvety black material while the HD7 holder is smooth plastic.
UPDATE: Johan van Mierlo (Product Manager Executive for ProClip) provided a response to my comment about the velvety (flocked) material for the iPhone holder: The iPhone has indeed a flocked surface to prevent scratching. The materials used on the iPhone requires that. Other manufactures use different materials that will work perfectly with our high grade ABS plastic.
In the photo above, you can see how the Holder with Tilt Swivel, Move Clip, and Dashboard Mount look from a side view.
You can see how an ordinary iPhone connector cable attaches to the Holder with Tilt Swivel’s pass through connector in the photo above.
And, finally, the final photo here shows an iPhone 4 which slides easily in and out of the holder.
So, are all these pieces really as easy to install as ProClip claims? Surprisingly, despite all the components you’ve see in the photo series above, it was very easy. It took me about 40 minutes only because I took photos of each step, took a few notes, and had to go find the missing instruction page on the web (which was as simple as expected, but I wanted to be sure I had not assumed something stupid). The total time to install this including reading instructions is probably under 20 minutes for a first timer (like me).
The longest part of the whole process is starting athe ProClip web site deciding which combination of components made the most sense for what I wanted to accomplish: Clip either an iPhone 4 or HTC HD7 to the dashboard.
One really nice end result is that I only need to buy another Move Clip and Holder (of some kind) when I switch to a new phone that has a different form factor. I highly recommend using a Move Clip even if you only plan to use one phone with the clip.
The only downside so far is the blockage of air flow from the air conditioning vent on the right of the steering wheel. However, ProClip provides clips for mounting on the console between the seats as an option. However, the phone is then less visible and requires looking down and away from the windshield to see.
I’ve giving the ProClip combination here a thumbs up for both installation and as a practical accessory for drivers with smartphones.
Prices for the components discussed here:
$29.99 – ProClip Center Mount: $29.99
$13.99 – ProClip Move Clip – Move Clip Kit (2 Male and 1 Female Plate)
$69.99 – Apple iPhone 4 / 4S WITHOUT Cases – Padded Holder with Tilt Swivel and Pass-Through Connector for Cable Attachment (there is also a holder that works with cases)
$34.99 – HTC HD7 – Holder with Tilt Swivel