From a practical and safety standpoint, if you use your phone in the car a considerable amount of time you need at least two accessories; a hands-free solution and a cradle. Those who choose to simply lay their phone on the dash or in the passenger seat will soon see their phone go flying across the car when they take a curve too quick or hit the brakes. iGrip offers a universal phone holder that mounts to you vehicle’s cigarette lighter ($19.95). The mount is fitted on a four inch, flexible arm and snuggly fits into the cigarette lighter. The tip has a rubber gasket and tension screw. Tighten the screw and the gasket expands to provide a secure fit for the cradle’s base.
The cradle itself has two cushioned side clamps that tighter around the sides of your phone. The cushions are thick enough to prevent any scratches/damage and the phone securely held in place. With a press of a side button, the tension is released and the phone can be removed from the cradle.
There are two downsides to mounting this holder in your cigarette lighter. First, your placement is dependant on the cigarette lighter location. While the flexible arm gives you a degree of adjustment, if the lighter is in a bad position it will affect the usefulness of this mount. Second, if you only have one lighter, without an adapter, you can’t use a car charger or other accessory dependant on the lighter.
iGrip does offer a suction cup, vent clip and adhesive pad option for mounting (sold separately) which may be a better option if you cigarette lighter is in an awkward position or you need to use it for car chargers, GPS units, etc.
The cradle slides onto a mounting plate that is on the flexible arm. It should lock securely in place but I found this connection to be loose. It was far too easy to slide the cradle off the mounting plate. This is easily fixed with a strip of double-sided tape but I’m surprised the cradle didn’t “click” into place more securely.
I tested this unit in two vehicles, a Saturn Vue and Chevrolet Impala. The Impala had two power sockets but they were low to the floor board. A longer extension would have been preferred. The Saturn’s socket was higher on the dash and the phone sat more visibly. There was a degree of bounce to the cradle when driving but that’s not uncommon for mounts with extended arms.
If you have a need for a car mount, your power socket is in a convenient location and you won’t miss having your power socket inaccessible, the iGrip cigarette lighter mount ($19.95) is a good option. Personally, I would rather have a window or vent mounting option and keep the cigarette lighter available for a travel charger.