Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin universal smartphone mount review

I’ve tried numerous smartphone mounts but most have had one fatal flaw — they rely on a windshield suction attachment point. And no matter how well you secure it, sooner or later a suction mount will fail and pop off the windshield, sending your pricey smartphone crashing to the floor. Which is why I’m quite smitten with Garmin’s new universal smartphone mount.

And that’s because it is uses a standard Garmin ball mount, which is compatible with their friction mount (shown in the video above) and even their new air vent mount. No more suction mounts!

The video goes into most of the details. One thing I didn’t mention in the video is that if your phone has an NFC chip, it can automatically launch Garmin navigation apps like Navigon Mobile Navigator. While the universal mount isn’t fussy about what brands of ph0nes it will accept, if you’ve got an iPhone 5, you might want to check out this one instead.

For what it’s worth, here’s my Garmin friction mount and air vent mount reviews.

And here is a rough transcript of the video:

Hi everyone, this is Rich Owings with GPS and today we’re going to be looking at Garmin’s new universal smartphone mount.

As you can see, I’ve got it attached to Garmin’s friction dashboard mount. Which is what I typically use for mounting nuvis.

Now this can be attached to a suction mount, Garmin’s new air vent mount, or anything that uses a standard Garmin ball mounting point. But I’m a fan of the dash mount you see here. I don’t have to worry about my mount and phone falling off the windshield. So this friction option is one of the reasons I really like this mount

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at how the phone attaches. The process is very simple. Set your phone in the mount and squeeze these two bars to lock it into place. As long as you squeeze them together sufficiently, the phone is quite secure. The first time I did it I was too gentle but have had no problems since. To release the phone you just pop this button. These two holders are also adjustable, should your phone’s charging port not be in the center of the phone.

The mount comes with this piece here, a suction mount and a micro-USB charger with an extra USB port. The friction mount is not included.

The bad news is that the mount is $50. The good news is that it should work with most smartphones and serve you for years to come, that is until we’re all holding tablets to our head.

If you have a Garmin friction mount I highly recommend this since in combination it is absolutely the best smartphone mounting solution I’ve come across.


About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. Nighthawk700 says:

    First off, as a deaf/Hard-of-Hearing reader of your blog, THANK YOU for the transcript, rough or not. How strong are the tabs that hold the phone? (I like to keep mine in the vertical mode rather than horizontal like you have yours. After about 6 months or so each with a few different mounts, the tabs always got loose then broke off. Then the sides would wear out from the pressure of squeezing the phone into place. At $20 a mount, while I wasn’t thrilled, I didn’t cry too hard either. But for a $50 mount, I’d be really upset. I’ll also have to try one in person to see if it’ll fit with the extra thick case I have on my phone (for some protection when geocaching). It’s probably what adds extra stress to the tabs mentioned before.

    FYI: you’ve got a hanging ‘ character in your link for Garmin Friction Mount review, causing a 404 error.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!


+ six = 14