When I first learned about the GoSmart Clip a few months ago, I thought it was a great idea for putting your smartphone’s display right in the center of your steering wheel, for easy viewing. They sent me one to review and now that I’ve had a chance to actually use it, here’s what I think…
The GoSmart Clip is made of plastic and is available in Red or Black. The Clip has two curved areas that hug the top and bottom edges of your 4-5″ tall smartphone. I tested the GoSmart clip with a Droid X and an iPhone 4.
To use it, you unhook the attached rubber strap, wrap it around the 12 o’clock position of your steering wheel and latch the strap the plastic post at the top of the clip to hold it in place.
The clip can be lengthened to accommodate your phone. Here you see it with the Droid X.
And here it is with an iPhone 4. Depending on the phone that you use with this clip, it may or may not cover important buttons. The clip worked better with my iPhone, since the power button and home button were not obstructed.
When used with my primary phone, the Droid X, the top part of the clip covers the power button. After attaching the GoSmart Clip to my 2006 Mazda 3′s steering wheel at the suggested 12 o’clock position, I immediately realized that it wouldn’t work well for me. In this position, the phone completely blocks my view of the speedometer. Ever since getting a speeding ticket a year ago, I tend to keep a very watchful eye on my speed. Not being able to see how fast I’m going makes me feel really uncomfortable. The FAQ on the GoSmart site says you can also place the clip in the 11 or 1 o’clock position, but I didn’t like that placement either because it felt in the way of my hands on the steering wheel.
Besides the placement issue, I was also annoyed by the fact that sunlight on the phone’s display would reflect glare in my eyes while I was driving. When the phone’s display was off, I could see my own reflection in the display like a mirror. The clip would shake with the vibration of the car, which was distracting. Since the clip is only held to the steering wheel from the top, it tends to wiggle around a bit as you steer and / or drive on bumpy roads.
I originally thought this holder would be a good idea to keep the phone’s display within easy view, but the more I think about it, the more I think it’s actually a bad idea. I think it might encourage or tempt people to use their phone even more while driving since it’s so easy to see. I can imagine that it would be really tempting to view and answer a text message with the phone in this position.
The only advantage that I can see for using the GoSmart is for GPS usage… But I personally wouldn’t use it since it blocks the view of my speedometer and feels awkward and in the way of my hands while driving. I think I’ll just stick with keeping it in my cup holder.