Even before I took delivery of my MINI Cooper, I knew that the first modification I’d do it, would be to add a smartphone mount. There are many options on the market that use different mounting methods like Velcro, suction cups, cup holders and sticky tape. None of those appealed to me, I wanted something that looked great, was easy to install, easy to use and something that I wouldn’t have to worry about falling off while I was driving. As luck would have it, I was contacted by iOmounts, a few weeks before I received my new car to see if I would be interested in reviewing their brand new iOauto Pro car mount. It was exactly what I had been looking for, so I happily accepted their offer.
Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.
I want to start off by stating what should be obvious – each mount is different depending on your vehicle. The one I’m showing you here is made specifically for a 2013 MINI Cooper S hardtop with two glove boxes. So just keep that in mind as you are reading this.
The first step you need to do, is to order the clip that has been designed for your vehicle. iOmounts has partnered with one of the main vehicle mounting designers – ProClip USA. When you visit their joint site, you can choose your car’s make, model and year to see what options are available to you. You will also be able to choose from 2 iOmounts iOauto mounts: the iOauto and the iOauto Pro. The difference between the two is that the iOauto only allows you to rotate your device, while the iOauto Pro allows you to rotate and change the angle. There’s a $10 price difference, with the Pro being the more expensive of the two.
I was offered the iOauto Pro, which comes with:
ProClip w/iOauto Pro mount
2 iOadapt metal discs
2 iOadapt stickers
Alcohol cleaning pad
The ProClip is made of a rugged bead blast finished black plastic and comes with the iOauto Pro mount bolted on.
The Pro version has a half dome metal shaped surface that the iOauto connects to using a very strong magnet.
The red iOauto mount smoothly glides over the dome surface so that you can easily change the angle of the attached mobile device.
The magnet is only in the iOauto part of the mount. A thin metal disc called the iOadapt attaches to the back of the device that you want to mount. The disc attaches via a layer of really strong adhesive. Don’t be dumb like me and not read the directions before applying it. That’s what the two square stickers are for… you’re supposed to put the sticker on the back of your phone first and then put the iOadapt disc on top of that.
There’s nothing wrong with applying the iOadapt directly to the back of your device, but it will be tough to remove it later if you didn’t use the sticker. I used a box cutter knife to get under the edge of the disc and worked my around it till it popped off. A ring of adhesive was left on the device. I thought I might need some solvent to remove the adhesive, but in a fit of inspiration, I pulled out some box tape, cut off a piece and just stuck it over the residual adhesive. I then pulled it back off. I repeated this about 20 times and then the back of the phone was good as new.
The disc is very thin and adds no bulk or weight to your device. However it does have an issue – it has sharp edges. In hand it feels like it could cut you. This hasn’t happened to me, but I worry it will.
I was a little nervous about installing the mounting clip because I didn’t want to do anything that might mar or damage my new car. I’m happy to report that installation was very easy and very quick. You don’t need any tools except for the wedgie tool included in the package.
I was instructed to insert the small plastic wedgie tool in the seam between the upper glove box and vent to help spread the area for the top edge of the clip.
A slight amount of pressure was all that was needed to fit the top part of the clip into the newly created slot.
The bottom part of the clip then snaps into place in the area at the top edge of the bottom glove box. Remove the wedgie tool and you’re done. No mess, no stress. Just the way I like it.
The iOmount iOauto Pro car mount is installed and ready to use. Installation time: less than 5 minutes. Both glove boxes and everything else on the car still works as expected. No clearance issues or any new problems are introduced by installing the clip.
To use, just touch the back of the device with the iOadapt disc installed and twunk they are connected. The connection is strong, so you can easy swivel the device up, down, left, right with no problems.
Need to see something in landscape orientation? No problem, just rotate it and you’re done. I have no worries that the phone will fall off while I”m driving because the magnet is so strong.
Removing the device from the iOmount does take some practice though… I thought mine was defective because the red iOauto mount stayed attached to the back of my phone when I tried to pull it off. The trick is to slide the device off to the left or right to detach it. Once I got used to doing that, it’s been a snap.
See it in action
In addition to the sharp edges on the iOadapt disc, there’s one more problem that I ran into. With the iOadapt disc on the back of my Samsung Galaxy S3, wireless charging does not work with my Nokia charging dock. However reading NFC tags still works fine.
Update: I may have found a possible solution. I’ve relocated the iOadapt disc from the outside of the phone to under the back wireless charging cover. This solves the wireless charging issue and the sharp edges issue. I’m not sure how well the magnetic connection will work with it setup this way as the hold is noticeably weaker. But even so, I don’t think it will fall off. I’ll use it this way for a few days and report back with my experience.
The iOmount iOauto Pro is the nicest and easiest mounting solution that I’ve ever used and gets two thumbs up from me.