Arkon Slim-Grip Ultra Mounts for smartphones and tablets review

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Car interiors are becoming increasingly cluttered places.  When I got my new car, I decided not to mount my phone because I could not find a spot I liked.  When I heard of the new Arkon Slim-Grip Ultra Mounts, I had to take a closer look.  Would this give me more mounting options than I thought of before?

The heart of Arkon’s smartphone/tablet mounting system is the new Slim-Grip Ultra Mount.  It extends a maximum of 7.25″ in a sleek, spring-loaded “claw”.

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Arkon packs in eight claw “fingers” of two different depths. Mix and match to find the right combination for your device.

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At rest (not under tension) the smallest grip distance is just over 4 inches.

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With the deeper “fingers”, that non-tensioned distance is about 5-1/2 inches.

Arkon sent four different mounts for different needs.  Let’s take a look at each one.

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Arkon SM614 suction cup mount

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The Arkon SM614 suction cup mount resembles just about every other suction cup mount you’d expect for a basic windshield mount.

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You get the Slim-Grip mount and fingers, an adjustable suction cup mount, adhesive disk, and instructions.

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At the bottom of the mount is a clear, soft plastic suction cup.

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The grip snaps together with this two-slotted thingy on the back. No tools required.

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This is the mount in full extension.  Notice I used the taller fingers on top, the shorter ones at the bottom.

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iPhone 5S (in case), mounted

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Since the iPhone’s top button is offset, you can move the fingers to avoid accidental presses.

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A closer look at the ball assembly.  Quite simple.

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The joint is equally simple.  That’s a metal bolt, not made of plastic.  The hinge has detents to lock into position.

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If you want to mount this to the dash, the included adhesive disk can help.

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This is the SM614 mounted in the corner windshield of my car.  Check your local laws for mounting restrictions.

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Arkon SM679 “sticky” mount

Next up is the Arkon SM679 sticky mount.  It’s nearly identical to the previous SM614, except the “arm” is shaped a little differently, and the suction cup is replaced by a goopy, sticky-as-anything suction cup.

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Left: Arkon SM614. Right: Arkon SM679 “sticky” cup

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Left: Arkon SM614. Right: Arkon SM679 “sticky” cup

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This sticky cup is ideal for surfaces that aren’t perfectly smooth-as-glass, such as most car dashboards.  Try to keep the sticky side clean (avoid dropping it on the ground or on a cat) to maximize grip.  Again, it comes with the round adhesive disk, but you probably won’t need it.  Here it is on my dashboard (not windshield), and it’s not going anywhere.

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Arkon SM668 Car Floor Mount

If you need something a little more “installed”, the Arkon Sm668 Car Floor Mount attaches to the floor or seat rail mount of your car with an 18″ flexible gooseneck arm.

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All the usual suspects, including a freakishy strong gooseneck bendy arm thing.

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GRRRRRR

When I mean, strong, I mean it.  You really got to give it some OOMPH to bend the thing.  It’s just rigid enough for the car environment.

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On the rear you’ll find the same familiar slotted mount.

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Two styles of feet are included.  The crow’s foot one comes attached.

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Installation is fairly straightforward:  Loosen your seat rail mount and slip the foot in, then tighten.

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Some assembly required

…except you need tools.  Not too long ago, my socket set was stolen from my garage, and I haven’t replaced them since.  (Dear Santa…)

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Arkon SM6HM3 extending headrest mount

Finally, Arkon has a vehicle headrest mount for your smartphone or tablet, the SM6HM3 Extending Headrest Mount.

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The heart of the setup is this clever locking and adjustable claw that “wraps” around your headrest post.  The set screw adjusts for different diameter posts.

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This locking tab, similar to those you’d find on a camera tripod, lets you adjust for different headrest post widths.arkon slimgrip 37

Closeup of the Slim-Grip mountarkon slimgrip 38

Once again, Arkon uses a pretty straightforward ball and socket setup for adjustability.  Note that this ball diameter is quite a bit larger than the other mounts in this review.  arkon slimgrip 40

Thankfully, Arkon’s instructions are quite simple to follow.  I went back to the garage…

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…and was handed another defeat.  My car does not HAVE the two-post adjustable headrest.  Lesson learned:  Check before you buy!  I may gift this to a family member who doesn’t have my kind of headrest.  Oops!

Arkon makes some great stuff.  Even if some sticky-fingered neighborhood thief makes off with your socket set or if your headrests aren’t adjustable, they’re bound to make something that suits you.  Check out the full line of Slim-Grip Ultra Mounts for yourself!

 

Product Information

Price:SM614 $19.95; SM679 (sticky) $19.95; SM668 (car floor) $29.95; SM6HM3 (headrest) $34.95
Manufacturer:Arkon
Retailer:Amazon
Pros:
  • Fits nearly all smartphones and most tablets, with or without a case.
Cons:
  • Floor mount requires basic hand tool(s), headrest mount requires the two-post style.
Posted in: Car Gear, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Reviews

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Aaron Roth December 13, 2013, 12:53 pm

    Thanks for the thorough review of our new Slim-Grip Ultra series of universal smartphone and mid-sized tablet mounts.

    1
  • Peter December 14, 2013, 9:19 am

    Many smartphone users like to keep their phone mounted horizontally. Does this mount work effectively when turned sideways?

    2
  • Andy Chen December 14, 2013, 12:30 pm

    Very well sideways.

    3
  • DracoSolon December 15, 2013, 9:34 pm

    How exactly does it grip the phone? You don’t mention it being spring loaded. Are the arms bendable?

    4
  • Andy Chen December 15, 2013, 10:09 pm

    “It extends a maximum of 7.25″ in a sleek, spring-loaded “claw”.”

    5

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