When Julie posted her news item introducing the MobiValet mobile phone holder for the car, many of the commenters remarked that they just used their drink holders for their phones. There are many ways to hold your phone in the car, ranging from holders that attach to your car windows or air vents, phone cases that may already be attached to your body, free solutions like putting the phone in a drink holder or just throwing the phone on the seat beside you. Let’s look at the MobiValet and see what it offers.
I carry my phone inside my purse. I have my phone ringer on the loudest setting, but I sometimes can’t hear it ringing in my purse, even without the car noise and road noise interfering. Leaving it in my purse in the car doesn’t work for me. I can put the phone in the drink holder, but that doesn’t work when I have another person in my car and we both have sodas. When I’m in the car alone, I sometimes throw my phone on the passenger seat, but that often results in my phone being dumped in the floor in start-and-stop traffic. I tried one of the hard holders that clip onto the plastic vent louvers. That holder didn’t work for me. It wouldn’t clip onto the plastic louvers in my car, and I really didn’t like the idea of blocking the air flow anyway.
I was excited to be given a chance to try out the MobiValet. The holder is available in a variety of materials, ranging from cordura nylon to leather. I was sent the brown palo and the black palo leather holders. Visual inspection shows nice even stitching on the smooth leather exterior. The brown case has light contrast stitching; the black case had black stitching. The interior of both cases is a black velveteen fabric with a large, but not scratchy, MobiValet tag.
The website shows the MobiValet installed on the side of the center console just above the seat, facing the driver. I couldn’t install mine there, because the console is lower than the seat. I couldn’t install it on the side of the console at the seat back nor in front of the driver’s seat because it would interfere with seat adjustment. (I’m 5’0”, and my 6’2” husband sometimes drives my car. That requires major seat adjustments!) I found that it fit perfectly on the front of my upper console compartment.
Installation is easy. Just peel off the clear plastic backing and use your fingers inside the case to press the Velcro in place. Check the website for complete installation instructions.
I measured the interior dimensions at 4 3/8 inches long by about 5/8 inches deep. The MobiValet website says the holder works for all smartphones, but you can see I don’t have a smartphone. (Please do not laugh at the geriatric phone with the dowager’s-hump extended battery!) Although my phone is smaller than most smartphones, it is held snugly inside the MobiValet. In lieu of a smartphone, I did try my iPod Touch inside a leather case, and you can see the MobiValet holds that snugly, as well.
Having the phone in the MobiValet works really well for both me and my husband. The case is cut lower on the sides, and this makes it easy to grab your phone. The leather is flexible enough to allow the phone to slip out without struggling with it. I could easily hear my phone ring, even with the radio on. Even my husband could hear his phone ring with the radio on, and he listens to music somewhere around 11 on the Spinal Tap scale – LOUD!
You can even charge your phone while it’s in the MobiValet. You can see my charger attaches to the side of my phone, but the low-cut sides of the case would allow the charger to attach to the end of the phone.
I was concerned about how well the MobiValet would attach to my car. I live in North Carolina, and it gets very hot here in the summer. I worried that the heat would loosen the adhesive and the case would fall off. We haven’t had any 100-degree days since I installed the MobiValet, but the adhesive has held up nicely to the 90-degree weather. It seems as sturdy as when I installed it. The website says they use temperature-resistant acrylic adhesive.
I really like the MobiValet. It keeps my phone safe and safely in reach, even when charging. My phone can actually be heard when it rings. And it doesn’t block my air-conditioning vents – something you just don’t want when you live in the southern United States!