Trib tested: GripGo
The claim: This universal car phone mount instantly grips any style phone or GPS so you can talk and drive safely. It mounts to your dashboard or windshield with no adhesives or tools needed. Its unique polymer surface acts like a million suction cups that instantly grip and release over and over again. The 360-degree pivoting mount allows you to always get the perfect viewing angle. Your phone stays secure directly in front of you.
Where: Rite Aid, Walmart and discount stores or www.getgripgo.com
As someone who often travels to unfamiliar locations, I would be literally lost without my phone's Navigator GPS system pointing the way with maps and voice directions.
The GripGo universal car phone mount sounded like just what I needed to keep those maps at eye level and my cell phone within easy reach.
As I often switch cars, I was also pleased that suction-mounting it on the window glass would allow me to move it from one vehicle to another.
After cleaning the window, installation was relatively simple and secure. Things went downhill from there, though. As the instructions warned, the impact-resistant case on my Motorola Droid was also attachment resistant.
After prying off the case and swabbing down the back of the phone, I tried again. Directions indicating that I might have to use two hands to free the phone from the sticky pad made me hopeful it would adhere securely.
In actual use, the phone sort of, kind of, stuck for a minute then slumped to the dashboard. I tried again, using more pressure to insure contact. While adjusting the mount's arm for a good view, the phone again detached. The arm also sagged because the plastic adjustment knob never completely locked the arm into the position.
During a five-mile drive to work I took advantage of three red lights to try to get the phone to stick. When — on the third try — the phone fell to the car floor, I abandoned the experiment.
Bottom line: Great idea, ineffective design.
The GripGo sounded like a good idea to quickly mount my iPhone when using for directions, or for holding my GPS in place when traveling alone. I thought the sticky polymer surface to hold phone or GPS in place was a great idea. It would be simple to switch it out or remove from the stand. My GPS mount is a clip-in that is not suited to hold my phone.
But in the real world, alas, the construction of the mount is rather flimsy. The suction adhered to the windshield without a problem. But the adjustment to get the device at the correct angle did not work so well. Adjusting can pop the suction.
And those polymer virtual “million suction cups” of gripping power did not live up to the claim. After bouncing devices off the floor, I gave up.
GripGo? Thanks, no. And, by the way, my knee hurts. I love the idea of the GripGo: one universal, repositionable mount for electronic devices in your vehicle. Need the GPS? Stick it on the polymer pad. Want to keep track of your phone? It can be within arm's reach, instead. However…
I read the instructions and cleaned the windshield and removed the cover from the pad and tried to attach the suction cup on the mounting arm to my windshield. It falls off. Three tries later, some miracle occurs, and it holds. So, I stick my phone in its protective plastic case on the pad and head out on the road. First bump, the I-beam arm releases. Second bump, the phone falls off. Whack on the knee. And these were bumps, not tire-eating Pittsburgh potholes.
Next, I try taking my phone out of the protective case. Ten minutes later, I have it stuck to the pad and start to drive again. This time, the phone stays attached but the suction cup comes loose. Whack on the knee again. Three more whacks later, I have somehow gotten all parts of the thing to stick, and it holds all the way from Harmar to Kittanning.
I take my phone off when I reach my destination, and when I return to the car, maybe 10 minutes later, the suction cup has released again and the GripGo is on the floor. I attempt to repeat the process with my GPS, just out of sheer stubbornness, but three whacks and about a quarter-mile later, I give up. The Garmin has a slightly textured plastic casing and apparently doesn't play well with the polymer pad.