Navigon’s $50 iPhone 4 Design Car Mount Kit (also available in a model for the iPhone 3G and 3GS) is a car mount consisting of a windshield suction mount, a 12/24V car charger that plugs into your vehicle’s accessory port, and a 4.9-foot USB dock-connector cable. (A separate Dashboard Mounting Pad is available for $10 if you’d rather attach the mount to your car’s dashboard.) The Design Car Mount Kit is available exclusively in the U.S. from BringMobi.
The Mount Kit’s design is attractive as window mounts go, with a shapely arm that runs parallel to the suction cup and then curves at an almost-90-degree angle. The mount’s cradle clips to each of the iPhone’s corners; there’s also a clip on one end that you bend back to release the phone. The cradle is very sturdy, and these clips do a great job of holding the iPhone in place, but because of the tight fit, the cradle works only with a bare iPhone. If your phone wears a case—even Apple’s thin iPhone 4 Bumper ( )—you’ll need to remove the case when using the mount.
In my testing, the Mount Kit’s suction mount stayed put for weeks (and counting) without loosening—it’s one of the most stable mounts I’ve used. The cradle rotates to let you position your iPhone in portrait or landscape orientation, and it provides about 60 degrees of rotation—approximately 30 degrees to each side—to help you get the best viewing angle in your car. The cradle also leaves the iPhone’s speaker unobstructed, making it relatively easy to hear driving directions when you’re on the road.
Unlike TomTom’s $120 iPhone Car Kit ( ), the Navigon kit doesn’t provide improved GPS reception or an extra speaker—it’s just a mount. And lest the vendor’s name fool you, the Navigon Mount Kit works with any GPS software—and for anything else your iPhone can do.
Macworld’s buying advice
The Mount Kit’s $50 price tag might seem a little steep for a way to stick your iPhone on your car’s windshield, but this mount is well-made, attractive, and includes a charger and a dock-connector cable, making it versatile enough for pretty much any car on the road.