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Last Updated: July 7th, 2012

One of the biggest benefits of having an Android phone is undoubtedly Google Maps/Navigation. However, it's a really bad idea to hold your phone and drive whilst using Navigation. Luckily, there are approximately 6.4 billion different accessories that can hold your device so you can focus on driving and not playing with your phone (not that you, our ultra-sophisticated reader, would do that in the first place... right?). Some of these mounts utilize your vehicle's cup holder, some use the 12v charging port, some stick to the windshield (which happens to be a no-no in some parts of the country), and others, like the one we're looking at today, mount directly to the dash.

The first thought that came to my mind when considering a dash mount was, what if it won't actually stick to my dash? Fortunately, Arkon has a solution for that, too: the "Friction Dash Mount." Basically, it's a weighted beanbag type device with a smooth area for the Dash Mount's suction cup to stick to. I was actually skeptical of how well it would work, but after using it for the last several weeks, I've been pleasantly surprised.

wm_IMG_1573

What Makes It Good

  • Adjustable and very versatile
  • Holds a wide range of phones, from 3.5" and up
  • Sticks to the dash, not the windshield (fantastic for states where sticking things to the windshield is illegal)
  • Stupid-easy to use - you can easily mount and unmount the phone with one hand
  • The friction dash mount allows it to be used on any dash

What Makes It Meh

  • The hand which holds the phone loosens up in high heat, causing the phone to drop and "sag"
  • Without the friction mount, the suction cup may not stick to all dash surfaces

The Dash Mount

The dash mount itself is a pretty neat little gizmo: both the arm and the hand that holds the phone are both adjustable, so it's actually quite versatile; it can be used in an upright position like the photos below, or in a downward position, like the video above. Because of this versatility, it should work well in nearly any vehicle. The suction cup also has a bit of sticky goo on it, which helps it stay attached to whatever surface you mount it to; if it gets dirty, you simply rinse it off with some warm water and it's as good as new.

wm_IMG_1588 wm_IMG_1589

Yes, these were taken on my desk. It's about 4000 degrees in my vehicle right now, so taking pictures out there just isn't something I really want to do.

The one issue that I've had with the dash mount is that, when exposed to very hot temperatures (I live in Texas, so hot temperatures are the only thing that exist here), the hand becomes very flimsy and "sags" under the weight of the phone. This, of course, can be corrected by adjusting the arm, but that drastically reduces the variety of positions the mount can be placed in. Fortunately, if it's in your vehicle, you'll likely be using it in the same position all the time.

The hand which holds the phone connects to the arm via ball joint, much like other Arkon mounts. Ergo, they're actually interchangeable; you can simply pop the current hand off and replace it with a different one - like the bike mounts that I reviewed a while back, for example. Since the bike mounts have a way to adjust the tension around the ball, you can effectively "fix" the aforementioned sagging problem, granted you either have an extra mount laying around or don't mind purchasing another.

The Friction Mount

This thing is rad - it basically sits on your dash and holds the mount. It's weighted, and the bottom of the unit is covered in a very "grippy" material, which holds the entire thing in place. If you want to further ensure it doesn't slide around, the package also includes a small hook that can adhere to the dash and attach to the friction mount. It's worth noting, however, that I've been using the dash and friction mount without the hook for weeks now and it hasn't moved. Then again, I drive a minivan, so I'm not exactly pulling stunt maneuvers on the interstate.

wm_IMG_1584 wm_IMG_1586

Right: the loop that attaches to the hook, should you choose to use it.

Since this is such a simple addition, there really isn't much more to say about it. It does exactly what it's supposed to to do - no pros, no cons. It just works.

Conclusion

wm_IMG_1579 wm_IMG_1580

Before I finish up, I want to add that Artem has been using the same mount for nearly as long as I have, and he loves his. In fact, he claims it's the best solution that he's ever used, and that's really saying something. I know that he's gone through at least a half a dozen different mounts in the past few months looking for the "perfect" solution. For him, this is it.

And my thoughts? If you're looking for a way to mount your phone to the dash instead of the windshield, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more versatile, affordable solution than this one from Arkon.

Buy:

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Joey Heck

    Good review. Thank you.

  • mesmorino

    If only it was available for shipping to the UK. I can't even ship it to Canada!

    • Duncan Booth

      What's your problem? Just go to amazon.co.uk and search for Arkon. I've had one of these for years. It works very well except once in very hot weather the glue holding the stick on hook softened and it does need to be anchored to the hook or it slips off the dashboard.

  • Royal2000H

    Seems more like an advertisement than a review

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      I'm not sure what ads you're watching, but most marketers prefer to not have sections of their advertisements labeled "What Makes It Meh".

      • Royal2000H

        So many other mounts that are tailored better for specific phones and are much better reviewed. By putting a "meh" that's not incredibly bad, the review seems more genuine when it may still be an advertisement.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Phone-specific mounts are good for however long you own the phone, and then you have to spend another chunk of money on a new one. I much prefer universal mounts.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Phone-specific mounts are good for however long you own the phone, and then you have to spend another chunk of money on a new one. I much prefer universal mounts.

    • Erik Neu

      I have had the Arkon friction mount for 2 years now and I love it. I don't have their suction cup mount with it, but a similar one. It's a great combination. SO much faster to put the Arkon mount under the seat when parking so as not to attract attention of thieves. (Also, in MN the windshield mount is prohibited.)

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        That's exactly what I've been saying. It's illegal to have suction mounts in California as well, and last time I left a freaking GPS mount in my car, it got broken into.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        That's exactly what I've been saying. It's illegal to have suction mounts in California as well, and last time I left a freaking GPS mount in my car, it got broken into.

  • v

    It will fly right into front windows just after any extensive braking. The hook really have to be mount in opposite direction to avoid such behavior.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I'm pretty sure the hook would work no matter how you mount it. I don't even use mine, and I never had the mount slide. I had a similar mount for my Garmin GPS for years, and never had issues. If I almost get into an accident and it slides slides a bit forward, that'll be the least of my problems.

  • v

    This type of mount is not hard. So be prepared for trembling of screen during driving by bad road or with high speed.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I have this setup (with the friction mount), and there's no trembling of anything whatsoever.

  • Edd

    As a few others have said, I'm a little curious how it sticks t the dash? From what I read it still sounds very movable, although I can see this isn't your experience.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      See my answer to Spyder about this.

  • http://twitter.com/yellowspyder Spyder Ryder

    So.... it has a suction mount... but it won't stick to your windshield, only to the dash, and only certain dash surfaces? hmmmm.... I'm betting your wrong. It's a windshield mount... you just got lucky sticking it to a dash. If you want a dash mount, that's what the friction mount is for.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      It *can* stick the windshield, but it's marketed as a Dash mount. It will work fine, either way.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      My dash is textured, so no suction cup I've tried sticks to it - the point of this review is a combination of the friction mount and the suction cup mount are almost perfect and far better than anything I've used before.

      A close second was a combination of the same friction mount, a tripod-compatible mount (it has a screw instead of the ball bearing and a phone holder), and Capta. However, the ball bearing allows for easier adjustments, whether minor or going from portrait to landscape without having to dismount, which makes this specific combination a winner for me.

  • http://profiles.google.com/holtcg Chris Holt

    One that I really like and is similar is the Exomount. It has a gel like material incorporated into the suction cup that makes it stick to textured dashboards very well.
    http://www.amazon.com/MSW-Exogear-Exomount-Universal-Mount/dp/B004Z8ZLOS/

    • Greg

      This is what I use for my Epic Touch 4G. I've only had it fall once, in 105 deg heat.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I heard a lot about the Exomount too. And if it doesn't stick to your dashboard (nothing sticks to mine - damn you, Nissan!), I'm sure it can fit the friction mount Cameron linked above.

  • http://twitter.com/yellowspyder Spyder Ryder

    The reviews on Amazon are not good. Why is it just a dash mount? Why can't you use it on your windshield? It looks like every other windshield mount.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I never used it separately as a windshield mount because I really like the idea of a portable beanbag style when paired with one, but I can't imagine that it wouldn't stick. In fact, they're distinct parts, so you can buy one without the other.

      The point is - the exact setup you see in this review is the most hassle-free and convenient way of mounting phones that I've ever found, and I've been looking. I'm mostly talking about this specific construction, where you have a non-stick, high-friction support and something that holds the phone. Other manufacturers might make something similar - and it might be just as good too.

      Forget the Amazon reviews of the standalone suction cup and look at the ones for the friction mount.

  • Seth Daniel

    The reviews on Amazon say the ball bearing starts to sag after about a month. I see you said you used it for a few weeks and Artem did too. It looks like a good design, but I had a similar problem as mentioned in the reviews with my capta unit. After a few weeks the flexible tripod mount became far to easy to move and started to flop around in tough turns and sag in general. I'll be curious to know if your units experience the same problem after a few more weeks.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      "The one issue that I've had with the dash mount is that, when exposed to very hot temperatures (I live in Texas, so hot temperatures are the only thing that exist here), the hand becomes very flimsy and "sags" under the weight of the phone. This, of course, can be corrected by adjusting the arm, but that drastically reduces the variety of positions the mount can be placed in. Fortunately, if it's in your vehicle, you'll likely be using it in the same position all the time."

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I haven't experienced any sag, but I live in San Francisco with a great climate of about 60-75F all year long.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Cameron's mom, on the other hand...

  • http://twitter.com/kpjimmy Jim L

    I have the mg115 mount without the friction mount. I use the disk that came with the mount and stuck it to my dash of my Tribute. I had the arm come off in 105 degree heat as well (TX as well). I have to say this arkon mount has gone through its motions with me and held up fantastically. I have had it for about a year now and the arm still feels as strong as I initially got it. No sagging in my experience. I do not however know how in the world people can get the phones out with one hand with these things! :)

  • David Malcolm

    I've tried too many options and my winner is the RAM X-grip. See here:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0066BWMNU/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      $45, jaysus.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      $45, jaysus.

  • David Malcolm

    I've tried too many options and my winner is the RAM X-grip. See here:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0066BWMNU/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

  • Dipish

    Was surprised to find out that attaching your device to windshield is prohibited in certain states, thanks for mentioning! This is sick and doesn't make any sense btw...
    http://www.ehow.com/list_7501768_laws-suction-mount-gps-texas.html

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Thanks for the link confirming it.

  • Robin C. M. Staple

    Hi, would you recommend this or the MobileMount (
    http://www.androidpolice.com/2011/10/26/mobilemount-a-crowd-funded-suction-mount-which-promises-to-keep-just-about-any-device-in-place-while-on-the-go/) for my Galaxy Nexus?

    I want to mount it to my dash, which is textured and slopes ever so slightly, ideally. If not possible then my wind shield, but it makes the phone difficult to reach...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      We'll try to get a sample from them and check it out. Thanks for the reminder.

  • MrWicket

    I have one of these and absolutely love it!

  • Jason Wood

    "
    it basically sets on your dash and holds the mount.". No it SITS on the dash.

  • Ricardo Antonio Cabral Mej√≠a

    I have these too and they sit perfectly on my Civic 06's dashboard. I've used this pair to hold a Samsung Galaxy S II with an Otterbox case and it worked flawlessly.

    Now I have a Nexus 4 with the official bumper case and the grip is just too tight for such a wide object. It's a hassle to fit it in and the grip feels like it's going to break every time. The only option is to remove the bumper before putting the phone in the grip.

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