Today we’re looking at short arm smartphone mounts from Arkon. I went to Arkon’s headquarters in southern California and I sat down with Aaron who heads Arkon’s marketing department. I was given a look at Arkon’s entire upcoming product lines and I saw some exciting things to come. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing more and more of that with you. As an introduction of sorts, we’ll cover the Arkon products you’ve most likely already encountered, short arm smartphone mounts usually used on car windshields or dashboards.
In their beginnings Arkon did more than just mounts. They were actually the first to market with a consumer FM transmitter. They made multiple other accessories but found over time that they did something really well, mounts. They narrowed their focus and it shows in their product. They are a clear leader in mounting solutions. The best part of Arkon’s product line in my view, is that it is mostly universal and very interchangeable. Arkon is constantly developing and evolving to the market around them. Something as simple as their suction cup material has gotten better and more varied over time. They started with PVC which was a standard and they found a lot of success. Over time though, some concerns arose about DEHP, an element of PVC’s makeup. To satisfy the market, they know only use DEHP free PVC for those mounts. In addition though, you can also find TPU suction mounts. TPU will be familiar as the material used to make the cheap and colorful translucent fitted cases you can get for all phones for three dollars off of eBay. The benefit of TPU is that it will hold through most any temperature whereas PVC can have some difficulties in extreme cold. If you live in an area prone to frozen moments, you need to consider TPU as your solution. Even another new option from Arkon is polyurethane suction mounts. You’ll know polyurethane as the material used in the infomercial “STICKY PAD” products. You’ll see me demonstrate in this video slideshow how the polyurethane mount sticks and holds on a painted wall, starts at the 2:34 mark. You can stick the mount to just about any flat clean surface and not worry for a second that it will shift. I have one stuck to my wall as I type and it’s held for weeks. If you find a loss of stickiness over time rather than replace the mount, you only need to rinse the pad with clean soapy water and it is completely rejuvenated.
To complete the package, you can change cradles between mounts to suit any need. You can choose the suction style that suits your needs as well as the arm style. You’ll find flexible arms, curved or straight rigid arms, multi point articulating arms, they really have thought of every scenario. The cradles themselves fit different needs as well. The mega grip is a huge seller for arkon and it is what I use when I dock my Samsung galaxy note 2 on a tripod mount that arkon sells. I can then use my phone to take pictures or video on a professional tripod. The slim grip ultra is the cradle I use as an everyday cradle in my car for the note 2, but it blocks my rear camera. The mega grip would work fine as my car mount as well, but I like the style and one handed operation of the slim grip ultra while in a driving scenario. So as you can see, it’s only a matter of looking over their offerings and finding the right set up for you. Stay tuned for more on this continuing series exploring what Arkon has to offer in 2013
Thank you again to Arkon for supplying their product for review.
Main advantage: Arkon has a history and experience that you benefit from as a consumer. Arkon has spent years developing mounts that are paired with some of your favorite everyday products like perhaps the GPS you use every day. They also do specific work for commercial businesses and law enforcement. The research that allows them to make a product to the standards of something like law enforcement is directly applied to their consumer products.
Main concern: With so much variety and adaptability to whichever device I’d test with the mounts, I honestly can’t point out any flaws.
Unique features: their newest mount, the slim grip ultra can hold any phone on the current US market with one handed operation. Also, Arkon’s proprietary “dual T-mount” allows you to mix and match mounts and cradles endlessly.
How much: The three mounts I show in the video are:
- the cobra dash mount with TPU suction mount
- the ball joint adhesive mount
- the dash and flat surface mount with polyurethane suction mount
Alternatives: ram mounts, pro clip, exogear, and many others
Is it worth buying: you won’t be disappointed with the build quality, in the past design might have been a bit of an issue for me. Their current slim grip ultra line is very sleek and modern looking though, and of course everything functions remarkably well.
ENJOY YOUR GADGETS!