Spider Podium for iPhone by Breffo [Review]

The Spider Podium by Breffo is not your average iPhone stand. It is advertised as a “flexible gadget grip and travel dock” that can adapt to many different mounting situations. So how does it fare in the real world?

Spider Podium for iPhone Reviewed

You’ve got to hand it to Breffo for coming up with such a creative mounting solution. The Spider Podium has, as you might expect, eight legs that are multi-jointed and extremely flexible. It will hoist up any generation iPhone, including those with cases. And the possibilities for mounting with the Spider Podium are nearly endless.

Spider Podium Kitchen

You can mount it to the dish rack so that you can refer to a recipe while you cook;

Spider Podium for iPhone

prop it on your desk while you crank through your to-do list;

Spider Podium Guitar

or even hang it from the soundhole of your acoustic guitar while you read the lyrics to a song you’re playing.

The Spider Podium is great for creative people because it’s like play-doh with a purpose. Once you use it for a few days, you’ll start to come up with unique mounting setups for a number of different situations.

So it’s great for creative people, but for the rest of us? As my friend who observed me using it said, “seems interesting, but not practical.” The one problem with the Spider Podium is that it takes some time and some fiddling around to get the podium mounted where you want it. When you’re rushing to get on the road, do you really have time to bend a bunch of little parts to get this thing to mount on the air vents of your dashboard? Better to just get a car mount.

Nevertheless, you do get a better hang of the Spider Podium the more you use it. And despite the time it takes, there is no other mount as versatile and as fun to use as the Spider Podium.


  • Highly versatile, with eight jointed and bendable legs
  • No annoying parts like screws, brackets, etc.
  • Fun to mount your iPhone on (almost) anything
  • More affordable than getting different mounts for different purposes. Sells for ~$20 USD


  • Takes time/patience to mold and attach
  • Cannot be mounted on large objects, only on objects that its legs can wrap around
  • Not the most stable mount. Although Breffo advertises it used on a bike, I wouldn’t take the chance.

Gadget grip and travel dock

Buy on Amazon: Breffo Spiderpodium Stand for iPhone
Manufacturer: Breffo

Arkon Car Mounts for iPhone 4 [Review]

Arkon iPhone 4 mount

Arkon is a manufacturer of car mounts for the iPhone. The company recently sent me a couple of mounting solutions for the iPhone 4, and I have been testing them out for the past month.

The package Arkon sent me contained the following items:

  1. SM012 – Mini Weighted Friction Dashboard Mount
  2. GN014-SBH – Travelmount Mini Swivel Windshield Suction Pedestal
  3. AP013 Circular Adhesive Dashboard Disk
  4. GN015-HPB-2 Mini Windshield Suction Pedestal
  5. SM050-2 Slim-Grip Holder

First Impressions

Arkon iPhone 4 mount contents

I have to say I was a bit overwhelmed when I first received the package due to the sheer number of parts. First there is the weighted dashboard mount — which if I may be honest is far from “mini” as the product name states. Then there is an adhesive hook to prevent the weighted mount from sliding off the dashboard. Then there is the pedestal that attaches to the mount. The pedestal is comprised of several parts which you have to assemble, including the plastic pedestal itself, the Slim-Grip holder, and four support legs that you have to slide into the holder before you can mount your iPhone.

Phew! That’s a lot of parts. As Apple customers, we want products that “just work,” as the old Mac slogan goes. I don’t want to have to read an instruction manual to figure out how to use this thing. I just want to take it out of the box and use it.

Arkon iPhone 4 Mounts Reviewed

After assembling both mounts (the friction dashboard mount and the adhesive dashboard disk), I found the friction dashboard mount to be cumbersome, far from “mini,” and not well fitted to my dashboard. On the other hand, I found the adhesive disk to be a much smarter solution.

Arkon Friction Dashboard Mount

The friction mount was in fact too large to fit anywhere but right in the center of my dashboard, and even there it was difficult to hook it to the safety hook due to lack of space. Arkon advertises this mount as more portable, since you can use it in several vehicles, however my package only contained one adhesive safety hook, which is not portable yet is vital to preventing the mount from sliding off your dashboard.

Arkon Windshield Mount

The Arkon Pedestals

The one subtle difference between the GN014-SBH and the GN015-HPB-2 is that the latter allows you to adjust the angle of the holder higher or lower, in addition to the swivel ball that both pedestals feature. I like the swivel ball because it allows for easy manipulation of the iPhone’s position.

The suction cup can be attached to either the mount or to the windshield. In my experience, the suction cup was reliable and never became detached from either the mount or the windshield.

The Slim-Grip Holder


The only holder that Arkon offers for the iPhone 4 is the Slim-Grip Holder, and I must say this part makes the Arkon mount a deal breaker for me. The Slim-Grip Holder requires you to slide four support legs into grooves in the holder, but I found this to be troublesome. The reason is apparently that this is a universal mount, and so the support legs can be adjusted to suit any phone. The problem for me was that these legs were difficult to adjust without using considerable force.


Furthermore, to mount the iPhone, you need to pull the spring-loaded grip mechanism down and then it will spring back up and secure the phone to the holder. This sounds practical in theory but it is not ideal because a) it’s a pain in the butt to pull the grip mechanism down with one hand while mounting your iPhone with the other, and b) the spring puts considerable pressure on the iPhone 4, which makes me slightly uncomfortable.

I would much prefer a holder that was fitted perfectly for the iPhone 4 so that I could be spared the trouble of adjusting the legs and the inconvenience of mounting the phone with the spring mechanism.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, I like the swivel pedestal and the adhesive dashboard disk, but I was not a fan of the friction mount or the Slim-Grip holder. Show me a fitted holder that I don’t have to fiddle with too much, one that “just works,” and then I might change my mind.

Thanks sincerely to Arkon for providing these mounts for review. I hope the company will consider implementing some of this feedback into their product line. For pricing and other details, visit the Arkon page for iPhone 4.

Arkon Car Mount for iPhone 4

Buy on Amazon: Arkon IPM515 with Slim-Grip Holder
Shop: Arkon iPhone Mount
Manufacturer: Arkon

Xtand Go Windshield and Dashboard Car Mount for iPhone [Review]

Xtand Go for iPhone

Just Mobile’s Xtand Go, mounted on my windshield

Just Mobile’s Xtand Go is a windshield and dashboard car mount for iPhone 3G and 3GS. I will say right off the bat that I am really pleased with this iPhone car mount (and I don’t say that about everything I review).

Here are my complete thoughts on the Xtand Go Windshield and Dashboard Car Mount for iPhone, including detailed instructions on how to use it.

Xtand Go Review

Disclosure: This Xtand Go was donated to me in exchange for an honest review. Sometimes I review donated products that interest me. Despite receiving the items for free, I do my best to be fair and objective. The FTC requires that I disclose my relationship with companies, and I agree that it is important to mention.

Instruction Manual

The Xtand Go’s main weakness, in my opinion, is its instruction manual. It seems they chose to use images to convey the directions in order to accommodate people with different languages, which is admirable, but it makes understanding the directions a challenge.

Xtand Go Instructions

I was somewhat confused by the imagery and had to figure out how to use the Xtand Go with little help from the manual. Just Mobile, please make the instructions for the Xtand Go more clear by adding text to the images. Looking at the instructions was the first thing I did, and it was not a good experience.

The Good

Despite the weak instructions, this mount is excellent, mostly because of its ability to adapt to many situations. The Xtand Go is versatile enough to be placed on virtually any area in your car, including glass surfaces and your dashboard.

What makes the Xtand Go so flexible is that you can adjust it to suit whatever area you are mounting your iPhone to. To mount to a windshield or window, attach the suction cup mount to the folding arm. To mount to the dashboard or console, use one of three available sticky buttons, which Just Mobile calls “Go Buttons.”

Xtand Go Contents & Directions

Xtand Go parts:

Xtand Go Contents

Xtand Go contents, from left to right: 2 of 3 sticky mounts/Go Buttons, suction cup mount, iPhone holster, and folding arm.

The folding arm: The folding arm is the flexible part of this iPhone car mount. The arm can be mounted to the suction cup or to Go Buttons that you stick to your dashboard. The folding arm is composed of two rotating disks on a circular base.

Xtand Go Folding Arm

The concept is smart. By letting you turn two discs on different planes, the Xtand Go lets you orient your iPhone practically any way you want. The only caveat: because each disk can only rotate along one plane at a time, it can sometimes be tricky to orient the iPhone the way you want it.

To be honest, at first it felt like I was playing with a Rubiks Cube, but once I got the positioning of the discs right by folding the discs in the proper positions, then it was easy to orient the iPhone vertically and horizontally.

The suction cup: The Xtand Go’s suction cup mount is one of my favorite features of this accessory. Think about it, to mount an iPhone to your windshield you need some pretty strong suction cups. Just Mobile’s implementation on the Xtand Go is smart and effective.

Xtand Go Suction Cup

To suction the mount to your windshield:

  1. Attach the suction cup to the folding arm by sliding it on and clicking it into place.
  2. Then, press the suction cup to the surface you want to mount to, and turn the base of the suction cup in a clockwise motion. The mount will now be securely fastened to the glass.

The Go Buttons: These little sticky mounts can be placed on different locations on your dashboard so that you can attach the folding arm to those locations. The sticker is strong and has remained attached in the two weeks I have been using the Xtand Go. It seems I could easily remove it if I wanted to, though.

Xtand Go Button

The Xtand Go comes with three of these “Go Buttons,” which let you mount (and unmount) your iPhone to several places on your dashboard

The coolest thing about the Go Buttons is that you can even stick one to your iPhone case and then mount your iPhone, case and all.

The holster:

Xtand Go

The detachable holster lets you clip your iPhone into place in a very non-intrusive way, as you can still access all of the iPhone’s controls and inputs when it is mounted, unlike Pro-Fit’s miCradle and UltiMount, which I reviewed in the past. If you have a case, it won’t fit in the Xtand Go’s holster, but instead you can stick a Go Button to the case to mount it to the folding arm, as I noted above.

Purchase the Xtand Go

Product Page: European shoppers can purchase the Xtand Go directly from Just Mobile.

Amazon.com Listing: Just Mobile does not seem to ship directly to the United States, but US shoppers can find the Xtand Go on Amazon.com (affiliate link).

What do you think?

What are your thoughts on Just Mobile’s Xtand Go? I would love to know if you agree with my opinion of this iPhone car mount.


Buy on Amazon: Just Mobile Xtand Go iPhone Car Mount
Manufacturer: Just Mobile

Bicio’s GoRide iPhone Bike Mount [Review]

Bicio GoRide iPhone Bike Mount

Riding with headphones on can be dangerous, and it is a ticketable offense in Florida. So when I got the chance to test out
Bicio’s GoRide iPhone bike mount, I was excited about using my iPhone as a personal bike radio.

I’ve always wanted speakers on my bike, but such setups are impractical and vulnerable to theft. Now with the GoRide, I can use my iPhone to rock while I ride. iPhone’s tiny speakers pack a punch, so you can listen comfortably to music while you ride — though the wind does impede the volume, depending on how fast you are going.

Speaking of fast, I hauled a** with the iPhone and GoRide mounted to my bike, and — thank god! — the iPhone and mount stayed securely in place. I have ridden on streets and on rougher terrain (with my road bike and on my dad’s mountain bike), and still I have not had to return to the Apple Store to fix a cracked iPhone screen.

With your iPhone mounted to your bike, you can listen to music, use Maps, or keep track of your progress with some fitness apps in the App Store. Of course, you should always follow safety precautions and abide by the laws in your state/country.

The case

GoRide iPhone Bike Mount by Bicio

The case on the GoRide grips your iPhone tight. It’s easy to put your phone in, but you have to apply some pressure to pull the plastic edge back and remove your iPhone. Though a bit frustrating, the difficulty of removal assured me my iPhone was securely in place.

Nevertheless, though I appreciate the simplicity and lack of bulk of the GoRide, I would feel more comfortable if the plastic case wrapped around the iPhone bezel a little bit more just so that my iPhone cannot snap out.

Fastening the GoRide

GoRide iPhone bike mount contents

You can mount your iPhone vertically or horizontally, but you cannot switch the orientation after you have secured the mount. The GoRide is fastened with plastic zip ties that are extremely secure and impossible to undo. You have to cut them to remove the bike mount. This could be an advantage because it might deter opportunist thieves, but it is an inconvenience for you if you are going to change the orientation or use the GoRide on another bike. You’ll have to get new zip ties.

I would appreciate if the GoRide let me change the orientation of the iPhone without having to remove the mount. One confusing thing about the GoRide is that if you turn the iPhone clockwise or counterclockwise while it is mounted, it will unfasten from the mount and allow you to remove the iPhone. If you don’t know this and you think you are simply changing the orientation, the case will fall out of the mount. Be careful.

The verdict

Overall, I like the simplicity of Bicio’s GoRide iPhone Bike Mount. Although I would prefer not to test the case continually on bumpy terrain, I trust it for day-to-day bicycle commuting and for riding on the local Hawthorne Trail.

The mount itself can be secured to the bike anywhere on the handlebars, and I can (optionally) remove the whole case when I park my bike. Although a more portable mount (or more zip ties) would be nice, the permanence of the mount keeps me less concerned about theft.

The GoRide is $30 from Bicio.

Disclosure: This item was donated in exchange for a review. I only accept donations of products I am interested in. This gives me a chance to share cool things with you without breaking the bank. No payment is ever accepted for any review, and I do my best to be fair, honest, and objective.


Buy on Amazon: GoRide iPhone Bike Mount
Manufacturer: Bicio

iPhone Car Mount Review: Pro-Fit miCradle & UltiMount V2

Pro-Fit miCradle

Pro-Fit recently sent me a miCradle iPhone holder along with an UltiMount V2 iPhone car mount for my Mazda 6.

I’ve had the Pro-Fit car mount installed for a week now, during which time I’ve considered the accessory’s usefulness and how good it is at doing what it should do.

Keep reading for my full review of the Pro-Fit miCradle and UltiMount V2 iPhone car mount solution.

Read more