By Mike Riley on Tue, 11/01/2011
Just like iPhone cases, there are a number of mobile device holders designed for cars. Whether these are elaborate gooseneck stands bolted to the car floor or the more prevalent suction cup stands stuck to the car's windshield, all promote the general idea of having your touch screen mobile phone within hand and eye sight. Since this is the primary function of these holders, what differentiates Just Mobile's Xtand Go from the rest of market? Read on to find out.
Combining their minimalist, metaic-looking design aesthetic with efficient engineering and functionality, Just Mobile's line of stands and holders have consistently rated highly. Consequently, they have taken their success and their iOS stand expertise and projected it into the car environment. Generally, it works though there was a design choice made that wasn't as optimal as I have come to expect with Just Mobile's products.
The good news is that if you are a fan of Xtands for the desktop, the unique, minamilist approach is thoroughly imbued in the Xtand Go. Unlike other car dashboard and windshield mounting brackets that are cheap looking and/or bulky, the Xtand Go is sleek, attractive and highlights the phone's display versus the other way around.
The Xtand Go has been optimized for the iPhone 4 via a thin custom plastic bracket that holds the iPhone in place. The base of the Xtand Go uses a large clear suction cup to securely affix itself to the dashboard or windshield, similar to the way a purpose-built car GPS unit does. The Xtand Go's most unique attribute is its cylindrical arm that allows a full range of motion and viewing angle. It's an impressive feat of mechanical engineering and artistic design.
The Xtand Go supports other mobile devices beyond the iPhone 4. However, because of the stand's minimalist approach, its mounting solution for non-iPhone 4 devices isn't something I was ever fully satisfied with. Rather than creating a wide range of brackets for the variety of mobile devices on the market, Just Mobile has opted instead for a 'one clip fits all' approach. As such, a plastic clip with non-permanent stick tape needs to be applied to the back of your non-iPhone device. This clip slides into place and keeps the device stabilized while driving. And while the Xtand Go maintains its sleek, minimalist design using this approach, I'm not happy with the fact that I have to affix this clip on the back of an otherwise smooth phone case surface. Not only does it add a noticeable rub to the phone but I suspect over time the adhesive will leave some kind of discoloration as it gets baked into the phone's plastic courtesy of the magnified rays of the sun streaming through the windshield.
Assuming that this doesn't happen, the lack of having several of these adhesive clips in the package mean that you either have to perform surgery each time you swap phones or contact Just Mobile for replacement clips. If you plan on using the Xtand Go for one phone only, then this won't be a problem, but consider that constraint before buying.
That said, the Xtand Go is one of the more attractive car brackets I've seen in a long time, and I didn't hesitate mounting it on my windshield. It's small enough to stay out of the way, and attractive enough to leave mounted in the car without overtaking the interior with a cheap plastic look. If you have an iPhone 4 and are looking for a car mount optimized for your phone, the Xtand Go is one of the best in its class. If you have something other than the iPhone 4 that you want to mount, consider the ramifications before pursuing the Xtand Go further. If you don't mind sticking clips on the back of your phone, then it will satisfy. You can see the Xtand Go in action via a promotional video on the Xtand.net website.
Product: Xtand Go
Manufacturer: Just Mobile
Rating: 4/5 stars