Mobile / Hands-on Review

Hands-On Review: JOBY Regular GripTight Mobile Phone Auto Vent Clip

I once had a car auto vent mount for my cell phone so that I could use it for navigation, and have it somewhere besides my lap or center console. After a few days, it broke. I super-glued it back together. It broke again. I glued it again. Pretty soon there was more glue than plastic on the mount. Eventually, I got a window suction-cup mount that protrudes hideously from my car’s windshield.

I wish I’d had the JOBY Regular GripTight Mobile Phone Auto Vent Clip. I guess you get what you pay for, because the JOBY costs a bit more than the horrible mount I used to own, but this JOBY product might cause my super-glue supply to harden from lack of use.

The JOBY is a quality product—by far the most thoughtfully engineered device of its type I have seen in the automobile accessory market. A combination of plastic and stainless steel parts give the JOBY a decided edge over the all-plastic competition. The main bracket expands to accommodate phones of different sizes (be sure yours fits before you buy the JOBY) and the telescoping action is spring-loaded and smooth. It has that nice feel that makes you want to expand and contract the device between uses just to feel the spring’s tension and the metal slide in and out of the housing. Well, maybe I am the only person who likes those tactile pleasures. Regardless, it speaks to the quality of the JOBY.

The tensioning plastic ball allows you to reposition your device at multiple angles, vertically or horizontally. Again, we see and feel quality. Plastic balls can be great or they can be a waste of plastic and space. The JOBY positioning ball gives the device a 20o positioning range and, when you tighten the ball, it stays put. TPS grip pads on the holder and the mount keep things from sliding across your car in high-G turns.

Additionally, the JOBY Regular GripTight Mobile Phone Auto Vent Clip comes with an airplane clip adapter for mounting your smartphone on the seat tray table while you fly. I recently used this on several flights and found that the adapter worked on several different styles of airline seats. The newest Recaro seats on United did not want to accept the clip without a little convincing, but, apologies to the person sitting in front of me, I was able to use a little force to get the seat-back tray table into the locked position with the JOBY clip adapter. I promise that amount of force would have sent my old vent clip back to the super-glue line, but the JOBY airplane clip survived without incident. Nice!

If you are rocking a plus-sized smartphone, the JOBY GripTight Auto Vent Clip XL will be your solution. You can purchase the regular and XL mounts separately. Adding to the versatility of the JOBY, the mount has a ¼"-20 stainless-steel thread at the bottom so that you can mount the JOBY on a standard tripod or JOBY GorillaPod.