Thursday , August 17 2017

Gadgets 4 Geeks: Galaxy S4 Carmount Kit — Review

mount

Smartphones are amazing things; they connect us, they inform us and they amuse us. They also have the potential to get us in a lot of trouble with the law. While there’s a few minor differences between the Australian states with regards to what you can and can’t do with your mobile phone a good rule of thumb is that you can make or receive phone calls if:

  • The phone is mounted into a commercially available mounting device; or
  • The driver of the vehicle doesn’t need to touch or manipulate the mobile phone in any way to do so

The laws vary a little, but generally speaking, you’re only allowed to make or receive calls. It’s illegal to do anything other than this unless your car is parked (and usually the engine off and keys out of the ignition). This means no emails, no text messaging, no tweeting, no posting to other social networks and definitely no video calls. The purpose of these laws is to keep drivers’ eyes on the road. There are some exceptions to this general rule, for example mobile phones that have GPS or music features, but they are few and far between.

While there’s plenty of other things you can do in a vehicle that you probably won’t get pulled over for that are just as distracting, mobile phone use is in the spotlight right now and that’s what we’re focussed on here at Ausdroid.

Our friends at Gadgets 4 Geeks have dropped a Galaxy S4 Car Mount Kit over to us to take a look at.

The kit meets the requirements of all states regarding being a fixed mounting kit for your mobile device, which means you’re allowed to make and receive calls from the device while it’s in the mounting kit. Here’s my take on the kit, the ease of mounting it and use in the vehicle:

Ausdroid recommends that you seek your own advice about what you can and can’t do with your phone while in the car. The safest option is to travel with a co-pilot who can manipulate the phone for you, so you can focus on driving the car. However, if you must do it yourself, be mindful that the police just love to pull people over for doing the wrong thing with their mobiles. Our deputy editor Chris can attest to this, having run afoul of these laws in Victoria on a technicality.

Just don’t risk it. For more information, check out the Australian Government Roads Information Site for links to state and territory laws and requirements.

Have you been unfortunate enough to get picked up for using a mobile phone? Have you invested in a Bluetooth kit or mounting kit since? Let us know your experiences in the comments below

 

Phil Tann   Journalist

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16 Comments on "Gadgets 4 Geeks: Galaxy S4 Carmount Kit — Review"

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Craig Fiddick
Valued Guest
Craig Fiddick
I have this cradle and it is probably one of the best on the market so far. However there is a problem with it. You can’t access the volume buttons on the phone once it is in the cradle. I have to plug in my headphone cable going to a fm transmitter as my stereo doesn’t have bt streaming. As soon as you plug in a headphone cable the phone automatically turns down the volume. So basically , I have to plug in the headphone cable, turn up the volume then put the phone into the cradle and finally connect… Read more »
Phill Edwards
Valued Guest
Phill Edwards

I bought a couple of GripGos. You can get them dirt cheap on eBay – http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2x-Gripgo-Universal-Mobile-Phone-Holder-Clingo-Car-Hands-Free-Seen-on-TV-GENUINE-/170984745794?pt=AU_MobilePhoneAccessories&hash=item27cf7c2b42&_uhb=1

I’m pretty pleased with them though you have to clean the sticky pad regularly to maintain suction stickiness, or the phone can fall off! But I like the way you can stick any phone to it (though some phone cover materials won’t stick).

nicholas
Valued Guest
nicholas

I use and recommend the $14.99 Cygnett universal mount. Suction is amazing. Very firm fit.

Montalbert
Valued Guest
Montalbert

i have one of these for my Nexus 4. Really really good mount. Best quality car mount i have ever used. Well worth the $ IMO. I will definitely be buying one for my nextus. In the past i have used generic ones which work with all phones. there is something about one that is built specifically for this phone. Just fits perfectly- although I would love to be able to have this in portrait as well.. might be able to twist it- haven’t tried it.

norkle
Valued Guest
norkle

Any info on whether a case can be used with this mount at all?

Member

I have an Otterbox an my S4,and the Samsung universal car cradle works perfectly. All buttons accessible, and the camera is unobstructed for black box recording.

Phil Tann
Valued Guest

In theory a relatively slim case would fit, there is a bit of room for movement. I’ll let you know when my Lloyd case arrives from Android Central. 😀

Carsten Bauer
Valued Guest
Carsten Bauer

Good video review Phil. You guys should do them more often.

Phil Tann
Valued Guest

Thanks – There was a bit of planning and a bit of luck (never work with children on camera!) to get the second take of that right. I’ll upload the blooper video when I get a chance.

pdffs
Valued Guest
pdffs

I realise people might have cases on their phones, but for me, having to plug in a separate cable is bollocks. The S2 had a great official dock with integrated audio out and microUSB in, and the locking mechanism contained the USB connector. That was great – drop the phone in, close the lock, and you’ve got audio out and charging right there.

Phil Tann
Valued Guest

One of the things I like about the G4G device is that you can actually unplug the charging cable from the back of the dash mount and use it for your secondary devices, tablets or even let your passengers use it to charge their phones if needed (and you like them enough!). So it’s swings and roundabouts with regards to specs on things like in car mounts and accessories.

This one suits my needs really well.

Sujay Vilash
Valued Guest
Sujay Vilash

G’day Phil. What is the suction like ? I want to purchase the HTC One variant but want it to be a lot stronger than the HN one I bought which falls off if my daughter sneezes. And it was more expensive than the G4G one too. Thanks for the review though.

Phil Tann
Valued Guest

In the video you can see me pulling at the phone I was putting a fair bit of force on it. I’m yet to have it fall off, I’d highly recommend the G4G stuff.

Pretty sure the promo code: G4G-AUSDROID is still running too for 10% discount

Sujay Vilash
Valued Guest
Sujay Vilash

G’day Phil. I have just bought the HTC One mounting kit based on your recommendation. Thanks for that. BTW, Simon was very approachable as well who also assured me it would be OK. In fact, he offered to take the mount back and give me a full refund if it fell off. That says a lot about G4G, don’t you think ? Happy to support a friend of Ausdroid.

pdffs
Valued Guest
pdffs

Oh yeah, definitely – moulded cables are another one of my pet hates – the SGS2 cradle had sockets for 3.5mm and microUSB. It really was the best car cradle I’ve owned – I’m just disappointed there aren’t more like it, and I don’t understand why – the design is quite simple really.

Member

I bought those for my SGS2 and my GNote. Got sick of having to buy a new mount every time I changed phones and the inability to use a case. Also, if you have multiple cars in your household and different phones, you either have to match phones with vehicles, or swap cradles. If they’d made the phone holder to arm connectors standardised, it would be better. Plugging in a cable when you need the power isn’t too much of a hassle.

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