Griffin WindowSeat for iPhone 3G – Review

Griffin WindowSeat for iPhone 3G
Company: Griffin Technology

Price: $29.99

I’ve been looking at and reviewing cases for the iPhone 3G but there is also the need for an accessory for your iPhone that a lot of folks tend to overlook. If you spend a lot of time on the road in your car, either traveling to and from work, or just traveling, gas prices permitting, then you really need to consider looking at a mount for your iPhone.

Normally if I’m driving, it’s not that far and I just keep the iPhone in its case on my belt or if I’m expecting a call in a short time period, I’ll place it in the center console. While this can work for short trips, longer times in the car need some consideration. Am you planning on using your iPhone’s GPS capability, make or receive a lot of telephone calls or do you have the luxury of plugging your iPhone into the car stereo system? If so, then consider Griffin’s WindowSeat for your vehicle.

To start off with, when you purchase the WindowSeat unit, you get more in the box than you would expect. You receive the WindowSeat, 2 extension arms, 3 cradles, 1 dash pad (in case you can’t mount it to your windshield) and a 3-foot auxiliary audio cable for plugging into your car stereo system. The WindowSeat unit is designed for the iPhone 3G, the iPhone and the iPod Touch. The unit arrives set up for the iPhone 3G but you can easily replace the cradle with on designed for the iPhone/iPod Touch. Mounting the unit to your windshield is very quick, easy and painless. You just clean the area that you want to mount the unit to, make sure that the suction cup is clean and dry, press the suction cup into place, turn the control knob about a quarter turn and you are good to go. You do need an absolutely flat surface on the windshield as I quickly found out when I attempted to mount the unit on the slightly dimpled surface near where my rear view mirror sits on the windshield. WindowSeat will not adhere to it.

Placement of the unit is probably the most important aspect of the whole process. You want to be able to view your screen but you don’t want to have to take your eyes off of the road or have the unit act as a blocking point for you to see out of your windshield. Also some states or local jurisdictions do not permit the attachment of any item to the windshield of your vehicle so check before you mount anything there. If you do have this type of restriction, Griffin provides you with a mounting plate that you can attach to your dashboard and then place your WindowSeat unit on the mounting plate and then turn the control knob about a quarter turn and you are in business. If you have the capability of plugging your iPhone 3G into your car stereo system, then you will have to mount the unit somewhere in the center of the windshield or dash to utilize the 3 foot cable that is provided.

In my vehicle, I selected a position to the left of my steering wheel and mounted the WindowSeat unit there. In the entire time I’ve had the unit in place, well over 40 days, I’ve not had any issues with the unit coming off or moving. It has stayed exactly where I placed it and has held up to my sliding my iPhone 3G in and out of it, no problems noted. I had to take a trip out of my area and it involved an almost 2 hour drive down some back road areas and I also wanted to utilize the iPhone’s GPS capability to locate a store that was along the route and to see how the unit would function. Driving to the location was a breeze and being able to watch my blue dot move towards my red target dot, without having to take my eyes off the road was absolutely the way to go. Another plus for the WindowSeat is that the unit can be tilted so your view is either landscape or portrait view.

The one minus point that I saw with this unit is that the iPhone can’t be in a case to have it attach to the WindowSeat unit. The cradle will only accept the actual iPhone 3G or iPhone or iPod Touch. For those of us who enjoy having the iPhone in a case, this may be a deal breaker. However, if you have flexibility in the style of case that you are using and can easily remove the iPhone and place it into the WindowSeat cradle, then Griffin offers you a good deal here. If you or the family have an iPhone and an iTouch, then the capability to utilize the WindowSeat for both units just by changing out the cradle, you have saved yourself some money here. Plus, if you are on the road quite a bit and want to use a mount, consider Griffin’s WindowSeat. Possibly Griffin can consider an adjustable WindowSeat unit that could securely hold a cased iPhone unit?

So to review:
Pro: Well designed, provides a real stable platform for your iPhone 3G and stands up quite well to daily use. Pricing is very reasonable for what you get in the box. The ability to switch to a regular iPhone or iPod Touch cradle, or expand the arm out more is a definite plus. Being able to also mount the WindowSeat unit to your dash or console area, based upon your needs or jurisdictional restrictions is also a plus here. Unit tilts for landscape or portrait viewing capability.

Cons: WindowSeat is not designed to seat an iPhone in any type of case. For those users who have their iPhone in a case, this may be a turn-off.

Still highly recommended!

My Mac rating: 4 out of 5.

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