At under £10, the Polco Universal Smart Phone Holder POLC23 looks great value for money – read the Practical Motorhome review to find out how good it is

Overview

Not very long ago, mobile accessory stores were awash with smartphone holders, to cater for the fact that hands-free systems were increasingly popular. While we are pleased that these often unreliable systems have since been replaced with Bluetooth ones, there's still a need for mounting devices for phones (and tablets), as people opt to use the sat-nav apps on their smartphones and tablets rather than buying a bespoke portable sat-nav unit.

It makes perfect sense. Why spend the money on a separate device when you're likely to have your phone or tablet on you in your 'van – and by plugging your device in as you use it, you can easily keep it charged, too. And thanks to today’s phones’ ability to hook up to the internet with ease, many of these systems are able to update themselves at all times automatically. However, few tablets or smartphones mobiles come with a vehicle mount, which is why we at Practical Motorhome conducted an accessory holder group test, to find the best products on the market, to help keep you on the right road wherever you travel in your 'van.

So, what were we looking for in the products we reviewed? Stability was key. We tested each product out on the road – a very bumpy road, to be precise. We wanted to see if the mounts tested could keep the devices as still and as safe as possible.

In addition, we measured the size range of devices that each holder could cope with. We also considered the ease with which devices can be inserted into and removed from every mount tested. You'd not want the hassle of releasing your shiny new smartphone from its holder to prevent you from being bothered to remove it if you nip out for a moment, as this might make it the target of thieves.

Another factor was how simple the holders were to securely position – and we rated the ease with which we could get them exactly where we wanted them. Products also won brownie points if they could be positioned on the windscreen as well as on the dash. While many users prefer the former, the ring-shaped marks left on the windscreen can encourage theft.

Here we review the Polco Universal Smart Phone Holder POLC23. If our group test winner, Ram’s X-Grip, has whetted your appetite for a simple-to-use foolproof screen mount, but you cannot justify its almost-£50 price tag, then this mount is the one to go for.

In terms of removing and fitting your device, the sprung clamp is just as rapid and straightforward as the Ram’s sprung X. Its size range of 0-10cm is very impressive too. And, also like the Ram Mount X-Grip, positional adjustment is controlled by one clamped balljoint. This time, though, there’s much less range of movement, so it is best to fit your device and then roughly position the mount. Depending on the desired position, the suction cup may have to go above or below.

We also reviewed the Sakura SS4609 Universal Rotating Mobile Phone Holder and the Kenu Airframe which both received a two-star ratings, while the Olixar Omniholder scored four stars and the Belkin Window Mount scored three out of five.

Verdict

This is a great product and costs just £8.99, so it's a bargain, five-star rated buy.

Conclusion

Pros

  • It costs less than £10
  • It is easy to use

Cons

  • The mount's range of movement is less than on other products
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