Read on to find out if the £4.99 Sakura SS4609 Universal Rotating Mobile Phone Holder can be trusted to hold your device when using it as a sat-nav on tour
Going the right way when on tour is crucial, meaning for 21st century motorcaravanners, sat-navs are must-have motorhome accessories. And instead of purchasing separate, dedicated sat-nav units, more and more people are relying on their smartphones and tablets to do the job.
It makes sense. You're likely to have your mobile phone or tablet on you anyway, so why cart an additional device about with you or spend the money on yet another piece of technology? In addition, you can plug your device in to charge while it's pointing you in the right direction so it's a good way to keep it topped up, plus as your phone or tablet can easily connect to the internet, keeping your sat-nav system updated is a cinch.
However, because many tablets and mobiles are not sold with vehicle mounts, you'll find there's a healthy market for in-car (or should that be in-'van?) accessory mounts. The question is: are they any good?
To help you find the best, here at Practical Motorhome we've put a range of these mobile device holders to the test, reviewing each product in the same way to help you decide which one to spend your money on.
Our first task was to measure the size range of devices each holder could support, before assessing how easy each was to use. We wanted to find out how simple it was to insert and secure a device into each accessory mount, and to see if releasing your device was a quick process, too.
Looking at the accessory mount itself, each was reviewed in terms of the ease with which it could be fixed securely into place and how precisely it could be positioned. If a mount could be attached to the windscreen and also the dashboard, giving the user more options, bonus points were awarded.
Finally, we tried out each device in transit. They were all affixed and driven down a particularly bumpy road, so we could see how securely each held the device in place.
Here we're testing the Sakura SS4609 Universal Rotating Mobile Phone Holder. Whereas there are numerous different options for Ram’s X-Grip, which was our accessory mount group test winner, if, for some reason, you don’t like the suction cup this mount by Sakura is supplied with, this product goes one better: it actually comes with adhesive pads – for dash mounting – or fingers to penetrate into a ventilation grille.
The quality 3M pads hang on superbly, but the slightly Heath Robinson finger arrangement is much less impressive. They only work well on some styles of grille, and even then they don’t hook in like those on Kenu’s Airframe which we have also reviewed. Device width range is also restricted at 4.5-7cm, and positioning adjustment is limited to the clamp section being able to rotate against the grille/adhesive mounting.
So if you're looking for other possible mobile device holders to buy to secure your sat-nav on your motorhome holidays, what are your options? Well, in addition to the aforementioned Ram Mount X-Grip and Kenu Airframe, we've also reviewed the Polco Universal Smart Phone Holder POLC23, which costs just £8.99 but received a five-star rating, as well as the Olixar Omniholder and the Belkin Window Mount.
Come the end of our Sakura SS4609 Universal Rotating Mobile Phone Holder review, while it's cheap and offers a range of attachment options, there are more complete products out there.
- It's very affordable
- Positioning adjustment is restricted
- Device width range is limited