Easy One Touch phone mount works one-handed

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/ Updated: 5 September 2013 9:12 pm BST
The iOttie Easy One Touch holds a phone firmly in place, either vertically or horizontally. Josh Miller/CNET

One key ergonomic feature of a phone mount for your car is the ability to put the phone in and take it out one-handed, as you will often have keys, a purse, or sunglasses in the other hand. iOttie showed particular attention to this detail with its appropriately, and accurately, named Easy One Touch mount.

The mount's clamp uses springs and a cleverly placed button that made locking the phone in place very easy.

The Easy One Touch is typical of many car mounts in that it offers no cable guides or pass-throughs, or any sort of built-in electronics. Its job is merely to hold a smartphone up in view of the driver for navigation, hands-free phone calls, and music selection.

As with the Aduro mount , the Easy One Touch's suction-cup base includes a sticky rubber plate, so that it will not only adhere to windshields, but many dashboards as well. A lever creates suction on the base end of the mount. The sticky material loses its adhesion when it become dirty, but is easily washed. If left in place on a dashboard, or other surface, it holds it grip for very extended periods of time.

After sticking it into place on a smooth surface and pushing its suction lever down, it took more force than would occur while driving to loosen it.

A hinge on the mount allows a wide radial movement, while a ball joint gives flexibility to the phone end. Josh Miller/CNET

A 3-inch high bracket rises up from the base, connecting through a hinge to an approximately 2-inch arm. The hinge only moves in one direction, but lets the upper arm move through an arc of about 240 degrees. A set screw with a large knob locked the arm firmly into whatever position I desired.

The lack of swiveling movement at the base or near the hinge limited the range of motion, so it was necessary to make sure the suction-cup end was stuck down at an appropriate angle so as to make the phone visible from the driver seat. The clamp end attaches to the Easy One Touch's upper arm with a ball joint, making adjustment easier, but it only moves through a 50-degree arc.

However, that ball joint makes it easy to move the phone from a vertical to a horizontal orientation. A plastic dial let me lock the ball joint into position, and held firmly enough that the clamp end didn't move when I took the phone out or put it back in.

Pushing a phone against the button on the back panel causes the clamping arms to retract. Josh Miller/CNET

The genius part of the Easy One Touch is the clamp end, a plastic panel with two spring-loaded clamping arms and feet at the bottom to hold a phone in place. In the center of the panel, a button causes the arms to retract, clamping a phone into place. The way this mount is designed, when I pushed my phone against it, the arms snapped closed, gripping the phone firmly enough that it didn't move all during an extended drive. That mechanism let me place my phone in the mount with one hand.

To free the phone, I had merely to push in two tabs on the side of the plastic panel, causing the clamp arms to open up. Rubber inserts on the clamping arms ensured the mount wouldn't scratch the phone.

The Easy One Touch's clamp opens up 3 inches, enough for any iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy S4, but too small for the Galaxy Note 2 . An adjustment screw also let me adjust the feet at the bottom of the phone end a bit, allowing for longer phones.

Easy access
Although the iOttie Easy One Touch has limited rotation near its base, the ball joint and hinge give it enough range of motion for most in-car applications. With its bracket and arm, the mount is also long enough to work in cars with even heavily raked windshields. The ability of the suction cup to hold onto dashboard materials extends the areas in a car where it can be attached.

The mount's biggest virtue comes from how easily a phone can be placed in its clamping arms. It allowed one-handed use for repeatedly putting the phone in place and removing it. However, it won't handle particularly wide phones or small tablets.

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iOttie Easy One Touch smartphone mount

Part Number: HLCRIO102
Pricing is currently unavailable.