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Dexim Audio Car Mount Charging Holder

The Dexim audio car mount charges and holds an iPhone (3GS or 4) while driving. It also features an audio output functionality that, as we learned during our testing, is less than elegant in operation.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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What's in the box?

In the box, we found (left to right) an iPhone 3G(S) case and cradle, a clear iPhone 4 case, a suction cup mount, the car mount itself with an iPhone 4 cradle pre-attached, an assortment of documents that included a quick start guide and the 14-language instruction manual, a clear Dexim sticker, a 3.5mm audio patch cable, and a 12-volt car charger.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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Suction cup mount

Holding the whole kit in place is this large lever-actuated suction cup mount. Users can reposition the mount's arm, which has about 90 degrees of up/down rotation.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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iPhone car mount (rear)

The car mount itself houses the electronics for charging the iPhone and an 3.5mm pigtail, which we'll discuss a bit later.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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Snaps together

The suction cup's arm connects to the back of the car mount with a ball joint that allows the assembly to be rotated and tilted.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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Arms and dock connector

At the base of the car mount is the 30-pin dock connector, which is used for charging. Farther up is the iPhone 4 cradle, which can be removed by pressing its center button and sliding upward.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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Hinged

At the top of the cradle is this hinged arm that helps hold the iPhone in place, but rotates out of the way for easy placement and removal.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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Audio out, power in

Near the bottom of the car mount are the input for the 12-volt DC charger and the 3.5mm audio output.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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Loose connection

After placing the iPhone 4 into the Dexim cradle, we noticed that there was a good deal of space between the iPhone's edges and the cradle's arms, leaving the handset free to wiggle and possibly fall free.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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Gel case or bumper

Fortunately, Dexim has included a clear bumper-style case that adds a bit of thickness and protection to the iPhone 4's chassis.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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iPhone 3G case and cradle

Dexim has included a case and cradle for users of the iPhone 3G and 3GS, as well.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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Fits snugly

With the included case fitted, the iPhone 4 is held much more snugly with no wiggle room.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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Headphone jack connection

Disappointingly, instead of using the 30-pin dock connector for charging and audio, the Dexim car mount requires users connect 3.5mm pigtail to the iPhone via the headphone jack for audio output.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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Audio output to stereo

Once the audio connection to the iPhone is made, users can connect the included audio patch cable to their car's auxiliary input. However, if you're just going to convert a 3.5mm connection to another 3.5mm connection, why even bother passing through the cradle in the first place?

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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Charges the iPhone

Though the Dexim Car Mount is a good solution for keeping your iPhone stationary and charged while driving (and the fact that it comes with two free cases is a nice touch), its audio connection method is a bit cumbersome for our tastes.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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