For users who prefer dashboard-mounting their smartphones, the Bracketron Mi-T Grip is a solid option.
Editors' note: Portions of this review text also appear in our evaluation of the TackForm C-Fit, since that device and the Bracketron Mi-T Grip are almost identical.
They all may look more or less the same, but not all smartphone suction cup mounts are created equal. Some are more flexible, more articulated, or offer a longer reach. Others, like the Bracketron Mi-T Grip, place a heavier emphasis on strength and stability -- when it gets its grip on your phone, it'll take more than a casual bump to knock the handset loose.
The Mi-T Grip has only one point of articulation, at the ball joint where the gripping claw meets the mounting arm. So, care must be taken to properly orient the base when locating the Grip. Additionally, the short, angled mounting arm may place the Mi-T Grip outside of the driver's reach when windshield-mounting on vehicles with steeply raked glass. On the other hand, with only one articulation point and a short arm, the Grip is quite stable, exhibiting none of the shakiness and vibration that longer, more flexible mounts do. However, the Mi-T Grip perhaps performs best when it's not stuck to your windshield.
The suction cup at the base of the Mi-T Grip is made of tacky, semiadhesive material that sticks to most solid surfaces under its own power. This stickiness combined with the suction generated by locking the Mi-T Grip's suction cup in place resulted in a remarkably tenacious grip on whatever surface I mounted it on. This strong grip is a boon for keeping a smartphone secured and stable while driving, but it can also make the mount a tad difficult (but not impossible) to remove between trips. Additionally, the tacky material has a tendency to pick up lint and dirt when stored or transported without a cover, so the Mi-T Grip is probably best left semipermanently in place in your vehicle between trips, rather than repeatedly placed and removed like a conventional suction cup mount.
The tackiness of the Mi-T Grip's suction cup means that it can be attached to leather, leatherette, wood, and that oddly rubberized "soft touch" dashboard material. I particularly enjoy the dashboard-mounting capability, because it allows me to mount the phone low and near the radio controls, where it can be easily reached for destination input or changing songs while the windshield remains unobstructed.
The tacky suction cup didn't discolor or damage any dashboard or surface that I slapped it on. However, after an entire weekend with it attached to the soft dashboard of the Volvo C30, I noticed a slight circular indentation where the Mi-T Grip attached. This indentation disappeared a day after I removed the Grip, but users may want to take care to periodically check the condition of the material beneath the suction cup.
Your phone is held in place with a spring-loaded, C-shaped claw. The interior of the claw is covered in ribbed rubber to increase grip and protect your phone's finish. The claw has a few degrees of tilt articulation and can be freely rotated, thanks to its ball-joint connection to the mounting arm. The assembly can also be locked in place by tightening a ring on its back panel.
Inserting your phone is as simple as, well, jamming it in there. I found this to be tricky to do one-handed. However, after a few days of use, wedging the phone in and popping it out became second nature. My Samsung Galaxy Nexus fit nicely in the Mi-T Grip's grip, as did the Apple iPhone 5. Samsung's large-screened Galaxy S3 also fit, but I felt it approached the width limits of the gripping claw's range.
The Bracketron Mi-T Grip is a simple, effective, and -- perhaps most importantly -- flexible way of holding your phone in place while you navigate or listen to music when driving. I love that it sticks firmly to most dashboards, allowing me to mount my phone close at hand for quick interactions with navigation and audio apps, yet out of my sight lines when the vehicle is in motion.
However, at an MSRP of $29.95, I think it's priced about $10 too expensively. If you can find it on sale for closer to $20, the Bracketron Mi-T Grip would be a much better deal.