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TackForm C-Fit Multi-Surface mount review: Sticky C-Fit mount holds your phone in style

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Editors' note: Portions of this review were taken from our evaluation of the Bracketron Mi-T Grip, since that device and the TackForm C-Fit are almost identical.

TrackForm C-Fit Multi-Surface mount
8.0

TackForm C-Fit Multi-Surface mount

The Good

The <b>TackForm C-Fit</b>'s spring-loaded claw stretches to hold most smartphones. The tacky suction cup locks on to most dashboards as well as it does to windshields.

The Bad

The wide, glossy mounting arm blocks the suction cup, making it difficult to remove or reposition the C-Fit.

The Bottom Line

The TackForm C-Fit is a stylish and secure suction cup mount that can hold almost any phone on almost any smooth, solid surface.

The TackForm C-Fit is a deceptively simple universal suction-cup mount for smartphones that holds onto almost any smooth surface with its sticky suction cup.

The C-Fit 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 placing the C-Fit. This can make getting the C-Fit into the perfect position a bit tricky, but not impossible in most cases. On the other hand, with only one articulation point and a relatively short arm, the C-Fit is quite stable, exhibiting none of the shakiness and vibration that longer, more flexible mounts do. However, the C-Fit perhaps performs best when it's not stuck to your windshield.

TackForm C-Fit Multi-Surface mount
The C-Fit's gripping claw is capable of holding a wide range of smartphones for easy viewing and access. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The suction cup at the base of the TackForm C-Fit is made of tacky, semiadhesive material that sticks to most solid surfaces. This stickiness, combined with the suction generated by locking the C-Fit's suction cup in place with a lever, resulted in a remarkably tenacious grip on whatever surface I mounted it on. This strong grip is great for keeping a smartphone device secured and stable while driving, but it can 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 C-Fit is probably best left semipermanently in place in your vehicle between trips, rather than repeatedly placed and removed as a conventional suction cup mount would be. If the grip does get dirty and lose its stickiness, it can be cleaned with a wet cloth. When the cup dries, it will be sticky again.

The tackiness of the C-Fit'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 option, 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.

TackForm C-Fit Multi-Surface mount
The TackForm C-Fit's sticky suction cup lets it hold firmly to a car's dashboard. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The C-Fit's mounting arm features a wide, glossy plastic cover that is available in red or black. In addition to being a fingerprint magnet, the cover makes it difficult to get at the suction cup when it's time to remove the C-Fit mount from whatever surface you have attached it to. I much prefer the nearly identical Bracketron Mi-T Grip (which uses the same gripping claw and tacky suction cup, but with a shorter, simpler mounting arm). The red version of the C-Fit is eye-catching. However, I'm not a fan of leaving eye-catching objects out in view, which could be a problem for cars parked in high-theft areas, thus I prefer the all-black color scheme. (Trust me, I've had cars broken into for less.)

TackForm C-Fit Multi-Surface mount
The bright red trim is more eye-catching, but I prefer the black model's ability to blend in with most dashboards. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The C-Fit holds your phone 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 rubber is colored black or red to match the glossy cover of the mounting arm. 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 bit of practice using this type of grip, wedging the phone in and popping it out became second nature. TackForm says the mount can grip devices from 2.2 inches to 3.4 inches wide. My Samsung Galaxy Nexus fit nicely in the C-Fit'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.

In sum
If you've already read the Bracketron Mi-T Grip review, my assessment of the TackForm C-Fit Multi-Surface mount may seem like deja vu. That's because the devices are practically identical. They use the same C-shaped gripping arm and the same tacky suction cup mount -- look closely at the suction cup and you'll see the same patent number. So the devices' strengths and weaknesses are pretty much the same.

TackForm C-Fit Multi-Surface mount
The TackForm C-Fit is a grippy, universal mount with a stylish flair. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The TackForm C-Fit is simple, effective, and -- perhaps most importantly -- a flexible way to hold 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.

If I had to make one complaint, it would be about that wide, plastic mounting-arm cover. It attracts more attention than I think a mounting arm should, and it obstructs the suction cup when it's time to move or reposition the TackForm C-Fit mount. However, for semipermanent mounting, where you're not constantly placing and removing it, this isn't so much a negative as it is a nitpick.

TrackForm C-Fit Multi-Surface mount
8.0

TackForm C-Fit Multi-Surface mount

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 10