Not everyone likes having their car windscreen blocked by a big iPhone 6 Plus and in many states they can like it all they want, they're still not allowed to do it. Plus, we don't all have cars, some of us hire one only when we need it. For each of us, a full-blown car mount for our iPhones is overkill and instead the Vent Luxe
is a contender. It's an iPhone car mount that you wedge onto the slats of your air conditioning vents.
Get into your car, pop the Vent Luxe onto a slat and angle both until the unit is facing you. The Vent Luxe is one back panel with two supporting stubs. You can tug one of the stubs to make the unit wider and then when you've put your iPhone in it, letting go of the stub snaps it back and secures the phone.
It doesn't look at first as if it can do a great job of that securing because there's no bottom to it, no shelf for your phone to sit on. There is only the pressure from the sides to hold it in place and we did spend a while with our hand underneath it expecting it to drop off. In practice, it grips well and supports perfectly fine: we're not going to go the other way and say that this will grip tight or that if you crash your car it won't pop off the stubs. Mind you, if you crash your car this is perhaps the least of your concerns.
Vent Luxe is also presumably and necessarily weaker at the part where it actually grips the slats. The grip is some kind of rubber-like wedge-shape with a top and bottom lip very tightly pressed together. Undoubtedly each time you push it onto a vent slat you're going to be weakening that grip. We saw absolutely no wear or change in every time we tried it out in different cars but sheer physics says this can't exactly last the next thousand years.
It feels to us that the Vent Luxe is best for occasional use such as that example of when you hire a car. Many hire cars come with built-in GPS screens now but that doesn't mean they're all good. If you've come to like Siri and Apple Maps or Google Maps then sticking with it makes sense. Interestingly, the way that the unit sits on an air vent means that it has to be positioned a little low: to our eyes it's typically at exactly the same angle and height that in-car GPS systems are. So in fact you might prefer it the for the opposite reason, that you've got used to in-car devices and don't have that in your new car.
It's a clever little device and we thought we were going to say that it'd be a great thing to carry around with you when you're travelling. We do think that but we've also left it in our last test car and found it handy.
A typical street price for the Vent Luxe is $19.50 and you can get it for that from Amazon
Who is Vent Luxe for:
Occasional drivers or perhaps people who regularly need to swap between different vehicles.
Who is Vent Luxe not for:
If you have an in-car GPS that you like, stick with that.
-William Gallagher (@WGallagher
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