ProClip for iPhone 3G (VW Jetta installation) Review

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by pfm, May 25, 2009.

  1. pfm macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2007

    This weekend I added a ProClip iPhone mount to my new VW Jetta SportWagen TDI. I'm a rabid iPhone user, but am aware that the touch screen combined with having to hold it in my hand makes for more dangerous driving and/or less convenient phone use. 99% of my car iPhone use is either the iPod music app or the Google Maps with GPS.

    My goal was to mount the phone higher so that it would be more at my eye-line and sturdy enough where one-finger use would be a piece-of-cake and not be moving the phone all over the place. In addition I expect a higher location in front of the windshield to provide a better signal for the cell network data and GPS. I also love the clean and simple minimalist design of the VW interior and wanted to find a mount that matched that design and added as little clutter as possible.

    I spent dozens of hours doing internet research to figure out if there was a suitable mount that my my requirement for utility and also for aesthetics. It was no easy task. Most mounts are cheap and flimsy, have horribly clumsy mounting solutions and are just plain suck.

    One mounting solution that received many positive notes was made by ProClip. They use a two-part system, where you get a mount that is custom-tailored for your vehicle, and then a second part custom-made that holds your device and attaches to the vehicle mount. this system provides custom fit and finish like no other, but there is a hefty price to go with it, both pieces together cost $75 shipped. Yes, that is very expensive.

    They have three mounts for the JSW: Vent Mount, Right Side Center Console, and Right Side Floor Console.I wanted the phone to be as close to eye-level as possible to maintain as much peripheral vision of the road as possible when using the iPhone, and to minimize the distance my eyes had to travel when switching focus from one to the other. Therefore I went with the Vent Mount.

    They have tons of device holders, it seems like anything you could have, they'll have a holder for. I went with the iPhone 3G Padded Holder with Tilt and Swivel.

    The ordering process was smooth and the items arrived quickly, as promised. I had a few concerns about the mount when I ordered, but luckily all were proven to be without merit:
    1) The sample vehicle mount on their website is a silver greyish color, but the one that arrived was a smooth matte black that matches the console trim perfectly. It is made out of plastic, but is not flimsy and seems to be very high quality.
    2) In some reviews I read, images of the mount and device holder both had garish company logos on them. I was prepared to do whatever modification was needed to keep the console looking sleek and uncluttered, but it turns out they were all just stickers that were easily removed.
    3) The installation instructions described using adhesive strips to install the mount, and indeed the mount came with two small adhesive strips on it. However, their use was entirely optional as the clips on each end snap securely into place without their use. I suppose that if you wanted to use the adhesive, it would make the mount even secure, but I am using it with just the strength of the clips' tension, and it is very sturdy and does not budge. In other words—you do not need to worry about the adhesive marring your car's interior. Also, not using the adhesive enables you to temporarily remove the whole device with ease.


    Installation was a piece of cake. The mount matches the interior perfectly, and it holds the iPhone snuggly. While holding the phone, it leaves access to all buttons open as well as leaving the bottom open for access to the dock connector port, most likely to be used in the car for charging. (Speaking of charging, get this 97¢ Cigarette Lighter Power Adapter to USB from Monoprice, 100% awesome). The mount holds the phone very firmly, allowing it to even be used horizonyally, with almost no give, which is perfect for hitting the menu button and the touch screen without the phone moving out of your preferred position.

    In actual use, I could not be happier with the mount. It makes using the iPod function and GPS Maps capability much easier and less distracting, and does not take away from the beauty of the car's interior. It's true that I find the necessary audio cable to be visually unpleasing and cluttering, however, when the new iPhone 3.0 software is available and will enable stereo Bluetooth (A2DP), it will remove the need to have any wires coming from the phone, and instead simply require a small Bluetooth receiver to mini-jack to connect to the Aux-in port in the center armrest. That'll be niiiiiiice.

    Click here to see 6 more images of the mount from various angles.

    Let me know if you have any questions.
  2. Rayfire macrumors 68030


    Aug 25, 2008
    Thanks for sharing, very nice indeed.

    Now if only ProClip would have invented something a little bit like that for Toyota,
    I don't like their idea of opening the gaps just to insert the mount on a Toyota :(
  3. Dezlboy macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2008
    But, doesn't it block the air flow from that vent? Problem in summer with blocked A/C?

  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I had one for my old Ford Ranger. It is by far the best clip. I f'ed around with others and ended up spending nearly 3x what I would have spent on the ProClip. I no longer have the truck but the clip ... I still have. ;)

    Anyway, I stuck it over the vent furthest from me. It was never really blocking air because technically you don't need the a/c vents pointed straight at your face. I mean, while at home is your head against the a/c vent? I bet not. :) At any rate, the truck still cooled very well. I was in a black truck in so cal with no tint on the driver and passenger windows. Read: It was ***** hot!

    OP, looks real great.
  5. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    I installed a Proclip holder in my new '09 Honda CRV... works great! It is positioned just to the right of the steering wheel and not directly in front of the vent. I like this position as it allows a cool breeze to blow over the phone without directly blocking the vent.

    Well worth the money!
  6. marcfogel macrumors regular


    Oct 7, 2007
  7. pfm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2007
    It is a valid concern, but for me it hasn't been an issue. Since I took these photos, I moved the mount to the far right side of the vent. This leaves about 66% of the vent open direct to my face for air conditioning, which is more than adequate--though my personal preference is to have a more diffused stream of cold air to cool down the entire interior of the car versus a direct blast to the skin, so your mileage may vary.

    Also, an update to my original review: since my review, the mount 'adjusted' to it's clamped position and therefore put less pressure on the clips and became a little loose. It was no problem though, as I just used the adhesive strips that came with it and now it is back to being fully secure.

    Also, I have moved to the A2DP Bluetooth method of delivering the music, as planned, and it has worked perfectly, with no wires coming from the iPhone.
  8. Dezlboy macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2008
    pfm, thanks for the update. I emailed Proclip and confirmed that the sides of the holder are adjustable, thus you can use more than one case, or no case. But, the adjustment entails removing the holder, readjusting some screws, and screwing holder back onto the clip.

    A real pain if you change cases a lot. I don't know how far apart the sides of the holder goes, so don't know the limit on the thickness of the case.

    The "problem" I see in my Golf 2000 is that the cup holder is just below the vents. The iPhone would be just above a cup of coffee..or soda or whatever, and could be splashed. Or not have enough room for both. And if you use the clip that fits below the cup holder at the left of the glovebox, then liquid could spill on to the iPhone. (Note the cupholders don't have a bottom to collect any spilled milk.
  9. raymanster macrumors 6502


    Feb 13, 2008
    I've got a Jetta (TDI Saloon) as well and think the Brodit mounts are great. I have the upper and lower console mounts. The holder for my iPhone is the adjustable one, I don't change cases much so what Dezlboy said above isn't much of a problem for me.

    Check out my setup:


  10. kcguy76 macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2008
    Awesome review!! I also have a 2009 Jetta Sportwagen. I was wondering, what are you using for the Bluetooth adapter in the armrest? VW doesn't have a cigarette lighter adapter back there, so was curious how you rigged yours up. Thanks again for such an awesome/detailed review! -Tony
  11. rhsant macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2008
    proclip for mini?

    Is anyone using proclip for a mini cooper? I'm wondering if GPA signal is still strong enough for navigation software given its position near the glove compartment area.
  12. SooneratND macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2009
    Agreed. Same problem with Lexus. Their install recommendation had me jamming their holder into a gap between the center electronic stack and the rest of the dash... uhhh, no thanks. Not going to mess with the fit and finish on my dash by jamming metal into what is a seamless gap right now.
  13. raymanster macrumors 6502


    Feb 13, 2008
    The Brodit/Proclip stuff is actually all plastic not metal, I wouldn't worry about push fitting it into gaps etc. I did this on my current car (see my picture above) and on my old BMW and Mazda and never had any rattles or problems. Best of all when it comes time for removal it leaves no marks.
  14. pfm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2007
    Here is the bluetooth receiver I use:

    It works great and also has a mic for handsfree calling, which works well enough. I have it set up so the little dongle hangs just outside the center console--it is secure there and barely noticeable. It can go being left one with about an 30-45 minutes of use a day for 3-4 days. It charges via USB in about 2 hours. Very convenient.

    ps: looks like amazon no longer carries it, here is one on ebay:

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