Four years ago, we reviewed Just Mobile’s original Xtand Go, a $40 car mounting solution for bare iPhone 3G and 3GSes. Then in 2012, we briefly checked out Xtand Go for bare iPhone 4 and 5 models. Both were initially priced at $40, but were subsequently dropped in price, then augmented by a somewhat less elegant but case-compatible version that was confusingly released under the same name. Now Just Mobile has released Xtand Go Z1 ($35), a sequel that restores the elegance of the 2012 model, yet includes both case compatibility and support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Xtand Go Z1 ships in a small black box containing a bunch of parts that are assembled on an “as-needed” basis to fit your car’s and mounting location’s specific needs. There’s a large suction cup with a twist-based pressurizing mechanism, designed to attach to a completely flat surface or window. Alternately, Xtand Go Z1 includes three “Go Buttons,” which can be attached to curved dashboard surfaces to create flat mounting spots using one of three packed-in double-sided adhesive pads. To guarantee that the adhesive works, Just Mobile instructs you to use an alcohol-soaked swab to clean off the dashboard area.
Next is an extension arm, a set of three interlinked plastic circles that flex outwards to form an N or Z-like shape from the mounting point. And last is a spring-loaded black plastic cradle. You attach the cradle to the extension arm, then attach the arm to either the suction cup or Go Button, and place your iPhone inside the cradle.
The best thing about Xtand Go Z1 is its visual neutrality. Now jet black from front to back except for the clear frosted suction cup, it really blends into a dark car interior, becoming all but invisible when an encased iPhone is inside. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus both work as promised in the resizable cradle, bare or covered, and Xtand Go Z1 allows each to be displayed in portrait or landscape orientation as you prefer. You also have the ability to attach a Go Button directly to the back of your chosen iPhone case and use Xtand Go Z1 without the cradle. While we wouldn’t do this ourselves — and there would be a need to release a latch every time you remove the iPhone from the extension arm — the Go Buttons are slender enough that some users might appreciate the option.
We were initially underwhelmed by Xtand Go Z1’s included suction cup, which appeared to be insecure when faced with the weight of an encased iPhone 6 Plus. It turned out that cleaning both the suction cup and the windshield, which wasn’t suggested in the instructions, enabled Z1 to make a secure bond with the glass even when used with the larger iPhone. Thankfully, Just Mobile dealt well with another issue — the apparent looseness of the Z-shaped extension arm — by hiding a screwdriver on one side of the middle cylinder, letting you pop it out to adjust the tension of the screws. This enables Xtand Go Z1 to support both iPhones in landscape mode without succumbing to pressure, as they would naturally do without screw adjustment.
Considered in totality, Xtand Go Z1 is a very good car mounting solution: we see it as on par with Kenu’s Airframe+, offering a little extra angle adjustability at a slightly higher price. If you prefer a dashboard or windshield mounting solution to a vent mount, Xtand Go Z1 will obviously make more sense. Just bear in mind that your results may vary when using the windshield suction mount, particularly if the suction cup and windshield haven’t been cleaned off prior to attachment.
Company and Price
Company: Just Mobile
Model: Xtand Go Z1
Compatible: All iPhones