The Dash Crab FX is easily my favourite car smartphone/gadget mounting solution thanks to it's one-handed operation and strong secure hold. I have used them with smartphone lap timing apps at track days and they do a great job of holding the phone even at high speeds and it's very hard to fault the build quality and function of the dash crab. That being said the traditional Dash Crab aesthetically might not be ideal for some, particularly those with a luxury car that don't really want to stick a big plastic mount on the windshield. Furthermore, while the Dash Crab can easily hold a phablet it can be quite distracting and bulky if it sits right in the driver's line of sight. That's where the latest Dash Crab Mono comes in, it is a mix of premium design and Dash Crab functionality in a vent clip form factor.
I have tried to run traditional vent clips in the past but due to the unique design/shape of the vents on my Ford Fiesta, those cheaper clips not only scratched my vents but simply didn't hold as the 'panels' were too long for it to hold properly. We're finding with newer cars that manufacturers are getting quite creative with fan vents which is why up until now I've primarily used the Dash Crab FX to mount my phones in all my vehicles. As can be seen below, not only do the vents on the Fiesta angle upwards as you move towards the outside of the car, they are angled inwards as well.
This causes a big issue with traditional vent clips which have parallel arms because my phone would be facing the side windows rather than towards the cabin. Thanks to the swivel ball on the back of the Dash Crab Mono however, I am able to mount the Dash Crab mono parallel to the vents but readjust the phone holding part to line up better for passenger viewing. We've noticed this kind of angled vent flap design all the way from cars like the Honda Civic to the Ferrari 458 and suspect we will be seeing more cars designed this way in the future.
When mounted using my center vents I appreciated how the phone didn't stick out like a sore thumb and found the grip to be quite secure when driving. Essentially the phone was triangulated being gripped on the sides by the mono and with the bottom resting on the dashboard so it fit quite nicely. I found it was a little bit harder to mount the phone one handed compared to the Dash Crab FX as the vents have a tendency to move when you put force on them but overall this worked well. Another perk was that my USB cable didn't need to dangle from the window when it was plugged into my phone. The phone pictured is an LG G3 which is on the large side with a 5.5" screen.
Overall I'm a fan of the look of this mount but I did notice it moves more over bumps than the Dash Crab FX did, but this is mainly due to the flimsier vents that come on the Fiesta, the actual grip of the dash crab mono onto the vent was rock solid. Different cars will have different vent designs which may work better/worse with the Dash Crab mono so for that reason it's not as universal a solution as the Dash Crab FX but there is definitely merit in the sleeker design and less distracting mounting. I think this will be an excellent tool on the racetrack as well since my phone won't be blocking any of my view out the front windshield.
To purchase the Dash Crab Mono, click here