Clever mount design; very good call quality
Cables everywhere; no FM transmitter; no Aux cable in box
There are literally dozens of iPod and iPhone in-car accessories, but over the years Kensington and Belkin have been the standout leaders in the field.
Kensington keeps its reputation intact with the AssistOne – or, to give it its full title, AssistOne HandsFree with Voice Activation. It’s an iPhone cradle that pairs with your phone via Bluetooth.
It comes with two mounts. The first is a long stalk with a suction cup that attaches to your windscreen. I found that on my MGF roadster the stalk’s 23cm length placed it close to the instrument panel – forward of others I’ve used, and the perfect position for safe operation.
The second mount is one that attaches the cradle to one of your car’s air-vents. It’s very cleverly designed, but I must admit to thinking that the fins on most air-vents are a bit too flimsy to support an iPhone, so I never kept it on for long.
The cradle is in the form of a big clip, with a dock connector down the bottom and a simple securing arm on top.
There are no sides and the length can be adjusted, so this arrangement allows you to dock your iPhone while leaving it in a case.
he whole arrangement rotates through 90 degrees, so you can use your iPhone’s GPS apps in landscape mode. (No, it’s not for watching movies while driving …)
To use the AssistOne, it first needs to be plugged into your car’s auxiliary power port (also known as a cigarette lighter on non-PC cars) and paired via Bluetooth with your iPhone – it won’t work at all unless these two operations have been done.
The unit has a built-in mono speaker and noise-cancelling mic to make your phone calls louder and clearer, but if you want to have better sound – and to play the music stored on your iPhone – you can use its Aux output to route the audio to your car stereo’s Aux input (which not all cars have). However, there isn’t an Aux cable included in the box.
What you have now is a neat iPhone mount and two very ugly cables sneaking down over the dashboard.
A multifunction button is used for power on/off, Bluetooth pairing, answering and ending phone calls, and activating your iPhone 3GS or 4’s voice control feature.