Every long trip I’ve ridden, there has always been a phone strapped to the handlebars of the bike. I don’t have a thing against sat navs, but I’ve never been anywhere where one would be more practical than my phone and Google Maps.
I have, therefore, used a fair few different cases and mounts to hold said phones in. From Oxford’s simple watertight wallet with a clip, to a big, foam-filled universal case. This time however, I wanted to use something a bit better and that would happily hold my phone for all kinds of scenarios.
Half an hour of searching later, and I’d settled on the SAMSUNG GALAXY S8+ PRO MOUNT WATERPROOF HARD CASE (£36.99) along with the optional Din Hella Wiring Kit, bringing my basket to £56.99. I popped my card details in an eagerly waited it’s arrival.
UltimateAddons was founded in 2008 and makes mounts and cases for bikes and motorbikes. Along with universal mounts, they also make tailored-fit mounts for Apple and Samsung phones, Drift and GoPro cameras, and TomTom Sat Navs. These can be mounted on a bunch of different adaptors with optional chargers.
Unboxing and Fitting
It didn’t take long for the kit to arrive, and as you can see, everything is pretty straight forward. The first thing to test was putting the phone in the case which is easy enough to do, it just takes a few steps. There are two hinges (left and top) that need undoing first, and then three clips that just pull apart (top left, bottom left, bottom right). Once that’s open, the phone sits in a soft, rubber base which can be removed if it needs cleaning etc.
This fort knox style of case isn’t uncommon as it keeps water away from the phone and protects it should it fall off the bike, but the worst problem I had with previous mounts was having to take the phone out of the case to take a picture and then put it back in again. This isn’t a problem here at all as there is a window on the back of the case for the lens, and the buttons are easily pressed through the rubber. This made the phone so easy to use, that I didn’t take it out of the case all day in between riding. There are also watertight plugs for the headphone jack and charger so you can access these if you want to when riding.
The handlebar mount is pretty standard, which isn’t to say it isn’t good at all. It’s just as easy to mount as any other, the only main difference being that it uses a philips head connection instead of an allen key. The exciting part is where the mount actually connects to the phone case as UltimateAddons has created a quick release function by pressing the two blue buttons on the side of the mount. No more having to try and yank the thing off every time you need to stop for petrol. I was skeptical about how strong the connection is, but I’d have to wait and see.
The final part to fix up is the wiring for the phone. I opted for the Din Hella connection as my Tiger has 3 ports and a plug and play option seemed the best solution. The Din Hella connection however goes to a small transformer box with a switch, which you can stick to a panel or under the seat, this then has a connection at the end of the wire where you can plug the USB Type C cable into which runs to your phone. It’s a nice set up which allows for a permanent power option for your phone (you just take the USB lead away with you), although now knowing how the cabling works, I’d rather have the hardwire option instead of the Din Hella. It was more my fault for not looking into it, but I assumed the Din Hella connection was a simple cable linking straight to the phone.
The 500 Mile Test
I had plenty of time to test this kit out on my weekend trip around the south of the UK, and in all kinds of weather. But the first problem came before even leaving the garage.
I had recently ordered a tank bag in a Triumph sale that I wanted to bring with me to store the bits I needed quick access to, like my camera. But there was an immediate conflict of interest between it and the phone mount as you can see:
A quick look on the UltimateAddons website told me that they have 15 different mounting options for my case, but as this was a day before leaving I couldn’t order one in time. I had to make a call and decided that the tank bag had to go.
Mounting the phone for the trip takes seconds, and only a few more to plug the charger in to the pre-installed cable. I had the phone loaded up with Android Auto and connected to my headset, adjusted the mount so the screen was where I needed it (there’s a small screw mechanism to tighten and loosen the rotation on the mount) and set off for the weekend.
Of the three days worth of riding, two of them were soaking wet. Sunday had that kind of weather where you have to tip the water out of your boots when you get home. As far as I can tell, I didn’t get a single drop of water in the case and onto my phone. The same with the charger, thanks to the rubber seals. both the cable and the case have rubber so it makes a rainproof seal when they’re pushed together. I even stopped to take a picture at Cheddar Gorge in the soaking rain and everything worked fantastically – the catch is super simple to operate with gloves on, along with the big rubber buttons on the case.
This photo was taken with the case on, so through the plastic window, and I’m pretty pleased with it. While I’m talking about that window on the case, the Samsung Galaxy S8 has the fingerprint detector on the rear of the phone right next to the camera lens. The UltimateAddons case has a small circle in the window over the button which I assumed was just a hole, but when I had a closer look that evening, I realised that it’s a thinner piece of plastic that you can somehow still press your finger to, to unlock the phone! Needless to say I was impressed, and it just added to the case’s funtionality should you decide to keep it on the phone when you’re not riding (I don’t mean everyday but if say you’re stopping for a few hours for lunch etc.).
I briefly mentioned the latch before and my reservations with how secure it would be considering how easy it was to press the side buttons and release the phone. However, I didn’t have a single problem the whole trip, even with all of the motorway miles I rode. I’m quite a wary person, so I found myself tugging on the case shortly after setting off many times to make sure it was secure and the thing never budged, not only that, but there was never a time where I hadn’t clipped it in properly.
Can I think of a reason not to buy this case and mount? There are cheaper ones out there, especially universal ones, and if you very rarely use your phone on your bike then maybe spending between £40.00 and £60.00 on a mount isn’t for you.
I think the best way I can show my recommendation for this product is to say that I’ll definitely be getting more parts for it in the near future as it will be on my bike for all but the shortest of trips. I want to see if I can find a mounting point above my clocks so that I can ride with the tank bag when I need to. I’ll also be buying a mount for my bicycle so I can use my phone on there too.
In short, this is the best phone mount that I’ve ever used and could be the best one on the market, hats off to them.