SIDE NOTE: In the Scenic Forum you can find the "Big Phone Mounting Topic" where everyone can share their experience on mounting solutions.
I’ve been using Quad Lock on my motorcycle and in my car for a few years now. Both my wife and myself have the Quad Lock cases, so that makes it quite handy. I can mount my phone in the car and on my motorcycle and my wife can mount her phone in the car too.
The Quad Lock’s unique one handed ‘twist, lock and go’ system is quick and easy to use. No need for fiddling with two hands. Just a quick one handed twist and you’re good to go. Super handy. Especially on a motorcycle where, often times, you’re holding something, like your helmet or gloves.
I have to admit though, it does take some practice to find the right angle to ‘twist-lock’ the phone into position. The first couple of times I found myself needing about 3 or 4 tries to get it right. After a while you get the hang of it though. Occasionally I still find myself ‘searching’ for the correct position, but all in all it’s still much easier compared to freeing up your other hand like you have to do with other mounts.
On my motorcycle, I’ve been using the Quad Lock Moto Mount Kit. The Moto Mount Kit includes a handlebar-, mirror-, RAM ball- or Fork stem mount (you can choose), the Quad Lock Universal Adapter (the little disk) and a case for your phone. Prices start at 70 USD.The Quad Lock Moto Mount distinguishes itself from regular (car and desk) Quad Locks by its dual-stage lock (the blue lever), which secures your phone in place even with heavy vibrations. No need for additional straps or bands and such. After a couple of years I can confirm that this works great. My phone never once fell off or came loose, even after dropping the bike a few times.
Damage to Phone Image Stabilisation Modules
With my old iPhone 6 I never had any problems with the Quad Lock. I used it for over a year on my bike, on all kinds of surfaces, from pavement to some pretty gnarly offroad sections. It was simply problem free and I was very happy with it.
I wish I could say the same for my iPhone XR, but unfortunately I can’t. I switched to the XR about 2 years ago, and immediately ordered the Quad Lock case for it. All went well in the beginning. As before with my iPhone 6, I wasn’t expecting otherwise. But after my first longer ride (5 hours of highway) I found that I couldn’t take a decent picture with my phone anymore. My phone’s camera was constantly trying to focus, jittering between being in- and out of focus. My phone was still in warranty, so I had it fixed for free and didn’t give it much thought. But then, a few rides later, I had the exact same problem again.
So now I knew it was caused by the vibrations on the motorcycle. Around that same time I changed motorcycle, so I assumed it was due to my new motorcycle (Yamaha FJ-09) having a more firm suspension than my old one. However after asking around, browsing fora and Facebook groups, I found that a lot of people had the same problem, with all sorts of bikes. Most of them using Quad Lock, but some with other mounts and other phones too. Turns out that modern phones with modern image stabilisation modules are much more sensitive to vibration than older phones.
What I also found is that in general, Quad Lock customers were not happy with Quad Lock support around this issue. It boils down to customers feeling that Quad Lock was not acknowledging this as a structural problem, but rather a sporadic incident only affecting few customers. Meanwhile however, Quad Lock has acknowledged this problem and has even developed a vibration dampener to reduce risk of damage to the image stabilisation module due to motorcycle vibrations. It’s currently in production and will be available soon according to the Quad Lock site. I for sure will be ordering one as soon as it’s out, as I really like the ease of use of the Quad Lock and wouldn’t want to give it up.
UPDATE: The vibration dampener has been released. Read my review here.
Quad Lock Motorcycle Wireless Charging Head
One thing always inconvenienced me a little bit with the Quad Lock: Even though it only required one hand to mount my phone, I still needed to connect the charge cable manually, which is an additional action and best done with two hands. Now, I know this is a ‘first world’ problem, but none the less, a little nuisance. Enter the Quad Lock Motorcycle Wireless Charging Head.
Quad Lock sells two Wireless Charging Heads (or sold I should say, keep reading to find out why). One for use on the motorcycle and a ‘regular’ one for use in the car and in the office/home. Quad Lock sent me the Motorcycle one to try it out.
Installation is straightforward and very easy. I made a video of the unboxing and installation, so you can see for yourself.
As you can see, installation was a breeze. So far so good. One of my main concerns was that the charging head wouldn’t provide enough power to charge the phone while running a navigation app. Like all GPS Navigation apps, Scenic too, uses a lot of battery. Over the years I have had some Scenic users reporting that their phone’s battery level would decrease even when connected to power (through cable). In all cases this was due to low capacity (5 Watt / 1 Amp) chargers. So, even though the specs of the Wireless Charging Head stated that it could handle 10 Watt, I also read about wireless chargers not being as efficient. Hence the background of my concern. Only one way to find out I guess.
So, I went for a test ride. Right before I turned the bike on (powering the charging head) I looked at the battery level of my iPhone XR. It was 64%. Then I turned on the bike and went for a 47 minute ride, with Scenic running in the foreground, navigating a route, all the time. After that ride the battery level had gone up from 64% to 76%. Awesome.
Removed from production
And that’s where my review would have normally ended. The Quad Lock Motorcycle Wireless Charging Head is a great product: easy to install, does as advertised, has enough power and turns the regular Quad Lock into a true one handed mounting system.
HOWEVER, as I was writing this review, I found out that Quad Lock has removed the Motorcycle Wireless Charging Head from production (not the regular charging head). Apparently there were some problems with waterproofness of the cable (which I can imagine as it’s just a regular USB-C connection at the back of the head) and “performance of the power box”. When I asked for more information around this, Quad Lock told me it only affects a small percentage of users. Since they removed the product from production I have to assume it’s still a significant number though. I do know it only affects people using the powerbox (to connect directly to the battery) and not the ones connecting to a USB port or cigaret lighter port from their motorcycle. Here’s the official Quad Lock page about the motorcycle wireless charging head being removed from production. In their response to me, Quad Lock mentioned that they are hoping to have a new version out later this year!
Next to the comments below, I received additional feedback of a charging head user on the power box issue. It seems the “performance of the power box” mentioned on the Quad Lock site, refers to this piece in the box…
… used to connect the charging head directly to the battery. The power it provides is unstable apparently, leading to the phone sometimes charging and sometimes not, in an unpredictable (thus unreliable) manner. Quad Lock gave this specific customer a 50 EUR refund, which was enough to replace the Quad Lock power box with a similar product that solved the issue.
Let’s hope they get this, and the vibration issue fixed soon! Will keep you posted.
UPDATE 2: Overheating issues with wireless charging head
Had some overheating issues with the wireless charging head in combination with Mexican sun and running energy intensive navigation apps. Because of that I’m going to remove the wireless charging head and move back to a normal cable charger. Here in my forum post in the “Big Phone Mounting Topic” where you can find the details on that.
UPDATE 3 – Vibration Dampener Works
Development of the vibration dampener is ready. QuadLock has sent me one, which I tested. Spoiler: it works!