Many drivers rely on their phones for streaming music and navigation. But if your phone is buried in a cup holder or resting on the passenger seat, it can be a dangerous distraction. Not to mention, hands-free use of the phone is now the law in many states across the U.S.
A dedicated mount can solve that problem by keeping a phone steady, visible, and within arm’s reach. There are some common mounting systems—some clamp to the vents, others use strong magnets, and a few include adjustable arms making it easy to position your phone. More recent mounts also include Qi wireless charging. Each design has its upsides and downsides, but how well do they work in reality? We found hundreds of car phone holders and discovered the best cell phone holder for cars is the iOttie Easy One Touch (available at Amazon for $24.95) , which mounts to your dashboard with a suction-cup.
Here are the best car phone holders available online right now.
What You Should Know About Phone Car Mounts
Suction-cup mounts are our favorite, and they aren’t just for windshield mounting. As it turns out, they also work great when attached to the top of the dashboard. Flipping the mounting around this way also keeps the phone out of your line of sight. Not all dashboards have the right shape or design to make this possible, however.
Magnetic car mounts push into the slats of an interior air vent. They are low-profile, but even a light phone kept falling off during normal driving. All also require the user to stick a metal plate to their phone or phone case. That can make a mess of the phone, block wireless charging, and possibly affect near-field communication.
Air-vent mounts are best avoided. Some user reviews report fast-wearing plastic leading to exposed metal prongs and interior damage. There are magnetic air-vent dash mounts that stick on the dashboard with adhesive, too. Users have reported the adhesive melting in summer heat, which makes a mess and leaves you with a useless mount. They’re inexpensive, but also less useful than you’d imagine.
Dashboard pads are weighted, and sit on your dashboard. They were the least secure of any style we tested, and also required your phone to be in landscape mode. For that reason, we also don’t recommend them.
You may not even need a mount! Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are often offered on new cars, and mirror your phone’s apps on your vehicle’s touchscreen.
Phone size keeps growing, and mounts need to get bigger, too. The mounts with jaws to grip can grip a phone securely, but you’re not going to be able to cram a phablet in there. The magnetic mounts work with devices of any size, though you may need to use more than one to keep a large/heavy item in place.
No matter which design you choose, know that clever design ideas are often better in theory than in practice. You can use our review as a starting point, but as cars and phones are quite different from one another, it’s also important to read user reviews for a broader perspective.
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