Don’t use your phone while driving. It’s dangerous. A car phone holder allows you to safely follow GPS, listen to music, and even monitor performance. If you’ve never tried Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, you’re in for a treat.
A car phone holder lets you keep the phone at eye level while driving. Let’s discuss the available types of car mounts and recommend some for each.
The classic form of car mount has a suction cup that you can cling to your windshield or dash of your car. They’re typically adjustable, so you can swing them in a different direction if needed. However, we don’t recommend using these in most cases. They have several drawbacks not present in other types of mounts.
The biggest issue is that the suction cup rarely stays attached to your windshield for a long time. Because of this, a bump or sharp turn could send your phone crashing down. Losing suction poses an even bigger risk if your phone is large and therefore heavy. And if you live in an area with extremely cold temperatures, you’ll have issues getting the suction cup to stick.
Additionally, the dash on some cars isn’t compatible with these mounts. Unless you have a flat space to mount on, the suction cup won’t hold. Wavy dashes keep you from sticking one of these in your car.
Finally, having a big mount and your phone in the middle of your windshield obstructs your view. Plus, having your phone right in the sun could overheat it. The other mount types keep your phone below the dash so this isn’t a problem.
If you still want to give one of these mounts a try, EXSHOW’s car mount is a good option. Its long arm (12 inches) places it within reach, and it features a standard easy release mechanism. But its most useful feature is a second suction cup on the bottom of the arm. This lets you attach it to both the windshield and dash for greater stability.
CD Player Mount
Though they were once a universal feature in cars, CD players are starting to disappear as streaming music becomes more common. If your car still has one, you probably haven’t used it in years anyway. Why not put it to use with a phone mount?
CD player mounts fit into the player in your car (you can’t have a CD inside, of course). Simply place it in and rotate the knob, and the grooves will tighten against the player’s insides. Then you’re free to place your phone into its new convenient location.
This type of mount doesn’t have the windshield mount’s issues. It won’t block your view, isn’t susceptible to falling when you hit a bump, and won’t slip over time. As long as you have a CD player that you don’t use, this is a great option. Depending on your car’s setup, it may block portions of the media system. Be sure to take this into account before you purchase.
I’ve used this model from Mpow for years and definitely recommend it. It’s easy to install, holds large phones, and has a one-button release mechanism.
Air Vent Car Phone Holder
The final popular type of mount attaches to the vents in your car. After some quick assembly (depending on the model), you simply slide the clip into one of your vents and it stays put. From there, like most phone mounts, you can push a button to release the grips and twist the mount as needed.
Air vent clips have the same advantages of CD player clips, making them a good choice if your car doesn’t have a CD player. They keep your phone out of view and aren’t as susceptible to falls.
However, it’s wise to double-check your car’s vents before buying one of these mounts. If your car is older, the vent sliders could be weak and potentially drop your phone during an impact. Also, certain vent shapes (most circular ones) don’t work properly with these mounts.
The only unique concern about vent mounts is that they place your phone right up against the airflow. If you live in an area with frigid temperatures, your phone could overheat if it sits in front of blasting heat for long periods of time. And having your phone in front of the vent partially obstructs the airflow.
If an air vent sounds like the best choice for you, try Beam Electronics’s model. Its simple design holds pretty much any phone and works well with all vents aside from circular ones.
Mechanical vs. Magnetic Car Phone Holders
We’ve covered the three major types of phone car mounts, but haven’t mentioned another major choice available for all three of them: magnetic mounts. Instead of holding your phone with physical clamps, these mounts include a magnetic sticker that you apply to your phone. Rest your phone on the mount, and it will stick thanks to this magnet.
You shouldn’t be concerned about using this kind of magnet close to your phone. While magnets can damage hard disk drives, modern phones don’t contain any components that a small magnet would damage. For most phones, placing the magnetic sticker near the bottom of the device will avoid interfering with anything else.
The exception to this is wireless charging. Depending on your phone, having a magnet on the back could interfere with this.
While magnetic mounts are convenient (no messing with the clamps to tighten or release), they come with a fairly big drawback. If you don’t have a case on your phone, sticking the magnet on the back of your phone is pretty unsightly. You can place the magnet inside thin cases, but it might have trouble holding through heavy-duty cases.
Thus, you may find magnetic mounts not worth the annoyances if you rely on wireless charging and don’t keep a case on your phone.
You’ll find all kinds of magnetic mounts, and they each come with magnetic plates for your phone. IPOW makes a long arm windshield/dash model:
If you’re looking for a magnetic CD player holder, APPS2CAR offers one that’s low-profile with an extra-strong magnet:
And if you want a magnetic vent mount, try this one from WizGear:
Best Cell Phone Holder for Cars?
Got an Android phone? Put that new mount to use with the best Android Auto apps.
Otherwise, everyone should invest in a good phone holder. Even if you only use it once in a while to see your navigation app, it’s worth it. They’re both cheap and can save you from an accident, injury, or worse.