Some advocates say that you should never use your phone while driving. However, for most drivers, it is inevitable. We use our trusty phones to navigate our way, control our music, look for the nearest diner, read our messages, and answer calls. Holding your phone while driving is definitely a distraction. Even looking at it on the center console, cup holder, or the passenger seat poses risks.
The main reason to get a car phone mount is to have a safe and convenient way to keep your phone within view and reach. However, there are many kinds of car mounts and even more vehicles that they are to be installed in. This means choosing the right mount for you and your vehicle can be quite overwhelming. With wireless charging technology slowly trickling down to more and more devices, we have another factor to consider. Wireless charging phone mounts are the way to go if your phone supports it. However, this would leave out those whose devices are not capable of wireless charging so we won’t cover these types of mounts in this list. This list of the best car phone mounts can help you decide on which type of mount is right for you and your vehicle.
Where Should I Mount My Phone?
The most logical place to put a car phone holder is on your dashboard. If you think about it, there’s a reason why almost all of your car’s buttons, knobs, bells, and whistles are located there: It’s to provide easy access to these controls. This means you’re not going to be so distracted when you want to change the radio station, turn up the AC, or switch on your car’s lights. Naturally, the best place to put a mount is somewhere on the dash, but what about other options?
Another place to put a mount is on the windshield. Some cars are already using HUDs that project information like speed near the bottom part of the windshield and not on the instrument cluster. State laws actually govern where you can place a car mount holder. All states allow you to place a mount on the dashboard. It’s the windshield that state laws are focusing on. Simply put, some states allow you to put a mount anywhere on the windshield while others don’t allow it at all. The rest allow you to put one only on specific areas of your car’s windshield. So, when choosing a car phone mount, you have to take this into consideration. Get to know where it’s allowed to place a mount in your state. When travelling by car to other states, you might want to be familiar with their local laws as well or you might get slapped with a hefty fine.
Different Types Of Car Phone Mounts
Now that you know where you legally can and can’t put a car phone holder, let’s look at some of the options. As mentioned earlier there are so many kinds of car phone holders out there. We’ll focus on where you can place them as this is the next thing you’ll need to consider when getting a car phone mount.
These car phone holders can go anywhere on your dashboard. They can be placed either on top of your car’s dash or on a part of your car’s infotainment system. You simply have to find a smooth, flat surface on your dash to place the base of the mount. They typically use an adhesive to attach the base to your car’s dash. It’s the first kind of mount mentioned here because it’s the one that can be used by everybody and the placement of these mounts is ideal. The drawbacks of these mounts are that some dashboard materials don’t provide a good platform for the adhesives to stick. Also, attaching one to your dash is permanent so you can’t transfer it to another vehicle. Another thing is that these car phone mounts can leave a mark on your car’s dash. So although this type of mount can be used by anyone, it may not be for everyone.
The next type of car mount holders are versatile and are sometimes called windshield and dashboard mounts. The base of these car phone mounts have a suction cup so they can easily attach to your car’s windshield. They can also be placed on your car’s dash and some include a base plate with adhesive tape so they can act like a dash mount. What’s more is that you can freely transfer these car phone holders between vehicles. Be warned though, the suction cups can also leave a mark on your car’s windshield if left long enough so it might be a good idea to take these car phone holders off if you’re not using them.
The next kind of mounts are ones that attach to the vents of your car’s HVAC system. A car air vent mount is also transferable between your vehicles just like the windshield mounts. They’re fairly simple to assemble and don’t leave any marks on your car’s interior. Since your HVAC vents are located near the top of the dashboard, a car air vent mount is also ideal for everyone. You do need to take note of some things though. The clips on these car mounts can only fit regular vents. They won’t work with oddly shaped or circular vents. If your car’s air vents are loose, or your phone is too heavy, the whole thing will droop so make sure that these car phone mounts have good tilt action. Oh, and they also tend to block the vent so if you can’t do without your AC, then better pick something else.
These types of mounts were popular before but are slowly going out of style. As their name suggests, instead of a flat base, they have an attachment that goes into a car’s CD slot. Since newer car infotainment systems are doing away with the CD/DVD players and focusing on mirroring your phone such as Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, this kind of mounts may be on their way out.
Cup Holder Mount
Unless you drive a semi and have a cup holder near the top of your dash, cup holder mounts are not everyone’s cup of tea. The position of your car’s cup holder is key and it’s usually at the bottom of the dashboard or near the center armrest. Right off the bat, the position of these mounts are not ideal and may get in the way of you actually operating your vehicle. These are necessary though if you use a tablet for work and that work entails you driving and using the device as they can provide a much better base for your device.
What To Look For In A Car Mount
Now that you have a better idea of what kind of mount to get, the next thing to consider is your device. If you have a large device, you’ll need a sturdy base. A bigger base means that your car phone holder won’t fall off - along with your precious phone - due to its weight. This is a must and you shouldn’t compromise on this as it may damage your device or worse distract you from driving when it falls off. A large device means it’s going to be wider as well so make sure that the clamps are wide enough to accommodate your phone. Before making a purchase, check the dimensions of the clamps at full open and full close to make sure your device will fit even with a phone case. If you’re really set on getting a specific mount but it won’t fit your phone, check if the seller has a magnetic version. Make sure that the magnetic mount uses neodymium and that there’s enough of them so your phone won’t fall off. Now that you’ve picked a mount that has a sturdy base and can firmly and securely grip your phone, the next features to look at are adjustability. The basic of these features is a wide range of tilt. This will ensure that wherever you place your mount, you’ll always get the best viewing angle. Other features such as extendable or flexible arms can further enhance your viewing angle but aren't as important as tilt. These features can be found in all of the car phone mounts listed here so you’re assured of their utility. Without further ado, let’s move on with the list.
Best Magnetic Car Vent Mount
Having the best ease of use and transferability, the Simpl Touch Magnetic Car Vent Phone Mount Holder is our first pick. Even if you don’t have a magnetic phone case, you’ll be able to use this vent mount. Your phone is held in place by 6 neodymium magnets and the included metal plates. Now you don’t need to stick the plate to your phone or case if you don’t want to. Just slip it in between your phone and it’s case and you’re good to go. The magnets have a solid grip on your phone and using this mount is as easy as placing your phone and pulling it off. The included vent clip fits securely to most air vents and let’s you transfer it around if you have multiple vehicles. This vent mount has a good range of tilt so you can adjust it for the best view of your phone. \
Best Magnetic Car Dash Mount
Now if your car has a unique air vent shape, then you can get the Simpl Touch Magnetic Car Dash Phone Mount Holder. This magnetic car phone holder has the same magnet and plates as the last one but has a circular base with an adhesive tape at the bottom instead of a clip. All you need is a smooth flat vertical surface on your car’s center instrument cluster. Clean the surface with the included wipes and stick on the mount. Make sure you install it as near to the top as possible for the best view and accessibility. It’s not transferable like the previous mount but has the same ease of use.
Best Car Dash Mount
For those who don’t like casing their phones or have a clear case and don’t want people to see that metal plate sandwiched between their phone and it’s case, the next mount is just for you. The Simpl Grip Car Dash Phone Mount Holder is just as easy to use as the last 2 mounts. Instead of having a magnetic pad, this mount has automatic tension grips with one-touch function. Just pull apart the grips and place your phone. With the one-touch button, it automatically grips your phone tight so it doesn’t fall off. The grips are large enough to accommodate the largest flagship phones even with a case on. Like with the previous mount, make sure your car has a smooth flat vertical surface near the top of the center cluster for the best mounting position. This mount is ideal for smaller devices that don’t weigh much and are easy to handle with one hand.
Best Mount For Large Phones
Not all phones are created equal. Some are on the bigger and heavier side. Couple that with a bulky heavy duty case and you’ll need a mount that’s capable of heavy lifting. Enter the Simpl Cradle Car Dash & Windshield Phone Mount Holder. It’s wide grip can accommodate larger phones even with bulky cases on. The cradle feet help support your phone and is especially handy when using the one touch grip release button at the back. What holds it all together is the large suction base that can be mounted on your car’s dash or windshield. If you go with the former, use the included dashboard pad. Make sure to let the adhesive tape set before using this mount especially if your car’s dash is textured. Choosing the latter is a simple matter of attaching the suction cup base to your car’s windshield. Either one you choose will give this mount a firm base to hold your device while you concentrate on the road. This mount also has a wide range of tilt, pivot, and rotation for adjusting your perfect viewing angle. The arm of this mount is telescopic so you can further adjust it to your needs.
Best Phone Mount For Large Vehicles
On the other hand, if you have a larger vehicle where your dash may not be as easy to reach or none of the mounts featured above are compatible with your vehicle, check out the Simpl Cradle Flexible Gooseneck Car Dash & Windshield Phone Mount Holder. This car mount holder is also built for larger phones and also has the quick release button and cradle feet. The flexible gooseneck is 6 inches long and ensures you can easily reach your phone wherever you decide to place this mount. The large suction base and included dash pad also give you the option to mount it on your dashboard or windshield. It has a support clip to make sure that the arm isn’t wobbly even when you’re on rough roads or encounter bumps and potholes and also doubles as a cable management system if you want to charge your phone while it’s mounted.
Best Overall Car Phone Mount
Lastly, we have the Simpl Touch Magnetic Car Dash & Windshield Phone Mount Holder, our best overall pick. This car mount has all the best features of the others mentioned above. It has the versatility of being mounted on the dashboard or the windshield. You can transfer it to any vehicle if you choose to mount it on the windshield. And it has the ease of use of a magnetic car phone holder. For us, it ticks all the right boxes.
A good car mount is our aid in safe driving. It should not distract you from your current task at hand - driving a vehicle. When choosing the right mount for you, consider your vehicle and it’s dashboard layout. Also, consider the phone or phones you will be using the mount with. Make sure that your phone will fit the mount and that the mount has a large and stable base and firm grips so it can support your phone even on the roughest of roads. Choose the placement of the mount carefully so it let’s your phone be within reach and easy to see. Now, even if you have easy access to your phone while driving, remember to use it wisely and drive safely and responsibly.