Car smartphone mounts are definitely a must for drivers today. While traffic laws prohibit calling or texting while driving, most map and navigation apps are on smartphones. We don’t even need separate GPS devices now. Texting and calling isn’t much of a problem these days, too, if you have a voice assistant like Siri or Google Assistant in your phone.
But it is a pain if you just hold on to your phone while driving. Worse, if you set it down, you may be distracted from driving if you look down just to see the directions you need to follow.
This is why you should have a smartphone mount in your car. I’m actually surprised that most cars don’t have a nook or a niche for a smartphone in the dashboard yet. It should be included in their dashboard design now.
I have had my share of smartphone mounts over the years, most of them are the suction type. But they tend to last for only a short time. You have probably experienced the same problem, too. Which is why I am on the lookout for the best car smartphone mounts.
Three types of smartphone car mounts
Dashboard or windshield car phone mounts.
This is what I used to have. They often feature a suction cup that can be attached to the windshield or to the dashboard. Depending on the surface of your dashboard, however, it may not attach effectively. The main advantage of this type of mount, though, is that the smartphone is usually in your line of sight. You don’t need to look up or down just to make sure that you are on the right road or lane. Do your due diligence and check your local laws about potential obstruction of your view of the road.
CD slot phone mounts.
CDs seem to be on the way out as means to store music and play them in your car. These days, there’s satellite radio, and your smartphone, which can play music through Spotify or any other music streaming service. So if you are not using your CD player in the car anymore, it can serve as anchor for your smartphone. It is pretty much a central location that will not block your forward view. It’s not too high, neither is it too low. CD slot mounts are held in place by plastic wings that you insert into the CD slot. You then tighten the screw to secure it in place.
You should check your car, though, to make sure that the smartphone mount is not blocking your view of the phone or of the information in the dashboard console.
Vent smartphone mounts
This type of smartphone mounts are placed on the air vents that that control the temperature inside your car. Some of the issues with this type of mount though include potential damage to your phone because of the hot or cold air that are blasted by your car’s AC. In addition to that, some reviews of these types of mounts complain that because of the weight of the phone, they can damage the slats of the vents. Sometimes, these mounts can’t keep the phone in place very long.
How to Choose the Right Car Smartphone Mount
Remember that old proverb that they always quote on review articles? “You get what you pay for.” In this case, it’s true. If you settle for the cheapest mount, it won’t last long. I have made that mistake several times already. Here are important considerations in choosing the right smartphone mount:
- Make sure that it can support your smartphone even when there are speed bumps or potholes. If it falls down and you really need to check maps and navigation, it’s not easy to reach down while driving.
- The phone’s position should enable you to see the screen, but you can still see the road ahead of you. In some places, it is against the law to put anything that blocks your view of the road.
- You should be able to change the angle of the phone. You should also be able to turn in to portrait or landscape position as you need.
- The size of your phone is another consideration. If you have one of those bigger units like Samsung Note, Google Pixel XL and other “phablets”, this becomes even more important.
- Design is another consideration. It should look nice and fit into the overall aesthetic of your car.
Here are the best car smartphone mounts you should consider buying.
iOttie Easy One Touch 4 Dashboard & Windshield Car Phone Mount Holder
The price on Amazon is $25.
This is a neat smartphone mount that lets you place and adjust your smartphone easily. It has a telescopic arm that let’s you adjust its height and placement in your dashboard. In addition, you can mount it on your dashboard or your windshield.
Based on the reviews, people liked this mount for the following reasons:
- It can hold a smartphone securely, even the bigger phones in the market.
- The suction cup can be easily mounted and holds on to the windshield.
- Its extendable arm does not bounce, which means that your phone stays secure and steady.
Some of the negatives that reviewers pointed out:
- As with other suction-cup mounts, it doesn’t really hold on to the dashboard of some cars.
- It may be difficult to release the phone with only one hand.
- The grips on the side tend to be low, which means that it can block the volume and power buttons of some phone models.
Mpow Grip Magic Air Vent Magnetic Car Mount
This is a simple magnetic phone mount that you can insert into the air vent of your car. If your car has a magnetic back, it can easily hold it in place. But if you don’t have that, then this package comes with a backplate that you can put inside the case of your phone so it will stay in place. The mount will stay snug in the air vent and you can adjust the clips to be as wide or as narrow as your car’s air vents.
Some people who used it commented that bigger, heavier phones tend to drop from it. But the solution is to tighten the vent clip with the dial that comes with it. Even though it is a small smartphone mount, you can still adjust the phone so you can better see the screen while driving.
Mountek nGroove Grip
The price at Amazon is $20.
This mount, which can be inserted in your CD player slot, has brackets that can hold different sizes of smartphones. Your smartphone will stick to its sticky backing. You can set your phone in landscape or portrait position. A lot of the reviews on Amazon say that this is one of the most stable CD-slot mounts in the market.
Be careful not to lose the bottom clip of this mount, otherwise, you will have difficulty keeping it in place.
This smartphone mount has more than 5,000 reviews on Amazon, which is a testament to its reliability and bestseller status.
Go old school with NonSlip Smartphone Beanbag Friction Dashboard Mount
If, like me, you had been disappointed by several smartphone mounts in the past, you could also go old school by choosing a beanbag, non-slip dashboard phone mount. This type of smartphone car mount still works. You don’t need to install it anywhere in your dashboard or car, it just needs to stay on your dashboard.
If you do share a car with a spouse or with co-workers in a company, the added benefit is that you can take this with you.
One of the cons, however, is that the clip can be a little inconvenient for larger phones. You may want to change with a phone holder from a previous model that you own. But the base, itself, works great!
Do you have other smartphone car mounts that you really really love? Hit the comments and share your favorite ones!