The Best Car Phone Mounts

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Finding a safe and secure place to put your cell phone in the car is a pain. If you use your phone for navigation, food delivery, or ride sharing apps, you need to keep it securely mounted within easy eyesight.

Navigating the thousands of options to find a mount that is rugged, strong, and holds your phone securely in place is hard enough. Searching for a mount that doesn’t damage your car’s air vents, dashboard, or require cutting or drilling is even more difficult.

Cellphone mount makers have come up with a range of innovative solutions for drivers. Everything from cup-holder mounted holders to air-conditioning clips — and even CD slot mounts — all use existing features in your interior. There are also suction mounts, and mounts that secure to your vehicle with an automotive grade adhesive.

There are variations to the mounting clip itself too. Some hold the phone in spring-loaded fingers, others use magnets to keep your phone in place. The best phone mounts are unobtrusive, secure, and offer access to charging ports while you’re on the go.

In Canada, it is illegal to operate your phone while driving in most places — even if it’s held in a secure mount. Always remember to set your navigation or your music streaming app before you set off.

Read on for our guide to the best car mounts that allow you to safely and easily use the driving functions on your phone while you’re behind the wheel.

1. Editor's Pick: WeatherTech CupFone

1. Editor's Pick: WeatherTech CupFone
  • Secure mounting
  • Well built
  • Doesn’t work on pop-out cupholders
  • Holds phone too low in most cars

Key Specs

Car Mount Location: Cup holder
Phone Mount Type: Spring-loaded
Max Width: 10.5cm (4.2 inches)
Charging: Allows access to phone port

WeatherTech has branched out from beyond its laser-cut floor liners in recent times and the company’s CupFone product is as innovative and well-built as you’d expect.

The CupFone drops into your vehicle’s existing cup holders via a set of stackable cups that allow it to fit in almost any vehicle’s drink vestibule. It won’t work on spring-loaded, pop-out cup holders like those found in the Mazda MX-5 or the Porsche 911. Any rigid, permanent cup holder will accept a CupFone mount though.

Whether or not, the CupFone works for you will depend on the location of your cup holders. Some are too low and too close to the driver, and on those cars you’ll find that your phone isn’t easily visible. There is a 4” (10cm) extension piece for the CupFone that improves this issue, but it is sold separately.

Be wary of other cup-holder mounts that hold the phone higher or have adjustable necks, especially cheaper versions. Most of those are simply too weak for use in most vehicles. The receiver expands up to 4.2” inches, enough to take most 6.5” phones, even those with a thick protective case. If that sounds counter-intuitive, remember that the screen on your phone is measured diagonally, not by width. WeatherTech’s unit is heavy duty and rigid, so your phone stays put when you’re on the road.

2. Runner Up: Mpow Car Dashboard/Windshield Car Phone Holder

2. Runner Up: Mpow Car Dashboard/Windshield Car Phone Holder
  • Stable and secure
  • Great price
  • Looks clumsy when not in use
  • Looks clumsy when in use

Key Specs

Car Mount Location: Suction mount
Phone Mount Type: Spring-loaded clip
Max Width: 9.3cm (3.7 inches)
Charging: Access to phone port

Mpow produces one of the most secure, flexible, and impressive cell phone mounts on the market for a surprisingly low price. Multiple stages of adjustment, including a flexible aluminum rod, and a 360-degree ball joint at the phone end mean you can keep your phone in position you like. We particularly like the stabilizer clip, that will adhere to your interior and offers a back-up for the long and flexible neck of the system.

At the base of the system is a washable and reusable suction cup coated in a sticky gel for even heftier security. A locking tab offers a quick-release mechanism while also securing the mount when in use. The phone clip is a spring-loaded pair of arms with foldable holding feet at the base which allow room for a charging cable.

The downside is that suction mounts like this aren’t very attractive. Mpow has worked hard to coat the unit in a glossy black finish but it’s hard to miss the large suction cup, stabilizing clip and six-inch flexible aluminium rod. That’s doubly true when it’s not in use, and while you can remove the suction cup, the stabilizing clip isn’t movable once its mounted with the tape.

On the plus side, this is the mount to get if you need your phone to stay in place in all circumstance, and if you need to get creative with its placement to keep it safe and within easy sight while on the move.

3. Best Magnetic: GETIHU Holder

3. Best Magnetic: GETIHU Holder
  • Stable and secure
  • Elegant and clean
  • Metal plates interfere with wireless charging

Key Specs

Car Mount Location: Adhesive mount
Phone Mount Type: Magnetic
Max Width: Any
Charging: Access to phone port

There is no more elegant mounting system then the small magnetic holder from GETIHU. It offers a simple mounting system that is solid and adjustable – you can put your phone at any angle and the mount itself secures anywhere on your dashboard or console.

In the kit you’ll get: a car phone mount, two metal plates to either insert into your phone’s protective case or affix to the back of your phone, protective film, an alcohol pad for removing residue if you choose to reposition the mount, and a reinstallation kit. The mount affixes to your dashboard or console courtesy of a high-grade 3M adhesive strip.

The magnet is capable of holding up to 8 lbs., and the whole system is supported by a three-year warranty. GETIHU notes that the magnetic plates will interfere with wireless charging if you have a wireless charger at home or elsewhere, and there are some who feel that the magnetic holder interfered with their phone’s GPS and signal. The jury is a little hazy on whether or not the powerful magnet affects your phone but do keep the metal plates as close to the middle of your phone as possible — and in particular away from the metallic charging port.

Most users report no ill effects and rave about the no-nonsense usability of this mount, as well as it’s clean appearance.

4. Best CD Slot Mount: Mpow CD Slot Car Mount

4. Best CD Slot Mount: Mpow CD Slot Car Mount
  • Good mounting location
  • No visual impact to your interior
  • Interferes with your head unit
  • What’s a CD player?

Key Specs

Car Mount Location: CD-Slot
Phone Mount Type: Spring-loaded
Max Width: 9.3cm (3.7 inches)
Charging: Access to phone port

Our second offering from Mpow is a clever cd-slot mount that holds your phone steady without interfering with your audio system’s ability to play CDs. It makes sense that the CD slot in so-equipped cars is a good ergonomic location for a phone mount. It’s usually mounted on top of the audio head unit in the centre of the dashboard and in line with the instrument cluster.

Of course, putting a phone there means you’re blocking the display screen and potentially the controls for your head unit – but that won’t be an issue if you have steering-wheel mounted audio controls or if you are using the phone-based version of either Android Auto or Apple Carplay.

The other benefit is that the Mpow unit won’t damage air vents or leave a visible mark when you’re not using it. Its impact on your cabin is minimal.

Mpow’s sturdy spring-loaded clip mechanism does the actual phone holding duties here, and it’s a well-made unit that isn’t prone to wobbling and won’t lose grip on your precious smartphone.

5. Honourable Mention: JunDa Dashboard Cell Phone Holder

5. Honourable Mention: JunDa Dashboard Cell Phone Holder
  • Firm grip with no wobbling
  • Good value
  • Will impede vision in some cars

Key Specs

Car Mount Location: Dashboard
Phone Mount Type: Spring-loaded
Max Width: 10.5cm (4.5 inches)
Charging: Access to phone port

The heavy-duty spring-loaded clip and non-slip silicon pad make the wide-jawed clamp of JunDa’s dashboard mount a formidable anchor point. You can use it on your car’s dashboard, or even the sun visor or rearview mirror, though I don’t advocate those positions as they impede visibility. If you have a tall windshield or a low dashboard hood though, this is a great solution that puts your phone as close to your eyeline as possible when your eyes are on the road.

The spring-loaded claws that grip your phone spin for portrait or landscape (vertical or horizontal) viewing, and they’re a low profile so not obtrusive. You can also adjust the angle of the arm to get the right viewing angle for your device.

JunDa mount doesn’t move a millimetre when you’re driving and provides impressive stability for a system this cheap.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

These days both Android and Apple provide an excellent automotive app that can operate either in tandem with your modern vehicle’s existing infotainment system, or in a standalone “driving” mode on your phone.

In both systems you get access to voice commands, music, and navigation, as well as hands-free dialing and answering calls. Android Auto will even read your text messages to you and allow you to dictate responses.

When used on the device itself, they lock out other functions and transform the buttons to large, easy-to-tap affairs that make it easy to achieve a limited range of tasks. SMART car even sold a version of their diminutive city car that had a phone holder instead of an audio head unit, allowing you to use your smartphone as a replacement.

You can also find Android Auto and Apple Carplay available on a number of aftermarket audio head unit systems, which is a worthwhile alternative for older cars and newer vehicles with base-model infotainment packages. Your writer wholeheartedly supports using a vehicle-based version of Android Auto instead of trying to operate your phone, even hands-free, while driving.

Choosing a Car Phone Mount for Your Ride

The various phone mount systems we’ve discussed above all have their flaws and virtues. Here’s a handy summary of those pros and cons so you can narrow down your search.

The basic mounting systems are:

  • Air-Vent Clip - The most common, and the earliest of the smartphone car mounts was an air vent clip. The pro is that it’s an easy clampable surface within your car’s interior, often within the top portion of your dashboard. The con is that air vent clips are notoriously flimsy, and when they aren’t, they’re known to break the air vent vanes.
  • CD-Slot clip - Music used to come on small, round discs that we fed to stereo systems in order to make them sing. Some cars still have a slot in the dashboard for those little round discs. The downside of shoving a phone mount in there is that it gets in the way of the rest of the stereo, even if it doesn’t prevent a cd from playing.
  • Suction Mount - Suction mounts have come a long way in a short while. These days they’re strong enough to fix GoPro cameras to the outside of cars doing stunts, so you know they’ve got grip. Installed properly, and fastened correctly, a suction mount is not going anywhere. The downside is they are bulky and look terrible.
  • Adhesive Mount - 3M is a world-leader in automotive grade adhesive, and you’ll find the company’s iconic red wrap on the base of most adhesive car mounts. If they use 3M or another reputable brand, adhesive mounts are strong, durable, and clean up shockingly well. If the mount you’re choosing uses a cheaper, less reputable adhesive brand, you risk gumming up your dashboard forever.

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