We tested and reviewed four leading cell phone cradles to help you find the best mount or holder for your car. We care because mobile phone holders are important and inexpensive tools for reducing distracted driving when you use your phone for navigation or traffic.
The Pros and Cons of Phone Navigation
Many of us use Google Maps and Waze to help us with navigation and traffic avoidance. If you don’t, you should! These apps can help reduce the amount of traffic you sit through, improving your health by reducing your exposure to harmful particles and saving you money on gas.
Now imagine trying to see what the maps are showing while your phone is sitting on the passenger seat, or on your thigh, or somewhere on the center console because you have no place to put it. Maybe you don’t have to imagine it. Maybe you do this every time you drive. This is a major safety concern because your eyes are completely off the road. If the person in front of you suddenly stops, or if someone or something darts in front of your car, chances are you will run into them. Distracted driving claimed 3,477 lives in 2015. Phones are a major contributor to distracted driving, and it’s not just texting or calling while driving.
We at Driving2Save want you to drive with the least amount of distraction and be as safe as possible. Luckily, there are many cheap devices that will allow you to mount your phone at a location that is safer and more convenient to use. We’ve tested them and can help you make the choice that’s right for you and your car.
What did we test?
We decided to look at the four bestsellers in car phone mounts $10 or less on Amazon with 4.5 star reviews or higher to see which on is best for you.
- Mpow Cell Phone Holder [suction and holder type]
- Beam Electronics Universal Smartphone Holder [air vent and holder type]
- WizGear Magnet Mount [air vent and magnetic]
- Ailun Magnet Mount [adhesive and magnetic]
The most common ways to mount cell phone holders in a car are:
- Suction cup – which can be used to mount to any flat surface and the windshield
- Air vent clips – which can mount to most air vents
- Adhesive – which can mount to almost any flat surface
- Magnetic – which work by using an adhesive steel plate to stick to the magnet
What did we like?
1st Place: WizGear Magnetic Mount [air vent and magnetic]
Pros: for $9.99, you get 2 magnet mounts that clip easily to most air vents. The metal plates that are included adhere easily to the back of most phones. Throughout our tests, the phone never fell from the magnet and we loved the ease of putting the phone on and off the mount.
Cons: If we had to nitpick, you cannot swivel the phone toward you. Therefore, sometimes you might have glare or it could be slightly harder to see your screen. Air vent mounts tend to block some of the air coming out of the vent as well as make the direction of airflow static since it limits the left/right sliding abilities of the vent. Therefore, take that into consideration in your decision.
Both of these mounts are holder types that require you to physically secure the phone by squeezing the side brackets until they are firm against your phone. There is a release button on the back or side that you must push to release the phone.
The only differences are the price [$9.99 and $8.99 respectively] and Mpow being a suction system for windshields and flat surfaces as opposed to Beam Electronics securing to your air vent.
3rd Place: Ailun Magnet Mount [adhesive and magnetic]
Pros: for $9.89, you get 2 magnetic mounts that secure easily to any flat surface. The magnets are strong and they included extra adhesives should the first ones wear out. The adhesive design allowed the manufacturer to include a neck and swivel so that your phone can swivel toward you.
Cons: This may apply to certain vehicles only, but in a couple of our test cars, we could not find any flat surfaces in a convenient location for the phone holder.
Which one is right for me?
If you value ease of use above all else, we would highly recommend using the magnetic mounts. $10 gets you two magnets and two sets of steel adhesive plates for your phone. All you have to do is stick it either to your phone or the inside of your case and you can easily attach the phone to the magnet. If your vehicle has many flat surfaces especially near the center console (where your entertainment system is), we would recommend the Ailun Magnetic mount. Ailun addresses the issue of not being able to swivel your phone by having a short neck/swivel mechanism – allowing you to tilt the phone toward you, which makes it easier for you to see the screen. However, if your vehicle has few or no flat surfaces, then we would recommend the WizGear magnetic mounts as they clip into air vents.
While the magnetic mounts do a good job of securing your phone, it is not nearly as secure as having a traditional holder. Therefore, if you are someone that drives on rough roads and/or you often load things in and out of your car, we would recommend going with a holder style as it will do a better job of securing your phone. At this point, you simply have to decide whether you prefer a suction cup mechanism as opposed to air vent. They are equal in their ability to attach to your car and will serve you well.
In conclusion, all of these mounts are effective and functional. Whichever you choose, using a navigation or traffic app should be much easier and safer. However, we urge and caution you not to use this more ergonomic phone mount to text or do anything else with your phone that will become a distraction as it completely negates the purpose of the mount.
Questions? Comments? We would love to hear from you! Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org