Our StuttgartDNA Car Phone Holder Buying Guide will help you sort through all types, styles and features of car phone holders and car phone mounts. You will be able to make much more intelligent decisions and choices by the time you finish this article.
There is a dizzying array of cell phone holders, mounts and cradles in the marketplace. So you’ve come to the right place. We’ll assist you in zeroing in on phone car mounts most suitable to your own unique needs.
Smartphones have become indispensable in our everyday lives. Our cell phones in effect rule almost every waking moment of our lives — for school, work, pleasure, you name it. They have become virtual appendages — even infiltrating our cars, SUVs and trucks.
We use our smartphones in our vehicles for navigation, information, entertainment and communication.
So how best to mount and use our cell phones as safely as possible on the road? Here we show you some of the best ways to do just that.
A proper car phone holder serves one vital function: allowing you to use your phone with the least distraction possible while on the road — with both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
The aim of a good phone mount is to align you field of vision as narrowly as possible — keeping your line of sight on the road within the shortest distance possible to your phone.
Finally, it is imperative to install a phone holder in cars that didn’t come with the option of an integrated navigation system. A suitable car phone mount will aid you in this case with the following tasks:
- Making safe phone calls
- Calling via your phone’s voice assistant
- Getting audible turn-by-turn directions
So we’re here to help you find that ideal car phone holder to suit all of your smartphone vehicle needs. Let’s get started.
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Three Basic Car Phone Holder Types
These basic types of cell phone holders for car, SUV or truck involve how the holder attaches inside your car.
1. Vent-Mount Car Phone Holder
Belkin F7U017bt Car Vent Mount
- Vent Mount — snaps on to the fins of your A/C and heating vents, such as the Belkin F7U017bt Car Vent Mount example above
- This type of mount ideally sits high enough to keep your phone in your field of vision while driving with your eyes on the road
- Your smartphone itself is mounted to this holder either by magnets or clamps
- The phone car holder itself may or may not enable wireless charging
- Reduced A/C airflow
- Potential damage to your vent fins
2. Dash- or Window-Mount Car Phone Holder
Kenu Airbase Car Phone Mount – Dashboard, Windshield
- Dash or Window Mount — attaches either to your dash top or windshield, such as the Kenu Airbase Car Phone Mount – Windshield, Dashboard example above
- Enables shortest distance in your line of sight between the road and your phone
- Could reduce your visibility by blocking some of your vision of the road
- Greatest mounting versatility
- Suction cup adhesion to windshield could be insecure
- Mounting on your dash may require sticky, damaging adhesive
3. Cupholder Car Phone Holder
WeatherTech CupFone Two View with Extension
- Cupholder — sits inside one of your cupholders, with no need for adhesion to any surface or vent, such as the WeatherTech CupFone example above
- Most effective if your cupholders are set high in your dashboard
- Least effective if your cupholders are set low in your car, causing your phone to sit well below your road line of sight
- Takes up space of another drink or coffee
CD Slot-Mounted Car Phone Holder
iOttie Easy One Touch 5 CD Slot Mount
A forth, but relatively rare, basic car phone holder type mounts within your car’s CD slot, if your car has one. Chances are, it does not nowadays. See the iOttie Easy One Touch 5 CD Slot Mount example above.
Two Vent-Mount and Dash- or Window-Mount Sub-types
There are two sub-types of attaching mechanisms holding the phone itself to the car phone mounts that follow.
Magnetic- or adhesive-attached mounts
Scosche MagicMount Pro Magnetic Car Phone Holder
- Magnetic- or adhesive-attached mounts — your phone connects to the car phone holder with a magnet; however, the magnet may have to be attached to your phone or phone case with a sticky adhesive substance. See the Scosche MPWDB MagicMount Pro Magnetic Car Phone Holder example above.
- Very easy to operate
- The magnet itself will probably not harm your smartphone’s innards because today’s phones consist of mostly non-metallic circuitry
- If magnetic-based, may require attachment of a small metal plate to your case or to the back of your phone
- If adhesive-based, may require permanent placement which could damage the surface to which it’s adhered with glue; could also prevent transfer between vehicles
- May interfere with wireless charging if it obstructs your phone’s charging coil
Tension Arm-Attached Mounted Car Phone Holder
iOttie Easy One Touch 4 Dash & Windshield Car Phone Mount
- Spring-loaded or tension-arm clamps — these mechanisms grasp and hold your phone in place. See the iOttie Easy One Touch 4 Dash & Windshield Car Phone Mount example above.
- Universally adaptable to about any phone
- Tend to be bulky
Tension-arm mounts function in the following manner, in most cases: The extendable right tension arm can be pushed outward wide enough for your phone to fit; then it can be released to snugly secure your phone in the cradle.
However, be aware of the fact that tension-arm-type mounts make it a little more difficult to attach and remove your phone.
Here are features that you should look for in car phone mounts during your search. Try to round up as many of these features in your phone-holder candidates as you can for the best fit.
It is important to obtain a phone mount that can accommodate the size of your smartphone. This is especially important if you plan to use your phone with a case. What good will a phone mount do if you have to keep removing your case to fit your phone in the cradle once you get in your vehicle?
Keep in mind that your chosen car phone holder should hold your phone quite snugly and securely inside your car. This is especially critical to make sure your phone stays put over any type of rough terrain on which you might be traveling.
Be sure to seek out phone mount candidates that allow you to easily adjust the phone screen. You should be able to rotate and/or swivel the screen well within your field of vision — yet without obstructing your view of the road ahead.
In other words, your car phone holder should allow for ample vertical and horizontal rotation and about 45 degrees of movement tilting back and forth or to the sides.
Ease of Use
Look for phone holders that allow you to attach, remove and adjust your phone with ease — especially with one free hand. This could make all the difference in the world in helping you keep your eyes on the road, and at least one hand on the wheel at all times.
Factors to Consider
Versatility in moving from car to car
Do you wish to use your car phone mount in only one vehicle? Or do you need to move your car phone holder from on vehicle to another?
Strength of magnets
If you are leaning toward magnetic attachments for your phone, will the magnets be strong enough to keep your smartphone very secure in its place?
Location of where to mount your car phone
Have you thought about where, exactly, you would like to locate your phone mount in your car? If so, are you considering how it will be best attached in that chosen location?
Adhesion to textured vs. smooth surfaces
If you are planning to obtain a car phone mount with a suction cup to attach it to your windshield or dashboard, will its suction be strong enough to hold fast on the targeted surface? And will the suction cup adhere firmly to textured surfaces, if that is the case in your vehicle?
Reusability of adhesive pad
Are you leaning toward a car phone mount that requires an adhesive material for attachment? If so, consider the difficulty factor in being able to remove the mount in the future. Also, think about the ability to reuse it. Or will you need a new car phone holder for reattachment in another vehicle or in a new position?
Attaching your car phone mount to your windshield
Beware! Do your state and local jurisdictions allow you to mount, or prohibit you from mounting, your phone holder to your windshield? Be sure to check you state and local ordinances first before purchasing.
Maneuverability of your car phone holder
Will you need to adjust the screen to view from different angles? Or is one relatively rigid position satisfactory?
Stability of Phone Mount
Is your chosen phone mount sturdy and stable enough to hold your phone firmly in place? Or does your selected car phone holder compel you to take your hands off the wheel to constantly readjust your phone’s position, and/or to take your eyes off the road? It is critical for your safety that your phone and phone mount do not distract you.
Be mindful of all the features that go into making a very safe car phone mount to use. Do your best to seek out as many of those features as possible. Then search for the best phone mount that suits your unique needs the best.
Hopefully, you are now forearmed and forewarned to go out there and shop for that car phone holder that you really want and really need.