What to look for in a car phone holder in 2022
While all car phone mounts solve the problem of propping up your phone for easy access while driving, they achieve this in different ways. Some use suction cups or adhesive tape to attach to dashboards or windshields. Others have clips that clip onto the vents. Some are even designed to fit in drink holders.
Your choice will depend on several factors, such as how close you want your equipment, the topography and finish of your cabin, and your state’s laws. That’s right – some states have laws that dictate where you can mount the device, especially if it’s mounted on a windshield. Check your local laws before choosing a car mount!
In addition to the surfaces they attach to, car mounts also differ in how they hold onto the phone. They can be magnetic, use spring arms, or even be MagSafe compatible for the iPhone 12 and 13.
Spring clamps are the most durable and will handle almost any phone, but are relatively more difficult to operate – we’ve made sure to choose the easiest options though.
Using the magnetic holder is as easy as placing your phone on it and removing it when you’re done. However, they require you to attach a metal plate to the back of your phone or phone case, which isn’t always nice to look at.
Another factor to consider when choosing a phone holder is wireless charging. You can get mounts with built-in Qi wireless support that are powered by your vehicle’s DC port, so you don’t have to plug in your phone every time you get into your car.
Most charging options are compatible with Android and iPhone devices, typically a maximum of 10W for the former and 7.5W for the latter. These charging speeds provide an excellent outlet to keep your phone on the go.
Finally, it’s worth considering the maximum phone size the mount can hold to prevent your phone from falling when you hit those pesky bumps. Smaller mounts with a magnetic design or MagSafe support tend to struggle with larger phones like the iPhone 13 Pro Max, while larger spring-loaded mounts generally work well. Use the spring arm to check the maximum extension width to make sure it is enough to hold the phone. And whatever you do, remember to factor in the size and weight of your phone case, if you’re using one.
With that in mind, here are our favorite phone mounts for every phone size and mounting location in your car’s cabin.
- ✓ Robust design
- ✓ Works with large devices like iPhones Pro Max
- ✓ Great mobility
- ✓ Easy operation for the tension arm model
- ✗ The rubber cover of the clip can wear and expose the metal part
- ✗ It can obstruct your car’s air vents
The Kenu Airframe Pro is our pick for a mount to use with your vents. It has a clip that securely attaches to AC ventilation louvres with different orientations – horizontal, vertical or at an angle. Press the buttons on either side of the frame to open the clamps, then slide them over the ventilation slat.
The clips are made of metal but are coated with a rubberized material to ensure they grip the vents firmly without scratching them. However, there are reports that the rubber cover tends to wear down over time and expose the metal part. However, this doesn’t seem to happen with all units, so if you check the mount from time to time, the AirFrame Pro should be fine.
When it comes to keeping your phone in place, it uses a spring-loaded expansion jaw that’s strong enough to hold even the biggest devices on the market. Here you don’t have to worry about your phone slipping out of place! The Kenu Airframe Pro’s ease of use makes it stand out from most other options with the same design, as you can attach your phone to the mount with one hand.
The holder can be adjusted in two planes, a 360-degree rotation allows the phone to be placed vertically or horizontally, and tilted approximately 45 degrees backwards or sideways.
The best Vent car phone holder
Kenu Airframe Pro
A solid car phone holder that works well with most air vents and is strong enough to hold even very large phones. Despite its tension arm design, it is also relatively easy to operate.
- ✓ Adhesive pads allow for a very simple installation process
- ✓ Low cost
- ✓ It fits where most others don’t
- ✓ Wide range of adjustability
- ✗ Not suitable for textured surfaces
- ✗ When removed from its original position, the adhesive pad weakens
If you want a car mount that will sit on your dashboard, you’ll want to grab the Scosche MagicMount. The small base uses an adhesive pad to attach to your dashboard. But despite its size, the connection is strong enough to keep the mount steady on smooth horizontal or vertical surfaces. Plus, the small size means it can fit into many less practical places – nooks, crannies or crevices – making it more versatile than a vacuum cleaner.
MagicMount uses a magnet to secure your phone, although you’ll need to press a metal sheet onto the back of the device. However, if you can look past that, the setup is even more adjustable than the Kenu Airframe Pro thanks to its ball and socket design. You can see your phone perfectly whether you mount it on an inclined or vertical surface.
As versatile as MagicMount is, unfortunately the adhesive pad isn’t great for textured surfaces. You also can’t move it to a new spot on the dashboard without getting a new pad. The latter is true for most adhesive products like MagicMunt, but it’s something to keep in mind if you need to remove the mount from its location.
The best dashboard phone holder
An excellent dashboard mount that fits in unusual places with an adhesive backing that is easy to install. It also uses a simple magnetic design to hold the phone in place and is the cheapest option on this list.
- ✓ Strong magnetic arm
- ✓ Highly adjustable
- ✓ Easily portable to another car or position in the same car
- ✗ The phone can rotate if the metal plate is not in the middle
- ✗ May violate state laws depending on your location and mounting method
If you’re looking for a car phone holder to attach to your windshield, the iOttie iTap 2 Magnetic Mount fits the bill. As long as it doesn’t run afoul of your state’s laws, you’ll quickly find that this model perfectly combines convenience, phone security, and flexibility. It attaches to the windshield with a powerful suction base that is easy to adjust and does not lose its grip over time.
The iOttie iTap 2 Magnetic Mount supports many phone sizes and keeps them firm and stable. It uses a ball joint that allows you to rotate the phone 360 degrees between portrait and landscape orientation. It may not be as flexible as the MagicMount, but for many users the iTap 2 will get the job done.
However, it’s important to note that the iTap 2 is magnetic and requires you to attach a small metal plate to the back of your phone. The small size means it shouldn’t bother you too much – if it does, you can try putting it in a slim phone case.
The best car windshield phone holder
iOttie iTap 2 Magnetic Holder
A great car phone holder that fits snugly on the windshield, securely holds your phone and rotates in multiple directions.
- ✓ A great degree of flexibility
- ✓ Long neck for slightly lower cup holders
- ✓ Fits comfortably on most cup holders
- ✓ Gravity design makes it almost impossible to fall
- ✗ You lose your cup holder
- ✗ Impractical for some car layouts
The TOPGO Cup Holder is our pick for the best car phone holder for cup holders. The impressive design uses a base with three clamps that can be adjusted to fit the width of almost any cup holder. Additionally, the base is tall and provides enough traction to support the rest of the structure, even with your phone on it.
The product can handle many smartphones with adjustable arms with a span of approximately three and a half inches. With a one-button release system to control the arms that hold your phone, it’s easy to insert and remove your phone from the holder whenever you need, even with one hand.
Once in place, the device can rotate 360 degrees thanks to a motorized gooseneck. The neck is long enough to hold your phone at a reasonably high level, so it’s easy to see even when the cup holder is placed low. However, if you have your car mounts in an unusual location, the mount may be difficult to use, so please make reasonable sure that the mount works with your car layout before purchasing.
The best car phone holder
TOPGO phone holder holder
Impressive design with cup holder clamps that ensure a comfortable fit regardless of compartment size. It’s convenient, featuring a one-button release system that allows you to attach and detach your phone at any time.
- ✓ Wireless charging for supported phones
- ✓ Several mounting options so you can choose the best one for your needs
- ✓ Fixed and adjustable
- ✗ Not support all phones
All of the options on this list are great for holding your phone in a certain spot or position, but you still need to plug it in to avoid draining the battery. However, the iOttie Wireless Car Charger combines a holder and a wireless charger for your Qi-compatible phone to give you the best of both worlds.
When it comes to phone charging, the iOttie Wireless Car Charger can deliver up to 10W of power for supported Android devices and 7.5W for iPhone. The mount itself is versatile and comes in several styles – dashboard mounts, windshield mounts, air vents or CD mounts – so you can take it no matter where you need to put the mount. Whatever you get, you can be sure it will be sturdy and easy to set up.
To keep your phone in place, iOttie has chosen a telescopic arm. The design includes adjustable attachments that securely grip your phone on both sides. But for added strength, the wireless charger also has a dual-pronged base that can be pulled down to accommodate taller devices.
However, despite this, the iOttie Wireless Car Charger cannot support all types of phones. If your phone is on the larger side, make sure the clamp will hold it before purchasing this mount!
The best car phone charger
iOttie wireless car charger
Up to 10W wireless charging for Android devices and 7.5W for iPhone on a robust design. It is available as a dashboard, windshield, vent or CD holder.
- ✓ Wireless charging support
- ✓ Simple and easy to use
- ✓ Adjustable for different orientations and viewing angles
- ✓ The MagSafe magnet works well with bare iPhones
- ✗ Large iPhones can fall off on bumpy rides
- ✗ The device may not even charge with MagSafe compatible cases
The ESR HaloLock Car Charger is the best car phone holder with MagSafe compatibility, allowing it to take advantage of the technology that debuted on Apple phones with the iPhone 12. It snaps onto the magnetic ring on your iPhone to hold it securely and ensure you don’t have to use those adhesive magnets that many other mounts depend on.
Designed for car air vents, the ESR HaloLock Car Charger is just as easy to clip into our air vent phone holder recommendation. It also holds most variants of the iPhone 12 or 13 firmly like a champ – although you may struggle with the large and heavy Pro Max models.
However, what HaloLock lacks in magnetic power, it makes up for in wireless charging support of up to 7.5W for the iPhone and a maximum of 15W. However, if your phone is covered by a case, you may suffer from charging issues, even if it’s MagSafe compatible. If you’re not worried about charging, this isn’t a problem, but it’s important to note if you want to charge on the go.
The best MagSafe car phone holder