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How to choose the right cell-phone mount
May 17 , 2022

Consumer reports evaluated 15 phone mounts, including models that attach to vents or windshields, to find the best one, no matter the vehicle.

Automotive experts used each mount in their daily drives for several weeks and recorded their impressions for this report.

How each type fits into your vehicle and phone is a real buying consideration, but even with personal considerations in mind, the staff narrowed the group down to a few favorite models, all with suction cup mounts.

Being able to charge your phone through the dock is a welcome convenience, and having a well-placed mount can help balance functionality and distraction.

Types of Phone Holders

While six different styles of mounts were evaluated, three types were the predominant types on the market: windshield mounts, suction cup dash mounts, and vent mounts. Other mounts—cup holders, 12-volt sockets, and permanently attached to the dash—are less common.

The three main styles use two different methods to protect the phone. The first is to stick a small piece of metal on the back of the phone so the phone can be held in place by magnets on the stand. The second method uses clips to secure the phone from the sides, top and bottom, or both.

we discover

Each style has its advantages and disadvantages, although some are easier to use than others. Below are the mounts we tested and our top picks.


Suction Cup Windshield Mount

MPow suction-cup windshield car phone mount

What we bought: MPow 033, Vansky 3-in-1 Cell Phone Holder, Auto Style Wireless Charging Cell Mount, iOttie Easy Touch Qi Mount, Vanmass Cell Phone Mount

Findings:

●Universally easy to secure, with plenty of adjustments.

●Positions the phone close to the driver, making it easy to see and reach the screen.

●Can block the view out of the windshield.

●Vibration from the vehicle can make it difficult to read the phone.

●Qi charging is a plus.

Staff pick: MPow 033


Suction Cup Dash Mount

MPow suction-cup dash car phone mount

What we bought: MPow C108/096, Vansky 3-in-1 Cell Phone Holder, iOttie Easy Touch Qi Mount, Vanmass Cell Phone Mount
Findings:
●These are easy to secure on most surfaces.
●In most cases, they can be positioned close to the driver, so it’s easy to see and reach the screen.
●However, these mounts are often bulky, and in some vehicles it can be hard to find a good location for it.
●They can block the view out of the windshield, depending on the mount and where it’s placed
Staff pick: MPow C108/096

Vent Mount

Beam Electronics car phone mount

What we bought: MPow Vent Mount, Kenu Airframe+, Wiz Gear Vent Mount Magnet, Beam Electronics Cell Mount, Auto Style Wireless Charging Cell Mount, Vansky 3-in-1 Cell Phone Holder, Vanmass Cell Phone Mount

Findings:

●These types are all easy to secure.

●Their location on the air vents makes them very convenient for the driver to read and reach.

●Some drivers found them annoying to use because they can block the airflow from the vent they are secured to.

●These don’t work well with vents that are tall and narrow (vertically oriented) or oddly shaped.

●Some also have a power cord that connects to the 12V outlet, which allows Qi charging on phones that allow it.

Staff picks: MPow Vent Mount, Beam Electronics Cell Mount


Cup Holder Mount

WeatherTech car phone mount

What we bought: WeatherTech Cupfone 

Findings:

●These are very secure, because the mount is deep and fits directly into the cup holder.

●All are convenient to reach because cup holders are all located close to the driver.

●If the cup holders are in a good location, these can be easy to install and use.

●These mounts take the driver’s eyes away from the road and cause distractions.

●But cup holders that sit under the center console or are awkwardly located may pose a challenge.

●Phones mounted this way are often difficult to read because they are mounted low, below the dash.


12-Volt Power Outlet Mount
Informa 12V car phone mount
What we bought: Informa Qi Cell Mount
Findings:

●These put the phone in close proximity to the driver when the 12V outlet is on the center console or dashboard.

●They are easy to mount, reach, and read if the location is easily accessible.

●This style of mount often forces the driver to take his or her eyes off the road to use the phone.

●The 12V outlet does not secure these types of mounts very well.

●Vibration from vehicle can make it difficult to read the screen.


Permanent Dash Mount

Woocon clamshell car phone mount

What we bought: MPow C108/096, Bestrix Universal Dash Mount Holder, Woocon Silicone Car Holder

Findings:

●The main benefit to this type is that the mount is very secure.

●They are easy to mount but require a flat dashboard; many newer cars have curved dashboards.

●These mounts often require a far reach for the driver to use the phone and make the screen difficult to read.

●Some mounted horizontally, which not every user liked.

●This type often blocked vision out the windshield.

●These are secured with a sticky, gummy material, which can leave a residue when the mount is removed.

●Some also have a power cord that connects to the 12V outlet, which allows Qi charging on phones that allow it.

Staff pick: Woocon Silicone Car Holder
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