If you don’t have Android Auto or Apple CarPlay in your vehicle, you’ll use your smartphone to get directions and listen to music. A car phone holder can ensure that your device is in an easy-to-see place so that you can use it while driving.
What to look for in a car phone holder in 2022
While all car phone holders solve the problem of placing your phone in place for easy access while driving, they achieve this in different ways. Some use suction cups or adhesive tabs to attach to the dashboard or windshield. Others have clips that hook onto the air vents. Some are even designed to fit in cup holders.
Your choice will depend on several factors, such as how close you want your unit to be, your cabinet topography and material finish, and your state laws. This is because some states have laws that specify where you can plug in devices, especially when mounted on the windshield. Be sure to check local laws before choosing a car mount!
Aside from the surfaces they attach to, car mounts also vary in how they hold your phone. They can be magnetic, use spring arms, or even be MagSafe compatible for the iPhone 12 and 13.
Spring clips are the strongest and can support almost any phone, but they are relatively more difficult to use – we made sure to choose the easiest options though.
To use a magnetic mount, simply place your phone on it and remove it when you’re done. However, they require you to put a metal plate on the back of your phone or its case, which is not always pleasant 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 draw power from your vehicle’s DC port so you don’t have to plug in your phone every time you get into the car.
Most charging options are compatible with Android devices and iPhones, with a maximum output of 10W for the former and 7.5W for the latter. These charging speeds are a great catch for keeping your phone flowing while you’re on the go.
Finally, it is important to consider the maximum size of the phone that a stand can accommodate to prevent your phone from falling in the event of an impact. Smaller mounts with magnetic designs or MagSafe mounts tend to struggle with larger phones like the iPhone 13 Pro Max, while larger spring-loaded mounts usually do the trick. With a spring arm, check the maximum extension width to make sure it’s enough to hold your phone. And whatever you do, remember to consider the size and weight of your phone case if you use one.
With all that in mind, here are our favorite phone mounts for any size phone and any mounting location in your car interior.
Best Air Vent Car Phone Holder: Kenu Airframe Pro
The Kenu Airframe Pro is our choice for a bracket that you can use for your vents. It has a clip that attaches securely to the slats of the air valves with different orientations: horizontal, vertical or angled. You press the buttons on either side of the frame to open the clamps, then slide them over the air valve slot.
The clamps are metal but are coated with a rubberized material to ensure they grip the air vents without scratching them. However, some reports suggest that the rubber coating tends to wear off over time, exposing the metal part. However, this doesn’t seem to happen with all units, so as long as you check the fit every once in a while, the AirFrame Pro should be fine.
When it comes to holding your phone in place, it uses a spring-loaded extendable jaw that’s strong enough to hold even the largest devices on the market. You don’t have to worry about your phone sliding out of place! The ease of use of the Kenu Airframe Pro sets it apart from most other options in the same design, as you can attach your phone to the holder with just one hand.
The stand can be adjusted in two planes, a 360-degree rotation that allows you to place your phone in portrait or landscape mode, and a tilt of approximately 45 degrees to the back or to the sides.
Best in-dash car phone holder: Scosche MagicMount
If you want a car mount that sits on your dashboard, get the Scosche MagicMount. The small base uses an adhesive pad to attach to your dashboard. However, despite its size, the binding is strong enough to hold the holder firmly on smooth horizontal or vertical surfaces. Plus, its small footprint allows it to fit in many less convenient places, such as nooks, crannies or crevices, making it more versatile than a suction cup.
MagicMount uses a magnet to secure your phone, but you’ll need to stick a metal plate to the back of your device. But if you can get 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, regardless of whether you mount it on an inclined or vertical surface.
As versatile as the MagicMount is, the adhesive pad is unfortunately not ideal on textured surfaces. You also can’t move it to a new location on your dashboard without getting a new stamp. This last point is true for most adhesive products like the MagicMount, but it’s something to keep in mind if you need to remove the mount from its location.
Best Windshield Phone Mount: iOttie iTap 2 Magnetic Mount
If you’re looking for a car phone holder to put on your windshield, the iOttie iTap 2 Magnetic Mount fits the bill. As long as it doesn’t violate your state’s laws, you’ll quickly find that this model is the perfect combination of convenience, phone security, and flexibility. It attaches to your windshield using a strong suction base that is easy to install and won’t lose its grip over time.
iOttie’s iTap 2 Magnetic Holder can support many phone sizes and keep them firm and stable. It uses a ball joint that allows you to rotate your 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 do.
However, it’s important to note that the iTap 2 is magnetic, and you’ll need to mount a small metal plate to the back of your phone. Thanks to its small size, it shouldn’t bother you too much. If so, try placing it in a thin phone case.
Best car phone holder with cup holder: TOPGO cup holder phone holder
The TOPGO Cup Holder Phone Mount is our pick for the best cup holder car phone mount. Its impressive design uses a base with three clamps that can be adjusted to fit the width of any cup holder. Plus, the base is tall and provides enough traction to support the rest of the frame, even with your phone on it.
The product can support many smartphones thanks to its adjustable arms with a width of about three and a half inches. With a one-touch trigger system to control the arms that grip your phone, it’s easy to get your phone in and out of the holder when you need to, even with just one hand.
Once in place, your device can rotate 360 degrees thanks to the motorized gooseneck. The neck is long enough to hold your phone fairly high, so it’s easy to see even if your cup holder is placed low. However, if your cup holders are placed in an unusual location, the holder may be difficult to use, so please be reasonable to ensure that the holder works with your car’s layout before purchasing.
Best Car Phone Charger: iOttie Wireless Car Charger
All of the options on this list are great for keeping your phone in a certain spot or position, but you still need to plug it in to avoid draining your battery. However, the iOttie Wireless Car Charger combines a stand and a wireless charger for your Qi-enabled phone to give you the best of both worlds.
When it comes to charging your phone, the iOttie Wireless Car Charger can deliver up to 10W of power to compatible Android devices and 7.5W to iPhones. The mount itself is versatile and comes in several styles (dash mount, windshield mount, air vent mount or CD slot mount) so you can choose where you want it. Whatever you choose, you can be sure that it will be strong and easily adjustable.
To keep your phone in place, iOttie chose a telescopic arm. It has adjustable pendants that grip your phone securely on both sides. But for added stability, the wireless charger also has a two-legged base that can be lowered to accommodate larger devices.
Despite this, the iOttie wireless car charger cannot support all types of phones. If you have a larger phone, make sure the clamp can support it before you buy this holder!
Best MagSafe Car Phone Holder: ESR HaloLock Magnetic Wireless Car Charger
The ESR HaloLock car charger is the best car phone holder with MagSafe compatibility, so it can take advantage of technology that debuted for Apple phones with the iPhone 12. It locks onto the ring magnet of your iPhone to keep it secure, ensuring that you t have to use the stick-on magnets that many other mounts rely on.
The ESR HaloLock Car Charger is designed for car air vents and is just as easy to attach as our Air Vent Car Phone Holder recommendation. It also holds most iPhone 12 or 13 variants like a champ – although you may run into problems with the large and heavy Pro Max models.
But what HaloLock lacks in magnetic strength, it makes up for with support for wireless charging, up to 7.5W for iPhones and 15W maximum. However, if your phone is covered by a case, you may experience charging issues even if it is MagSafe compatible. If you’re not worried about charging, it’s no problem, but it’s worth noting if you want to charge on the go.