We all have heard about the dangers of driving while trying to hold and look at a smartphone screen. In fact, most states have outlawed the practice.
But because many of us use our phones to provide directions while we're in the car, it's nice to have the screen map visible. That's where a car phone mount enters the picture.
The mount holds the phone in place with magnets attached to the phone and the base. When using the mount, you can keep both hands on the steering wheel. The mount places the smartphone screen nearby, so you can glance at the screen map while continuing to drive safely.
Considerations when choosing car phone mounts
When comparing different car phone mounts, pay special attention to these aspects of this product.
Compatibility: The mount must be able to accommodate the size of your phone or tablet. Read the mount's list of compatible devices carefully. Some mounts have adjustable arms to fit multiple sizes of mobile devices.
Magnet quality: The magnet in the car phone mount must be powerful enough to support the weight of the phone. However, you don't want it to be so tight that you can't quickly grab the phone as you're exiting the vehicle.
Power and audio: Certain mounts have the ability to charge the phone while it's connected to the mount. These units will contain a cable that plugs into the 12V socket in the vehicle. Others will have a port for an audio cable, allowing you to connect the mounted phone to the vehicle's stereo system to play music.
Swivel: Having a car phone mount that swivels and tilts is extremely beneficial. You can use this feature to adjust the position of the screen, making it easier to see at a glance.
Visibility: Think about how the positioning of a car phone mount will affect your ability to see the road. Some mounts will hold the screen well outside of your field of vision, while others will mount closer to the windshield.
Car phone mounts do have a large price range - you can find options for all budgets, depending on the mount's features.
Models that just consist of a simple mount that fits on the dashboard will cost roughly $5 to $15. These mounts will not have any extra features, such as adjustable sized arms or a tilt feature to change the angle of the phone screen.
Mid-range car phone mounts will cost between $15 and $30. These units may mount to the car's air system vents, a CD slot, or a cigarette lighter. Some will even have a swivel-tilt arm to adjust the angle of the screen.
The most expensive mounts will cost between $30 and $70. These mounts nearly always will have a swivel-tilt feature. They'll also be versatile and strong enough to hold all different sizes of smartphones and tablets.
Q. What limitations or laws exist concerning smartphone mounts?
A. Any laws against the use of car phone mounts depend on where you live. Some states allow full use of all mounts. Others ban them completely. And some states may limit exactly where you can use the mount in the vehicle, seeking to keep the phone from blocking the view of the driver.
Q. Aren't magnets dangerous to use around computers and smartphones?
A. It is true that a strong magnet could erase data from certain types of computer hard drives. However, inside a smartphone, the flash memory storage method isn't susceptible to magnets. So the magnet in the car phone mount won't harm your smartphone.
Car phone mounts we recommend
Best of the best: Koomus Universal CD Slot Magnetic Mount
Our take: This magnetic mount is one of the stronger ones on the market, holding the smartphone tightly in place.
What we like: You can swivel the mount, allowing for a precise placement and viewing of the screen. Perfect for states where dashboard mounts are illegal.
What we dislike: It may not fit all CD slots and car stereo models.
Best bang for your buck: WizGear Universal Magnetic Car Mount
Our take: Versatile car mount, as it can be hung on any air vent along the front part of the vehicle.
What we like: Uses a very strong magnet, so the phone will stay in place. Perfect option when you can't mount your smartphone on the dashboard.
What we dislike: The magnet may not adhere perfectly to phones with curved backs.
Our take: For those who live in an area where it's legal to mount the phone to the dashboard, this is one of the most reliable products.
What we like: Smaller than many magnetic car mounts, which is handy. The magnet will fit the majority of smartphone models tightly, making it a reliable product.
What we dislike: If your dashboard is dark colored, it may heat up in the sun, causing the mount to pull loose.
Kyle Schurman is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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