Our Top Pick for 2018: iOttie Easy One Touch Car Mount Holder
Read our full review.
Cell phones have become an indispensable tool as we rely on them to get directions, keep our calendar, contacts, and look up information quickly. A car mount has become a necessity especially if you are going to be using the GPS function on your phone. Important features to consider are how the mount attaches to your vehicle, portability, the mechanism by which the mount holds your phone, and how well it protects your phone while in the mount.
#1. iOttie Easy One Touch Car Mount Holder
The iOttie Easy One Touch 2 Car Mount Holder comes in as the top choice for a car phone mount. The well thought out design coupled with consistent performance and exceptional customer service set it apart from the rest. Included features:
- Easy one touch mounting system
- Sticky gel pad holds securely to most surfaces
- Telescopic arm adds 2 inches to allow for closer device viewing
- iOttie Sticky Gel Dashboard Pad which allows more flexibility in attaching to either textured or curved surfaces
- Adjustable bottom foot
- Opens to 3.2 inches in width
- 1 year product replacement warranty
- Dimensions 4.3 x 5.5 x 2.7 inches
The iOttie stands out for a variety of reasons. A problem frequently encountered with phone mounts is the difficulty of getting the phone attached while driving. The iOttie has addressed this problem successfully by incorporating a one touch mounting system that locks and releases with one finger. The system works using a self-tightening mechanism that holds the phone in place once you press the phone into the mount. To remove the phone, two side buttons are squeezed for easy release.
Phone mounts often have a difficult time getting strong enough suction, especially on a textured surface such as that found on the console of many vehicles. The iOttie tackles this problem with a super sticky gel pad that attaches to both smooth, such as a window, and textured surfaces, such as those found on the console. Users found that the mount stayed in place on bumpy roads and other hazardous conditions. The sticky gel pad can be removed and used again if warm water is applied and allowed to dry.
However, this same super sticky pad did, on occasion, cause damage to consoles, such as leaving a ring or tearing the console material. iOttie now includes a Sticky Gel Dashboard Pad that can be used on consoles to prevent any damage to the material. This pad not only works to protect the console, it also helps the mount stick to curved surfaces. The pad is used in conjunction with a two-step locking feature. The first lock is meant for smooth surfaces and the second lock works on surfaces that have texture or are curved.
There is an adjustable bottom foot that accommodates various sizes of car chargers. This eliminates the need to decide the location of your mount based on if the charger can be plugged into the phone. The mount also has an adjustable telescopic arm brings the cell phone closer for better viewing. If you have a difficult time seeing or if you have drivers of different heights, the telescopic arm will be a valuable feature to you.
The iOttie offers good compatibility, adjusting from 2.3 in. to 3.2 in width, which is large enough to hold an iPhone 6 Plus. The arms adjust easily and have a snug fit that will not drop the phone when you go over rough roads.
The iOttie offers many convenient adjustment features but the inclusion of those features comes with a few drawbacks. It is big and bulky compared to other phone mounts. Some users found it distracting to have on the console and obstructed viewing for others. Much of this will depend on the type of vehicle the mount is in and the preferences of the driver. As stated previously, some users had damage to their consoles from the sticky get, but carefully reading and understanding the owner’s manual should prevent any damage to consoles.
This mount comes with 1 year of warranty that covers any product damaged in shipping, manufacturer defects, or damage incurred during normal use.
*For iPhone 6s Plus, 6s, 5s, 5c, Samsung Galaxy S7, Edge, S6, S5, Note 5 and 4
#2. TechMatte MagGrip Air Vent Phone Holder
The TechMatte MagGrip Air Vent Magnetic Universal Car Mount Holder offers a different design and technology but still performs well. Features include:
- Compatibility with most devices including iPhone 6, 6S, Galaxy S6, S6 Edge
- Compact and economical design
- Simple installation
- Mounts to any vehicle’s air vent and promotes optimal/full view of your device
- Cradle-less device holding system
The MagGrip slides onto the air vent rather than the console of most vehicles using a magnetic plate to hold the phone. A magnetic strip, which comes in both a rectangular or round version, sits between the phone and the phone case, or can be attached directly to the phone. The phone is then held in place magnetically to the mount. The two magnetic strips included with the mount allowed users to attach the second to either another cell phone or other device such as an ipod or ipad. The magnetic attaching feature allows you to place your phone in the mount with one hand, making it easy to attach your phone while driving.
To accommodate different vent designs it comes with two different clamp sizes. Placing the mount on the vent offers greater viewing ability because there are no arms or cradle to block the phone screen. With the phone mount on the vent, the driver maintains a full field of vision. It should be noted that some circular and vertical vents may not accommodate this mount at all.
Because the MagGrip does not have an arm or cradle it is much smaller than many other phone mounts. If you are looking for something minimal that will not clutter up your console this phone mount is the right choice.
The small size and price of this mount made it a popular choice with users that moved the mount from vehicle to vehicle frequently. The mount works well for those who travel frequently and may use rental cars often. This small mount can fit in your pocket for easy travel and attaches quickly to most car vents. It also comes in three different colors; price can vary depending on color.
While this mount is small, sleek, and portable it does have a few issues. The magnetic grip can interfere with Qi-enabled phones ability to wirelessly charge. TechMatte suggests using the circular magnetic plate to help with this problem. Because the mount attaches to a vent, you will lose the use of that vent. If the vent cannot be closed, you must be careful of hot or cold air blowing directly onto your phone. A thick phone case can also interfere with the magnetic attachment feature.
The MagGrip comes with a 30 day money back guarantee and a 12 month replacement warranty.
#3. Easy-Tech Mobile Car Mount
The 2-in-1 Mobile Phone Car Mount by Easy-Tech offers another good option that gives you the choice of mounting onto the windshield or to a vent. Features include:
- Mount to windshield or console vent
- Quick installation
- Padded arms
- Adjustable grip fits devices from 1.5 in. to 4.3 in. width
- 360 degree swivel head
- No slip suction cup
- Instructional video available online
- 2 Year 100% money back manufacturer warranty
This phone mount offers two choices for mounting in your vehicle. Once purchased you choose the configuration you would like, either windshield or vent mounting, and then assemble. If there is a problem with assembly, Easy-Tech offers an online instructional video to help.
There is one handed phone insertion by resting the phone on the two bottom prongs of the cradle while closing the side prongs. A button the back of the cradle quickly releases both arms allowing easy removal of the phone.
The 2-in-1 uses a strong suction cup to attach to the windshield and a three point mounting system to attach to an air vent. Both attachment choices provide a sturdy hold for a cell phone or GPS. The suction cup is attached by pressing down on an attachment lever once you have put the mount in the desired location. This mount relies solely on suction when attached to the console so it does not cause any damage to console material. Users found that even on bumpy roads the mount stayed in place.
The three prong vent attachment has two prongs on the bottom that prevent the vents or phone from sagging. Attaching to a vent prevents any obstruction of the driver’s view while also keeping the console uncluttered. It can also be useful if you plan on having a passenger in the car that may need to use the phone.
The cradle has two foam covered arms, leaving both the top and bottom of the phone open for any charging devices. The arm width is wide enough to accommodate a number of different devices even if they are in a large case. These arms are made with a slight bend to them to allow them to snugly fit around a phone. The cradle is also attached to a round swivel plate that can rotate 360 degrees allowing the user to adjust for optimal viewing of the phone.
The 2-in-1 does require some assembly but Easy Tech offers an instructional video online for assembly instructions if the manual does not suffice. Some users did have a problem with the suction cup coming off the windshield but only under extreme conditions. The same user tested the vent attachment under the same conditions and the mount did not come off.
Easy Tech also provides a 2 year 100% money back manufacturer warranty should the mount break for any reason. Users reported not having any problems with using the warranty.
#4. TaoTronics Smartphone Car Mount
The TaoTronics Car Windshield/Dashboard Universal Smart Phone Mound Holder (Tao) is a solid budget pick. Features include:
- Suction cup attachment with sticky gel adhere
- Attaches to windshield or console
- Padded back to protect phone from scratches
- Adjustment lever
- Full 360-degree rotation
- Easily adjustable grip and simple release button
The Tao uses a suction cup with sticky gel to attach to a windshield or the console of a vehicle. It can adhere to smooth, textured, and curved surfaces. It can also be removed and reattached if the suction cup is rinsed and allowed to air dry. The suction cup is lever activated for easy one-handed attachment and removal.
Users reported that the suction cup worked well for several months before the mount began to fall off and needed to be reattached. While the suction cup can be washed and reattached many users had a problem with this after a time. The mount may succumb to prolonged attachment in high temperatures as many that experienced the mount falling off lived in warm climates.
Many users that removed and moved the mount from vehicle to vehicle did not have problems with the suction cup reattaching. They reported moving the mount on a daily basis, attaching it to side windows, desktops, and other surfaces throughout the day without any issues.
The cradle arms are somewhat flexible which allows for a snug fit of the phone while leaving easy one handed removal by using the release button. The arms can be adjusted to fit different sized phones. The cradle rotates a full 360 degrees giving good viewing adjustment. To allow for charging or headphones there is flap that can be released to allow access to the bottom of the phone.
The Tao comes with a 12 month warranty as long as it is purchased from an authorized dealer. While the Tao is a little bulky and the suction cup has been known to fall after a time, it does provides an inexpensive option for those who want a mount that can be removed and used in alternate locations easily.
The number one feature for the car phone mount is the attachment feature. A common problem that many mounts have is falling off the windshield, console, or vent. Some mounts may work for a time before their attachment device wears out and others may be more durable.
Decide where you want to put your mount. Vent attachments are nice for those who want to keep their console uncluttered and viewing clear. However, some car vents are not compatible with vent attachment so keep this in mind if you are considering a vent mounted holder.
For those who travel and use rental cars frequently, a cell phone mount is an essential tool. Look for mounts with one-handed attachment and release features.
Consider the size of the mount. A large bulky mount may not be easy to carry with you while traveling. If you plan to use the mount for business trips, something small and portable that can be attached and removed easily will work best. A larger sturdy mount may be what you need if you will be leaving your phone mount in your vehicle permanently.
A car phone mount with 360 degree viewing adjustment works well for most people. That extra movement makes it easy to get the right viewing angle for drivers of varying heights and sizes.
Some mounts come with a telescoping arm that can aid viewing even further. If you are frequently using a GPS feature on your phone or need to be able to touch the screen while driving this will be an important option to consider. A telescoping arm can bring the phone up to two inches closer making viewing easier and reaching out to touch the phone simpler.
Simple Attach and Release
It would be ideal if you remembered to put your phone in the car phone mount before you started driving your vehicle. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. You get in a hurry, or you aren’t planning on using your phone but someone calls and you don’t want to miss the call and you end up putting the phone in the mount while driving.
Simple attach and release from the phone mount is an important feature to consider. Look for a mount with one-hand attach and release of the cell phone using arms on either side that adjust at the same time. Many mounts have arms that can be closed onto the phone and a one press button for release. Having a mount with these features will save you the headache of fumbling with your phone while driving.
Many cell phones today are a major investment. You want to protect that investment and the last thing you want to see is your cell phone tumbling around your vehicle because the arms did not securely hold the phone. You also don’t want the mount to scratch or damage your phone in anyway. Even the back portion of the cradle can potentially scratch your phone.
Look for a phone mount with padded arms and be sure any other part of the mount that will touch or hold your phone has some kind of padding or protection to prevent damage. Arms should securely hold the phone so that the phone does not fall our or slip when going over rough roads or terrain.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
Be sure to check that the mount will work in your vehicle. Vent size and design as well as console shape can all have an effect on the stability of your phone mount. Before buying, look to see what size phone the mount will hold and be sure the mount you are considering will hold your phone.
A good phone mount can become an invaluable tool when using your phone in the car. It is important to decide what features are going to be important to you. Do you want a semi-permanent mount or one that can be moved from vehicle to vehicle? There are good options at reasonable prices that will provide the protection, reliability, and stability that you need in a car phone mount.