If you want to use the phone while driving, you have to attach it to a car mount. It’s as simple as that. Holding a phone while driving is illegal and highly dangerous, even if you are just checking your email and looking at the map. Car mounts solve several issues. For starters, you’ll always know where you placed your phone. It won’t slide or fall when cornering, always remaining in the same position you left it. If you’re using it as a GPS device, you can’t be holding it in your hands. That would be extremely impractical. Again, the car mount solves that issue as well. When purchasing a car mount there are several things you have to consider and take into account.
Car mounts come in various shapes and sizes, most often indicating the type of phone/tablet they can accommodate. For starters, you have to know the exact make and model of your phone or tablet. With this information, you can then narrow down your choice to several products which match your needs and requirements. As always, if you’re not completely sure about dimensions, you can measure the phone and get in touch with the seller to make sure it will fit in the mount.
Car mounts can be attached to the dashboard, window, the front A-pillar, etc. It’s not just a matter of personal preference, but a matter of space. If you have a low windshield, you might not want to mount it to the glass as it will take up a lot of your visibility. Likewise, if the dashboard is sloped at an extreme angle or if it just makes for awkward mounting, you should probably avoid mounts designed to attach to it.
The Actual Mount
Last but by no means least, you want to make sure the mount grips the phone/tablet tightly at all times. Depending on the make and the model, you’ll find there are over a dozen ways mounts can grip the phone, with some working better than others.
Top 5 Best Car Mounts
|Car mount||Holding mechanism||Special features|
|iOttie Easy One Touch 2 Car Mount||Standard mount||Telescopic arm|
|WizGear Universal Magnetic Car Mount||Magnet mount||Attached to air vents|
|BE Universal Car Mount||Standard mount||Attached to air vents|
|Zilu Car Phone Mount||Standard mount||Telescopic arm|
|Vansky Universal Gooseneck Car Mount||Gooseneck mount||Includes charging functionality|
iOttie Easy One Touch 2 Car Mount
Although it comes in several different variations, we recommend the HLCRIO121 model. Specifically designed to accommodate the most popular phones at the moment, it’ll fit anything from the iPhone 5c to the iPhone 7s, as well as the entire Samsung Galaxy Range (S8 Edge, S7, and S6). Why this particular example? Because it’s the only one in the entire iOttie family featuring a telescopic arm which adds another 2 inches for closer device viewing.
It also looks a lot more modern and futuristic. Car mounts were built for function, not form, but the iOttie boasts a really slick and elegant design. Not everyone wants to put their brand new iPhone on an ugly mount. The iOttie Sticky Gel Dashboard Pad adds more flexibility as well as a smoother surface on textured and curved surfaces. It feels like a quality item, built to last a long time. The fit and finish is superb and the matte paint makes it blend in with the rest of the interior.
iOttie Easy One Touch 2 Key Specs
- Tilt-feature: Yes
- Installation: Easy
The iOttie’s suction cup means it’s easily attached to both the dash and the windshield. The telescopic fork means you can twist and turn it in practically any direction, and the end of the fork itself spreads open by as much as 3.2 inches to accommodate the iPhone 6 Plus (3.09 inches). It’s really hard to fault it. In fact, we weren’t able to find a single thing to complain about. For that, it takes the number one spot as the best car mount currently on sale.
WizGear Universal Air Vent Magnetic Car Mount
Now here’s something different and innovative. Looking at it, you’ll be forgiven for mistaking the WizGear for a button or an air freshener. Unlike most car mounts which are big and bulky, the WizGear proposition is about as small as a car mount can get. At its very core, it’s a magnet with some clips at the back, but that would be far too crude of an explanation for this amazing car mount. Let’s start with the magnet.
It doesn’t rely on plastic holders or any sort of suction cups to hold the phone in place. The magnet inside means you simply “throw” the phone on and it sticks. It’s clean and efficient. The four clips at the back attach to the HVAC vents and hold both the mount and the phone in place. It’ll fit ANY phone currently for sale, because it doesn’t rely on measures or dimensions. The magnet can and will hold whatever phone you throw at it, so long as you attach the metal part directly to the mount.
WizGear Universal Air Key Specs
- Tilt-feature: Yes, also fully rotatable
- Installation: Easy (can’t be mounted on dash or on window)
Although you can practically twist and turn the phone in any way because there’s nothing restricting it, the mount has to be attached to the air vents. It won’t work on the dashboard or the windscreen as there’s nothing to attach it with. If you’re after a small car mount which will be completely inconspicuous, the WizGear is the best car mount for you.
BE Universal Smartphones Car Air Vent
The BE Universal car mount is a product you never really talk about. It simply always works. Of course, it doesn’t blow you away either. Take its design for starters. It’s nowhere near as innovative as the WizGear and it isn’t as sleek or as elegant as the iOttie, but it gets the job done. It feels and looks bulkier than comparable products, but the quality behind it is second to none. If it looks sturdy, it’s because it is. The plastics are well put together and with a 360-degree rotation fork you can position the phone for the best viewing angle.
It comes with a quick-release button making putting and taking the phone out a walk in the park. It’s a single-handed operation. You get to keep one hand on the steering wheel at all times. It’s been designed, tested and approved for a wide variety of smartphones, from the latest iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S6, to older iPhone 5c and 5s, and even most HTC, LG, Nexus and Nokia units. If the smartphone/table falls within the 1.9-3.7 inch width range, the BE car mount can accommodate it.
BE Universal Key Specs
- Tilt-feature: Yes
- Installation: Easy (can’t be mounted on dashboard or window)
Just like the smaller WizGear, the BE mount can only be attached to the vents. However, if you have round vents with little to no horizontal slats, look elsewhere for a car mount. The 1 year warranty gives you peace of mind, but we’re almost certain the unit will far outlive that several times over.
Zilu Car Phone Mount
Zilu offers a variety of car mount models, but this has got to be their most popular one. The design is nice and the size is compact, but Zilu have taken a different approach to car mounts. The phone is supported from the sides only, by two large clips. Though you have doubts about trusting the Zilu with your phone at first, we can assure you, the clips are strong enough to support virtually any phone. Devices not slimmer than 1.97 inches and not wider than 3.94 inches will be able to fit snugly in the Zilu car mount.
Installation is relatively easy and straightforward, but attaching the phone can be a two-handed job at times. It isn’t as easy as on the iOttie, but once it’s clipped in, it remains there. The other slight drawback is that the phone is physically further away from you. The compact design means there’s no extended telescopic fork extending it forward, so you gain a couple of inches in terms of viewing distance. Not a big deal, but worth putting it out there.
Zilu Car Phone Mount Key Specs
- Tilt-feature: yes
- Installation: Easy, but more challenging to clip the phone in place
The great thing is that you can mount it to practically any surface where the suction cup can get a good grip. The back of the mount is padded to protect your phone from scratches. Do note that some phones will not be able to fit with the phone covers in place, due to size or shape, so you might have to remove them as necessary.
Vansky Universal Gooseneck Car Mount Charger
If you want the ultimate all-in-one car mount which can also charge your phone the Vansky solution is your only and best choice. We’re not going to call it elegant, because it’s not, by any stretch of the imagination, but it is interesting. The design boasts a gooseneck arm, which is useful since you need to plug it into the cigarette lighter. The phone is held in place with a unique three-point clamp, where two clips attach to either side of the lower half. It feels secure enough, but the thin gooseneck may not give you much confidence in the mount.
Rest assured, it will hold. You may not be able to mount it to the dash or the windscreen, but you get dual USB charging outlets. If that’s something you’re after, then this is the best car mount for you. It’s got advanced tech to protect it from short circuiting and overstepping the current and voltage maximum. It’s soft to the touch and the gooseneck spins 360 degrees in all directions.
Vansky Universal Key Specs
- Tilt-feature: Yes, also fully rotatable
- Installation: Easy but it can only be plugged into the car cigarette lighter (no dashboard or windshield option)
Without a doubt, the iOttie is the single best car mount you can currently buy. It’s good looking, extremely practical and amazing value for money. The WizGear comes in at a close second, nearly tying the iOttie for the lead. The magnet works great, but if you like to use a thick mask or store stuff underneath the phone may not be able to properly attach to the car mount. That, coupled with the fact that you can only attach it to the car vents, was the deciding factor in giving the iOttie the win.
The BE car mount isn’t a great looker, but it’s as if not more functional than the first two car mounts. Why is it third? Because, again, you can only attach it to the air vents. More to the point, it requires vents with horizontal slats, so round vents are a big no-no. The Zilu is a great product but it falls short when it comes to viewing distance and clipping points. The two-point clipping setup is just not as reliable as most of its rivals’ offerings.
Lastly, we had the Vansky. Granted, you have to plug it in to the cigarette lighter to use it and the gooseneck feels a little ‘loose’, but if you want a charger/car mount combo, it’s the only choice. That said, it’s still a quality item, but not as good as the four car mounts before it.
If you’re looking for a phone mount for your motorcycle as well, check out our best motorcycle phone mounts guide. Motorcycle phone mounts are sturdier and have a different attachment method than car mounts.