It seems that there are almost as many different in-car phone holders available as there are cars on the road. This makes it difficult to decide which type might be the best. It is made even more difficult when you see a dozen or more identical holders, all with different brand names and all at different prices.
We can’t promise to know which will be the best for you, but here’s a quick run down of the different types that are available.
About as close to a “standard” in-car phone holder you can get is the type which simply grips your phone in a spring-loaded fashion. Modern examples usually provide both a suction cup and a vent-clip. So you have the choice of which method to use.
Simple, effective, and the basis for all in-car mounts since the invention of the mobile phone.
A new take on the classic mount is one which puts power within easy distance of your phone. More and more of us use our smartphones for GPS navigation. Yet, if you ever have, you’ll know the frightening rate at which GPS sucks the power from your battery. Charging your phone whilst you navigate is the obvious answer. However this usually means trailing cables across you, or your dashboard, which isn’t ideal.
The answer is a phone holder which plugs into the 12v/24v outlet in your car or truck. It which offers 2 USB sockets for easy charging whilst your phone is mounted. 6” UWSB patch cables are readily available for a couple of dollars and are ideal for this application.
Not all smartphones have metal cases these days, but that doesn’t stop magnetic phone mounts from being hugely useful. It usually consists of nothing more than a magnetic plate and either vent or suction cup mounting (or both). A magnetic phone mount is by far the neatest way to have your phone available in your car.
If you don’t have a phone with a metal case, it isn’t an issue. The holders come with a thin metal disc to stick onto the back case of the device, and which then will allow it to be mounted. The discs are very thin, so they don’t interfere with the operation of the phone in any way.
Dashboard Pads have become increasingly popular in recent years. Many people don’t like the idea of ring marks from suction cups on the windshield. Or, don’t like having vents blocked on hot days. So dashboard pads were invented.
Dash pads are mounted using the sticky silicone pad which are very common today. Such pads usually do a great job of sticking to even textured surfaces, making dash pads ideal for those cars lacking a smooth or completely flat surface on which to mount a suction cup. They grip the phone firmly, although are usually restricted to landscape mode only, and so are best suited to GPS use than everyday phone use.
The sticky pad does attract dust, which reduces its effectiveness, but can be rinsed under cold running water which restores it to full performance.
Most cars sold over the last few years have in-car bluetooth for usual phone use, so dash pads make an ideal accessory for those days when you need some help finding your way.