Car phone holders - Which one is the best?
People often use their phones as sat navs, but what's the best - and safest - way to secure them in the car? Our top six cradles will help you out
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Just about everyone has a mobile phone and many of us use that phone in the car as a sat nav device.
Indeed, navigation systems like Waze or Google Maps can be preferable to built-in systems, even in new cars. Yet there are very few cars that have a dedicated phone cradle to hold the screen in a usefully visible position.
The only legal solution to keep you hands-free when driving and to keep the phone securely in view (but not blocking your view), is a phone holder or cradle.
The trouble is, which mobile phone cradle is the one for you, given there are thousands available to choose from? It's a confusing maze to navigate through
So we’ve looked at what a great phone holder should be and produced a list of the six best we can find.
Our research shows the most important traits for a phone holder include:
Being the right size for your model of phone
Being sturdy so they don’t wobble and the phone doesn’t drop out
Not blocking the charge port on the phone.
Remember though, even if your phone is in a holder it’s illegal to interact with it while your car's moving.
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Beikell Adjustable Car Phone Holder
There are basically two ways of keeping a phone in a holder - either with magnets, one of which is stuck to the phone, or in this case with a mechanical grip.
There are also two main ways of attaching the cradle to your car - either clipped to a vent or suction cupped to a smooth surface such as a windscreen.
The Beikell adjustable holder is the best of the suction cup and mechanical grip devices we’ve found. Because you don’t have to fit magnets to your phone you can still use wireless payments and wireless charging. Also, you don’t spoil the sleek lines of your mobile device.
The Beikell holder is strong and sturdy and easily adjustable to make sure you can position you phone just where you want it. It works either way up too – stuck to the screen or stuck to the dashboard.
The mechanical grip is also designed to allow a charging cable to simply plug in too.
PNY Magnet Windshield Mount
For one of the simplest phone holders, look no further than the PNY mount.
It’s a suction cup and magnet device, so you’re not blocking your air-vents. Also, with the magnetic attachment it makes it much easier to have the phone in either portrait (vertical) or horizontal (landscape) alignment, depending on your preference.
The PNY windscreen mount is sturdy too, and the magnet is able to hold larger phones without issue.
WHYD Wireless Car Auto Clamping Mount
If you want it all, then the WHYD wireless mount is the one for you. It secures to almost all sorts of car vents using silicone-padded jaws, and has a ball-joint adjuster so you can set the direction of the screen.
It features a ‘drop-in’ style phone holder, where you just place the phone in and it is gripped automatically.
What sets it aside from the vast majority of other holders is that it also features wireless charging. So, if you’ve got a compatible mobile, then there’s no more plugging and unplugging to be done, just leave the cable attached to the holder.
Only one issue we can spot - it works best if you want your phone in portrait orientation.
Syncwire Magnetic Car Phone Holder
Possibly the simplest system available is the Syncwire magnetic phone holder.
Simply stick the supplied magnet to the back of your phone and you can attach it to the holder either in portrait or landscape orientation.
You get two holders for the price, so if you’ve got more than one car you can have one in each.
Just remember that magnets tend to stop wireless charging from working and also often stop wireless payment systems such as Apple Pay. But if this isn’t a worry for you, the magnets are slim enough for a phone case to still go over the top.
Bracketron Universal Nav-Mat GPS Sat Nav Mount
If you don’t want to use a suction-cup-style holder on your windscreen, but you also don’t like the idea of an air-vent mount then there is a cunning solution.
The Bracketron Universal Nav-Mat mount is a ring-shaped beanbag with a smooth inner liner and an ultra-grippy base that you can simply place on the top of your dashboard.
Because it’s a soft beanbag it'll sit happily on curved dashboards and the anti-slip underside works really well to stop any movement.It doesn’t need ‘sticking’ down and can be easily moved from car to car or hidden away in the glovebox when not in use.
However, the Bracketron Universal Nav-Mat isn’t really a stand-alone holder. You'll also need a suction cup cradle to fit within it - that’s why it’s sold as a sat nav holder because these devices always come with their own cradles.
That point aside, the Bracketron works really well with any suction holder, it’s just that you’ll have to buy both.
FLOVEME Magnetic Car Phone Holder N52
If you’re going to have your car for a while and want a more elegant solution, then the FLOVEME magnetic holder could be just the thing. Rather than blocking a vent or some of the screen, this device is stuck onto your dashboard with an adhesive pad.
What’s more, the pad is cleverly designed to fit curved and flat surfaces. The FLOVEME holder is also compact and elegant plus adjustable so you can position your phone wherever you think is best.