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9 Different Types of Phone Holders for Cars

Driver in the car uses smartphone mounted in a car holder.

We’ve all put our phones in the cup holder or the center console beneath the e-brake. It’s not ideal, because all you have to do is slam on the brakes.

The phone goes flying, the coffee in the cup holder spills, and you might or might not have just been in an accident. 

I drove a car back in the stone age or before phone holders for cars were common. I drove a car before Google Maps. Check this out: I kept a map in my car and looked up my pizza deliveries by coordinates.

I know; weird, right? I would have benefited from one of the types of phone holders listed below.

What Is A Phone Holder For Cars?

TOPGO Cup Holder Phone Holder, [Upgraded Adjustable Gooseneck & Firmly Stable] Cup Holder Phone Mount for Car, Cell Phone Automobile Cradles for iPhone 13, Samsung and More Smartphone(Black)

Also called a mobile holder or a cell phone caddy, a phone holder is basically a piece of plastic or hard rubber. It attaches to the dash, the windshield, or one of the air vents.

It consists of the attachment piece, the arm from which a form is suspended, and the form that holds the phone securely in place.

Snap the phone into the form, turn on Goggle Maps, and you’re off to the races. It helps that most states now have a law that cell phones can’t be held in the hand while driving.

Lots of people use Bluetooth, but if you deliver something, then you’ll need help.

Who Uses Phone Holders?

Delivery man holding a smartphone and receiving papers beside a delivery car with boxes.

Well, you know that I delivered pizza, so that’s one type of driver that could use phone holders. Here are a few others:

    • Uber driver

    • Lyft driver

    • Doordash delivery

    • Uber Eats delivery

    • Restaurant (not on Doordash) food delivery

    • Florists

    • Pharmaceuticals delivery

    • Package delivery

    • Couriers

    • Newspaper delivery

What You Should Look For In A Car Phone Holder

Today’s technology offers us information, entertainment, and conversation on our phones via connectivity technology.

Screens on the dash play music, answer the phone, offer maps, and give us a bird’s-eye view of the car backing up and what’s behind it. With tech like that, who needs a phone?

We do. Okay, so those cars might be able to charge the phone, talk to someone hands-free, or pull up phone apps like talk to text.

Drivers with older cars without these cool screens on the dash need their phones to give them relatively the same tech. So, the first thing to look for in a car phone holder is just to get one.

Next, your selected phone holder should securely hold the phone. It’s a little difficult to follow the little arrow on the map app when the phone falls out of the holder onto the floor.

The holder should be adjustable so you can keep one eye on the phone and the other on the road.

The third and final consideration about phone holders for cars is where you’re going to put them. Its placement should not block the driver’s view of traffic if you choose a windshield-mounted or a dash-mounted holder.

Vent-mounted holders offer the driver the best location, with the caveat that the driver doesn’t dip his whole head to look at the phone. He’d take his attention off the road for that split-second, and that’s not good.

Important Considerations of Phone Holders

Numerous phone holders use magnets, MagSafe, automatic, or spring-loaded clamps that keep your phone in its proper place.

Some require a metal plate to be attached to the phone, while others slide between the phone and the case. MagSafe holders use a sensor that works when the phone is in range. They automatically adjust to hold your phone.

1. Size Is Important

When considering a phone mount, remember to size it to your phone. The form needs to adjust to the width of your phone. How heavy your phone (and its case) is important, too, lest the holder not be capable of gripping your phone tightly enough.

2. Charging Wirelessly

It’s a bother plugging in your phone the instant you get in the car. However, there are holders that charge wirelessly, and they work with both iPhone and Android.

Types Of Phone Holders For Cars

So, now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, as Pink sang in a really great song. As we mentioned, there are three main types of phone holders with several different types of each. 

Car Phone Mount Windshield, Long Arm Clamp iVoler Universal Windshield with Double Clip Strong Suction Cup Cell Phone Holder Compatible iPhone 12 11 Pro XS Max X 7 8 6 Plus Galaxy S9 S8 S7 Note 9 10

1. Windshield Mount Holders

There are two ways to attach a windshield phone holder: suction cup the thing to the glass or attach it to the rearview mirror.

a. Cellet Rearview Mirror-Mounted Phone Holder

Cellet Vehicle Rear View Mirror Phone Holder Mount Universal Smartphone Cradle Compatible to iPhone 13 12 Pro Max mini 11 XR XS X 8 Note 20 10 9 Galaxy S21 S20 S10 Google Map GPS Navigation Pixel Moto

Two grip arms securely attach the phone holder to the rearview mirror with a locking mechanism that locks the phone securely in place.

Adjustable phone grips expand to fit your phone. The holder is made of soft rubber, so it won’t damage the phone or mirror. 

Pros And Cons

The pros are that the holder doesn’t distract the driver, is adjustable to almost every kind of mirror, and is adjustable to almost every kind of phone, including the larger and wider ones commonly used today.

The cons are a little more serious. Reviews suggest that the holder blocks the OnStar and other important buttons on the mirror, pieces of the holder broke off, as well as being difficult to get around the mirror. 

b. Frienda Rearview Mirror-Mounted Phone Holder

360° Rearview Mirror Phone Holder, Universal Car Phone Holder Mount Car Rearview Mirror Mount Phone and GPS Holder, Car Phone Mount Clip Suitable for Most 4-6.1 Inch Mobile Phones (Black)

A retractable rod descends from behind the rearview mirror, where it’s mounted and screwed tightly into place. When you’re not using the phone holder, just give it a push, and it retracts out of sight.

The holder is adjustable, so you can turn your phone to the best position for optimal visual contact. You can also bring the phone down four inches for smaller phones or three and one-half inches for larger phones.

Pros And Cons

Sturdy and easily installed, the pros outweigh the cons of this handy little gadget.

The cons are only that the device won’t support heavier phones like a Samsung, and also that it won’t fit the mirror rod of newer cars.

2. Suction Cup Phone Holders

a. 1Zero Gooseneck Arm Suction Cup Phone Holder

Solid Car Truck Phone Mount Holder with 14-Inch Gooseneck Long Arm, 1Zero Windshield Window Mobile Holders w/ Industrial-Strength Suction Cup, Anti-Shake Stabilizer Compatible All Cell Phones iPhone

A gooseneck can be bent, twisted, tilted, or otherwise moved to place your phone exactly where it’s best located for optimal visual contact.

The holder can be operated with one hand, and it uses an industrial-strength suction cup, perfect for heavier phones.

Pros And Cons

As if all this wasn’t enough features in a phone holder, the pros include the strongest suction. Add to this the versatility of placement as well as the folding of the gooseneck, and you have a great little holder.

The cons aren’t many, but they include not holding heavier phones and/or their cases, and the clamp wears out after a bit.

b. APPS2 Car Suction Cup Holder

Car Phone Holder Mount, APPS2Car Universal Dashboard Windshield Phone Mount for Car, Sturdy Suction Cup Phone Holder with Strong Sticky Gel, Compatible with iPhone, Samsung and All 4-7 inch Phones

While it’s not a gooseneck, the telescoping mechanism still allows drivers to adjust the extension of the phone holder as well as its viewing position.

It offers three holding clamps that also adjust to the width of the phone. It, too, has a one-push release button behind the holder with which to snap in the phone or release it.

This holder, too, provides industrial-strength suction in its suction cup.

Pros And Cons

The pros of this phone holder include working well in the heat of the South, superior suction power, in addition to being solidly constructed.

The cons: well, there aren’t many except for the release button becoming hard to operate after a bit of time.

3. Dash-Mounted Phone Holders

These mount almost anywhere on a car’s dash, depending on where the driver needs it placed for safety and optimal viewing. There are two styles of dash-mount holders.

a. Loncaster Phone Mat

Loncaster Car Phone Holder, Car Phone Mount Silicone Car Pad Mat for Various Dashboards, Slip Free Desk Phone Stand Compatible with iPhone, Samsung, Android Smartphones, GPS Devices and More, Black

This type of dash-mount holder consists of a silicone pad attached with sticky pads, much like the coffee-cup holder lots of people attach to their dashes.

It’s soft, so it won’t mar your dash. It’s compatible with just about any phone you have; wide, tall, short, or skinny. 

Pros And Cons

The pros are just amazing. The holder works with Otterbox cases, works with huge devices like a OnePlus, doesn’t block vision, works well in any weather, and every owner just loves it.

The cons: Well, there aren’t any. How cool is that?

b. APPS2 Magnetic Dash-Mount Holder

Magnetic Phone Car Mount,APPS2Car Universal Dashboard Windshield Industrial-Strength Suction Cup Car Phone Mount Holder with Adjustable Telescopic Arm,6 Strong Magnets,for All Cell Phones

Once again, an industrial-strength suction cup is used to hold your phone securely in place. Six magnets are involved in holding your phone securely, even if the phone is bulky and/or heavy.

The adjustable arm is telescoping and turns wherever you need it to in order to see safely and properly. The holder offers one-hand operation complete with wireless charging.

Pros And Cons

The pros are pretty good. The holder works in the heat of the south, the magnets hold the phone very well, and the holder is of quality construction.

The only con I found was that the suction failed. . . .after three years. I can live with that!

4. Vent-Mount Holders

Drivers have a little more leeway with this type of phone holder. Vents on the side of the steering column by the door holding a phone are easy to view without being unsafe. Vents over the radio and heat controls can say the same. 

a. OnlyNew Vent-Mount Phone Holder

Air Vent Phone Holder for Car, Universal Car Phone Holder Mount, Auto Cell Phone Car Mount with Clip Hook for All iPhone and Android Smartphones

Behind the adjusting knob is a telescoping plastic-covered metal hook. It wraps itself around the blade of the vent, and won’t come off.

On the adjustment knob is the ball joint that makes your phone holder adjustable. The form includes three expandable clips that hold your phone securely in place.

The holder works with an impressive list of cars, phones, and cases.

Pros And Cons

These are some pretty good pros, but the cons are mostly the lack of air coming from a phone-covered vent. This could get uncomfortable in the winter.

b. WixGear Magnetic Vent-Mount Holder

Magnetic Phone Holder for Car, WixGear [2 Pack] Universal Air Vent Magnetic Phone Mount for Car, Car Phone Holder Mount for Cell Phones and Mini Tablets with 4 Metal Plates

Mounted onto the vent blade with strong prongs, the magnetic phone holder adjusts to wide vent blades as well as thin vent blades.

The rubber prongs securely hook to the blades, no matter how rough the roads are. There are two magnetic holders. The phone can be adjusted to any viewing position that provides both vision and safety for the driver.

Pros And Cons

The pros are the amazing holding power of the magnets and the convenience of use.

The only cons are that one driver’s vents were damaged by the prongs. Other than that, everyone loved the magnetic holder.

c. WixGear Car Cup Holder Phone Holder

Cup Phone Holder, WixGear Car Cup Holder Phone Mount Adjustable Automobile Cup Holder Smart Phone Cradle Car Mount

A smart move in phone holders would have been to develop one that fits the car’s cup holder. Since cup holders come in every size, the phone holder would need to be adjustable.

This one answers that need. The knob on the bottom adjusts to fit the cup holder, adjusts to fit the phone and case, and the gooseneck allows for the angle to be adjusted to allow the driver safe vision.

The button on the back of the holder allows the phone to be placed or released with a touch.

Pros And Cons

The pros speak for themselves; I found nothing but happy users.

The cons aren’t many, but one or two users thought the holder didn’t fit their cup holders, and one expected wireless, but the product didn’t deliver.