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Best car phone holders 2021: keep your phone safe while you're driving

The best car phone holders
(Image credit: Future)

Car phone holders are invaluable no matter what kind of handset you happen to own. However, they’re particularly brilliant if you’ve got one of the latest and best smartphones that has cost a small fortune to buy. Not only can the best car phone holders keep your pride and joy in pristine condition, you’ll also be able to enjoy its full potential while it’s both safe and secure to do so.

Making calls, turn-by-turn directions and voice assistance are all at your disposal, either in place of or as a supplement to the options in your car. Fitting one is a cinch too, with a couple of options at your disposal. Some designs fit to vents and other vantage points in your car, while others can be attached to the dashboard or windshield.

Although car phone holders have been around for a few years now they have evolved to meet the changing needs of users. Naturally, you can expect hands-free ease of use, which will keep you legal, but the best car phone holders are also much more practical than they used to be. 

Some models even offer wireless charging. It’s best not to skimp though because spending a little more and getting one from our selection here should mean you get a good few years’ service compared to some of the competition.

We haven't had all of these car phone holders in our test labs yet, but based on our experts' opinion and knowledge of the most reputable brands around, we think these are worth looking at.

Our selections take into account online reviews, brand reputation, product capability, or unique features, to help you pick through the maze of choices available to you.

The Scoche MAGDMB MagicMount car phone holder

(Image credit: Scosche)

1. Scosche MAGDMB MagicMount

Reasons to buy
+Fixes to surfaces with ease+Decent phone compatibility
Reasons to avoid
-Adhesive pads

The Scosche MagicMount is a brilliant little phone holder that’s ingenious in that it can let you attach your smartphone if more traditional accessories aren’t quite up to the job. Different cars bring with them all sorts of interior challenges and the Scosche MagicMount is able to tackle most of those more unusual fitting locations.

As is the case with many phone holders, there’s not a lot to it, but the design works really well. This is largely down to its simplicity, with nothing more than an adhesive pad to contend with in terms of fitting. It’ll work a treat on many surfaces, including vertical areas of your dash as well as less practical locations where other phone holders can’t even get near. 

However, while the Scosche MagicMount can get into areas other phone holders can’t this phone holder is still wonderfully flexible. In fact, it’ll move through a full 90 degrees once you’ve fixed the mount in place, which should mean that you’ll be able to see your smartphone screen from wherever it’s been attached. 

Considering it uses an adhesive pad to grip, the holding ability seems reassuringly robust, even with heavier and larger handsets. That said, you’ll need to watch out for less amenable surfaces, such as areas of your dash that might have a texture, as opposed to a properly smooth surface. Adhesive pads are obviously a little less convenient too.

Kenu Airframe Pro

(Image credit: Kenu)

2. Kenu Airframe Pro

Reasons to buy
+Great for larger handsets+Ideal for a variety of vents
Reasons to avoid
-You don't like vent mounts

Some folks prefer to opt for the vent-mounted phone holder accessory. In which case there are many options at your disposal. One of the most impressive we’ve tried is the Kenu Airframe Pro, which in the tradition of car phone holders goes for a ‘less is more’ approach on the design front. This is a positive however as there’s very little effort involved in getting the thing into position.

The other great thing about this model is that it’s able to cope with all manner of larger phones, which is no bad thing given so many models are pretty beefy. It can, for example, handle the largest iPhone model with ease, but the Kenu Airframe Pro is able to hold a raft of other models and seems compatible with pretty much every relevant handset around today. Kenu does have other variations on the theme though, so if you’ve got a smaller phone there are buying options on that front too.

Cleverly, the vent design allows you to fix your phone into position using a wide variety of vent designs, which mean that dashboards that have horizontal, vertical and angled designs will invariably be able to handle the device. 

Once you’ve got it into position the phone itself is held in a spring-loaded jaw. This does a great job of holding your handset with enough grip that it doesn’t feel like it’s going to go anywhere. At the same time, it’s not so vice-like that you’ll be fretting about crushing or cracking your sizeable investment.

iOttie Easy One Touch Wireless 2

(Image credit: iOttie)

3. iOttie Easy One Touch Wireless 2

Reasons to buy
+Wireless recharging for some phones+Neat telescopic arm
Reasons to avoid
-Not all phones can be charged

While phone holders might appear to be a little humdrum, some of these accessories are even handier. The iOttie Easy One Touch Wireless 2, for example, not only allows you to keep your smartphone safe and secure, it’ll also recharge it wirelessly. Again, top marks go to iOttie for designing a unit that’s very nicely made and there are variations so you can choose between dashboard or windshield mounting, cup holder and vent editions too. 

They’ve even got one that’ll attach to a CD slot if you’ve still got such a thing in your vehicle. While it’s certainly possible to marry the iOttie Easy One Touch Wireless 2 accessory to old school hardware there’s nothing out of date about the wireless capability of this accessory. On top of that, this is another great little design, with a magnetic cord organizer that helps avoid a tangle of cables in the car. 

The telescopic arm on the one we tried was fab too, with an additional pivot capability that delivers plenty of scope for viewing your phone screen no matter where you’ve got it mounted. Similarly, the version with a suction cup works particularly well, which is always reassuring if you’re the owner of a highly prized and rather large smartphone. 

You’ll need to check the compatibility of your own handset in terms of the wireless charging feature, but aside from that there’s plenty to like about this model in all its different guises.

TechMatte MagGrip Universal Magnetic Air Vent Car Phone Mount

(Image credit: TechMatte)

4. TechMatte MagGrip Universal Magnetic Air Vent Car Phone Mount

Reasons to buy
+Super strong magnetic appeal+Design avoids marking your interior
Reasons to avoid
-Easy to misplace

If you’re looking for a very affordable but dependable car phone mount you could do worse than investigate the TechMatte MagGrip Universal Magnetic Air Vent Car Phone Mount. This is a ridiculously simple and cheap option that works to great effect if you’re after a quick and easy vent-mounted model. Despite its simplistic charms, the design can handle most popular smartphones.

The other plus point about the TechMatte model is that it seems to have been designed by someone who clearly cares about preserving their car interior. Part with a few pennies for some uber cheap car phone holders on the market and you’re asking for trouble. Not so with the TechMatte edition as it attaches to a variety of dashboard vents without fuss or, indeed, leaving marks, scratches or scuffs in the process. 

Meanwhile, your phone is kept safe and secure thanks to a seemingly invincible magnetic mount, which delivers plenty of dependable performance. At the same time, TechMatte has produced a mount that can be rotated and swivelled as much as you need it to. Considering this is a budget solution the TechMatte accessory is a great option, especially if you tend to jump from one car to another, perhaps in a workplace scenario, where you won't be too heartbroken if you accidentally leave it behind one day.

Arteck Car Mount

(Image credit: Arteck)

5. Arteck Car Mount

Reasons to buy
+Sticks securely to dashboards+Affordably priced

The Arteck Car Mount is a classic example of the ‘simple is best’ design philosophy. This universal phone holder has been praised by all and sundry, and it’s easy to see why.

While this model can be attached to your windshield, the sticky gel pad works particularly well for dashboard-mounted locations. Add in the ability to air-lock the pad in place and you’ve got a robust in-car solution that doesn't leave you feeling nervous that it might suddenly pop off as you’re driving along. Going for a dashboard mounting option makes for the optimum position for an in-car phone holder anyway as it leaves your windshield free from any kind of obstruction.

As with the many other models here, the Arteck Car Mount benefits from a 360-degree rotational design, which means you can easily get your handset into a prime position prior to a journey and then not have to worry about it again.

The Arteck Car Mount works with a raft of common smartphone models, including the latest iPhones as well as Android models. While the grip is definitely reassuringly snug, the Arteck Car Mount is still kind to your handset, which is pretty good for such an affordable bit of kit.

Exshow Car Mount

(Image credit: Exshow)

6. Exshow Car Mount

Reasons to buy
+Impressive height adjustment+Handy quick release function
Reasons to avoid
-Can be a little wobbly

While phone holders work well when mounted in, on or around the dashboard area, another route you can take is to go for the windshield-friendly accessory instead. In the case of the Exshow Car Mount holder you get a great solution that works with most smartphone models.

Despite the pretty low-tech initial impression, the Exshow Car Mount actually turns out to be perfect for anyone who wants a viewing angle that’s higher up, thanks to that windshield mount design. The suction pad works fine while the precise positioning of your phone can be done thanks to a 360-degree flexible cable.

One slight trade-off with the wide range of positioning options that come with the Exshow Car Mount is that the accessory can tend to throw a little bit of wobble into proceedings. However, if you spend a little time getting the positioning right this doesn't really detract from the overall appeal. Larger handsets up to six inches tend to fare better than slightly lighter models with less overall weight.

With its 30cm arm you’re able to move the viewing angle into many different positions and orientations, which makes the Exshow Car Mount mighty handy for taller or shorter drivers due to its generous reach. The quick-release feature is a real boon too.

Vicseed Car Phone Mount

(Image credit: Vicseed)

7. Vicseed Car Phone Mount

Reasons to buy
+Selection of mounting models+Practical ball-joint adjustment
Reasons to avoid
-Longer arm bounces a bit

The Vicseed Car Phone Mount continues to sell well and for good reason. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of its design is that you can buy the one accessory and then mount it in three different ways: dashboard, windshield or vent. That makes it a good choice if you regularly change from one car to another, or perhaps have two very different vehicles in the family. It keeps your options open.

Another reason the Vicseed Car Phone Mount appeals is its ability to give a home to a wide variety of handsets. In fact, it’ll cope with just about any smartphone you can think of, although as always our advice is to check the compatibility details just in case you’re using a phone from years ago. 

The next feature up for praise is the convenience factor provided by the Vicseed Car Phone Mount. This accessory boasts a long arm design that’s suitably robust enough for even larger smartphones but it’s also telescopic, which can extend from 4.84-inches right up to 9.05-inches. That’s decent, although vibration and bumps can tend to make the longer reach option a little less desirable if you’re of a nervous disposition.

Nevertheless, top marks should go to the Vicseed Car Phone Mount for its neat ball-joint, which allows you to move your phone screen into a prime position and keep it there. Usefully, there’s a one-button release system, which is a really practical consideration so you don't have to fight with the accessory if you’re stopped and want to quickly get hold of your phone. A solid all rounder.

Vicseed Car Cup Phone Holder

(Image credit: Vicseed)

8. Vicseed Car Cup Phone Holder

Reasons to buy
+Great option if you prefer cupholder mounts+Really firm grip on your phone
Reasons to avoid
-Not good if you lack cupholders

Vicseed is an accessories manufacturer that always manages to come up with something else that appeals if dash, windshield or vent options aren’t your thing. Enter then the Vicseed Car Cup Phone Holder. This one comes with the benefit of Vicseed’s ingenious design ethos and is backed up by a quality build too. Granted, there’s not much to it, but the simplicity is the main part of its appeal.

The obvious benefit with taking this route is your phone is nice and stable, situated as it is in one of your cup holder bins. So, for example, it can be placed in your centre console, while the accessory allows you to move your phone into position through 360 degrees in either landscape or portrait orientation. Cleverly, the base has adjustable feet, making it suitable for various sizes of drink cubby holes between 2.5 and 3.5-inches in diameter.

Meanwhile, the holder part of the equation can handle all sorts of phones, including the likes of the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 11 Pro Max, SE and also the Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, the Note 10 Plus, Google Pixel and more. What’s really useful about this model is the gooseneck part of the design, which allows you the freedom to position your phone just where you want it. Adding appeal is the quick release mechanism, which delivers instant access to your handset when needed.

Topgo Car Cup Holder

(Image credit: Topgo)

9. Topgo Car Cup Holder

Reasons to buy
+Excellent gooseneck positioning+Compatible with many phones
Reasons to avoid
-Design is quite chunky

Another variation on the cup holder theme is this model from Topgo. The concept is much the same as the Vicseed accessory, although the unit comes in a range of colours including black, blue and gray. The design is impressive and features a neat way of adjusting the cup holder clamps so that you get a snug fit that won't move while you’re in transit. 

Convenience is also top of the list here too, with a one key release system that lets you get to your phone and remove it when needed. However, once it’s in position in the cradle the handset can be moved 360 degrees thanks to the gooseneck, which is solidly constructed but wonderfully flexible in equal measure. Topgo has managed to produce an accessory that can handle a wealth of smartphones too, with anything between 4 and 7-inches being suitable. Phones with thicker cases can also be accommodated too. 

Meanwhile, installation is quick and simple, with those aforementioned clamps gripping your cupholder receptacle nicely. Thankfully it does this without leaving marks when you remove it again. The other bonus with this design is that it can be used in a variety of vehicles, such as trucks, pickups and so on. Topgo even note that you can fit it to a golf buggy as well as boats, strollers or even your sofa. That’s certainly a super flexible design.

Yosh Car Phone Holder

(Image credit: Yosh)

10. Yosh Car Phone Holder

Reasons to buy
+Can support heavier handsets+Extremely simple to use
Reasons to avoid
-Means sticking a plate to your phone

This is another absurdly simple but really quite clever car phone holder that can give a safe, secure and road-legal home to many popular smartphones. The black plastic accessory is another one that's vent-mounted, thereby leaving your windshield free from obstruction. And, perhaps more impressively, for something so unobtrusive the Yosh Car Phone Holder can keep any kind of screen in a stable position, including tablets.

The magic happens thanks to neodymium magnets, which means that it’s able to hold handsets in just the right position to suit you. One minor downside is that you’ll need to stick a small metal plate to the back of your phone for the magnetic magic to happen, although a workaround for that is to stick that to your phone case instead. However, the solid grip that you get thanks to the magnetic aspect means that your smartphone (or tablet) stays nicely in place once you’ve positioned it.

For something so basic, the Yosh Car Phone Holder is perhaps one of the most faff-free and top-value accessories we’ve come across. The other benefit of the powerful magnet setup is that it’s able to handle heavier phones without any fuss.

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.