60-Second Mods #3

Phone Mounts

By Bill "BillaVista" Ansell
Photography: Bill Ansell
Copyright 2018 - Bill Ansell
(click any pic to enlarge)


When driving the 124 Spider, there is an argument to be made for just putting your phone away and DRIVING! However, in practical every-day terms, this isn't an option for many of us, dependant as we have cecome on our smart phones.

In addition, many of us use our phones in our cars for navigation, playing or streaming music, making calls, and other things. Since the Infotainment system does not support Android Auto or Apple Car Play, that means we need a secure and convenient way to mount our phone in the cockpit.

There are innumerable options available. I wanted something secure, unobtrusive, and preferrably non-permanent. After some research, I purchased three different types from Amazon.

All three mount the phone to the holder by means of a metal plate that is either stuck on the phone or inserted between the phone and its case which is then held firm aganst the strong magnet in the mount. Such a method isn't the most secure, but it is pretty good, very easy to use, and much cleaner than any of the types that clamp or grip the phone.

The three I chose to try are:

The following are my impressions:

Mpow Universal Air Vent Magnetic Phone Mount

I liked the simplicity of this design, and the very low profile, and the cheap cost.
The little "legs" grip the veins of an air vent.

And there's a strong magnet to hold onto the phone.

Unfortunately, in reality, I found this design to be almost useless. Its fixed nature meant that I couldn't get the right angle on the phone for easy-viewing. I even tried it in 4 other vehicles, and in none of them did it position the phone the way I wanted.

Verdict: Try if you like, but I would avoid this design.

Mpow Universal Air Vent Magnetic Phone Mount with 360 Degree Swivel

This is an "upgrade" on the previos design, in that it incorporates a ball-and-socket in the design so that the user can angle the face of the magnetic mount and therefore change the position of the phone attached to it. It works pretty well, but once you have it adjusted you have to make sure the ring is tightened down snugly to prevent any unwanted movement.
I mounted it on the right side of the centre vent.
It's colour and small size results in an unobtrusive installation.
The ball-and-socket permits just the right angle of the phone.
In this location, the phone is very easy to both see and reach, althought it obviously obscures a part of the vent and a little of the right-most HVAC control knob.

You can also easily attach the phone in horizontal position, although obviously this obscures more of the vent.

Due to its non-permanent clip-on design, it's also easy to move from one vehicle to another.

One drawback of this type of mount (i.e. vent clip-on) is that, with the heater on, hot air will be constantly directed at the back of the phone.

It's also not as secure as a "permanently' mounted solution, which brings us to...

Scosche MAGDMB MagicMount Magnetic Dash Mount

This design also uses a magnetic mounting arrangement and incorportes a swivel to permit precise angling/placement of the phone.

But instead of clipping on the air vent, it is more permanently mounted by way of 3M double-sided adhesive.

It's very compact.
and it has a handly little clip to keep a charging cord neat and tidy.
It would mount quite nicely here...

...or here.

One adavntage is that by being able to choose the location more freely than the clip-on style, you are able to avoid obscuring any vents or controls.

But of course you have to be pretty sure of your choice of location, because once its stuck on, you may not be able to remove it without and damage or trace that it was once there - particularly after some time if the sun has faded the dash everywhere but under the mount.

I think this would probably be a very good location to use this mount - easy to view and reach, without blocking any vents or controls.

Here's what the phone would look like mounted using this mount, in this location.

Of course you have to have the "courage" to mount it "permanently".



I'm currrently using the Mpow Universal Air Vent Magnetic Phone Mount with 360 Degree Swivel as a reasonable compromise. It works well, but I will probably switch to the Scosche stick-on mount to keep the phone from blocking the vent...once I decide on a final location and work up the gumption to stick it on.


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