The rise and prevalence of smartphones have added an enormous and utterly game-changing amount of convenience, functionality, and connectivity to our lives, making an unprecedented and near unlimited number of resources instantly available at our fingertips. As we’ve become increasingly reliant on our devices, it’s become more and more crucial to keep these mobile gadgets charged and at the ready — two areas that the introduction of Apple’s MagSafe charging system has addressed in spades.
Between their effortless magnetic coupling and wireless fast charging, MagSafe compatible docks and stands unequivocally stand head and shoulders above traditional phone mounts and charging cables. A myriad of third party manufacturers have capitalized on the advent of the new system to deliver a range of MagSafe-compatible accessories, and while the lion’s share of these is intended for the home and office, a select group of companies has introduced offerings that bring the unparalleled convenience of the MagSafe system into your ride. And it’s this emerging segment that we’ll be exploring today in this guide to the best MagSafe car mounts.
Mobile MagSafe Minutia
The Finer Points To Consider When Buying A MagSafe Car Mount
Originally introduced by Apple Computers in its first form on technology powerhouse’s 2006 Macbook Pro as a magnetic charger, the MagSafe system has more recently been bestowed upon the iPhone, allowing the leading gadget to automatically couple with cardholders, camera attachments, chargers, or mounts through the use of internally-embedded magnets. This system lends itself incredibly well to use in cars, making for some of the most effective and easiest-to-use mounts. And while every MagSafe-compatible mount will perform the same basic task of conveniently holding your iPhone at an ideal, easy-to-view angle, there are a handful of factors to consider before deciding on your ultimate purchase. Below, we’ll briefly touch on the half-dozen most important elements one should factor in when buying a MagSafe car mount.
Charging Capabilities: The first, and arguably most important thing to take into account before buying an iPhone car mount is whether or not you want the mount to have wireless charging abilities. This does undeniably add value and it helps to keep your phone charged while on the go, however, it does come at the cost of having to run a physical cable to the base of the mount and charger. And, because the majority of these items boast genuine Fast Charging voltages, it probably won’t come as a surprise to hear that the charging mounts tend to cost significantly more than their unpowered counterparts.
Style: While almost entirely subjective, the aesthetic of a car charger is of ample importance, especially if you’re driving a vehicle with a beautifully designed cabin. As you’ll likely glean from the items that comprise this list, MagSafe car mounts are already being produced in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and styles, with offerings available to suit practically any taste — and more importantly, jive with the interior of your car. There are also incredibly compact mounts that do a good job of neatly blending into their surroundings.
Mounting Location: The next main aspect to consider is where you’d like the mount to be located on or around your dash, as different mounts are designed for use in different areas. The most common types of iPhone car mounts attach directly onto the top of the dash itself or mount onto one of the air vents, though there are also specialty mounts such as ones that use a car’s CD slot or items that sport moving arms and hinging and pivoting phone mounts.
Manufacturer: With so many of today’s MagSafe compatible products made by lesser-known tech companies, it can be tricky to get an overall sense of quality for a particular item. These “no-name” brands often make decent products for fair prices, though buying from a completely unknown brand does come with some risk. One method of ensuring that you get your hands on a quality product is to opt for a mount that’s made by a larger, more reputable manufacturer — such as any of the brands carried by Apple. Obviously, this route does cost a bit more, though it assures peace of mind.
Size: MagSafe car mounts come in a wide range of sizes, and while it may seem like the most obvious choice would be to opt for the smallest available item, it’s worth noting that the more diminutive mounts — which admittedly tend to be less distracting and less of an eye-sore when not being used — also lack some of the functionality of their larger counterparts, such as the ability to freely pivot the angle of the screen. Some of the larger devices also feature a more robust array of magnets, making for easier and more efficient coupling (as well as wireless charging, depending on the mount in question).
Price: Just like with most other tech or smartphone accessories, when buying a MagSafe car mount, you tend to get what you pay for. There are super minimalist items that require very little material, and these do tend to be on the affordable side, however, by and large, the MSRP of any given MagSafe-compatible car mount will have a direct bearing on its overall quality.
Bracketron AutoGrip Magnetic Vent Mount
Simple, sleek, and affordable, Bracketron’s AutoGrip mount is a compact yet effective means of displaying your iPhone in the cockpit of your vehicle. Roughly the size of your thumb, the AutoGrip sports a modern and minimalistic-looking upside-down L-shape design with an integrated clamp at its base that enables it to grab onto a car’s vent. The spot in which the mount makes contact with the iPhone sports a soft rubber pad that prevents scratches upon coupling, though it is worth noting that the primary construction of this item is plastic.
Soft Foot Magnetic Car Mount
The aptly-named Soft Foot Magnetic Car Mount is a modern-looking no-frills MagSafe mount and phone charger. Sold in white or black color options, this item features a 360° rotating magnetic joint that supports a magnetic, soft base that charges any member of the iPhone 12 family at speeds of up to 15W thanks to the use of a powerful N50 magnet ring. What’s more, this charger utilizes an upgraded Constant Closed Magnetic Field technology that hastens charging speeds without compromising or affecting the phone’s signal or connection.
Nite Ize Steelie Dash Ball Kit
Taking inspiration from the hitches on campers and trailers, the Nite Ize Steelie Dash Ball is an insanely minimalistic means of mounting an iPhone, consisting of a 360-degree-rotating steel socket ball sitting on a base that’s lined with 3M VHB adhesive for easy mounting to practically any surface of a car’s interior. In addition to coupling with any MagSafe-compatible iPhone cases, the Steelie Dash Ball is also compatible with Nite Ize’s other Steelie magnet offerings.
Belkin Car Vent Mount PRO
Belkin is one of the most eminent tech accessories brands, carried by practically every big-name department store as well as by the Apple Computer brand. Belkin’s Car Vent Mount PRO with MagSafe puts a more premium spin on your regular magnetic car mount, with a pivoting and rotating ball joint system — that allows phones to be displayed in portrait or landscape modes — and a clever cable management system hidden at the base near where the mount clips to a car’s vent. You do have to purchase the actual charging cable separately, though this item is sold with an included two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Moment Car Vent Mount
Upon Apple’s unveiling of its new MagSafe system, technology accessories firm Moment was one of the first companies to come out of the gate with a wide array of top-shelf MagSafe-compatible offerings, very much including the plainly-named Phone Car Vent Mount. Compatible with all iPhone 12 models with or without a protective case, this minimalistic yet high-end item had padded contact points and feature’s Moment’s proprietary (M)Force magnet array and grip pad, allowing for even more efficient coupling and increased strength.
Peak Design Car Mount
Born out of a successful Kickstarter campaign in late 2020, Peak Design’s Car Mount is a simple yet highly versatile automotive phone mounting solution that’s crafted from legitimately high-end materials. The magnetic mount sports a fully padded face linked to a ball-joint-style arm — all of which is crafted from anodized aluminum. The clever design allows this offering to be mounted to horizontal, vertical, or diagonal surfaces. This item also boasts an unmistakable top-shelf fit and finish — a rarity on sub-$50 items.
iOttie ITap 2 CD Slot Mount
If you’re still driving a car with an in-dash CD player, there’s a pretty decent likelihood that said CD player is getting little to no use (a likelihood furthered by the fact that you’re currently reading an article about smartphone car mounts). iOttie’s ITap 2 CD Slot Mount takes advantage of this, utilizing the CD slot opening to brace itself, rather than blocking the heat or AC from your vents. This phone mount does come with a built-in wireless charger, though it’s worth pointing out that it lacks the pivoting and tilting capabilities of many of the other entries on this list.
RAM Quick-Grip Suction Cup Mount
The final item on our list technically isn’t MagSafe compatible, though because of its features — and top-shelf quality — it’s well worth considering if you’re shopping for a MagSafe mount. Capable of being mounted in a variety of manners, this adventure- and off-road-ready mount is completely waterproof, will hold a phone over extremely bump and intense terrain, and offers 10W charging speeds. Unequivocally one of the most rugged phone mounts in existence, this RAM item is made from an ultra-hardwearing amalgamation of powder-coated marine-grade aluminum, stainless steel, and high-strength composite.
The 14 Best MagSafe Accessories for the iPhone 12
Want to check out a few more MagSafe-compatible accessories and peripherals that aren’t limited to car-focused items? Then be sure to head over to our guide to the best MagSafe accessories for the iPhone 12 for more than a dozen docks, stands, chargers, and cases.
HiConsumption is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more