The Best Phone Mount for Your Car Costs $12
It keeps your mobile device accessible and in place on paved and dirt roads alike
This summer I developed a minor obsession with phone mounts for my car. I’m building my 2003 Toyota Sequoia into an overlanding rig and wanted something that would hold my phone securely and display my screen while I navigated bumpy dirt roads.
Thinking I needed something beefy, I immediately bought an $82 Ram Mounts setup with a phone holder and long metal arm that attached to the passenger-seat rail. It took hours to affix—and then it came loose within a week. Frustrated, I contacted a buddy who runs an overlanding shop and asked if he could drill a phone mount into my dashboard to eliminate any jiggling. He said yes, but suggested that instead of spending over $100 for labor and putting holes into my car, I should head to Home Depot and buy a tiny Scosche mount instead.
I was surprised that someone whose truck has $80,000 worth of upgrades was running a $12 phone mount. But I trust his advice, so I went next door, found the MagicMount, slapped it on my dash, and never looked back. My phone immediately locked in place and didn’t budge.
The following week, my partner and I spent two days driving technical backcountry roads marked with washboards, rock gardens, and giant ruts. While everything else in the truck rattled (including my Ram mount), my phone rested on the dash totally unfazed.
The fact that MagicMount is small is what makes it work so well. More specifically, the dash-mount arm is so stubby that it can’t jiggle around. Other dash and windshield mounts often use longer (four- or five-inch) arms that protrude from a base. I’ve never been able to get those arms connected tightly enough to the base to cut out any motion.
To set up the MagicMount, you first attach its plastic base to your dash with a peel-back adhesive. On top of the base is a small plastic swivel plate with a magnet. Once the base is attached, you adjust the swivel plate to face the direction you want, then you mount a second, superthin magnet to the back of your phone or phone case. You can also slip the magnet between your phone and phone case and forgo an adhesive. The magnet on your phone then attaches to the magnetic swivel plate, and you’re done.
I was worried the adhesive would start to wear out over time, but that hasn’t been the case. After months of hard testing, the base is still solid, and my phone hasn’t slipped once. I’m using an iPhone 11 Pro, but based on the rigidity of the tension on the swivel, I have no doubt that people with larger phones—like the 11 Pro Max—won’t see any slips either.
The next accessories I plan to buy are the Scosche MagicMount for GPS ($20) and the MagicMount XL headrest ($30), the latter of which I’ll use to hold an iPad on the back of the passenger seat for the kids so they can watch a movie on longer road trips.