Thanks to MagSafe, you no longer have to clamp your iPhone onto a car mount. If you purchase a MagSafe car mount instead, you simply stick the smartphone over the center console of your car and rely on magnets to keep it in place. In our overview of the best MagSafe car mounts in 2022, you can find the following recommended models and learn what you can look out for when making a purchase.
Popular MagSafe mounts for your iPhone compared
Let’s begin with a brief explanation of what MagSafe is. This is because you may have come across the term while searching for a new car mount or in your iPhone‘s feature list without knowing what exactly it is. MagSafe is a proprietary charging standard that you can use with compatible iPhone models. The highlight is it also works wirelessly and uses magnets.
In addition to the charging pucks that magically stick to the back of your iPhone, Apple and third-party developers have come up with numerous use cases for MagSafe, including phone cradles that are much more convenient than solutions with clamps or magnetic cases thanks to the secure magnets. In our table, you will find models with and without a charging function.
You can use MagSafe with the following iPhone models:
The new iPhone SE 2022 is not compatible with MagSafe, just like the models released prior to the iPhone 12. On the Internet, you can find cases with integrated magnets, with which you can retrofit MagSafe to other models. How well they stick to the respective car mount depends on the quality of the case, though.
If you use an Android phone and are interested in magnetic car mounts, you can find kits for phone mounts including cases on the web. You can also find out which phone case is the right one for your Samsung phone.
If you are looking for a suitable MagSafe car mount, you should pay attention to the number of magnets used. As YouTuber JerryRigEverything discovered in a teardown, Apple uses 18 small magnets at the back of the iPhone 12 Pro to get the job done. In order to be able to estimate the firm hold of your MagSafe phone mount in advance, you should make sure that several magnets are used here as well.
However, this is only a rough estimate, because the number does not say anything about the quality of the individual magnets. If possible, you should check how many kilograms the holder can carry at most. If this is not specified, the only thing that helps is “try before you buy”. If you are interested in reviews of MagSafe car mounts, please let us know in the comments!
Where should your smartphone be placed while driving? If you prefer a placement in your field of vision, we would recommend you go for a variant with a suction cup. You place this directly on your windshield, where it will hold your smartphone securely thanks to the adhesive surface and strong suction power on most models.
Alternatively, many manufacturers rely on placement on air vents. For this purpose, these mounts offer small clamps that you insert between the slots. While it is a simple solution, it is not always the sensible one. The reason? Air vents are often not designed to carry the weight of a smartphone. So the device hangs on its front and points the display in the direction of the gear knob.
Before buying, you should sit in your car and see how easy it is to move the air vents with your finger. If you hardly feel any resistance, you should choose a model with an additional base or suction cup.
As with its MacBook models, Apple designed the MagSafe standard to be a charging port. Of course, smartphone mount manufacturers took advantage of this move and integrated wireless charging pads into some of their mounts. In the table, we have marked which cradle can charge your smartphone.
Most MagSafe phone cradles do not come with a suitable adapter for the cigarette lighter. So you either need another accessory or you should make sure that your car offers a USB port for the power supply.
Did you discover that your smartphone is not compatible with MagSafe in this article? Or did you find the use of magnets impractical when driving? Then the following link will take you directly to all the solutions that will allow you to place your phone safely in the car.
Finally, an important note: In many countries, it is illegal to use a smartphone while driving, despite docking it on the smartphone holder. Strictly speaking, you even have to switch off your car’s engine to operate it if you pull over briefly. A smartphone holder is nevertheless practical if you want to charge your handset when driving or use it as a navigation device. If you’re interested, I recommend you read my Sygic navigation app review.
What do you think about car mounts for smartphones? Does it pose a safety risk or is it a practical thing? Let us know in the comments!