How to Choose the Best Phone Mount for Uber-Lyft Drivers

Ridester knows that one of the most essential tools for Uber and Lyft drivers is the humble little phone mount.

Now that you’ve gotten the best cell phone plan for Uber and Lyft drivers, the only thing left is finding the best way to mount your phone in your car.  Phone mounts are absolutely essential for Uber and Lyft drivers.  They’re required by law in most states but even if they’re not required you should use them anyway.  It’s the only safe way to drive.

The problem in selecting the best one for you, though, is it seems if these phone mounts excel in one area, they lack in another.  If all things are equal and you find two different holders that attach to your car in a way you’re satisfied with and that holds the phone securely, then they’re going to have some other crazy flaw.  Like it’ll be a hassle getting your phone in and out of the holder.

Or, if it’s really easy to put your phone in and take it out of the holder, then there’s going to be a problem with the swivel head or the mounting.  It’s always something with these things!

It’s amazing how many ways companies have tried to attack this very simple problem of mounting our phones in our cars.  It seems it would be very simple, but in the end there is a large combination of factors and if any one of those factors goes wrong, the mount isn’t going to work well.

Types of Phone Mounts

There are several different types of phone mounts that you should be aware of so you can make the best choice for your situation.

They are:

  • Short-arm bracket mounts
  • Long-arm bracket mounts
  • Short-arm magnetic mounts
  • Long-arm magnetic mounts
  • Mounts that attach to the dashboard or windshield
  • Mounts that attach to an air vent
  • Cup holder mounts

There really is no good or bad here.  There is a mount for every car type and every personality.  Personally, I much prefer magnetic mounts.  Whether they have long or short arms though depends on where I want to put them in my car.

If I’m going to put a mount on the windshield, to my left, I don’t need a long-arm mount because the phone will be close enough to see and easily operate with a short-arm mount.  However, if I’m going to put it to my right – in the center of the windshield, then I probably would need a long-arm mount.

I don’t like the mounts that attach to an air vent because in the car I tried it on once, the only vent I could put it on was a vent I needed to get air conditioning from, on a very hot day.  And the phone really did block the air from blowing on me.  So, I nixed vent mounts after that.  If a vent mount gets you all sweaty – it’s probably not worth it!

But, that’s just me.  You might have a car where you can put it on a vent that doesn’t affect your airflow.  Or you may not prefer as much airflow as I do, so a vent mount might work fine for you.  So you can never say never with these things.  The type of phone mount you’ll prefer will depend almost entirely on how your car is designed.

Because of all the variables and personal preferences that go into phone mounts, we’re not even going to attempt to tell you what the best mount is.  There really is no “best” mount.  There is only the best mount for you. 

The two main characteristics of mounts that you have to look at are how they attach to your car and how your phone or tablet attaches to them.  All mounts will attach to your phone by either using brackets or magnets.  So many mounts come in both styles – bracket and magnetic.

There are several more options when it comes to how mounts attach to your car.  They can attach to an air vent or a cup holder without using any sticky adhesive material.  A lot of people don’t like putting the adhesive on their dashboard so they find one of these alternatives preferable.

Then you have the sticky/adhesive mounts that attach to your windshield or dashboard.  Most people don’t mind using the sticky surface on their windshields because whatever residue they leave can easily be washed off.

However, a lot of people do not like using the sticky material on their dashboards.  Because that will leave permanent marks that either can’t be removed totally at all or if they can, it’s only with a lot of work.

Instead, we’ll review at least one of each type and give the pros and cons.

Magnetic Mounts

Magnetic mounts came out a few years ago and initially people were skeptical of them.  But they have more than proven their worthiness in the crowded mount market.  In the early days some magnetic mounts used magnets that were weaker than they should have been and they got a lot of complaints and bad ratings for it.  But the makers have long since solved that problem.  Today the magnets are so strong, you actually have to you’re your phone pretty hard to detach them from the mount!  That’s the kind of problem you want to have though.

Here are the top advantages of magnetic phone mounts:

  • Hassle-free – quick and easy placement and removal of your phone;
  • It doesn’t matter what size or shape your phone is;
  • It doesn’t matter whether you use a case on your phone;
  • If you use a case it doesn’t matter how large or thick it is;
  • Can easily switch phone to any orientation

When you’re driving for Uber and Lyft, you’re obviously in your car a lot longer than most people are.  And if you’re spending all day (or night) in your car you’re going to need to remove your phone many times during your shift.  So, ease of placement and removal becomes a big factor.

Magnetic mounts come in both long arm and short arm versions.

Bracket Mounts

Bracket mounts were the original type of mounts.  To their credit, we can say they are normally durable and they do the job they’re designed to do.

On the other side though, for Uber and Lyft drivers who will constant be inserting and removing their phones, they start to feel like a big hassle after a while.

Having to constantly stretch the brackets apart with your hands becomes a big pain, fast, when you have to do it multiple times a day.  And maybe this is just personal to me, but I always feel like the brackets are going to break when I touch them.  They never have, so maybe I shouldn’t worry about it.  But I just don’t like that flimsy feeling you get every time you have to mount and dismount your phone.

Another bigger drawback to bracket mounts is the fact that the size of your phone is completely limited by the size of the brackets.  With magnetic mounts, it really doesn’t matter what size your phone is.  But with bracket mounts it does.  When you buy bracket mounts, you really have to read to see if your exact make and model of phone is listed as compatible.

Vent Mounts

Vent mounts are great if your car is designed so that you can conveniently place one where you need it.  And if you don’t mind the fact that they will very noticeably reduce the air flow from the vent you place them on, then they might be right for you.

I have always found vent mounts to be sturdy and easy to use.  However, they’re not good for heavier phones and they won’t accommodate tablets at all.

You have to be careful with magnetic vent mounts because if the magnetic bond to your phone is super strong it may be hard to detach your phone without pulling the mount off from the vent.  Although, on the other hand, if you do pull it off from the vent, it’s not that hard to slip back on.  So, not a huge problem – but it could be an annoyance.

Cup Holder Mounts

Cup holder mounts are great – as long as you don’t mind losing one of your cup holders to the mount!  Personally, I have better uses for my cup holders so while I like the cup holder mounts – I personally don’t use them – for that reason.

The benefits of cup holder mounts are:

  • they are very sturdy;
  • they can hold phones and tablets;
  • they come in bracket and magnetic versions
  • They don’t obstruct your view of any of your dashboard instruments or of the road;
  • They’re easy to mount in your car and remove. Although they’re fairly large so when you do remove it, you may have trouble finding a place to put it.

On the Con side:

  • You have to take your eyes way off the road in order to see your screen when it’s in a cup holder mount;
  • It uses one of your cup holders – which is space that many Uber and Lyft drivers desperately need for other things;
  • The base of the stand may not fit your cup holder. Even though manufacturers use a variety of methods to make the bases customizable to any cup holder size – a reading of the reviews shows that not all companies are successful with this!

I would recommend reading Amazon reviews on these mounts very carefully.  They, more than the other types, seem to come with a wider variety of problems.

WizGear Universal Air Vent Magnetic Car Mount

The WizGear mount which has amazing reviews.  4.6 stars with 85% 5 stars and just 3% 1 star.  That’s what you want to see with the reviews.  But, you also want to check with FakeSpot to make sure the reviews aren’t fake.  And on this mount, it passes the FakeSpot test.  It doesn’t pass with flying colors, but it does meet our A- or B-grade requirement.  So, we give this mount a thumbs up.

I use a WizGear tablet mount and I can attest that the magnet is very strong.

It also comes with a metal plate that you can stick on the back of your phone in case your phone doesn’t have a metallic back.  Or, if your phone is in a case.

When phones are in a case, you can either stick the metal plate on the back of the case, or between the case and the phone.  It is recommended to attach it to the back of the phone so it will be between the case and the phone.  But, some people might have a case that’s too thick for the magnetism to work through.  In those situations, you could put the metal plate on the back of the case.  It’s not going to enhance the looks of your phone though!  And it may not attach to your case as permanently as it would to the back of your phone.

Overall, and based on my personal experience, WizGear makes very high quality durable mounts.  This mount:

  • Is compatible with all straight car vents;
  • It holds phones securely in place;
  • And because it’s a magnet mount – it works with phones of all sizes;
  • It comes with 3 metal plates of varying shapes (circle and rectangles) and sizes;
  • It’s designed with a little extra space between the vent and the phone so it will do minimal blocking of your AC and heating;
  • It swivels and can be locked in any position

iKross Cup Mount with Brackets

The iKross cup mount is a bracket mount – which I don’t prefer – but it has really decent reviews.  On amazon it’s rated at 4.5 stars.

The great thing about this mount is it’s a two in one.  You can use it with phones and tablets!

  • It is universally compatible – with all makes and models of phones and tablets. It holds tablets with screen sizes from 7 inches to 10.2 inches.  And phones ranging in width from 2 inches to 3.7 inches wide.
  • It secures to most vehicles’ beverage cup holder.
  • It’s very easy to install. Cup mounts are definitely the easiest to install.  You just slide them into the cup holder and then adjust them so they’ll be snug.

iKross phone mount

iKross tablet mount

With products that have high ratings, you really want to check them on Fakespot to make sure there aren’t a lot of fake reviews involved.  This one passes with flying colors.  It gets an A from Fakespot.

And now that we know the reviews are real, let’s look at what a few reviewers said.

  • Rb says, “The device clips are padded, the larger clip i am using for an iphone 6 plus with an otterbox symmetry case. The upper clip is held in place with notches and a quick release button. The lower clip is spring loaded for easy loading and unloading my phone.”
  • Wes E says, “Solid construction. The extra height this model provides gets my tablet up and over my console gear shifter – so they don’t get in the way of each other in my 2008 Ford F-150. The tension clamps are strong enough to firmly support my Samsung 10.5 tablet while driving on Dallas’ pot-hole infested streets and endless cone-zones.”
  • TheHobbyGuy says, “This cup holder Cell phone / tablet mount has worked great for me in several cars. As long as the cup holders are not too far back in the center console it works great. I have not had a problem with it wobbling around or anything like that. The swivel arm is one piece, and the other piece that connects to the swivel arm is the piece that actually holds the device. This holder comes with a tablet piece meant for holding tablets, and a cell phone piece meant for holding cell phones. The cell phone holder is not very easy to operate with one hand–you really need two. But, I mainly use this mount for my tablet anyways and that mount is easily used with one hand. The mount is able to hold my Samsung Galaxy S2 tablet no problem. It also expands to its advertised diameter allowing it to fit in many cup holders, large and small.

Beam Electronics Universal Air Vent Bracket Mount

The Beam Electronics mount has the best reviews of all of our phone mounts – so we definitely had to check it on Fakespot.  It passes, but not with flying colors.  Fakespot gives it a grade of B.  Not perfect, but not bad either.  They estimate about 20% of the reviews are fake.  That leaves 80% of the reviews as real – so that’s good enough for us.

One of our favorite things about this mount is that although it’s a bracket mount, it has a quick release button so you can get your phone out quickly and easily with just the push of a button.  This makes it so much easier to take your phone out of the mount.  With most bracket mounts you have to pull the two sides apart with your hands which is a two-handed operation.  In other words, you have to drop everything you might be holding before you can take your phone out of the mount.

On the flip side of that positive feature, the Beam mount makes you use both hands to lock your phone in!  Which is a little strange, because other mounts have long had a button on the surface of the mount, that when touched with your phone, it automatically closes the brackets around it.

Why we can’t find a phone mount with both of those features, is beyond us.  It’s technically feasible, so a bit of a surprise that no company has thought of putting both automatic opening/closing features on their mounts.

Let’s take a quick look at what some Amazon customers had to say about this mount.

  • Iman says, “I love my new cell phone car mount! I can personally adjust the width so that it fits my phone perfectly. My only concern is that although I’ve only had it for less than a month, it feels like the side handles are getting a little stuck when I push the back button to release them. However it doesn’t feel like enough of a problem to dock any stars. This phone mount is awesome. It looks great, holds tightly onto my phone and is super duper user friendly!!”
  • Silsky says, “Well made and very functional product! I am now using this cell phone holder daily and love it. It attaches to almost any vent and will hold almost any cell phone or cell phone sized device. It’s made of hard plastic so its durable but not too heavy. Soft rubber padding protects your device and helps to grip it so that it doesn’t slip at all. I highly recommend this product!”
  • And on the negative side, Lindz says, “This product works pretty good. I’ve had it for a couple of months now and at first it was doing really great about keeping its grip on the air vent but now it’s starting to lose its grip fairly quickly. It’s like almost as soon as I put my phone on the phone holder it’s like my phone is too heavy for it and it loses its grip and gets loose. But it doesn’t do it all the time just sometimes. It’s a pretty good cell phone holder. Update: I have been contacted by this company & they have refunded my money & offered to either send me a new one or let me try a different one. I will not change my opinion of this particular car cell phone mount but I will say this company is pretty awesome for trying to do the right thing & make things good.”

iOttie Easy One Touch 4 Dashboard Bracket Mount

This iOttie mount doesn’t have the best reviews in the world – a 4.2 rating on Amazon – which is below our threshold for recommended mounts.  However, I have personal experience with these mounts and I’ve always been very pleased with them.

In reading through some of the bad reviews, I noted that they were somewhat contradictory.  One buyer complained that it stuck too hard and he couldn’t remove it at all.  Other reviews complained that it didn’t stick at all!

In my experience with iOtties, I’ve never had a problem getting them to stick but it can be a job getting them off!  iOttie was one of the first companies that came out with a “sticky” dashboard mount that actually worked on non-smooth surfaces – like most car dashboards.

iOttie is one of the few phone mount companies that has been around for a long time.

Some other reviews complained that it didn’t work with their phones and certain configurations – like the kind of protector they use on their phones.  These are configurations that iOttie never says are compatible with this device, so some of the reviews can be easily discounted.

When mounted to a dashboard this phone mount comes with a metal plate.  It’s the metal plate you stick to the dash and then the mount sticks to the top of the plate.  The metal plate is a great idea because you can take the phone mount on and off as many times as you like without damaging your dashboard.

Looking at the reviews:

  • Hooterville says, “Easy One Touch 4 is a much improved mount over the Easy One Touch 3. This unit now closes and opens much smoother than the 3 did and is overall a much better design. The size of the actual unit is a lot smaller now but still works perfect with our Note 8 and iPhone X both in cases. The adjustable foot has also been much improved and locks in place better now. One of the best $25. you can spend.”
  • Christian says, “This is totally worth the 25 bucks. You can transfer it between vehicles and for most dashes will stick right on. The mount is not shaky, creepy, or short of features. It held my iPhone X (with case), and before that it held my iPhone 6s Plus. I use this for long distance travel and commuting and it is perfect. The mount makes it very easy to load and unload your phone and change the orientation. This new model looks best out of all of them.”
  • Brennan says: “This has become a standard part of my travel kit. It works great with my iPhone 6S+ and iPhone X. It attaches easily to most of the rental cars I have driven over the past several months. My phones both have external cases. In the case of the 6S+ I use an external battery case that adds a lot of bulk. I use a Quad Lock case for the X. This device adjusts easily to both devices and makes it easy for me to use Waze or other navigation app without being distracted.”
  • Cheap says, “The piece that sticks to the actual car is less adhesive then a Post-it note.”
  • But, Julian says, “Caution, as the stickypad ruined the dashboard of my Porsche Boxster! It removed dash material leaving a partial light ring on the centre of my dash.”

So, some reviewers say it doesn’t stick and then others say it sticks too much!  According to Julian, it stuck so hard that it pulled up his dashboard material when he tried to remove it.

One nice feature of all iOttie dashboard mounts is that the sticky part can be refreshed.  If at any time you feel it has lost its stickiness you can run warm water over it (no soap) and that will totally renew it.  I’ve used this feature on iOttie mounts numerous times and it really works!

The Worst Mounts – Don’t Get Scammed – Read the Reviews!

If you’re like me, you’ve become addicted to Amazon ratings.  I can’t buy a thing before I check with them!

The highest rated phone mounts on Amazon have ratings of 4.5-4.6.  If you read the 1-star reviews on mounts that are rated 4.4 or lower, you will see some pretty disturbing complaints.

I therefore recommend sticking with mounts that have at least a 4.5 rating on Amazon.  Also, check with Fakespot.com to make sure the mount you’re interested in isn’t filled with fake reviews.  If it has a A or B rating on Fakespot, you’re good to go.

The following review is for a phone mount that we do not recommend.  We want to show them to you though to show you how to discern from the good honest products and the bad dishonest ones.

Maxboost Dashboard Magnetic Car Mount

The Maxboost Magnetic Dash Mount at first appears to be an excellent choice.  It looks great in the photos and has great reviews.  4.7 out of five stars on Amazon.

However, since Amazon has become filled with fake reviews, we have to turn once again to Fakespot.com to see how trustworthy these reviews are.  And it turns out – they’re not trustworthy at all!  They earn an F grade from Fakespot.

If you look at the screenshot above you’ll see a box that says “TRUSTWERTY”.  That box shows the rating this product would have if all the fake reviews were removed.  So, these reviews can’t be trusted at all and they should all be ignored – except the negative ones.

If we read the 1 and 2 star reviews, we find people complaining that it’s very cheaply made and that the magnets are too small to hold a phone.  There are also complaints about the product not attaching securely to the windshield.

Here’s a sample of the negative reviews:

  • ATLBrysco said, “After receiving the clamp, I assembled it and just stuck it to the table in my living room, and put the metal square in the case… and – very underwhelming. While my phone initially stuck to the stand, within a few seconds it started leaning to one side and sliding off until it fell on the floor (good thing for that heavy duty case!). I could just imagine how long it would have stayed on the mount in a moving vehicle with vibration and potholes! This magnet just doesn’t have the sticking power for a decent case.”
  • Kristofer said, “The mechanical plastic parts that make up this mount often move and become lose. I find myself having to fiddle with the mount constantly otherwise it will fall off my dash. Great when it works…but that was rare for me.”
  • Chintan said, “The extension is not adjustable and it’s not long enough as described in the description also the suction cup does not stay on the glass!! Would never recommend buying this product!! TOTAL RIPPP OFF!!”

If it weren’t for having the worst rating possible on Fakespot, these reviews could be discounted as a few people who for whatever reason had a bad experience with the product but you’d look at the 80% positive reviews and assume the product was safe to buy.

However, since Fakespot grades these reviews an F, these have to be taken seriously as representing the majority of real customers.

Fakespot says only 25% of the reviews are real.  Which of course means 75% of them are fake.  And the fake ones are obviously the 5 star reviews.

If you take away 75% of the 5-star reviews, you’re left with only 107 positive reviews (as opposed to the 428 5 star reviews they claim to have).  This means only 53% are actually 5 – star reviews while 47% are 1 – 4 stars.

That turns their reviews on their head.  Instead of 82% 5 stars, they actually only have 53% 5 stars – barely a majority.

This means, by my calculation, that their real rating is somewhere between 3.0 stars and 3.2 stars.  A far cry from the 4.7 star rating they claim to have.  If you look at Trustwerty.com however, their analysis shows that if you take out all the fake reviews, this mount would have a 1.0 rating!

So, keep Trustwerty.com in mind and use it on any product you’re seriously thinking of buying.  You might be amazed at how different the real reviews are than the ones presented on Amazon.