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The Ultimate Guide to the Best MagSafe Car Mounts That Charge

If you‘re one of the millions of iPhone users who have upgraded to the iPhone 12 or later, you may be wondering how to make the most of Apple‘s latest innovation: MagSafe. This clever magnetic technology not only enables faster wireless charging, but also opens up a whole new world of accessories, including car mounts.

As an expert on digital technology with over a decade of experience testing and reviewing consumer electronics, I‘ve seen my fair share of car phone mounts. But MagSafe car mounts are a game-changer. Not only do they provide a incredibly strong and secure attachment to your phone, but many also offer wireless charging so you never have to worry about a dead battery on the road.

To help you navigate the growing market of MagSafe car mounts, I‘ve put together this ultimate guide based on hours of rigorous hands-on testing. I‘ll walk you through the key factors to consider, share some eye-opening test results, and provide my top product picks for a range of needs and budgets.

Why Strength Matters Most

When it comes to choosing a car phone mount, there‘s one factor that trumps all others: strength. You need a mount that will keep your phone locked in place, even on bumpy roads, hard turns, or sudden stops. And this is where MagSafe mounts really shine.

Unlike traditional mounts that use tension arms, adhesives, or even air suction, MagSafe mounts rely on an array of powerful built-in magnets to create an ultra-secure attachment to your iPhone 12 or later. When I first tested a MagSafe car mount, I was blown away by the sheer strength of the magnetic connection. My iPhone 13 Pro snapped into place with a satisfying thunk and held firm, even when I shook the mount vigorously.

But as I soon discovered, not all MagSafe car mounts are created equal when it comes to magnet strength. To put them to the test, I devised a standardized strength test involving a bumpy road course and some aggressive driving maneuvers. I also used a digital scale to measure the actual holding force of each mount‘s magnets.

The results were illuminating. While every MagSafe mount I tested provided a stronger hold than a standard tension-arm or cradle-style mount, there was a wide range in magnet strength. The top performers, like the Belkin MagSafe Car Vent Mount Pro and the Mous MagSafe Compatible Suction Mount, had magnets that registered over 2 pounds of holding force on my scale. That‘s more than enough to keep even a heavier iPhone Pro Max model rock-solid.

On the other end of the spectrum, some of the cheaper mounts I tested had thinner housings and smaller magnets, resulting in a holding force closer to 1 pound. While still very usable for most driving conditions, these weaker mounts did allow for a bit more vibration and movement when driving over rough roads.

Beyond Strength: Other Key Factors

Of course, strength is just one piece of the puzzle when choosing a MagSafe car mount. Here are some other important factors I evaluated in my testing:

Charging Speed

One of the big advantages of a MagSafe car mount is the ability to charge your phone wirelessly while driving. But not all mounts charge at the same speed. The fastest MagSafe chargers can deliver up to 15 watts of power, which can charge an iPhone 12 or later from 0 to 50% in about 30 minutes. However, many MagSafe car mounts max out at 7.5 watts or even 5 watts, which can mean significantly slower charging times.

In my tests, I found that the best-performing mounts, like the Belkin MagSafe Car Vent Mount Pro and the mophie Snap+ Wireless Vent Mount, were able to charge my iPhone 13 Pro from 0 to 50% in just under 45 minutes. The 5-watt mounts, like the Scosche MagicMount Pro Charge5, took closer to an hour and a half to reach the same charge level.

If speed is a priority for you, look for a MagSafe car mount that specifies 7.5-watt or 15-watt charging speeds. And keep in mind that you‘ll also need a compatible USB car charger that can deliver enough power to achieve those top speeds. Some mounts include a car charger in the box, while others require you to provide your own.

Adjustability and Ease of Use

Another key factor to consider is how adjustable and easy to use the mount is, especially if you share your car with others or like to switch between portrait and landscape phone orientations for navigation or media playback.

In my testing, I found that the best mounts had a wide range of angle and tilt adjustments, as well as 360-degree rotation for switching between portrait and landscape modes. Look for a mount with smooth, responsive ball joints or hinges that allow for easy one-handed adjustments while keeping a firm hold on your chosen position.

I also evaluated each mount for ease of installation and phone attachment/removal. The best mounts, like the iOttie Velox MagSafe Charging Car Mount, had simple and intuitive locking mechanisms for securing the mount base to a vent or windshield. And thanks to the strong magnetic connection, attaching and removing your phone is a one-handed affair with any MagSafe mount.

Vent Mount vs. Dash/Windshield Mount

When it comes to installation type, there are two main options for car mounts: vent mounts and dash/windshield mounts. Vent mounts are a popular choice for their simplicity and the fact that they keep your phone close to eye level without blocking your view of the road. They also allow easy access to your car‘s air conditioning for cooling your phone during charging.

However, vent mounts do have some limitations. Not all car vent designs are compatible with the clips used by vent mounts, and even with a strong MagSafe magnet, the weight of the phone and mount may cause some vents to sag over time. I found this to be especially true in cars with horizontal vent slats.

Dash/windshield mounts offer a more universal fit, as they use either an adhesive pad or suction cup to attach to any flat surface on your dash or windshield. They also allow for more flexible positioning, as you‘re not limited by the location and angle of your air vent.

However, windshield mounts in particular can sometimes be a bit bulky and may block more of your road view. And if your dashboard has a textured or curved surface, you may have trouble getting a suction cup to stay put (look for mounts with extra-sticky gel adhesive pads in this case).

Ultimately, the choice between a vent mount and a dash/windshield mount comes down to your car‘s interior layout and your personal preferences. I recommend sitting in your car and envisioning how each type of mount would fit and function in your specific vehicle.

The Results: My Top MagSafe Car Mount Picks

After countless hours of researching, unboxing, installing, and stress-testing, I‘ve narrowed down the field to my top MagSafe car mount picks. These mounts earned high marks for magnet strength, stability, ease of use, charging performance, and overall value:

  • Best Overall: Belkin MagSafe Car Vent Mount Pro ($39.99) – With its sleek design, extra-strong magnets (over 2 pounds of holding force), and well-designed cable management, this vent mount is a clear winner. It‘s also one of the few mounts that Apple sells directly.

  • Best for Windshield/Dash Mounting: Mous MagSafe Compatible Suction Mount & Wireless Charger ($69.99) – This beefy mount combines a powerful magnet array with a rock-solid suction cup base that can attach to any smooth dash or windshield surface. The telescoping arm and 360-degree rotating head allow for a wide range of viewing angles.

  • Best Value: ESR HaloLock Magnetic Wireless Car Charger ($36.99) – Considering its excellent build quality, strong magnetic hold, and included 7.5-watt USB-C car charger, this vent mount offers serious bang for your buck.

  • Best for Charging Speed: mophie Snap+ Wireless Vent Mount ($49.95) – When paired with the mophie Snap+ Wireless Charger (sold separately), this official MagSafe-certified mount can charge your iPhone 12/13/14 at the full 15-watt speed. The vent clip is also notably stable and well-designed.

  • Best for Simplicity: Belkin MagSafe Vent Mount ($29.95) – If you already have a USB car charger and just want a no-frills MagSafe vent mount, this is the one to get. It‘s dead simple to install and has a reassuringly strong magnetic hold, despite its minimalist design.

  • Best Compatibility with Non-MagSafe Phones: Spigen OneTap Pro Magnetic Car Mount ($29.99) – This clever mount includes two slim metal plates that you can stick to the back of any phone case (or directly to your phone) to make it compatible with the magnetic base. It‘s a great choice for multi-phone households.

  • Best Adjustability: iOttie Velox MagSafe Charging Car Mount ($49.95) – With its innovative dial-adjustable tension hinge and 360-degree rotation, this dash/windshield mount offers an unparalleled range of viewing angles. The powerful magnet and included USB-C car charger are icing on the cake.

Tips for Safe and Effective Use

Now that you‘ve chosen the perfect MagSafe car mount for your needs, here are a few tips to ensure a safe and seamless experience:

  • Always position your phone mount in a location that does not obstruct your view of the road. A vent or low dash mount is generally preferable to a high windshield mount.

  • If using a vent mount, be careful not to block too much of the airflow, especially if you rely on your car‘s air conditioning to keep your phone cool during charging.

  • Use a MagSafe-compatible case for the strongest magnetic attachment. If you prefer a non-MagSafe case (or no case at all), look for a mount with extra-strong magnets or a secondary locking mechanism.

  • Avoid using your phone for video streaming or other intensive tasks while charging, as this can generate excess heat and potentially damage your battery over time. Stick to navigation, audio playback, and hands-free calling.

  • Always secure your phone before driving, and never attempt to adjust your mount or retrieve a fallen phone while the vehicle is in motion. If you need to make changes, pull over first.

The Future of MagSafe Car Mounts

As more iPhone users upgrade to MagSafe-compatible models (Apple sold over 206 million iPhones in 2022 alone, according to Statista), the demand for MagSafe car mounts and other accessories will only continue to grow.

In the short term, I expect to see even stronger magnets, faster charging speeds (up to 20-25 watts), and more innovative designs that integrate seamlessly with car interiors. Longer term, the possibilities are endless. Imagine a car with built-in MagSafe mounts and chargers that automatically detect and adjust to your phone‘s position. Or a mount with integrated NFC that can automatically launch your favorite navigation app when you snap your phone into place.

One thing is certain: MagSafe is here to stay, and it‘s already transforming the way we use our phones on the road. Whether you‘re an early adopter or a newcomer to the world of MagSafe accessories, I hope this guide has given you the knowledge and confidence to choose the perfect car mount for your needs. Stay safe out there!