It’s been long since mobile phones are no longer simply phones. They can be used as a navigation system, as a music player, for specific applications, or as a driving assistant. You can’t put your phone away while driving. It must be accessible at all times and therefore installed safely at the reach of hand. Different car holders or stands are used for this purpose. In addition, the phone can be recharged while on a stand in the car on a long trip. Some stands, called docking stations, feature an incorporated charger, while others are simple holders for your phone while driving.
What to consider before buying a car phone/tablet/navigation system holder?
- dimensions of the phone to hold
- robustness, reliability and design.
First of all the holder must be fixed firmly in the car. Whether on the highway or off road, it should remain in place and hold firmly the device to prevent it from falling. The larger and heavier the device, the stronger and more reliable must be the holder you put it in.
Before buying a stand, check that the opening (adaptivity) of the locking mechanism matches the size of your phone or tablet (Fit and Grip). In addition to the lateral grip, a holder should provide support to the bottom of the device to carry its weight. However, if the bottom support is continuous, it may prevent the phone from charging while it is on the stand, so choose a bottom pad that has an opening in the middle.
Good functionality means easy handling of the phone while on the stand. Easy 360° rotation. One-handed operation because the other hand is on the steering wheel. Easily mounting and removing the phone on and from the stand. Easy adjustment of the stand to the angle of view, etc.
Reliability, durability and good style are, as always, related to the manufacturer and the materials used. You will find good parameters at manufacturers such as Qoltec, Nedis, Remax, etc.
The phone can be attached to the stand in the following ways:
- by side arms (with a release button)
- by clip
- by magnet.
There are also phone stands made of special non-slip silicone that are mounted on the horizontal part of the dashboard of the car. The phenomenon is called adhesion.
A mobile device holder can be installed at several locations in the front part of the car, each with its own benefits and drawbacks:
- to the windshield with suction cups
- to the air vents
- on the dashboard
- to the CD slot
- on the headrest .
When choosing the stand depending on the place where it will be installed, you need to keep in mind that the driver must not take his eyes from the road for too long looking at the phone.
Sometimes, the air vents are located too low so you can’t install the stand with the phone conveniently. The advantage of air-vent-mounted stands is that to the difference of many windshield-mounted holders they don’t have a long arm. They usually offer 360-degree rotation. When the stand is installed on the air vent, you should pay attention, especially in the winter, not to turn up the heat too much, as this may damage the phone.
With a mount installed in the CD slot, you automatically give up the chance to listen to CDs while the phone is on the mount, plus the CD player is often located quite low on the dashboard so it will be difficult to see the phone’s display while driving.
Headrest-mounted stands can only be used by the passengers on the backseat, which is their main disadvantage. However, they are the perfect choice if you want the kids to watch a movie on a tablet while traveling.
A dashboard mount is placed at driver’s eyes level and can be easily installed closer to you without using an elongated arm, which tends to swinging if you drive on a bumpy road. A special sticky pad made of highly adhesive material is used and the mount is installed on it using a suction cup. The advantage is that the sticky pad is reusable and when it seems to give up, you simply need to wash it and stick it back. Thus, your mount can be used for a very long time.
Windshield mounting is a preferred option for mobile device stand installation. Using a suction cup and a lever, vacuum is formed between the stand’s silicone base and the windshield. Unless your device is too big or too heavy, this type of mounting is sturdy enough. An elongated arm is used to bring the display closer to driver’s eyes, but it can vibrate and swing on a bumpy road. Like in most cases, the stand allows 360-degree rotation.
Most modern car stands come combined with a wireless charger so that your phone can be recharged without bothering with any cables. They can be used with any device featuring wireless charging functionality, such as iPhone 8, Samsung S6, S7 or S8, or more recent models.
If your phone is older or does not support wireless charging, you’ll have to recharge it in the old-fashioned manner: using a cable and a charger connected to the car’s cigarette lighter socket. This is of special importance on a long trip if the phone is used as a navigation system or for listening to music.
Each new model offers more features and functions, and one logically expects a more durable battery. Unfortunately, this is not quite the case. The battery capacity of the base models has hardly increased in the last 3 or 4 years. And as applications get bigger and more powerful, phone consumption rises and sometimes the battery can’t last even a day, so the car charger has become an indispensable accessory for anyone traveling more often. It is good to know:
5 basic rules for charging a mobile phone in a car:
- unplug the charger from the power source (lighter socket) when not in use. Especially when the engine is not running. The charger can drain the car’s battery if it is constantly switched on. Some chargers have safety features and shut off when the phone is fully charged, so check that the charger has such a safety feature. Even with the phone switched off, the charger consumes battery power and can drain it if it stays on for long enough while the engine is off;
- when choosing a charger, check its compatibility with all the mobile devices you will be charging. Most chargers use the standard USB socket, but there are some chargers that were manufactured before this standard came in;
- do not leave your phone plugged into the charger after it is fully charged. If the phone stays on after its battery is 100% charged, this will shorten the battery life. Experts recommend that the battery should not be fully charged and maintained between 60-90%;
- if you want your mobile phone to charge fast, turn it off during charging, or at least turn off all applications and the Internet access while charging. This will greatly increase the charging speed;
- it’s always a good idea to have more than one USB charger. This will allow you to charge more than one mobile device. Also, when choosing a charger, look at the amperage it delivers. A 2A charger will charge the phone much faster than a 0.4A charger.
Text: D. Kostov