ZDNet’s Business Bargain Hunter scours the web for great deals on computers, phones, services and much more. Prices and availability are accurate at the time deals are shared. Some products and services may not be available outside the U.S. Follow BBH on Facebook and Twitter, where he’s known as The Cheapskate.
You. Yeah, you. Get your phone out of your lap, your cupholder, your pile of junk in the passenger seat. Because when you invariably reach for it down there, you’re more likely to accidentally plow into a tree — or worse, an oncoming car, which I might be driving.
Hey, we’re all guilty of at least glancing at our phones while driving, if not outright using them — even though we know full well the horrible, horrible risks.
My recommendation: Mount your phone on your dashboard. This not only puts it at a safer steal-a-glance height, but also makes it easier to tap if you need to, say, pause your podcast or skip to the next music track
Car mounts come in a variety of styles; I’m a huge fan of the magnetic variety. Like this ridiculously cheap one: TopStar Technology (via Amazon) has a Getihu magnetic car phone mount for just $3.99 when you apply promo code NAK34H9J at checkout.
In all honesty, even the $5.99 regular price is a great deal — I often see these selling for $8-10.
This a two-piece product. The magnetic mount slides over one of the slats in an air vent, which isn’t ideal for every car. (My Mustang, for example, has rather floppy, non-traditional vents, so this wouldn’t work well.) You also shouldn’t choose this unless you can turn off the airflow to individual vents, as the last thing you want is hot air blasting your phone during the winter.
The other piece: a metal plate that sticks to the back of your phone or case, or slips inside your case so it’s not visible.
I don’t mind having the plate on the back of my case — that particular aesthetic doesn’t concern me — and I like the much stronger magnetic grip it affords.
Every time you get in the car, you just plunk your phone onto the mount. It’s really satisfying. It’s also way easier than fiddling with one of those cradle mounts.
There’s one other consideration, though: If your phone supports wireless charging and you regularly take advantage of that feature, a magnetic mount poses a problem. Can you guess why? Yep: The metal plate blocks the charging receiver.
On an iPhone X, I was able to work around this by positioning the plate close to the bottom of the case instead of in the center.
All this is to say: four bucks buys you safety and convenience. It’s a no-brainer. And, hey, if you don’t like the vent-mount option, grab one that sticks to your dash. Or windshield. Anything. Please. I’m begging ya.
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