Your smartphone is now the hub of your in-car entertainment. From Spotify to sat-nav, it’s important that your smartphone sits central to your cockpit. For that reason, we’re kicking off our look at car accessories with the Anker magnetic phone holder.
What is a magnetic phone holder?
For as long as we’ve had mobile phones, we’ve had phone holders in our cars. Years ago, phone holders were big business as manufacturers often coupled specific holders with particular models of phone. This made phone holders some of the more expensive car accessories. Universal holders then came onto the market which would hold various sizes of phones by clamping down on them. These are designed to do a job, and that they did.
Of course, that’s not good enough by modern standards. We’ve become impatient people. Impatient people who don’t want to plug in cables, so we get wireless charging. We don’t want to clamp a phone into a holder, so we get magnetic phone holders. Magnetic phone holders require either a small magnetic strip to be placed on your smartphone. You then position a magnetic holder within your car. The beauty of the idea is the speed at which you can secure or remove your phone from the holder.
Are magnetic phone holders safe?
When I was younger I destroyed my parent’s TV with a magnet. It was trippy, as the colours on the old tube screen just went everywhere. Such and acts forces a healthy respect for magnets to grow within you. Naturally, this was at the core of the first question I asked when I saw magnetic phone holders grow in popularity within the car accessories market. Smartphones will not be affected in the same way. Smartphone screens are a completely different piece of technology to that old television I destroyed. Believe it or not, your smartphone has quite a few magnets in it already, so it’s not something you’ll need to worry about.
Anker magnetic phone holder
Anker is one of the more reputable phone accessory manufacturers on the market. For that reason, when it came to picking out which holder I’d try out, Anker was top of the list. Better still, the unit only cost £12 on Amazon.co.uk, which given the current exchange rates is a great deal. Simply put, you get a magnetic dash mount, and a sticky pad to pop onto your phone. Combined, this holds your phone in a nice spot on the dash of your car.
The Anker lives up to the brand name. Placing your trust in a phone holder that doesn’t require clamping can be difficult, but the Anker is incredibly robust. Driving with the holder for over a week, it hasn’t budged once in what can be described as a bit of a bone rattler. Once you hop into the car, you can practically throw your phone at the dash-mount, safe in the knowledge that your phone will stick to it.
Thanks to Nexar, my smartphone also doubles as a dashcam. The quality of the recording hasn’t suffered at all compared to a more traditional phone holder. Actually, because of the reduced amount of contact space between phone and holder, it’s easier to get a good shot.
My smartphone of choice is the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. As I mentioned above, it’s quite easy to get used to the finer things in life – like wireless charging. One unforeseen consequence of using a magnetic phone holder was the positioning of the sticky plate. Anker state that you may place the plate between your phone and case or stick it directly to the case. The former was not an option as the Otterbox wouldn’t allow the dash-mount to grip the phone.
The latter led to a different problem altogether, as the large plate stuck to the outside of the Otterbox now interferes with wireless charging. Actually, it stopped it altogether. However, with some smarter positioning of the sticky plate, the phone now sits nicely in the car and allows wireless charging. Just be conscious of this when you’re fitting the pad.
All in all, I love this piece of kit. You’ll find a breakdown of why I do, below.