Let’s face it; there will always be those who need to use a phone in their car whilst driving. This won’t change anytime soon, but what can help is a car phone holder, in fact in the last few years, these have become extremely popular in some countries.
However, while they are very popular and in many circumstances very helpful and practical, people don’t often think that there are good ones and bad ones and that some are far better at holding your phone compared to others, for example, which is better, a magnetic one or a clamp?
So, how do you select the best phone mount for your car?
Take our new PITAKA MagMount, which is our latest magnetic phone mount. This has drawn plenty of attention from those who have bought it, and we were overwhelmed by its popularity as soon as we released it.
But, what makes this product so popular, what is so special about the MagMount that makes it so attractive?
We carried out some extensive market research to find out what people wanted and what were the biggest problems that we had to solve.
Two of the biggest problem areas we found were to do with the metal plate problems and the way that they interfered with wireless charging systems and the problems associated with the mount’s actual claws that grip the car vent.
So, it’s worth going through some useful hints and tips on how to select the best magnetic phone mount for your needs. And believe me when I say that we have a lot of experience in this and we know how to find the best one!
But, before we begin, it’s worth becoming a bit more familiar with what this thing actually is.
Generally speaking, a magnetic phone mount is a device used to hold a cell phone or something similar in size. It is attached to your car's air vent securely so that you have quick access to your phone.
OK, with that cleared up, what are the typical problems that people have with magnetic car mounts?
A) PROBLEMS WITH THE CLAWS
There are myriad of car mounts out there being sold every single day. These vary in design from the cheap and cheerful ones to those that are more expensive and clearly more carefully thought out. If you look carefully at the claws used on the majority of car vents on the market, you will see that they are all designed in the same simple way, just like the one below:
The claws grip the car vent very tightly, putting significant pressure on the car’s vent plastic so that it holds the device steadily. The problem is that the tips of the claws are effectively “fighting” against each other every time you plug and unplug the mount and over time the metal frame that is used inside the claws becomes weak and distorted.
To solve this and to reduce the amount of stress that the claws are put under, we decided to redesign the claw so that it was stronger yet better suited to the stresses experienced when plugging in and unplugging:
Our attention to detail was such that we even designed a new mold solely for the purpose of manufacturing the new claw design. The result is that the inner side of the claw is curved instead of straight, which makes the claw effectively “embrace” rather than directly squeeze the vent blade. Because of this simple design change, we found that the reliability of the claw improved significantly and this makes the claw far more durable.
We carried out extensive testing over several weeks. Some 5000+ plugging and unplugging cycles later and our new claw design was still working perfectly, no degradation in its ability to grip the car vent. Of course, most people will never use the claw this much, but the aim was to stress test it, and it performed perfectly.
Careful thought was also given to the materials used for the mount. We utilized TPU for the claw shell and the exterior of the base holder, which not only increases the frictional force of the claws ability to grip but also reduces any chance that the claws would scratch the plastic of the actual car air vents. The rest of the mount is made from Polycarbonate.
Why did we use TPU and PC?
Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) has a high shear strength at low-temperature. It is resistant to oil, grease, and abrasion and is a highly durable material with strong elasticity and excellent scratch-free properties.
Polycarbonates (PC) , is a colorless and transparent amorphous thermoplastic material which can be subjected to the significant force without cracking or breaking.
In short, they are both very durable.
B) PROBLEMS WITH THE METAL PLATE
There are a wide range of magnetic phone mounts available both online and in gadget stores. Usually, they will come with either 2 or 4 metal plates for you to stick on your phone or phone case. After you are done attaching the plate, they either look like this:
Looks awful, right?
The metallic plate is firmly attached to the back of your phone (or the case) with an adhesive, which ruins the aesthetic beauty of your phone.
Unfortunately, the problem goes further than this when it comes to removing the plate.
There are many postings out there from people who have tried to remove the metal plates without damaging the back of their phone or protective case on MacRumors. And others on Quora questioning how to transfer the metal plate from one cell phone to another. They are not alone. There is already an abundance of issues involving the metal plate that have been raised here and there.
What about you?
Assuming that you don’t want to stick a metal plate to the back of your phone or your case, but you still want to use a magnetic phone mount, is there a way to make the back of your phone stick to a magnetic phone mount easily and still allow you to change things around whenever you want?
You will be happy to find out that the answer is Yes!
Our R&D department carried out some in depth research around these problems, and they came up with the perfect solution, the PITAKA MagCase.
You see, the metal plate used for attaching the magnetic mount is embedded within the MagCase itself. Consequently, you don’t have to bother sticking a metal plate to the phone at all, so it can remain as good-looking as ever and still be protected from scratching.
With this design, we tackled both the problems associated with fitting a metal plate to your phone for the magnetic mount system once and how to protect your phone once and for all.
But does it really work? I will show you a video proof a bit later on.
But just before I do, it’s worth noting that there is another growing problem that people are experiencing with these metal plates, which we also solved with our new design.
Samsung S8’s wireless charging feature is very attractive to many for its convenience and charging speed, even those who are Apple followers. As the biggest competitor of Samsung, Apple will almost certainly apply this emerging technology to its upcoming iPhone 8. News about “the iPhone 8 will have wireless charging” are already appearing on websites including BGR, AppleInsider, TechCrunch, ZDNet and so on.
However, if you are going to buy Samsung S8 or iPhone 8, what you might not know is that the electromagnetic field of your phone and the wireless charging pad are both located close to the middle of the back panel which just happens to be the place where people would normally stick the metal plate for their magnetic mount.
Consequently, you would have to remove the metallic plate you attached on your phone before you could actually start to charge your phone, which is not ideal.
Check the video as below:
As you see, a standard phone case with a metal plate stuck on its back prevents the phone from wireless charging. However, with the PITAKA MagCase, it will attach easily to the magnetic phone mount and start charging in seconds.
So what have we done to make this work?
Well, the PITAKA design is more carefully thought out than just a simple plate embedded in the case. We have arranged several metal plates (like brackets) both on the top and the bottom to allow the electromagnetic field to pass through so that your wireless charging is not affected.
The magnetic mount itself is embedded with 10 x N52 magnets, which enable the MagMount to firmly hold your phone regardless of road vibrations or any other driving conditions.
What’s more? As you can see in the video, the MagMount is slightly bigger when compared to a standard magnetic phone mount. This makes your magnetic mount wireless-charging friendly whilst still ensuring that your phone is held firmly.
Last but not least, whilst we have taken the time and effort to design a perfect solution to both protecting your phone and holding it firmly in your car, we wanted to make sure that the price was reasonable.
Fortunately for you, if you go to our website, you will find that the PITAKA MagMount is just USD 3.99, which is the perfect accompaniment to a PITAKA MagCase.
So, back to today’s topic: how to select the perfect magnetic phone mount?
Well, there are 3 points to consider:
The claw/grip: is the claw strong and durable to withstand the plugging in and unplugging of the mount and yet is it also soft enough to not damage your car’s air vents?
The Metal Plate: do you have to attach a metal plate to the back of your phone? Will it affect the wireless charging facilities of your phone and what happens when you want to swap phones?
The cost: there are many cheap and cheerful magnetic mounts out there, but are they well design, are they well thought out? What about the expensive ones, are they worth the expense, or are they simply expensive because of a brand name rather than a clever design?
I know it can seem difficult to select a good magnetic phone mount when there are so many out there and whilst choice can be a good thing, quite often it takes an innovative company to come up with the best solution, even if you can’t believe the price.
The PITAKA MagMount follows a distinct philosophy of clever design with careful thought on how to use it and we believe it is the best you can get. If you couple this with the PITAKA MagCase, you have the perfect solution for your perfect phone.
Notes on using your magnetic phone mount.
- Make sure that your magnetic phone mount is installed or fixed appropriately every time you use it. Otherwise while driving on uneven road surfaces you can increase the risk of your phone falling off. Furthermore, it will increase the hazards of driving.
- With your mount clipped on the car vent, try to avoid moving the air vent otherwise you may end up damaging the vent itself.
- Do not operate and adjust the mount while driving.
- Because of a mount’s special position and material limitations, it’s best to avoid direct sunlight and rain. Otherwise, it will significantly shorten the service time of your mount.
- Take the car vent down then place it properly if you don’t use it for a long time. It’s beneficial to both your car vent blade and magnetic phone mount.
- Concentrate on your driving. Avoid operating your mobile phone while driving.