Hold the phone: Consumer Reports tests car smartphone holders
Posted October 24, 2013
Updated October 25, 2013
Many drivers use their smartphones as a GPS, and they want to be able to see the screen easily while behind the wheel.
Consumer Reports checked out 11 smartphone holders, ranging in price from $9 to $25, to see which work best for drivers.
The holders mount in a variety of places - the dash, windshield, vents, cup holders and lighter sockets. One even attaches to the sun visor, but Consumer Reports says that's probably not the best design.
The cup holder design also forces the driver to take his eyes too far off the road.
Testers wanted to know how easy they were to use, how well they held the phone and whether they stayed in place. The lighter socket mounts tended to be unstable, and those that mounted on the vent were flimsy.
"The ones that we like the best are the ones that attach to either the windshield or the dashboard. They hold the phone securely, and they keep it right where you can see it easily,” said Jim Travers of Consumer Reports.
The favorite was the $20 lottie. It holds different phone models in place, is easy to use and lets the driver keep his or her eyes front and center.
For drivers still addicted to the GPS, there are some advantages. The sound quality is better, and GPS reception is reliable.
Consumer Reports named the Garmin Nuvi – model No. 2455LT - a best buy. It costs $160.