There were the window suction cups which totally obscured your view out the windshield and which were against Department of Motor Vehicle regulations. There were the things you had to glue to your dashboard, forever marring the surface. Remember the sticky things to put on the back of your phone so that in theory it wouldn’t slide off the dash?
There was the bayonet-mount that allowed you to clock your phone 90° to lock into place, but you had to use a special case. There was the vent mounts that worked well, except the driver didn’t get any air flow and every time you got a bigger phone you had to buy a new model. Even with the right size, the clamp that held the phone in place took two hands to remove.
Every single solution had problems of either marring the phone, modifying the car, requiring a special case, or was clumsy to use. Well, I don’t know if this is the perfect solution, but the phone mount that Jean MacDonald showed us is the closest to perfection I’ve found yet.
Enter the TechMatte MagGrip universal car mount that sells for $11US on Amazon. The TechMatte uses part of your car that doesn’t have a real purpose any more: the CD slot in your car stereo.
I’ll explain how to set the TechMatte up, but first let me describe how it works in action. The TechMatte has a big round magnet on a swivel. You put the small, provided steel plate inside your phone case, and then simply set your phone on the magnet. This magnet is strong enough to hold your phone securely while driving, and yet trivially easy to pull your phone off with one hand. It’s positively brilliant.
Now let’s see if I can describe this elegant design.
The TechMatte has one side that wedges into your CD slot. In order to be able to easily slide it into the slot, but not leave it flopping about, there’s a thumb screw you use to tighten it into place. Once it’s tightened, you don’t really have to mess with it again, so it’s not as kludgy as I’m making it sound.
Out of the top of the TechMatte is a small swivel arm, with the roughly 2″ magnet piece on the end. The magnet piece rotates in three axes, so you can position your phone to virtually any angle making it perfect for you while driving. You can be tall or short, wide or thin, and that phone can be perfectly aligned for you.
I especially like how it rotates because perhaps your passenger might need to view the phone from time to time. It’s a simple matter of rotating towards the passenger, and rotating back to the driver. If the passenger needs to interact with the phone, they can easily pop it off the mount with one hand and pop it back on for the driver to resume watching navigation.
I can’t stand not having a breeze on my face, so replacing my vent holder with the TechMatte makes me so happy.
There are only a few potential problems with using the CD slot to hold your phone. First, if you don’t have a CD slot this might not be the mount for you. Secondly, if your CD slot is really low, the phone wouldn’t be high enough for you to view the phone safely while driving. In Steve’s car, the phone mounted vertically covers up the volume/power button for the audio system so he has to reach around the phone. But he says that the advantages of the TechMatte outweigh that minor inconvenience.
You can mount the TechMatte with the magnet arm pointing up, or pointing down. If you’re not as tall in the saddle, pointing the arm down will give you a better viewing angle (that’s how I have mine mounted).
I mentioned the metal piece you put inside your phone case. It has a sticker on the back but I highly recommend against using it. In the documentation and on the sticker, it tells you in no uncertain terms that this sticker can NEVER be removed from your phone. That’s why I suggest putting it inside your case. The nice thing is that the pealie side of that non-removable sticker can go against your phone so the metal edges don’t damage your phone. They give you a round metal piece and a rectangle so you get to choose which is better for you.
I’ve been going case-free ever since I got my iPhone 7+, but I broke down and put a case on my phone just so I could use the TechMatte while driving.
Remember that since we’re never going to use that sticker, you can place the metal piece inside the case in different places depending on how you want to use it. For example, you might want it dead center on the phone so you can easily look at the phone in landscape or portrait. But perhaps you want the metal piece up at the top to get a better angle.
The TechMatte MagGrip CD Slot Magnetic car mount is the best mount I’ve ever used. It works with any-size phone and in any car with a CD Slot, and it’s only $11. Check out the Amazon Affiliate Link in the shownotes. It comes in black or red for $11, or if baby blue is your thing, you can pay $2 more to get your favorite color.