Magnetic 'Ball-In-Socket' Dashboard Mount For Tablet Or Phone

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Texting and driving is dangerous, but digging around for a phone in a cup holder or passenger seat when using navigation also takes eyes off the road. A new device provides a simple solution with a magnetic mount that holds phones and tablets in plain sight with a slick magnetic mount.

We mounted the stand from iOmounts of Basalt, Colo., on a vehicle for a test. The magnet-based attachment system with ball-in-socket type rotating platform makes the dashboard mount quick and easy to use when you get in the car and snap the phone in place.

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Red attachment point smoothly rotates on magnetized half-sphere to mimic ball-in-socket motion

The system is based off a strong magnet on the mount and a thin metal sticker on the phone. I put the quarter-size sticker on the back of my iPhone case.

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Sticker on back of iPhone case provides connection point

Each car model has a different dash configuration. iOmounts sells kits to fit hundreds of car make and models.

Mine set up in just a few minutes. Inside the family hauler, a 2008 Honda minivan, I used two shims provided in the iOmounts kits. The plastic shims spread the dashboard seams a millimeter or two, thus allowing the specially-made V-shape mount to snap in place.

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Side view of the mount system

It’s been a solid platform for the phone so far, no matter the bumps on a road. An iPhone sits in clear view and it rotates easily on the smooth half-sphere of metal via a magnetized concave piece that clicks onto the phone.

The dashboard kits start at about $25. They are made in Sweden of metal and durable ABS plastic. The mounts are easy to install and offer a nice solution to hold a phone in place on the open road.

—Stephen Regenold

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Drivers, don’t look. But you can turn the mount toward the passenger to read messages on the road