Magnetic ‘Ball-In-Socket’ Dashboard Mount For Tablet Or Phone

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.