A universal car mount actually worth your time and moneyBonus: discount code at the bottom of this review!
I use my phone in my car every day, so I want it mounted securely but I don’t want a lot of hassle when getting in and out of the car. I drive a 2006 Ford Mondeo, so no fancy built-in bluetooth and with the headunit placed at the bottom of the centre console, replacing it with something that supports Android Auto really isn’t an option. I’ve previously had a 2012 Nexus 7 mounted permanently in the car (https://goo.gl/tlQqjt
) but that tablet wasn’t too fast to begin with and eventually slowed down to move at a glacial pace.
This meant that I now had to either buy another tablet for the car or a car mount for the perfectly capable phone I was always carrying anyway. Obviously, I went with the latter. Since my wife and I both use the car, but have different phones, I needed a universal mount. There are plenty of those on the market, but finding one actually worth using turned out to be tricky. Wanting it to support Qi wireless charging sure didn’t make it any easier… Let’s try the cheapest solution… or maybe not.
First thing I tried was the “Choetec T510” from Amazon. Sure, it would hold the phone and provide Qi-standard charging, but it would bounce all over the place using the included vent mount and I simply couldn’t get the suction cup to hold on to my dashboard. I ended up butchering the poor charger and bolting it onto a Brodit mount I had leftover from the aforementioned Nexus 7 setup. That solved the bouncing issues, but the charger just couldn’t keep up with the battery drain when using Google Maps for navigation, so I started looking for something equally convenient but more powerful and preferably better looking. Lo and behold, I found the less-than-elegantly-named Montar Air Qi Car Mount
. Twice the price of the Choetec and most other Amazon/Ebay chargers but it promised a wireless charging output of 2.0A, twice as much juice as the Choetec. That should keep my wife’s LG G4 powered and be able to utilise the “Fast Wireless” charging supported by my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Enter the Montar
The Montar Air Qi Car Mount (let’s just call it “Montar” from now on) holds phones up to 6” and easily holds the G4 and the S7E securely in place. Unlike the 3-coil Choetec, the Montar only has a single wireless charging coil, so you need to make sure that it lines up with the Qi receiver in your phone. No worries, the bottom supports are adjustable - set them once and you can just pop in your phone and squeeze the “arms” to hold it in place. To remove the phone you simply push a button on the top of the Montar and both arms pop out instantly - unlike the Choetec where you push a button and both arms slooowly slide out about 1½mm and then you have to pull them the rest of the way. Oh, and very much unlike any
other mount I’ve tried, the suction cup on the Montar actually manages to get a grip on my dashboard, even if it cheats a little. A circular 3M pad is included that you can stick on your dashboard, giving the suction cup a perfectly even surface to grip. How well does it work? My car has been parked in direct sunlight, spent the night in temperatures below zero AND had its windshield replaced (not even kidding) without the Montar going anywhere. There is a ball joint between the suction cup mount and the phone holder, so you can adjust it to your liking and it’ll hold that position. Overall, I’m having a hard time findind any faults with the “mount” part of the Montar and it does what it says on the box: Holds your phone or phablet securely in place. Charging
Now that the phone is securely in place, it’s going to need some power. Luckily, the Montar has you covered. There’s a microUSB socket on the bottom where you can connect the included 12V adapter (plugs into your standard 12V cigarette lighter outlet). The included charger is, well, included. It feels a bit too cheaply made compared to the rest of the Montar and will happily light up your car at night, using a blue LED. It works, it pumps enough amperage to utilise “fast wireless” charging, but the cable feels like it’ll break if you look at it too hard. I chose to use my Anker QC 2.0 charger instead, with a quality microUSB cable and hid it all behind the centre console so there’s only about 10cm of wire actually visible in the car. It’s cool that the Montar uses standard microUSB so you can use your own power supply. It’s not cool that the included power supply makes you feel like you have to.
Once the Montar is hooked up and the power is flowing, pop in your phone and go. Does it pump enough power wirelessly
to the phone? Why yes, yes it does! During my morning commute, in beautiful sunshine with my S7E having it’s 5.5” 2560x1400 AMOLED display set to auto brightness, I fired up Google Maps, asked for directions to work and then instructed Spotify to stream Mumford & Son’s “Wilder Mind” album in “extreme” quality (320kbps, which apparently qualifies as “extreme”). I started out with 96% battery on my phone and arrived at work 20 minutes later, fully charged - without having to plug a cable into my phone. I finally have an easy-to-use charger that will not only keep up with the power drain from GPS and music streaming, but actually charge my phone while I’m using it! The fact that it also looks good (by car charger standards anyway) is just a bonus. Verdict
A universal car mount and charger has two functions: Hold your phone and charge it. It sounds deceptively simple, but the Montar is the first one I’ve tried that actually does both things well. If you’re looking for a car mount and your phone supports (fast) wireless charging, look no further. The only downside is the price, but to be fair it is quite a bit better than the cheaper options out there. However, to take the sting out of it, and as a reward for reading this far, Winnergear were so kind as to provide the coupon code SORENSIIM
- apply it at checkout and get 20% off when ordering straight from http://www.winnergear.com.