Best iPhone car accessories (2017 edition)
Top iPhone car accessories
iOttie Easy One Touch 3 Car Mount Holder
With some dashboard mounts, it can be a little bit of a chore to get your phone in and out of the mount. But iOttie's Easy One Touch 3 ($25, £22 -- or in Australia the One Touch 2, AU$30) helps simplify the process with a one-touch release mechanism. With this third-generation version of the product iOttie has improved the build quality of the product and the release mechanism works more smoothly. The mount is also highly adjustable and has a telescoping arm which brings your phone a couple of inches closer to you.
iOttie also makes the Easy Flex 3 mount, which features a different swiveling design for slightly less. Both of these mounts are compatible with most smartphones.
Anker Dual USB Car Charger Powerdrive 2
At less than $10, the Anker Dual USB Car Charger Powerdrive 2 is one of our go-to choices for dual USB car chargers. Also available in white.
Belkin Car Vent Mount for Smartphones
There are several car vent mounts for smartphones out there, including this one from Belkin, which I like (it swivels vertically and horizontally) and is available in an upgraded second-generation model that has a wider inner support piece. It can accommodate the iPhone 7 Plus, but only if you have a slimmer case on it.
While you can get cheaper no-name air-vent mounts for less, the build quality of the Belkin seems quite good. It costs $25 (available for £20 in the UK; AU$30 in Australia) and includes an integrated cable-management design element (those little loops on the back of the mount). It allows you to leave your Lightning cable connected to the mount.
iOttie RapidVolt 5Amp/25-Watt Dual Port USB Car Charger
The iOttie RapidVolt is a bit fancier looking version of Amazon's dual-USB charger and only costs around $12 (available for £16 in the UK, and ships to Australia for about AU$23). That green ring you see is an integrated LED, which lets you know the charger is working.
With 2.5A/12.5W for each port, you can charge both tablets and smartphones. But once again, you need to supply your own cables.
Nite Ize Steelie FreeMount Vent Kit
Nite Ize Steelie Freemount Vent Kit is one of my favorite car-vent mount systems because the magnetic steel ball mount gives you the flexibility to angle your phone just the way you want to. It's also easy to get your phone in and out of the clamping mechanism (the only concern is the overall durability of the clamp). It lists for $40 but can be had for closer to $30.
Anker Quick Charge 3.0 dual USB car charger
Anker's Quick Charge 3.0 is the company's latest "fast charging" dual USB car charger. Costing a little less than $30, it's a step up from its basic dual USB charger, but it claims to charge devices (like the iPhone 7) to about 80 percent battery capacity in 35 minutes.
If you don't need the latest version, the Quick Charge 2.0 (it's larger) can be had for less than $20.
Cellet Adjustable Automobile Cup Holder Mount
I prefer air-vent mounts to those you stick on your dashboard. But another option is a cup-holder mount. I wouldn't say any are perfect, but at least this Cellet model is fairly inexpensive at around $20 (pricing not available in UK or Australia). Cellet also makes a version with an extended neck for a few bucks more.
We reviewed the more expensive Satechi SCH-121 Cup Holder Mount for smartphones and tablets. It's also good but costs twice as much.
Incipio Dual Auto Charger
I personally have this Incipio Dual Auto Charger in my car. What's nice about it is that the Lightning cable is built into it and also has an USB slot for charging another phone.
The Lightning cable charges at 2.4A (so it can do tablets) while the USB slot only is 1A (it's meant for phones, not tablets).
The only downside is that it's pretty pricey at $40 (no pricing available for UK or Australia), but as I said, it's nice always having the cable on hand.
iMagnet Cradle-less Universal Car Phone Windshield Dashboard Mount
Magnetic car mounts have become a little more sophisticated in the last year, but a lot of people like the iMagnet, which bills itself as the original magnetic universal magnetic car phone mount and has an adjustable, swiveling head. It costs around $25 (£13 in the UK for a Takuda-branded version) and comes with a small metal plate that you stick onto the back of your phone (it fits under a case).
I personally prefer magnetic mounts to standard frame mounts, but the disadvantage to this type of mount is that you need the metal plate on your phone to use the mount (you can't just stick any phone on the mount).
Anker SoundSync Drive Bluetooth 4.0 Car Receiver
Anker's SoundSync Drive Bluetooth 4.0 Car Receiver allows you to stream music from your iPhone to your car stereo system, as well make hands-free calls. It's pretty affordable, costing a little over $20. You do need a free USB charging port to use it (if you don't have one built into your car, you can buy Anker's USB car charger for less than $10).
Jabra makes a few different Bluetooth car speakerphones, including the Tour and Cruiser. But the Freeway, which clips onto your visor, is the business-class model and the one I used before my new car included an integrated speakerphone. It lists for $129.99 but sells for just less than $100 (£59.95, no pricing for Australia).
1byone 3-Port 5.1A Rapid USB Car Charger
This 1byone 3-port 5.1 Amp USB charger (2.1A, 2A, 1A) doesn't come with any cables, but it's cheap at $7 and allows you to charge multiple devices at once, including tablets.
It also comes in a 4-port 9.6 Amp version for only $13.
iClever makes similar accessories for around the same price (yes, they're probably sourced from the same factory in China).
Kenu Airframe for Phablets
Kenu makes two different Airframe air-vent mounts -- a standard sized one and one for larger phones or phablets. Those with the iPhone 6 can save money and get the standard model ($20, £15, AU$30), but iPhone 6 Plus owners should go with the larger model for a bit more.
Other vendors offer knockoffs of this mount, but just be aware that they may not be the same quality.
Belkin Road Rockstar
Belkin's Road Rockstar, which costs a little less than $20, allows you to charge up to four devices at once and has an extension cable that reaches into the backseat, so folks sitting there can charge their devices, too.
Other no-name companies make versions of this accessory, but the Belkin has a slightly slicker design with a better finish.
TechMatte MagGrip Magnetic Car Vent Mount
If you're looking for an inexpensive magnetic car vent mount, TechMatte MagGrip Vent Mount only costs $9 and comes with the requisite metal plates you slip inside your case to give the magnet something to latch onto. (Note: This is a generic accessory and is also sold under the Ramkon brand name).
The accessory is a universal smartphones accessory, so it works with all iPhones.
Tylt Ribbn 4.8A Car Charger with Flat Ribbon Cable
Tylt has upgraded its car charger with an improved 3-foot (1 meter) tangle-resistant, flat ribbon cable and enhanced 4.8 Amp circuit that allows you to charge two smartphones -- or even two tablets -- at the same time (ultimately, it's that 4.8 Amp circuit that makes the Ribbn special).
Parrot Minikit Neo 2 HD
Parrot's Minikit Neo 2 HD is a feature-rich, hands-free speakerphone accessory that allows you to add Bluetooth functionality to your ride without the hassle of installing a new dashboard stereo. It retails for around $75.
AmazonBasics Apple-Certified Lightning cable
If you're looking for a cheap Apple-certified Lightning cable, AmazonBasics makes a good one (which I've been using it at the office for a couple of years) for around $7 (3-foot length). It's also available in white and longer lengths.
AmazonBasics Lightning Car Charger (coiled cable)
Breett Bluetooth 4.0 FM Transmitter and USB charger
Several no-name companies make versions of this Bluetooth FM transmitter and USB charger that allow you to stream music to your car's stereo -- you tune into an empty radio station -- and also make hands-free calls.
Breett's is one of the newer ones, with Bluetooth 4.0 instead of Bluetooth 2.1. Keedox, Mpow and iClever also have similar products. I can't tell you which one will hold up better over time, but they all perform about the same.
Price: Around $35
iClever Wireless FM Transmitter with USB Car Charger
This may not be as elegant looking as the Breett Bluetooth model in the previous slide, but it does the same thing and uses a wired connection via your headphone jack (instead of Bluetooth) to play audio from your phone on your car stereo.
The accessory also allows you to charge your phone (charging cable not included) via its USB port.
Price: $15 (£14.99, AU $35)
iKross Sun Visor Mount Holder Car Kit
There seem to be iPhone mounts available for just about every interior nook and cranny of your car and the iKross Sun Visor Mount Holder Car Kit is just what it sounds like: a way to mount your phone to your sun visor.
At around $7 (£3.99), it's not expensive, and for some people it will work well. However, you do need some headroom and I'd be less inclined to use it with a larger, heavier phone like the iPhone 6 Plus or Galaxy Note 4.
Spigen Stealth Car Phone Mount
Korean company Spigen sells its Stealth Car Phone Mount on Amazon for about $16. It's an affordable crocodile-style mount that sticks to the top of your dashboard. Although some people have complained that it doesn't adhere as well as it should to the dashboard, for a lot of people it works very well.
Another generic brand sells a very similar version of this mount online for less. I haven't compared that version to this one, however, so I can't tell you if it's identical.
Ipow Car Silicone Pad Dash Mat
The Ipow Car Silicone Pad Dash Mount is essentially a weighted kickstand with a grippy bottom that sits on top of your dashboard. It works pretty well but if you stop or accelerate quickly (or make a sharp turn), it may slide a bit. However, this second-generation version is improved from the original and comes with two sets of "holders," one of which has wider slots to accommodate a phone with a case on it. Cost: $15.
Baihe AutoBot Car Vent Mount
With its winged cradle, Baihe's AutoBot has an interesting take on a car-vent mount for an affordable price (around $13). The only downside is that it only works with a naked iPhone (it will hold the larger iPhone 7 Plus) or an iPhone with a very thin case. That may be a dealbreaker for some. It's available in silver or gold.
Nomad has discontinued its nifty Roadtrip car charger, but you can still find it online. It not only charges your device while driving via your 12V car socket, but has a built in portable battery for on-the-go use (your device charges first, then the internal battery). The 3,000mAh backup battery inside delivers a full charge for most smartphones when you're on the go.
The Roadtrip has two charging ports, the standard USB Type A port, as well the new USB Type C port for charging the latest devices with a Type C charging option.
The Roadtrip sells for $50. Cables aren't included.
Cobra Electronics iRAD 900 iRadar Atom Radar Detector
Cobra's app-augmented iRadar Atom (iRAD 900), which list for $199.99 (£250.00, no pricing for Australia) but goes for less online, keeps you in the know about local speed trackers around your area.
Editor Antuan Goodwin found this radar detector highly sensitive, perhaps even too sensitive.
But that's where the iOS app comes into play (there's also an Android app).
Goodwin says in his review: "After installing the app on your iOS device or Android phone and pairing the phone with the Atom via Bluetooth, the driver allows the driver to teach the detector hardware the difference between false alarms (speed-limit signs) and true threats (police clocking speed on the other side of the hill). When you get a false alarm, the software will remember the GPS position, radar band and frequency, and eventually learn to ignore subsequent alerts of that type."
Pioneer AVIC 8000NEX
A few car companies are starting incorporate Apple's CarPlay infotainment and apps interface into new vehicles. But if you want to do it yourself, you'll have to buy one of the new aftermarket CarPlay receivers that are trickling out onto the market.
Pioneer's AVIC-8100NEX is the Pioneer's flagship receiver in its NEX line and may be overkill for some folks. The NEX line starts at around $550 and goes up to around $1,400 (this model sells for around $870 online). The AVIC 8100NEX not only features CarPlay support, but a host of other features, including Google's Android Auto platform.