My 335xi and my wife’s Impreza have awful factory navigation systems that aren’t as good as Google Maps, and no Android Auto. Entering addresses with my iDrive knob is annoying, but I occasionally use it. My wife has no patience for tap-typing addresses on her car’s idiotic screen. Enter, phone mounts!
I already own a couple of Koomus phone mounts, neither of which I particularly like. I basically only subject rental cars to them anymore. The first one I tried was this vent mount:
I’m not opposed to the idea of a vent mount but this particular vent mount has a weird C-clip that only fits in certain vents and generally is bad at staying in one place. It grips the vent poorly and the vent slats move around which moves the mount.
In spite of my experience with this mount, for some reason I went back and got a Koomus CD slot mount mount. I think I chose it because I figured the CD slot mount would be more stable and I like Koomus’ simple claw designs for holding the phone.
The problem with this mount, however, is the mechanism to clamp inside the CD slot can smush the little felt liner inside some CD slots, if they have this felt. The reviews mentioned this possibility and I stupidly tried it in my 135is toward the end of my time leasing it. Yup, it messed up the felt.
I didn’t care too much because BMW did not penalize me for returning the car with slightly mangled CD slot felt. I’ve brought this one when I fly somewhere and rent a car because it’s at least stable, and whatever, I’ll be that guy whose phone mount messed up rental car CD slot felt. Sue me.
Last week, my wife and I were going somewhere in her car, and she once again decided to pull up navigation in Google Maps. I don’t often get to use the in-dash navigation in her car because it blocks you from entering an address while moving, and my wife gets impatient with me if I sit in the parked car tap-typing an address into the navigation.
So she put the directions in her phone, and then dropped the phone in the little bin in front of the shifter, where I couldn’t see it at all.
Then I realized, wait a sec, I’m going to pop this up on the top of the dash and use the little hood over the trip computer as a back stop for the phone. It wasn’t exactly secure, but at least the directions were now in my line of sight, and this was a quick trip to somewhere in town that we just weren’t familiar with.
This spot worked out so well that I decided to try and find a car phone mount that would use this same location. But in looking at the different suction cup arm claw things, they all looked overly fiddly and I didn’t want to give one to my wife like, “here, you figure out all these knobs and claws and shit.”
Somewhere along the way in my shopping, I found the incredibly simple phone mount/banana holder pictured at the top of this post. Here’s what it looks like holding a phone:
Thinking about it, I realized this thing seemed so ridiculously simple but also kinda perfect for what I have in mind for my wife’s car. It’s literally just a pop-up phone backstop to put in the trip computer nook. Sure, you can’t see the trip computer, but whatever, that’s not that important. Simplicity rules the day when I buy tech crap for my wife. Here’s what it looks like stuck on the dash of someone’s Cadillac(?).
So, I ordered the damn thing, and it’s going to be a stocking stuffer. Inspired by my success in finding a weird phone mount ideally suited to the nook at the top of my wife’s car’s dash, I decided to see if I could find a mount for my car.
Right now, I usually plop my phone in the nook in front of the shifter, and occasionally pick it up to control my music, if needed. For navigation, if I want it to be in my line of sight, I can lean it on the iDrive screen but that’s only slightly more ideal than balancing my wife’s phone against her trip computer hood. I didn’t want a dash-top mount because then the phone would be way up high out of reach, or hanging down in front of the iDrive screen. I didn’t want to fuck with a vent mount because BMW vents suck for vent mounts.
I may very well have found something that will do the trick though. Enter what I’m calling the Bestrix upside-down goose neck dash mount.
This could be pretty awesome for my use because the suction cup can be stuck on the flat surface below the iDrive screen, while positioning the phone in front of the vent, and (mostly) not blocking the iDrive screen for other vehicle functions. Here it is in some random car with a blissfully large volume knob.
Then I went OCD and figured out that this is a ~2011 Mazda CX-9.
Anyway, the mount is kinda ugly shiny black plastic with shiny silver accents, but I don’t use my phone for navigation all that much, so it’ll probably live in my armrest console and be brought out for those occasions, where it could be perfect.
I know phone dash mounts are far from exciting, but I don’t care. I’m excited about these dash mounts, dammit!