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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
While I'm thus far pretty impressed with Android Auto there are some specific use cases I have for my phone in the car that will sometimes prevent me from using it. Since I know someone will ask :) most particularly I use screenshots of my Google Maps page to record when I arrive at a client location so having access to that app on my screen is money in my pocket.

For these reasons and others I wanted an option to mount my phone in the car but I it being days old I wasn't eager to use the 3M adhesive mounts that I've used in my other vehicles. I also didn't especially want to attach to the windshield if I could avoid it.

I'm extremely pleased with the solution I came up with and wanted to share it here since I suspect others might also like it. It takes advantage of a gap in the dashboard space, keeps the phone even closer to my eyes than the main navigation screen and doesn't block any of the view of the road. It's also 100% removable.

First, the product I purchased is this one for $16 on Amazon:


It's made by MPOW. I've bought dozens of items from them over the years including lots of mounts and headphones and always been pleased.

This one is a sticky suction cup mount with a rigid gooseneck arm leading to a magnetic mounting plate. Some pictures follow. In terms of which style navigation screen it's attached behind, this is a 2021 Sienna Limited AWD. I don't recall whether all come with the same screen or if there's some variation there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I identified the space behind the navigation screen as a good mounting point for a suction cup. It's concealed, smooth, flat plastic. It works great. Here's where the base is mounted. You can also see that this mount comes with an optional "stand" that snaps onto the neck to stabilize it along the way. That stand has an adhesive tab on it but I'm not currently using the adhesive, instead just using it as a crutch. That said the gooseneck arm is VERY rigid so it stood up fine even without this strut in place.

48496
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
And here's the finished product. It really is exactly what I was aiming for -- not in the way of my hands on the steering wheel, not blocking the vent, not blocking any buttons. My wife was headed out with the car but when it's back I'll take a picture with the phone not mounted there to give a better view of how it works. But all in all I'm very pleased.

Oh, and it also holds the phone close enough to the Android/Apple USB port that I can connect with the same 8" USB-C cable we were using when we left it resting on the tray.

As always, let me know if you have any questions!
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And here's the finished product. It really is exactly what I was aiming for -- not in the way of my hands on the steering wheel, not blocking the vent, not blocking any buttons. My wife was headed out with the car but when it's back I'll take a picture with the phone not mounted there to give a better view of how it works. But all in all I'm very pleased.

Oh, and it also holds the phone close enough to the Android/Apple USB port that I can connect with the same 8" USB-C cable we were using when we left it resting on the tray.

As always, let me know if you have any questions!
View attachment 48498
Nice thanks for let us know will give it a try....
 

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Thanks for the awesome details. I actually started a thread while ago looking for a good solution to a phone mount. This looks to be it. Order has been placed

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You sir are awesome. I was just about to start a thread on good phone mount options and bam you already found one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Glad you're all finding it useful! Here's one more picture showing the mount without the phone attached. The rigid deck would let you put the magnet array higher or lower here depending on your phone size and where the metal plate is on your phone. I keep the metal plate on mine up high so as not to interfere wit Qi charging, so this magnet is relatively high up.
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I had been wondering about whether the metal plate would affect the Qi charging, thanks for noting that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I had been wondering about whether the metal plate would affect the Qi charging, thanks for noting that.
I've been using both magnetic mounts and wireless chargers on my phones for several years now. The key thing is placement. You can usually find information online as to where the charging coil is in your particular phone but most often it's in the center vertically and horizontally. So the key is placing any metallic stuff as far away from that as you can.

My phone (a Samsung Note 10+ pictured below) has the metal disc for my magnetic mount up in the top corner and a kickstand down at the bottm. The only thing in the middle is a phone grip that's made of plastic and elastic and doesn't seem to interfere with wireless charging. But when I just now took the case of, taped a metal plate to the center of the phone and put it on my wireless charger it did not respond -- completely blocked.

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Received my today as well and it's exactly what I was looking for. Thank you again for posting.

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That looks perfect. I have been using Proclip mounts on all vehicles. This looks like a good option too
 

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Excellent suggestion. I got this for ours too sometime back. Thanks @jbsjbs

Btw, my cover has the ring that also acts as metal for the magnetic holder. It is a little shaky to operate on the magnetic mount though. The square plate that comes with the mount really makes it stick and prevents the phone from shaking while touching/scrolling. But it is too big for my cover. I plan to use the regular ring-back in town, and slip in the square plate underneath the phone cover for extended trips.

On similar subject, wireless charging is nice, but my phone - Note 10, is too big to use one handed without the ring-back cover. That prevents wireless charging. Now I have half-dozen wireless charging pads (from 5 below) collecting dust :( .
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Excellent suggestion. I got this for ours too sometime back. Thanks @jbsjbs

Btw, my cover has the ring that also acts as metal for the magnetic holder. It is a little shaky to operate on the magnetic mount though. The square plate that comes with the mount really makes it stick and prevents the phone from shaking while touching/scrolling. But it is too big for my cover. I plan to use the regular ring-back in town, and slip in the square plate underneath the phone cover for extended trips.

On similar subject, wireless charging is nice, but my phone - Note 10, is too big to use one handed without the ring-back cover. That prevents wireless charging. Now I have half-dozen wireless charging pads (from 5 below) collecting dust :( .
I may have mentioned this above but I used to use one of those combined pivoting ring handle/stand/mount plate but found that it would heat up when using wireless charging. I traded it a few months ago for one of these: https://www.lovehandle.com/ which is whatyou see on the back of my phone above. Mine is the original design, not the new pro one which integrates a kickstand, but because there's no metal in it it doesn't interfere with charging at all. I also found that the grip feels better than the ring and the elastic has held up perfectly thus far. Very pleased and highly recommend.
 

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I may have mentioned this above but I used to use one of those combined pivoting ring handle/stand/mount plate but found that it would heat up when using wireless charging. I traded it a few months ago for one of these: https://www.lovehandle.com/ which is whatyou see on the back of my phone above. Mine is the original design, not the new pro one which integrates a kickstand, but because there's no metal in it it doesn't interfere with charging at all. I also found that the grip feels better than the ring and the elastic has held up perfectly thus far. Very pleased and highly recommend.
Thanks again. I will give this a try too. I hope it doesn't protrude too much as to get in the way of putting phone in and out of jeans. Also, I am not missing the wireless charger a lot. I have little use of phone due to WFH so the battery pretty much lasts all day. And when it is out, the Samsung quick charger fills it up in just about an hour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wanted to update this thread with a new option. We were headed out on a road trip earlier this month and I'd been asking my copilot whether she might also like a mount on her side of the nav screen. We tend to use her phone for music/entertainment and mine for nav. Unfortunately the MPOW I'd linked to above is no longer available so I tried a different one from Amazon. I couldn't find another where the gooseneck exited the SIDE of the suction cup so I had to settle for one where it came out the top. This is fine for attaching from the windshield but I didn't love it for attaching from the flat surface behind the dash -- it required too big a loop in the gooseneck going up and then back down to run along the dash.

So this weekend I ordered one of these:

It mounts the same as the MPOW but in this case instead of a gooseneck it's a rigid arm that can pivot up or down and slide in and out. Here's what it ended up looking like. If anyone's interested I'll take a picture from the top as well. The only caveat (which is fine for our use) is that you don't have quite as much side to side angle flexibility because it's just the ball and socket of the head, not a fully flexible gooseneck. As long as you're just aiming it to the driver (from the driver's side) or the passenger (from the passenger side) you'll be perfectly fine. But if you wanted it on the passenger side facing the driver then this wouldn't work.

As an added bonus it comes with a vent clip and you can pop the magnet off the suction mount and onto the vent clip so this will probably be our goto mount when we travel (that is, taking both the suction cup part and the vent part since in a compact package it covers a huge range of rental car situations).

As always let me know if you have any questions!

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Couple of follow-up pictures. Here's the new mount without a phone attached to it:
51426


And here's an overhead view showing where both are attached:
51427


The trick with the newer rigid mount is to put it as far toward the corner of the mounting surface as possible. That lets you pivot the arm to be as far forward as possible which in turn allows the pivoting of the magnet at the end to reach as far to the center as possible. I've tried to illustrate it below but basically the further forward the section cup is the less you'd be able to pivot the phone to be facing straight at the back of the van:

51429
 

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IMO, installing a single use removeable adhesive disc on the textured part of the dash would work better than mounting phone holders on the smooth area behind the screen. Just be sure to get the type of dashboard disc that is removeable instead of the permanent type.

I did something similar to what you are doing in my gen 3 Sienna for the first several years. Moving my phone holder from the smooth portion of the dashboard to a textured area of the dashboard was a significant improvement in both appearance and usability.

Using adhesive discs would allow you to mount more compact phone holders without using snake-like devices and extended arms like you are doing now.
 

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Nice solution! I have used ram mounts but they are kind of overkill for a phone. I really do like the magnetic mounts, makes it easy to toss your phone to the backseat for navigation help. I like the adaptability of the arm but I'll have to look at mounting straight to the dash as Geezer1 suggests.
 
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