Belkin Car Vent Mount review: Looks good while holding your phone tight

Gadget & Toy Reviews / Reviews / Tech

Vent mounts are a great option for some, and the Belkin Car Vent Mount is a great option for those that prefer a vent mount.

Lately, more states have taken a decidedly hands-off stance when it comes to using your cell phone in your car. Some states (including mine) will ticket you if you are even holding your phone in your hand while driving. A car mount is a good way to keep your phone in view while staying on the good side of the law. The Belkin Car Vent Mount is a quick and easy way to hold your phone in most vehicles. Keep reading this review to see how it holds up.

Specifications

  • Securely mount your smartphone to your car’s air vent
  • Rotates 360 degrees for portrait and landscape view
  • Low-profile mount works with most car vents
  • Adjustable brackets securely hold smartphones up to 5.5 inches even when in a protective case
  • Matte surface grips device
  • Cable management keeps cable at your fingertips

What’s in the Box

  • Belkin Car Vent Mount

Design

The Belkin Car Vent Mount is relatively small, measuring 2 ¾” across when closed (4 ¼” when opened all the way), and is 1 ¼” tall and 2 ¼” deep. The construction is predominantly plastic, with some softer rubberized plastic on the inside where your phone is held. There’s an underlying aluminum frame, and when the arms of the mount are extended you’ll see some of that framework.

The arms on the mount are spring-loaded and will hold tight to whatever you put in it. The back padded area where your phone rests includes the Belkin Man logo as well as the Belkin name mark. The rest of the front padded area is black, while the outer frame is a silver plastic. The remaining back portion of the mount is also black.

The back of the mount includes the vent mount attachment, which obviously clips onto the air vent in your car. The clip rotates, so it can easily accommodate either horizontal or vertical vents. This also allows you to turn your phone from portrait to landscape and vice versa. The mount rotates a full 360° however it does have a point where it stops, and you’ll need to turn it back the other way. In other words, it does not spin freely all the way around. The back of the mount also features a clip to hold your charging cable in place where it’s easy to get at.

The mount is relatively small, but feels solid and looks good. The vent clip provides a good groove to attach to your car vent, and the mount rotation is easy, though with notched levels all around to keep it held tight at whatever position you leave it in.

Ease of Use

Vent mounts are really among the easiest car mounts to use, provided your car has vents that are appropriate for their installation. My car has very narrow vents, though I was still able to install this mount with little resistance. Before you install the mount, however, you’ll want to attach your charging cable via the rear cable management clips if you plan to use them. I’d recommend giving yourself at least six to eight inches of available cable from the charging tip to where it passes behind the mount itself just to be sure you aren’t going to crimp your cables in any weird positions while charging.

After that is settled, you’ll want to line up the deeper grooves on the mount with the front slats on your vent. The smaller grooves should line up with the directional slats behind the main vent in order to help keep the mount secure. You’ll want to be sure to push the mount as far onto your vent as you can. Leaving it up near the edge is a recipe for a dropped phone. Similarly, you’ll want to be sure your phone is flush up against the back of the mount for the best results. Once mounted, you can rotate your phone between portrait and landscape or any angle in between.

Performance

The Belkin Car Vent Mount was able to hold my Nexus 6P (in its case) without issue. It was a bit snug since it bumps right up against the maximum width that the mount will hold, but it held nonetheless. Two hands are required to place and remove the phone, but again, that is mostly due to the size of the Nexus 6P.

Positioning the 6P was important too, though, because the mount will absolutely press and hold your volume or power button down if the phone is gripped in that area. The position of those buttons makes for a relatively top-heavy mounting. I haven’t had the phone fall out or pull the mount off of the vent, though it did occasionally tip backward a bit.

I mentioned earlier that my car vents are very narrow and not the best for vent mounts, so some of my problems were undoubtedly due to my vehicle. The vent clip is honestly very low profile, so most people shouldn’t have any problem with the way the vent is installed. I was also at the very top of the maximum width allowed, so smaller phones shouldn’t have the same tipping issues as I had with my 6P.

Price/Value

The Belkin Car Mount is currently available for pre-order at $24.99, with availability expected on February 22. That price is quite reasonable for a sturdy vent mount if you’ve got a car that will handle it.

Wrap Up

Vent mounts are a great option for some, and the Belkin Car Vent Mount is a great option for those that prefer a vent mount. It’s solidly built, priced right, and has some nice added features.

Belkin Car Vent Mount
4.6 Out of 5
Nailed It
Great design, solidly built, quality materials, small form factor.
Needs Work
Some cars just really don't work well with vent mounts. Larger phones will have problems.
Bottom Line
If you're a fan of vent mounts, the Belkin Car Vent Mount is definitely one you should check out.
Design4.75
Ease of Use4.25
Performance4.25
Price/Value5.00
*We were sent a review sample of the Belkin Car Vent Mount for the purposes of this review.
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