Sorry CarPlay — this $12 MagSafe Charger gives me the perfect infotainment system in my car

ESR HaloLock MagSafe Car Charger in car vent with lowest price badge nearby.
(Image credit: Future)

While many newer vehicles on the road give drivers the option to use CarPlay or Android Auto, I don’t get the same luxury with my 15-plus -year-old sedan. I know, it’s old, and I’m already beginning to eye a replacement. In the interim, I’ve been enjoying my own infotainment experience with the help of the ESR HaloLock MagSafe Car Charger. And for a limited time, that accessory is down to its all-time lowest cost of $11.

Normally $25.99, there’s a clippable coupon that applies a 10% off discount on the HaloLock MagSafe Car Charger, but an additional $11.70 is taken off by using coupon code AMVOK9KV at checkout. This brings the price down to a generous $11.69, which is an outstanding 55% off savings. 

I’ve been using this car charger for months now, including ESR’s foldable MagSafe charger that fits inside of my pocket with good results.

ESR HaloLock MagSafe Car Charger: was $26 now $11 @ Amazon
Save 55% off the ESR HaloLock MagSafe Car Charger on Amazon by clipping the 10% off coupon and then using coupon code AMVOK9KV

ESR HaloLock MagSafe Car Charger: was $26 now $11 @ Amazon
Save 55% off the ESR HaloLock MagSafe Car Charger on Amazon by clipping the 10% off coupon and then using coupon code AMVOK9KV at checkout. Not only does the HaloLock MagSafe Car Charger charge your compatible iPhone, but you can also turn it into a useful infotainment system in your car.

The ESR HaloLock MagSafe Car Charger manages to deliver a decent charge to my iPhone on short trips. I also find that the magnetic connection is pretty firm, so my iPhone’s able to remain in place on the bumpiest of roads as the charger is fastened on by a vent clip. The only thing missing is a power adapter, so just remember to get one if you don’t have one already.

Rather than swapping out my car’s stock stereo system for something else that offers CarPlay support, I use the ESR HaloLock MagSafe Car Charger to provide an alternate infotainment system I can use without distraction. Not only does this accessory charge my iPhone while it’s connected, StandBy Mode with iOS 17 transforms my iPhone into a minimalist infotainment system when the charging phone is positioned in a landscape orientation.

There are plenty of handy widgets to choose from in StandBy mode, like a giant clock that’s hard to miss and even a photo shuffling mode that cycles through some of my favorite photos. When it comes to playing music, I love how the YouTube Music app offers giant buttons and makes it a breeze to quickly reverse, pause, or forward a track.

As for turn-by-turn navigation, StandBy Mode offers it with the Apple Maps widget. Rather than taking up the entire display, the widget uses only one side of the interface. Still, I like the convenience of this. At night when I don’t want a screen to be overpowering while I drive, I like how StandBy Mode automatically tones down the screen’s brightness with Night Mode — which makes it less of a strain on my eyes thanks to my iPhone’s Always-On display.

This has been all possible for me while using the ESR HaloLock MagSafe Car Charger, so it’s been able to satisfy my appetite in the meantime — even after test driving the Ford F150 Lightning and being spoiled by the full CarPlay and Android Auto experiences. Anyone with an older vehicle will benefit from using this accessory, all without having to spend a fortune.

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John Velasco
Senior Channel Editor for Phones

John’s a senior editor covering phones for Tom’s Guide. He’s no stranger in this area having covered mobile phones and gadgets since 2008 when he started his career. On top of his editor duties, he’s a seasoned videographer being in front and behind the camera producing YouTube videos. Previously, he held editor roles with PhoneArena, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and SPY. Outside of tech, he enjoys producing mini documentaries and fun social clips for small businesses, enjoying the beach life at the Jersey Shore, and recently becoming a first time homeowner.