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Syncwire Universal Car Phone Holder review

Strong magnets are great, but can the Syncwire holder offering overcome its reliance on old fashioned stickers?

Syncwire Universal Car Phone Holder in a car holding an iPhone
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Our Verdict

The Syncwire Universal Car Phone Holder holds phones pretty well. But it’s let down by its reliance on using stickers to attach itself to your dashboard – and they just don’t do a great job of it.

For

  • You don’t lose an air vent
  • The magnets are strong and your phone won’t budge unless you want it to
  • Almost invisible when you aren’t using it thanks to a small footprint

Against

  • Small stickers means there just isn’t enough surface area for a reliable adhesion
  • You need Syncwire’s sticky magnets on your phone, even if it has MagSafe
  • Won’t stay attached to most surfaces
Syncwire Universal Car Phone Holder: Specs

Price: $17
Wireless Charging: No
Color: Black
Orientation: Phones can be attached any way you like
Design: Magnetic, with 3M stickers

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to stick your phone holder to your car’s dashboard, but the Syncwire Universal Car Phone Holder falls short.

In many ways, sticky mounts are a great idea. It keeps a vent free and you can put it almost anywhere. But that only works if you have a flat surface to hand. And that surface has to be smooth. But will Syncwire’s super-strong magnets make up for its problematic installation?

Syncwire Universal Car Phone Holder price and availability

The Syncwire Universal Car Phone Holder for Dashboard sells for around $17 when bought direct from Syncwire, but you can also pick it up from Amazon if that’s more convenient. You’ll also likely save a couple of dollars there, too — at the time of writing it was available for just $13.

Syncwire Universal Car Phone Holder: Design and features

The Syncwire Universal Car Phone Holder for Dashboard is as simple as any phone holder I’ve used and consists of one piece. At one end there’s the 3M sticker that will be used to mount the holder to your car’s dashboard and at the other is a magnetic surface. That’s where you’ll put your iPhone.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The magnetic head can be moved around in all directions, hopefully giving you the maneuverability needed to keep your phone out of sunlight and in-view no matter where you have to stick it.

Syncwire Universal Car Phone Holder: Setup

Setting the Syncwire holder up is a case of finding a flat, smooth surface and sticking the mount to it. That sounds simple, but it might not be depending on your car. I couldn’t stick the holder to anything except the inside of a cubby lid, hence the somewhat unusual photos. I tried other parts of my car with limited-to-no success. And even attached to the cubby lid, things weren’t ideal.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Syncwide holder comes with metal plates that can be stuck to the back of your phone — one round, one rectangular. Pick one and stick it to the back of your phone and you’re all set. One note of caution, however. Those with MagSafe iPhones will need to put their metal plate lower than they might expect thanks to the wonder of magnetic fields.

Syncwire Universal Car Phone Holder: Performance

There are two parts to how well the Syncwire holder works because, really, one part of it works well and the other doesn’t. You’ve probably already guessed which is which.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Sticking the holder to my car was almost impossible, and while your car might fare better, the small size of the sticker isn’t going to make for a strong connection anyway. Syncwire is using great stickers from 3M, but they’re so small they just can’t get a grip. Attaching something big like an iPhone 12 Pro Max or Galaxy Note is a no-go. I wouldn’t even try.

All that’s a shame, too, because the magnetic side of the holder is excellent. The built-in N97 magnets do their job admirably. The best I can say? Every time the holder fell off my car and bounced around the cabin, my iPhone 12 Pro never budged from its grasp.

Syncwire Universal Car Phone Holder: Verdict

No surprises here — I can’t recommend people buy this holder unless they already have something similar and know for sure that their car is set up to accommodate it. The holder actually holds phones extremely well, but it can’t hold onto dashboards and that’s a problem.

Anyone looking for a nice, solid holder should look elsewhere — something with a suction cup or vent mount would be a much better option.