One of the first things to consider when trying to pick the right car phone holder is where you’re going to put it. Do you want a CD slot mount or an air vent one? Should you go for a dashboard or windshield version instead? Those are the four most common types, but there is one more mount style: the cup holder phone mount. Products like the Topgo Cup Holder Phone Mount can take advantage of a space you might otherwise ignore. We’ve taken it on a few drives and are ready to tell you all about it in this Topgo Cup Holder Phone Mount review.

What you need to know about the Topgo Cup Holder Phone Mount

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  • Topgo Cup Holder Phone Mount (TC1): $32.99/£16.99

The Topgo Cup Holder Phone mount is (you guessed it) a phone holder that attaches to a vehicle’s cup holder. This accessory is meant to offer a solution for those who can’t find a proper spot for their car mounts in traditional car interiors. You can use it instead of a dashboard, windshield, air vent, or CD slot mount if you want to keep those free of accessories.

This model is available in three colors (blue, black, and gray) and measures 170 x 78 x 114mm. The official price is $32.99, but you can often find this accessory cheaper on Amazon. The online retailer has it for $19.99 at the time of writing this article.

What’s good?

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Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Mounting your car phone mount in the dashboard and windshield areas is better for easier reach and visibility, but it has its drawbacks. For starters, having anything blocking your view of the windshield can be dangerous (and illegal in some regions). Adding accessories to the entertainment area in the center often blocks certain important knobs, buttons, and other controls. Car interiors have limited spaces, which is why sometimes it’s better to have your car phone holder completely out of the way.

The Topgo Cup Holder Phone Mount can be a safer alternative to dashboard and windshield holders, which block your view.

The Topgo Cup Holder Phone Mount attaches to an area where it likely won’t get in the way of anything important. This proves to be a convenient solution for those who want free access to all vehicle controls and unobstructed visibility through the windshield.

As it turns out, cup holders make for great mounting solutions. They don’t move around, which reduces shake and random movements. And because the Topgo Cup Holder Phone Mount has a pretty solid arm extension, the phone had little to no wiggle when docked during my testing.

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Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The installation is pretty simple too. Just stick the device’s bottom section into the cup holder and rotate the large grooved knob clockwise. The three tighteners will start moving outward until they create enough pressure to keep the whole contraption in place. The box comes with some extenders in case your cup holder is larger than usual too. Once installed, you can move the dock around to your preferred location, angle, and orientation. The extension arm is flexible, so you get plenty of versatility in this department.

The phone holder itself has some pretty neat tricks. There is a button on the top section on the back which can extend the side arms. Another button in the lower back releases the bottom support in case you use a larger device.

More: The best car apps for Android

What’s not so good?

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Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The Topgo Cup Holder Phone Mount is by no means perfect. Let’s begin with design, which we’re sad to tell you isn’t the best. While the unit is pretty sturdy once installed, and the arm’s movement feels good, the rest of the accessory isn’t built in a premium fashion.

The plastic feels cheap. It doesn’t seem like it will break or wear down soon, but it’s hardly a pretty sight, especially considering the design is far from discrete. It literally sticks out of your cup holder, so it doesn’t blend into modern cars very well.

The Topgo Cup Holder Phone Mount doesn't provide a pretty sight. Especially considering the design is far from discrete.

I’m also not a fan of having to give up one of my cup holders. I have at least one passenger with me for about half of my drives. This isn’t an issue if you drive alone and have a cupholder to spare, but it became a nuisance for me. I often had to remove it so that my wife or friends could place their drinks there.

Using a cup holder mount also defeats the purpose of a phone mount, which is keeping your device easily accessible and visible. Taking your eyes slightly off the road towards your dash/windshield is already bad enough. With this one you have to look all the way towards your cupholder to take a look at your phone. This section is usually placed low around your gearbox or center console. It’s a distracting location to use for a smartphone mount.

Topgo Cup Holder Phone Mount review: Should I buy it?

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Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Despite the lackluster materials used, bad looks, and awkward placement, the Topgo Cup Holder Phone Mount is one of the best of its kind. This is one of the main reasons we recommend it over other cup holder mounts.

Construction is not optimal, but no other cup holder mount does better in this department. Furthermore, few offer this level of functionality for the price point.

The Topgo Cup Holder Phone Mount is a worthy buy if you don’t want to sacrifice any other mounting space and have a cup holder to spare. For anyone else, perhaps stick with the more traditional car phone holder types.

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Topgo Cup Holder Phone Mount

This phone mount keeps your phone out of the way while taking advantage of space you might not even use.