Oliv. Magnetic Mounts review: Refined design
I've had a growing number of car mounting systems come across my desk for testing purposes, so I've developed a keen eye for determining which are worth writing about and which bring nothing new to the space. When considering a new car mount, my three main considerations are: ease of installation, ease of use, and multi-use scenarios.
ProClip sent me a couple of its new Oliv. Magnetic Mounts for consideration — the Oliv. Magnetic Button Mount ($29.99) and Oliv. Magnetic Suction Cup Mount ($39.99). The magnets used here are strong enough to hold your device securely yet safe to use with your devices. They won't wipe your credit cards or affect the compass tech in your phone.
One of the more interesting parts of the design here is how modular each mount is. For the magnetic button mount, you only adhere a minimalist disc to your dash which you can use to directly mount your phone, or add in the included swivel mount so you can position your phone exactly the way you want. Oliv. also offers a vent mount if you don't want to stick something to your dash.
But it's the suction mount that really stole my attention — it's by far the easiest suction mount I've ever used. Simply place it onto a smooth surface and twist the textured ring around the base and voila! The mount is secured. Want to move it or re-adjust it? Simply twist it the other way and it pops right off. No adhesives and no weird clips. It works elegantly.
And while the packaging showcases the mount as a windshield accessory, you could also use this for mounting your phone anywhere in your home or office — use it as a desktop stand for your phone, or stick it on your kitchen counter while you cook. I love it because its so easy to relocate without much fuss or mess.
The elephant in the room, as is the case with all of these magnetic mounting systems, is the requirement of sticking a little metal plate onto the back of your phone. It's understandable that not too many people love that look. The Oliv backplate is a bit bulkier than other options I've looked at, too, meaning you won't be able to slip it behind a case. My recommendation would be to instead slap it onto the back of a case, so you're not adhering it straight to the back of your phone (although the plates it won't stick to a silicone case). Each mount includes two metal plates, with two-packs available for $8 if you share your car with multiple people.
Included in the documentation is a list of other mounting options that will flesh out the Oliv magnetic ecosystem, including a bike mount clip that uses the same magnets. The bike mount is not currently listed on the Oliv site, but would be a compelling reason to buy into this mounting system and justify adding the metal plate to the back of your phone.
Car mounts are designed to keep your phone out of your hands while you're behind the wheel. Be sure to check your local laws regarding car mounts and whether windshield mounts are banned by state laws before buying and always keep your eyes focused on the road ahead.
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Marc Lagace was an Apps and Games Editor at Android Central between 2016 and 2020. You can reach out to him on Twitter [@spacelagace.