Review: Scosche MagicMount, MagicMount Surface + MagicMount Window
Simple in concept, Scosche's MagicMount ($20), MagicMount Surface ($15), and MagicMount Window ($25) impressed us when we first saw them at the 2014 CES. Each of the three separate products relies on the same core concept: using magnetic plates, they are able to instantly attach an iPhone to a wall, desk, or car mount. They each come bundled with two plates -- one large and one small -- that can be adhered directly to the back of either an iPhone or its case. The plates can also fit in between an iPhone and case without being stuck on, a big advantage, since it means you can use many cases without affecting their appearance.
At 0.7mm thin, the plates were easily installed behind a handful of different cases without any real issues. On some more rigid cases, the bulge was slightly noticeable, but it didn’t impact the fit or protection. The smaller of the two plates is 1.26” by 1.1”, with rounded corners, while the bigger one has the same shape, but is 2.6” by 1.7”. Scosche includes 3M adhesive material capable of creating a solid bond. We would never attach it directly to the back of an iPhone, or most cases, so we’re happy that just sliding it between the two pieces is an option.
One small magnet-related caveat is worth mentioning. Placing a magnet directly next to your device will throw off the integrated compass, and we noted that Scosche’s magnet created measurement differences ranging from 15 to 45 degrees, depending on the way the iPhone was turned. In our testing, GPS-assisted navigation wasn’t impacted by the presence of the magnet, but ascertaining the correct compass direction from a static position could be. As a result, it may be a better idea to use the magnets without the adhesive, and pull them out when you need more accurate compass guidance.
The most basic of the three mounts is MagicMount Surface. It’s a small, plastic, almost square block that’s 0.34” thick. One side has a circle of adhesive, and the other, rubber and a grippy material. Attach it to the wall or another surface, and it’ll then securely grip your iPhone. The handset can easily spin to whatever orientation is needed. This could be convenient in any number of locations: it provides a strong grip, and even when we connected an iPad Air, the device stayed in place. Disconnecting your device is just a matter of pulling away.
MagicMount is next up in terms of complexity. Essentially, it’s MagicMount Surface, attached to a flat base. There’s a ball joint and extended neck, allowing the mount to be placed in a wide range of positions. Scosche suggests it might be used on a desk or a car dashboard. MagicMount Window takes this concept and extends the neck even further, turning it into an adjustable 4.3”-long gooseneck, terminating in a suction cup that’s designed to attach to a car window. This is perfect for using the iPhone for GPS or media playback in a vehicle.
Scosche’s system is clean and simple, and doesn’t require any special cases. Apart from the compass impact, it’s pretty much all we could ask for from a mounting system, and we’re happy to see it executed so well. If there’s one change we wouldn’t mind seeing, it’s an adhesive that can be removed and reapplied. The fact that the magnets are thin enough to be used with cases is a huge win, though, and in many cases makes the adhesive a non-issue. Plain and simple, this is a great system for the price, and each component is worthy of our high recommendation.