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This is the ultimate iPhone car charger, and I just fixed its biggest problem

The ESR HaloLock was already a fantastic MagSafe charger. With a few modifications, I've made it even better.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
In-car charger attached to a windshield
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The other day I looked at what I thought was the ultimate in-car wireless charger, the ESR HaloLock with CryoBoost technology. I still stand by my assessment that this is the best in-car charger I've tested, by far.

But several readers got in touch with me to say that while they could indeed benefit from a wireless charger that offered built-in cooling (because, like me, they would get unreliable charging in hot weather), the vent mount mechanism was a deal-breaker.

Also: This car charger doubles as an emergency device

Now, to be clear, the vent mounting holder that the HaloLock with CryoBoost wireless car charger came with didn't give me any problems at all. Once I took a few seconds to set it up right, it was great. And I gave it many tens of miles of bad road in my truck, and many more miles in a rental car.

But I can see why some people have a problem with vent mounting. It can be a bit clumsy, can restrict your options as to where you can fit the mount, might break the vent if you're heavy-handed, or just blocks a vent that you're using.

These are good points.

A couple of readers also wondered if the charger part of the HaloLock with CryoBoost charger was compatible with ESR's HaloLock Dashboard Phone Mount. There was only one way to find out -- I bought one!

View at Amazon

To cut a short story even shorter, yes, the two fit together just fine! I just needed to loosen the ball mount on both and swap the ends over. 

Two different in-car smartphone mounts

Swapping the ends of the two different mounts over is as easy as it looks!

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Now I have the best of all worlds -- a wireless MagSafe charger with a built-in cooling fan that also features a suction mount that sticks onto any windshield or dashboard.

Also: Is this the ultimate wireless car charger? My iPhone tells me yes

This excellent mount offers a strong suction cup for attaching a smartphone to most surfaces. It also features articulating arms and a swivel ball head so you can perfectly place your smartphone in any vehicle -- and with nothing hanging off the air vent!

In-car smartphone mount featuring articulated arms and the ball swivel

Articulated arms and the ball swivel allow for perfect mounting

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

And just to make sure that it sticks well and doesn't fall apart, I took in on a trip that included a few dozen miles of bad road, and the suction cup stayed attached to the windshield, and the phone stayed fixed to the charger.

The mount did cost me $22, but decent suction cup mounts aren't cheap, and I've spent more on suction cups in the past.

Modified in-car smartphone holder

Here's what the final holder looks like

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Another question I received after my last article was about the strength of the magnet, and whether you needed ESR's MagSafe case to get the best results, or whether any MagSafe case would work, or none at all.

I tested a few different MagSafe cases, including Apple's own MagSafe case, another ESR case, and a Quad-Lock case, and I found they all worked pretty much the same.

Two MagSafe-compatible iPhone cases with in-car holder

Testing different MagSafe cases with the MagSafe in-car smartphone holder.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

However, without a case, the connection was nowhere near as reliable, especially on rough roads. For the best performance, my advice is to use a MagSafe case with this charger. 

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