Review: Quad Lock’s Smartphone Case And Mount System Is Beyond Heavy Duty

I needed a better dash mount for my iPhone and found an entire mounting system

byMichael Febbo|
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I receive smartphone dashboard mounts for testing on a regular basis. Most of them are made of flimsy plastics held together with a few metal fasteners that provide just enough structure to keep your device swaying precariously from the dashboard. They are basically disposable pieces, with different brands being popped out of the same molds in the same factories, just labeled with different names that are created with some sort of random corporate branding generator. While Quad Lock may not have quite the same ring as Thunder Pow or Good Workman, its products are designed to last longer than Amazon’s return period and are some of the toughest phone accessories I’ve tested.

After being frustrated with the pile of unsolicited dash mounts I’ve received in the past, I reached out to Quad Lock for a sample for testing. I've seen them on friends’ bikes and I was impressed with the quality. The Australia-based company happily obliged and sent over an iPhone 15 Pro Max case, a vent mount for the car, a handlebar mount for my bike, and a universal 1” ball mount that can be used for variety of different applications. This barely scratches the surface of the products offered as the system gives you the ability to mount your phone or tablet to just about any surface along with a huge variety of specialized solutions for motorcycles, boats, and even aircraft. Most of the mounts can be ordered as just mounts or with charging abilities. Quad Lock even offers desk chargers and other accessories like wallets and external batteries.

Hands-On With Hands-Free Phone Cases

The case is a logical starting point. Your choice is basic black. This may be a sticking point for those who use their phone case as a form of personal expression. Full disclosure, my other case is hi-vis green, more for utility than expression, but I won’t judge. If you opt for the MAG-compatible mount, Which is not the same as MagSafe, more later, you do have the option of using colored ring inserts. The standard Quad Lock case is about $30 and the MAG case is about $40. That’s twice what I normally spend, but as I type this I realize worrying about an extra ten or twenty bucks on a case for my $1200 phone that I will use for at least 24 months seems ridiculous.

The cases are a one-piece design and the TPU—thermoplastic polyurethane—material is stiffer than most. It requires a little extra effort to get it off and on, but the point is that your phone isn’t going to come out accidentally. It has a matte finish and a bit of a grippy, non-slip feel. The MAG case adds about an 1/8-inch in height and width to the phone and a little under a 1/4-inch in thickness. The original case, without the magnet, is, curiously, just slightly thicker. There is a hard frame that sticks out just past the camera lenses on the back of the case. This is something missing from a lot of other cases I’ve had in the past. It’s a great case that will protect your phone and is obviously a necessity for using the mounts. 

Scaling The Heights Of Mount Quad Lock

Quad Lock offers four different styles of car mounts. Two styles of adhesive mounts, one suction mount, and the vent mount—I chose the last. I’ve tested some vent mounts in the past that have broken in a matter of hours, not only liberating my phone to bounce around the car but also sending cheap plastic shrapnel down into my vent plenum. This mount is far better constructed and I’ve had it in my car for a few months with no issues. It has a metal hook that grabs the back of a vent slat and tightens onto that. The mounting face for the phone can be adjusted as it is mounted on a ball joint, making it easy to get it pointed at you.

To clip your phone to the mount, you hold it 45 degrees off vertical or horizontal, lightly push it onto the mount, and twist to lock it into place—it takes some time to build up the muscle memory for this to be one seamless move. You do the reverse to remove it. Once mounted, the phone is secure. As secure as any other mount I’ve ever tried. All of the mounts can be upgraded to use MAG mounts, and even to wireless charging heads. Car mounts range from $20 to $50.

For me, the Out Front Mount for bikes is even better than the dash mount. Now that Apple seems to want to go head-to-head with bicycling computer manufacturers like Garmin and Wahoo, there’s even more incentive for usable ways to keep your phone in view. I’ve tried a lot of different mounts. With some, I barely made it down my street before chickening out and sticking my phone in a pocket.

The Quad Lock clamps onto your handlebars and can be positioned for your phone to be in front of or behind the bars. The clamp can use any of the three included adapters for use on 22mm, 25.4mm, 31.8mm bars, or 35mm bars with no adaptor. The underside of the mount even has a spot to mount an action camera style adaptor. You can mount cameras, lights, or anything else that uses that style of clamp.

Attaching your phone to the bike mount is just like the dash mount—push and twist. Unlike the dash mount, the bike mount uses a lever release to remove your phone. I, luckily, haven’t had an opportunity to test this, but it is more likely to keep your phone attached in a crash. The Out Front mount retails for $40. Quad Lock also offers a mount that attaches to your stem instead of handlebars, if you would want to go that way.

The last accessory I received with a Quad Lock mount with a 1” inch ball mount on the other side. The ball mount, if you aren’t familiar, is more common for motorcycle and offroading mounts. It’s often used for mounting cameras, GPS units, and that sort of thing. It’s also become more common in film rigging for mounting medium-sized cameras with suction mounts for exterior action shots. I have yet to use it, but the ball is the right size and the Quad Lock mount works just like the others.

Are There Downsides To Quad Lock

The first thing most people are going to point out as a negative is the price. The number of throwaway products on Amazon that are a fraction of the price of Quad Lock skews expectations. Some of the $5 mounts I’ve tested weren’t even strong enough to hold my phone to the dash in my driveway, much less keep it from becoming a projectile inside my car in an accident. Even if you’re OK with replacing cheap units every couple of months, that’s plastic waste nobody needs. The Quad Lock mounts are going to last years. The only thing you’ll need to replace is the phone case every time you upgrade to a new model.

I only have one genuine complaint with Quad Lock and it’s with the cases. I use Apple MagSafe Chargers at home, and the Quad Lock case isn’t compatible. It will stick to the charger, but it won’t charge. Quad Lock makes wireless chargers for desktop use, but I already have multiple MagSafe units. Hopefully, this is a problem that can be remedied in the future.


Quad Lock Smartphone Dash Mount
Ease Of Use7/10

This began as an effort to find a dash mount tough enough to hold my larger and heavier-than-average iPhone 15 ProMax. Quad Lock delivers. Besides offering a dash mount, Quad Lock offers an entire system that allows you to move your phone from all different types of vehicles and use-cases while using a much better-than-average phone case. Yes, since it is a whole system, it is a bigger investment, but if you were going to buy all the things separately, the difference is minimal. Some people’s sticking point will be a lack of color choices in cases, for me, it isn’t an issue. My only issue is the fact that the case isn’t compatible with Apple MagSafe chargers. Had I known that ahead of time, I would have outfitted my house with Quad Lock chargers instead of Apple. But, overall this is the best mounting system I have tested. 

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