Sometimes the cheapest and simplest solutions are the best ones.
Even though I have an expensive navigation/entertainment system in my car, I strongly prefer using a smartphone for navigation and listening to music. In fact, about the only thing I now do with that high-end car dash unit is to connect it to my iPhone via Bluetooth.
But the biggest challenge was how to mount the phone so that I could see it and safely access it while driving. I tried a number of car mounts ranging in price from $20 to $40, but none worked well. Some were designed to stick to the windshield which, aside from being illegal where I live, meant that the phone was pretty far from view and completely of reach. One mount I tried used the cup holder as a base, another involved a heavy beanbag that sat on the dashboard All of these required some type of mechanism to hold the phone which was awkward every time I entered or left the car.
The 17-cent solution
Finally, I came up with Velcro — a method that not only works well but is really cheap. A single Velcro sticky back costs about 17 cents (you can buy 32 sets for $5.59).
Unless your phone is really heavy or you drive over exceptionally bumpy roads, the Velcro should hold. If not, you can buy industrial strength Velcro. With most dashboards and most smartphone cases, the glue on sticky back should also be strong enough (let it set for a few minutes before applying pressure) but if not, you can always use some other type of glue. Mine worked fine out the box until I got a new Skinny Fit rubberized silicone case from The Snugg. The glue on the Velcro just didn’t hold, but my local shoe repair shop was able to glue it on so that it now sticks.