The world is full of cheap plastic phone mounts that squeeze into a vent or stick on a dash. But one has earned a reputation as the opposite of that. The CravenSpeed Gemini phone mount looks and feels completely different because it is. But can this all metal mount live up to its $75 price? We wanted to find out.
Designed and made in the US from 100% high-grade steel, the Gemini phone mount has all the hallmarks of a product that is made by people who care. Case in point, the brackets themselves are laser cut and powder coated steel. The result is excellent structural rigidity that keeps the phone stable over rough pavement. Then the bushings are press fit into the brakes which further adds to the overall stability and integrity of the mount.
There are two components to the system – the mount and the bracket. We didn’t test the universal scissor mount that can expand and contract to any mobile device. Given that we primarily use an iPhone 15 Pro Max we wanted to go magnetic. Therefore we focused on Cravenspeed’s two magnetic mounts; the CraveSpeed’s own Magnetic mount and the MagSafe version. It’s important to note that the MagSafe mount is actually just a round enclosure that is designed to place a MagSafe charger into.
Installation on our F56 took about 20 minutes and was extremely straightforward. The process revolves around removing the center cluster and reusing screw points where the plate is then mounted. CravenSpeed provides both the small Torx screw driver and longer screws that make the job extremely easy.
That said I would highly encourage you have a magnetic grabber tool available just in case you drop a screw in the process. We say that because that’s exactly what we did when one slipped behind the plastic panel under the steering wheel. Luckily that piece is a press fit and easily removable.
And yes, there are two versions of the plate for either the analog or digital versions of the 3rd generation MINI cluster.
For our first couple of days we used the MagSafe adapter which acts as a cradle for an Apple MagSafe charger you’ll need to provide. As an iPhone user it felt like a no-brainer as it not only holds the iPhone but charges it as well. And on normal roads the set-up worked perfectly. However on some of the more broken roads of Chicago (and we mean really broken) we quickly found that the magnets in the Apple MagSafe Charger itself weren’t strong enough to keep the phone from flying (literally) from the mount.
After a few days of playing defense we decided switch from the MagSafe mount to Cravespeed’s own much stronger magnetic mount. That move transformed the experience in a few ways. On the positive side it’s rocking a 100% success rate for holding my phone over the worst roads. On the not so positive side I do have to stare at the Cravenspeed logo quite a bit. While it’s a great company and the logo certainly isn’t offensive, it would be nice to see it a touch smaller. But that’s coming from me, a fairly Type A designer who tries to eliminate as many logos as possible. There’s a good chance it won’t bother you.
One thing we grew to love was the variability. The Gemini mount can be positioned to be more discrete or closer to your line of sight. It can also be pushed down to minimize it entirely. The rigidity of the mount also allows for the adjustability to be robust. In other words doesn’t move unless you move it. No matter how terrible the roads were we drove on (and there were plenty of them) the arm or the ball-joint the mount was attached to never seemed to move.
The Most Over Engineered Mount Possible
The Cravenspeed Gemini mount has been a huge add to the cabin of our non-CarPlay F56. The placement, adjustability and quality puts it at the pinnacle of phone mounts we’ve tested or even seen. In short this thing is over-engineered in ways that is rare in consumer products these days. There’s simply nothing better on the market that we’d want in our MINI. It’s not cheap but for $75 you get the ultimate phone mount that will likely outlive your MINI itself. In our minds that’s not a bad bargain.
Creavenspeed Gemini Mount / Magsafe | $85
Creavenspeed Gemini Mount / Magnet | $75
Creavenspeed Gemini Mount / Scissor | $85 (not tested)