Someone Created a Vacuum Phone Holder for Cars, and It's Ridiculously Cool

It may not seem so, but finding the right phone holder for a car is a painful and frustrating experience. Trust me, I've tried them all, and after putting all my hopes into revolutionary and innovative designs and ideas, I ended up using a universal phone holder installed in the air vent. It's not anything mind-blowing, but it gets the job done.
The device seeks crowdfunding support on Kickstarter 8 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Kickstarter
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Someone on Kickstarter has come up with another proposal that sounds intriguing.

Zelbemwe is a phone holder that uses a vacuum suction cup to keep the phone in the desired position. It sounds complicated, but it isn't: you just attach the phone to the suction cup, and it immediately activates the vacuum mode to securely hold the device.

Here's everything you need to know about the product.

Why a vacuum suction cup is a great idea

Zelbemwe phone holder
Photo: Kickstarter
Car phone holders typically require two-hand operation, as you must adjust the product with one hand and install the phone with the other.

I used a so-called "gravity" phone holder that relied on the mobile phone's weight to provide a secure grip, but I still needed both hands to make sure the smartphone stayed in place.

Magnetic holders come with a huge shortcoming: they typically sport a metal plate that must be attached to the back of the phone, often using an adhesive band, then allowing the mobile device to securely stick in the holder. While most of these products do their job (especially if they sport a strong magnet), keeping the metal plate on the back of the phone is annoying, especially if you use a transparent silicon case or don't use a case at all.

Zelbemwe proposes this vacuum suction cup that doesn't require other accessories, so attaching the phone generates vacuum power to keep the device in place.

Zelbemwe phone holder
Photo: Kickstarter
The device sports two suction cups, one on each side.

It uses a so-called nano-suction cup to install on the vehicle, such as the windshield. We've all seen and probably used this system. It's a suction cup that typically stays in place properly, especially if the surface is plain and clean.

The other end comes with this innovative vacuum suction cup activated when you attach the mobile device. In between, the device sports a flexible support arm that allows you to adjust the angle and rotate it to find the perfect angle – this is a major bonus, as you can use Zelbemwe at your desk or in other cases when you need a sturdy stand for the mobile device. As long as you have the right surface to install it, Zelbemwe will stick to it, keeping the phone at the desired angle.

Zelbemwe phone holder
Photo: Kickstarter
The vacuum suction is incredibly strong, or at least, that's what the parent company claims. In its internal tests, the Zelbemwe owner determined that the suction cup can securely hold in place objects that weigh up to 5 kilos (that's almost 11 pounds for our American readers). This is more than any phone or tablet – the iPhone 15 Pro, for example, tips the scales at 187 grams. It can fit any size and case as long as it can be installed on the dashboard.

Another major benefit of Zelbemwe is integrated wireless charging support. Most new smartphones come with wireless charging, allowing owners to charge the battery without a cable. Charging the phone while driving is almost mandatory, especially if the mobile device is used for navigation, listening to music, or powering Android Auto and CarPlay. Most drivers already have a charging cable in their vehicles, but Zelbemwe offers wireless charging, so it can charge the phone while it's attached to the phone holder.

The feature requires a cable, as Zelbemwe comes with an integrated USB-C port. If your car has a traditional USB-A port, you'll need a USB-A to USB-C cable.

The device also sports an integrated battery, but at 120 mAh, it doesn't help much. It's enough to help it serve its purpose, but you'll have to use a cable for full phone charging.

Everything sounds great on paper, but as I said earlier, I'll have to try this new phone holder to see if it truly delivers on its promises. One of the main drawbacks I can easily spot in the photos is the location of the charging port. The USB-C port is located on the side, and in a car, this could not only look awkward but also block the driver from pressing the buttons on the center console.

The produce made its way to Kickstarter a few days ago, but it has rapidly become a hit. It's already fully funded thanks to 72 backers, but the campaign still has 22 days to go until it ends. To try Zelbemwe, you can secure your unit with a $29 donation. The shipping is projected to begin in November, approximately one month after the crowdfunding campaign ends.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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