Clckr MagSafe Stand and Grip
magHANDL O with Popl
Clckr Stand and Grip and magHANDL O with Popl Review
At first, people wanted a way to hold an iPhone with a finger or two. That seemed like a tall ask to transform a piece of art. But the market came through with inexpensive clips held on with adhesives. Various forms of clips and loops with super sticky adhesive proliferated, transforming selfies and creating new opportunities for marketers to brand the circles or squares stuck to the phone or pivoting against the well-stuck base.
And then Apple created MagSafe. MagSafe requires a fixed, unobstructed circle (with a tail) on the back of a phone to adhere magnetically to MagSafe chargers. Even cases required reinforcing magnetic disks to make the magnet work. Adhesive grips and sockets get in the way. For some, the tradition of sticking a grip on the back of an iPhone outweighed the value of MagSafe. To others, MagSafe offered an opportunity to reimagine the grip as a magnetic item that eliminates the permanence of adhesives and replaces it with easily swapped-out magnetic adhesion.
The problem with magnets, at this scale, is that they don’t always hold to the bumps and jostles of life outside the home or even life inside the home with sporty teenagers or toddlers. A good bump in the right place and the magnet dislodges, plummeting the phone to the floor. I never use a magnetic grip when hanging over a precipice, be it the second floor of a convention center looking down on the floor below or the edge of a cliff as seals frolic below me.
I offer this disclaimer because this review looks at two new MagSafe grips with very different approaches to their solutions but with similar functional results. Both use MagSafe and are equally prone to falling off; however, one, the magHANDL O, offers a variety of in-box aids that can reduce the risk of calamity.
All MagSafe stands and grips must be removed from an iPhone for charging.
Clckr MagSafe Stand and Grip
The $29.99 Clckr MagSafe Stand and Grip is a simple design with a disk to connect the stand and grip to the phone, plus a folding plastic strip that clicks out to create a grip and folds down and clicks in to create a stand. I’m guessing all the clicking gives the product its name. The company claims a tighter grip on the iPhone with its 3500 Gauss magnetic strength. I ran a simple, unscientific test with a pocketknife blade.
I found it harder to shake off the Clckr than the magHANDL O. That said, the magHANDL O weighs more, but it will do so on the phone as well. The lighter Clckr, which also sports a lower profile, will likely stay firmly attached to the iPhone in more circumstances than bulkier competitors.
I find Clckr’s simplicity leaning toward elegance, at least visually. However, the Clckr proves less elegant when struggling to unclick the plastic strip and reposition it. It can be challenging to find the right spot to pull up the strip for reconfiguration.
But the plastic tabs eventually do free the plastic strip so it can be bent along its hinges and transform into a stand or left open as a grip. My bigger concern, over time, is the quality of the plastic hinges and how many foldings and unfoldings they can endure. That said, they are probably going to outlast the iPhone they start with, but I can’t know for sure,
Of the three MagSafe grips I have tested, Clckr is the thinnest and lightest of them but also the least functional. The STM MagLoop finger loop also included a bottle opener, and the magHANDL O, (per my review below), includes a Popl NFC chip plus more configuration options. Clckr does come in a variety of colors.
magHANDL O with Popl
I’m going to start off with the assertion that the magHANDL O is a superior product. It costs the same as the Clckr but offers a more robust product with additional features, most notably integration with Popl’s virtual business card tech. As of this writing, their website doesn’t make that feature explicit, but the box does—and I had no issue with adding another Popl to my existing Popl account.
Popl is non-intrusive in the magHANDL O, sitting at the mounting disk’s center. It’s there if it’s used or not; regardless, it doesn’t get in the way. A warning on the website suggests phones may try to connect to it if they have NFC enabled—which is required for those who regularly tap for Apple Pay.
For those who use an Apple Watch for Apple Pay, turning NFC off isn’t a big deal—but if it is, I suggest non-Popl versions of magHANDL O.
The magHANDL O employs a disk with an elastic strap. The disk can be slotted into the magnetic disk to create a stand, it can be pulled out to create a grip, and it can be balanced atop a laptop screen to bring the power of the iPhone camera to video conferencing on a MacBook.
Clckr Stand and Grip and magHANDL O: The bottom line
At $29.99 each, the magHANDL O offers comparatively more value (more positions, Popl integration, mounting hardware in the box) than the Clckr, but it’s also bulkier than Clckr MagSafe Stand and Grip. For those who desire integrated Popl, the magHANDL O is the hands-down option (pun intended). If, however, you want slim and light, the Clckr may be a better choice…but again, with price comparisons, the magHANDL feels more like a higher valued product compared to other $30 competitors, including Clckr and PopGrip for MagSafe.
HANDL provided the magHANDL O with Popl for review. Images courtesy of Handl. Clckr provided the MagSafe Stand and Grip for review. Images courtesy of Clckr.
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