With the release of $1,000 phones like the Samsung Note 9 and iPhone X becoming “the norm,” it makes more sense than ever to get a better grip on your mobile device. With the 3 main options of phone holders (PopSockets, Love Handles, & Ring Holders), it’s hard to pick the best because they each have their own unique benefits and drawbacks. It all depends on how you use your phone or tablet, so hopefully, we can help give you a “better grip” on your choices.
I know what you’re first question is, so let’s get it out of the way.
“Do any of them work with wireless chargers?”
The simple answer is no, BUT with thinner cases and a good wireless charger, it’s possible. That’s beyond the scope of this article, especially since technology like Energous’s WattUp Wireless Chargers are right around the corner. We’ll be charging our phones like we connect to Wifi, in no time.
Getting back to phone holders, the first option up is…
We start with the most popular option, and for good reason. PopSockets have taken off like wildfire and you can tell why by our weak list of “Cons.” Simply put, they do what they’re supposed to do. Nothing more and nothing less. Just make sure you get the real thing because with popularity comes copy-cats.
If it doesn’t say “PopSockets.com” on the base plate, that’s your best sign that you purchased an inferior knock-off and you should return it from where you got it from right away. “Fugazy” PopSockets suffer from 3 main issues:
- An inferior adhesive that sticks too much and leaves a residue on your phone or case, or they don’t even stick enough to pick up your phone off of the table. knockoffs usually come with a 3M sticker that covers the adhesive part.
- The brittle base-plates crack easily and make the “FakeSocket” unusable.
- They have an inferior pull-and-collapse mechanism that leaves it loose and too limp when extended. (If you’re done chuckling we can move on.)
Now that we got out of the way the things you should look out for, here are the things you should look forward to when you get your new PopSocket:
- Premium reusable and washable adhesive. If the sticky surface loses sticky strength just dip in water, let dry, and reapply.
- Doubles as a kickstand for hands-free viewing and is the best stand option of the 3.
- Huge selection of styles and colors.
- Compatible mounts for car vents, dashboards, and other flat surfaces.
- Durability. The weakest part is where the head connects to the base and can detach, but it’s pretty easy to snap back into place.
- 360° grip angle.
- Adhesive works best on glass-backed phones and hardcover cases, but oily silicone and other waterproof surfaces can have a hard time sticking. (Clean application area with alcohol wipes for best results)
- Not as comfortable for larger hands. The plastic tabs from the head of the PopSockets are the main issue.
- It takes two fingers to secure phone
A miny version of Otterbox’s Utility Series Tablet Latch, LoveHandles are just as effective at securing your smaller mobile devices. You can use them on smaller tablets, but they really make the most sense on phones. Comfortable, durable, and slim are the best things about the LoveHandles.
- Ultra-slim design. Very pocket-friendly and less likely to catch on items in your pocket or purse.
- Fair selection of colors and styles.
- Super-comfortable elastic sling grip.
- 1 or 2-finger usage (3 if your hands are small enough)
- Best durability. Not many moving parts like PopSockets and Finger Ring Holders.
- 360° rotating mounts available
- Not a rotating holder. They can only be held in the angle they’re mounted
- No kickstand function (You can pair then with a Spigen U100 Kickstand or attach your LoveHandle to a kickstand case)
- The phone doesn’t lay as flat as with PopSockets
3. Finger Ring Holders
Thickness: 3.81mm (Baseus brand) (varies widely by brand and style)
Finger Ring Holders come in the most shapes and sizes, but they all seem to fall victim to the same issue with regards to the kickstand function. If (when) the tightness wears off, the kickstand function is unusable. If that’s important to you then you should go with one of the other 2 options. Other than that, their best features are the premium looks and wild shapes. This group features everything from 3D superhero symbols to blinged out hearts. There’s something for everybody!
- Super slim profile on flush-folding design styles like the one pictured above.
- Magnetic car mount compatibility.
- Huge selection of styles and shapes. Also, there are many cases available with built-in finger ring holders. (Best to use with wireless chargers.)
- Durability. Like Baseus Ring Holders, most have a metal finish, a pressure fitted ring connection, and smooth ball-bearing rotation.
- The most secure anti-theft option of the 3, especially from the infamous “crowd grab” and “subway closing-door grab.”
- 360° rotating ring-grip.
- Your phone can be held with one finger or hung easily from hooks and other mounts.
- Adhesives on most brands aren’t as forgiving as the special PopSocket adhesive.
- 360° spinning and/or 180° ring-pivot can wear out leaving the kickstand function unusable
- Not-so-slim designs on “door-knocker” style finger ring holders.
- Easily scratched because of the metal and/or paint finish .
- While the magnetic mounts are a nice and easy way to mount, your phone can easily fall with a slight bump. They’re not as strong as traditional magnetic mounts with larger plate and mount heads.