As a product reviewer, it is always essential to try out different products and provide my honest opinion. This includes not only testing the performance of the products but also assessing their quality. Recently I got a chance to test out PopSockets Grip, which can be used on your smartphone or tablet at home or away from home in many more creative ways than just holding your device upright!

You’ve undoubtedly seen PopSockets in the last year or two unless you’ve been living under a rock. These little circular phone grips have become quite popular among individuals looking for fashion and utility. These tiny fellas are more than just a fun way to customize your gadget; they also have some practicality—though not many durabilities (which is reasonable given they aren’t expensive).

Let’s start with the form. The platform (the circular portion that attaches to the phone), accordion (a fun center element that pops up and down), and button are the three parts of the PopSockets grip (the circular disk that typically contains a design or illustration of some sort). The platform and button have a diameter of 1.56″. The accordion is 0.25″ tall when not popped and 0.9″ tall when completely popped. Polycarbonate, thermoplastic polyurethane, and love are the materials used (according to PopSockets). Aluminum is used in certain PopSockets buttons, which takes us to our next issue.

Testing the PopSockets in Joshua TreeCustomization! PopSockets buttons come in several patterns and colors, and you can even upload your picture to personalize them (perhaps a selfie for those who want the world to know how awesome they are). It may find everything from simple hues to Harry Potter and Justice League collaborations in the current catalog. The more basic alternatives cost roughly $10, but for an additional $5, you can upgrade to the different associations or aluminum (hey, big spender). But the personalization doesn’t end there; accordions and platforms come in a range of hues. Because we’re dull, we settled with basic black on a plain black.

Popsockets in Use

Now it’s time to get down to business. A grip and a kickstand are the two fundamental functions of the PopSockets. The PopSockets grip makes it simpler to hold and stable your phone for pictures and videos when it’s unpopped. If you spend a lot of time on your phone and snap many selfies, this is very beneficial (or you are a skilled photographer). Though we’ve discovered that the whole hand grasp is still the best stabilizer, the PopSockets grip seems much less uncomfortable than the claw grip. Larger smartphones (it’s still unclear if the iPhone Plus is a tablet) will benefit from the PopSockets grip since it keeps your phone in your hand and off the ground, which means you’ll have fewer “hold your breath and hope nothing is damaged” moments while turning over a fallen phone.

Pop the accordion out entirely or partly with a bend inward at the top to utilize it as a kickstand (this only works when mounted in the center). This function comes in handy when you want to view a video but don’t want to use your hands (holding things is a lot of work sometimes).

PopSockets KickstandIt’s all about personal choice when it comes to PopSockets positioning. To find out where it feels best in your hand, you’ll probably have to stick and re-stick a few times. It works best when the phone is centered horizontally and vertically below the center. This enables us to scan our pinned apps and text at seventh-grade rates quickly. We also suggest putting it on a phone cover to keep it from clogging up your smartphone, although this is a personal opinion.

We don’t travel by vehicle too much, but the PopSockets mount may be a helpful addition if you do. This semi-circle device has a sticker on the back that you can slot your socket into for hands-free navigation on the fly. Stick it to your dashboard.

You get what you paid for when it comes to durability. According to the website, they can grow and compress 12,000 times and stick/re-stick as many times. However, we discovered that most Tootsie Pops don’t last more than six months, regardless of how many licks it takes to reach the core. The most common reason for this is that the little notches that hold the button in place in the accordion begin to break off, causing the switch to lose and fall off. At nine months, the rubber on the accordion will also start to wear down (kudos if yours makes it that long). The durability of these items is mainly determined by how they are used. If you stand it up and grasp it, it will last you far longer than if you fidget as we do—but where’s the pleasure in that?

Broken PopsocketsThe fundamental truth is that PopSockets aren’t designed to last a lifetime—and that’s just OK! By then, you’ll probably want to re-accessorize your phone many times. And, at under $10 a pop (pun intended), it’s cost-effective and straightforward to switch them out as the seasons change. The usefulness, affordability, and extra pizzazz that PopSockets provide to your mobile device exceed the durability concerns. So even if our fashionable hip middle school relative tells us they’re “so last year,” we plan to keep using them.

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