Case-Mate provided a unique spin to the Pop Socket craze with the Balloon Dog reusable phone stand/grip.
I find it astounding that in 2019, there are still people who tote their smartphones around sans case. Do not misinterpret my statement, I love the sleek lines and the feel of the devices but I cannot press my luck with such an expensive item. Having earned my trust many times over, my iPhone XS Max comfortably resides within a black Catalyst Impact Case. If you have not yet watched the CNET 20 foot drop test, the case survived amazingly well. To name a few of the perks, I love the wrist lanyard, the light weight, the bezel protection, and the clear backing. With the popularity of pop-sockets, the case was designed perfectly to improve upon the drop-sparing devices.
The Stand Ups phone stand arrived in a 3 3/8 inches wide by 5 3/8 inches tall by 1-inch wide retail package. Across the center of the cover, Case-Mate proudly displayed an iridescent balloon-dog shaped phone stand, with suction cup rump. The device was beautifully rimmed by vivid, colorful concentric rings. Starting with the device, you will find a brilliant 1/16 inches wide purple rim, a 2 7/16 inches wide by 3 11/16 inches tall white rectangle and then another 1/8 inches wide purple rim. Further out, you will find a black rim, which measured 3/16 inches at the sides, 13/16 inches at the top and 1/4 inches at the bottom. Lastly, this was surrounded by a 1/8 inches wide white rim. Eye-appealing, the company did a great job visually representing their product. If there was any further question about the nature of the product, the oval diagram along the bottom right dispelled them.
The reverse panel utilized the same color scheme but expanded the white and reduced the black sections. In both English and French, it was readily apparent that the product was designed to “Grab, grip and go with extra security while using your phone.” Just beneath the bold font, we were also able to learn of the one-year warranty. Similar to the cover, you can directly visualize the dog grip, behind a clear window, and an effeminate hand holding the phone along the upper right. Unfortunately, the plastic window served as a double-edged sword, providing a mouth-watering view of the device, yet teasing us with a difficult unboxing. To open the device, I slid the edge of a razor knife between the edges of the cardboard until I found the plastic edge. Like splitting a plastic egg, the shell divided in half, spilling out the contents.
The 0.3 ounce pop-socket-esque balloon dog had four rubberized feet and a 1 1/4 inches diameter reusable suction cup derrière. The purple iridescent sheen was visibly appealing, and the device was both functional, and comfortable to hold. Although it appeared to be metallic in composition, the polycarbonate blend embodied metal, while providing the weight of plastic. The suction cup affixed securely to the back of my Catalyst case, and provided a nice grip point behind the ears and between the four legs. When needed, I was able to grasp the device and to pull outward. After a refreshing “pop,” the suction cup released. I was then able to rotate and reaffix the dog suction cup 90-degrees from the original position. The rubberized feet added a convenient non-stick surface, which allowed me to use the Stand UPs as a landscape viewer kickstand. You can reposition the Case-Mate stand as you see fit. Luckily, the suction cup did not take too much power to remove it from the back of the phone. In fact, my ten and seven-year-old sons were able to do it by placing their fingers into the gripping points and rolling the device off of the surface of my phone.
Despite my love for dogs, this device seemed a little gimmicky to me. However, this feeling was purely a personal opinion and not a negative comment about this device. I have used numerous pop sockets/attachments and found many of them to be too generic for their own good. The rounded sockets have sometimes caused my phone to fall and have not been comfortable to grip. I have used this device over the past few days and noted that it only fell off with lateral pressure. I reviewed many of the 194 reviews on Amazon and many of them talk about the device not working with rugged/rubberized cases. Truthfully, the suction cup was not sticky and was designed to affix to the glass/smooth surface of a smartphone/case. This was not a limitation but a design feature. The dog shape, the rubberized feet, and the easy to remove and reapply nature, provided a notable difference to simple pop sockets. If you are a dog lover, if you are a fan of the circus, or if you simply love balloon animals, this device may be the perfect addition to your smartphone.