Enhanced selfie grip doubles as a deployable kickstand
Even before the Coronapocalypse of 2020, many utilized their phones as mini theaters and personal cameras. While active and on the go, our smartphones are ever ready to capture a child’s firsts, to photograph locations/products, or to record a selfie/movie. From phone calls, to texting, to videos, to gaming, to navigating, etc., with so many functions, it is no wonder that these devices fetch a lofty sum. Additionally, is it not convenient to chill with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Hulu, Redbox, Apple TV, or several other available entertainment options? Considering the above, it would be quite convenient to have a secure gripping option that could also enhance handsfree entertainment.
Excitedly, I was given a Slim Fit Collapsible Loop and Phone grip from smartish brands, which promised to serve as a secure phone grip, while also doubling as a kickstand. The smartish Prop Tart arrived in a 2 3/8-inches wide by 5 1/8-inches long by 1/4-inches thick retail package. The Prop Tart product name was written along the top left of the cover in dark blue font, while the smartish name was listed along the right side of the panel in turquoise. Along the center of the panel, you will find a slightly oblique view of the loop and phone grip device. Along the lower left of the panel, you will find a turquoise phone icon and dark blue text detailing the three main features of the Prop Tart: One-Handed Texting, Selfie Grip, Kickstand. Turning to the backside of the packaging, you will find a short description of the goal of the Texas-based company and a few connection quips. Lastly, you will find a small SKU sticker along the bottom of the package and a “OPEN SESAME” pull tab.
I removed the outer clear plastic bag, gripped the “OPEN SESAME” pull tab and slid the inner box out of the outer slip cover. The back of the inner cardboard provided a few humorous FAQs about the device. 1. What can I do with a Prop Tart, 2. You Mentioned a Kickstand…, 3. Can I use my wireless charger with it?, 4. Where’s the best place to install it?, 5. What does it stick to?. I chuckled a little with their humorous responses to questions three and five. They responded “Nope, sorry. It’s busy doing other cool stuff (see above)” to question three and “Everything but silicone & your dog. Don’t do that to Buddy” to question five. The 0.35-ounce black-nylon dumbbell shaped device had a pleasing touch-feel. On the opposite side, you will find a similarly shaped section of 3M tape.
Before installing the Prop Tart onto my Catalyst Waterproof Case for iPhone 11 Pro Max, I cleaned the back surface with WHOOSH. I removed the 3M backing and pressed firmly into the center of my phone. I liked the look and feel of the loop and the convenience of the deployable finger loop. I found that the gap was a tight fit for my two fingers, which appeared to be both a positive and a negative. I was able to slide my pointer and middle finger into the loop up to the middle phalanx and found that I no longer had to grip the surface of the phone with my hands. This was an added benefit and was quite convenient. The loop deployed and retracted without issue and I was able to do this ~50x without any change to position on the back of my smartphone. As a self grip/loop, the product would have netted a 5* rating from me. However, I quickly found that this device will not work as a kickstand for the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Despite the resiliency of the sticky glue, I was able to remove the device. I tried the loop in the center, offset towards either side and moved it superiorly and inferiorly on the back of my case. No matter where I put the kickstand, the phone toppled over. I turned to their website and found where they noted to install it off-center. I watched the video on their site and saw that they had success with the kickstand. I was not able to recreate these successes with my phone. When I moved the device to the back of my son’s iPod touch, the kickstand seemed to work fine. Perhaps the size/weight of the larger phone preclude the use of the kickstand?
Notwithstanding their reported 25,000 5 star reviews, and a love for many of their products, this one struck out with me. It is relatively inexpensive and could work for smaller phones/devices. I thus relay my experiences with this product. I loved the texture, the loop feature, the finger grip, and the idea of the kickstand. However, the tradeoff of the loss of wireless charging was too great to warrant keeping this device installed on my phone. For now, I will continue to rely upon the included Catalyst Case wrist strap for protection. As for my movie/television watching options, I will continue to use the Ventev Wireless Charge Stand.