All modern phone designs are stupid – and here’s why.
Google “I dropped my phone” and you get 125 million results in a fraction of a second. (Go try it). This tells you two things: firstly, that modern phones are designed to be dropped, and secondly, that it’s a complete no-brainer and the whole online world is aware of the problem.
Mobile phone are so well-suited to accidentally being dropped that there’s now a world championship for deliberately dropping them (at unusual velocities).
I’ve dropped a lot of phones – in rivers, in the street, in my food & drink, in the bath – and while I’ve taken some whopping chunks of plastic off the side of many a handset, I’ve been lucky enough to avoid smashing them (like this – *wince*). It’s probably only a matter of time, and I suspect my defense mechanism to date has been choosing the wrong sort of phone. I’m currently on an HTC Wildfire, a hardware-limited Android phone that emits smoke when I start it up and gets too hot to hold when it’s downloading my email. If I had an iPhone or a Galaxy I’d be permanently terrified of it wriggling free and dashing itself to pieces, as all modern phones are prone to doing (especially if they’re on Vibrate).
Here’s part of the solution to that problem. It’s called a FlyGrip, and all phones should have one. (There – I said it).
In an ideal world, there would be no need for a third-party company to invent and sell a stick-on handle for mobile phones. Handset manufacturers should be all over this concept by now. We should have ergonomic designs cunningly nestling between our fingers, we should have little anchors that tether themselves to our wrists…phones should be fundamentally undroppable. (If designers were brave enough, they’d have phones clingier than head crabs that might look something like this – except, you know, less with the whole slimy and terrifying thing). But we don’t live in an ideal world – which is good for people like FlyGrip, because they can step in and make a killing.
Here’s how it works.
1. Peel protective cover from clip’s adhesive strip, and push said clip onto the back of your phone. Now leave it for at least a few hours, and ideally a full day, before you put any real weight on it.
I was seriously sceptical about this. It’s not super-glue. It’s sticky to the touch, but it doesn’t immediately spot-weld your fingers together, which is what I’d want from a glue that I’m entrusting the safety of my phone with. I was leery – but I tried it anyway. A day later, it’s like the clip is part of the phone. Rock-solid. One of my major concerns alleviated, right there.
2. Pop the clip out of its housing, poke two of your fingers through it, and wave your hand around in the air, marvelling as your phone refuses to propel itself through a window, through the front of your TV or down the hallway. The clip is spring-loaded, so once it’s free of its housing it pops open – meaning you can unclip it and poke your fingers through in one easy motion. When note being used, it click into its housing, flat against the back of your phone.
3. But there’s more! When you want to prop your phone up on a flat surface, you merely tilt the open clip and tuck one end into the housing, forming a kind of…
Oh Mike, you idiot.
I’ve stuck it on upside down.
Wait a minute – it doesn’t matter.
In fact, I’d argue the propping-up stand is even better if you attached your FlyGrip upside down – more of the clip is in contact with the ground and it’s much more stable. (Just my opinion. There are no doubt excellent reasons for it being the other way round, so feel free to make your own mind up).
So – even if you’re enough of an idiot to stick the thing on the wrong way round, it still works beautifully.
I do a lot of reading on my phone: Kindle books, longform articles saved to Evernote, PDFs on Repligo Reader and spend way too much time updating social media. The upshot is that I’m holding my phone up in the air for large chunks of the day, and as little as it weighs, it all adds up. Using the FlyGrip means I can hook my fingers through it, prop my hand on something in front of me, and not have to apply any pressure to avoid it slipping out my fingers. It means I can walk down the street using Google Maps while not really holding my phone – it’s just part of my hand. Prior to enjoying these experiences, I’d have written them off as needless fripperies. Now? This is how phones should work.
Okay, let’s talk about cost. The FlyGrip is $29.95, or about £20. I received my review sample for free. Does that mean I’m not being objective here, the fact that I’m reviewing something I didn’t pay for? I hope to address that concern in a minute, but for now – yes, £20 for a thumb-sized piece of plastic seems pricey. Having used it, I don’t believe it is at all, and I’d happily shell out for a new one when I get a new phone, although what I’ll probably do is remove my current clip (yep, it’s possible – you get a flat knife and slice it off through the glued layer) and stick it on my new handset.
So, since I didn’t pay for my FlyGrip and I’m recommending it to you (for which I am not being paid for, incidentally) – let’s do this: next weekend I will pick someone at random from everyone who comments on this post and I will buy them a FlyGrip with my own painfully hard-earned cash.
(More specifically: I will contact the picked-at-random person and I’ll collect their details, including which colour and which size & they want and which model of phone they have, because FlyGrip are currently offering plastic phone cases, free of charge with every order – and then I’ll place an order for them with my money).
Dead good. Use your phone too much? Get this gizmo. I cannot recommend it enough.