Short Version: It does everything we’d expect of a cell phone stand, and it does it well. It snaps into two different positions for holding your smartphone in landscape or portrait mode, grips the desk well, and the viewing angle can be adjusted quite easily. Plus it could totally double for a Batarang in a pinch. $25 bucks seems a bit pricey to us, though.
I’ve shown the iZel to a handful of people, gauging their reactions each time. Based off this scientific polling of 5 people, I can determine that the population of the entire world is divided between two camps:
- One camp looks at a product like the iZel and says, “Wow! I can sit any smartphone in that in either landscape or portrait mode and tilt it at a variety of angles! How handy!”
- The other camp looks at it, cocks their collective heads, and says, “Why the hell would I want my smartphone to stand up like that?”
Fortunately for the sake of this review, I’m part of that first camp. I want my iPhone to rest upon my desk like a divorcé in a pool chair, casually sipping on a cocktail of the latest Office episodes. This is especially true on airplanes, where I often spend the first 20 minutes of the flight tearing apart the SkyMall magazine to MacGuyver up a freaky origami stand so that I can catch up on my soaps without having to hold the thing up by hand for 6 hours straight.
Never again will SkyMall cower in fear as I take my seat, as the iZel is a perfect substitute to my impromptu paper suspensions. It folds down into a laptop case friendly 1/4″ sheet, and then back into either landscape or portrait mode in less than 5 seconds. The slide-out kickstand on the back allows you to tweak the viewing angle to your liking, and the design of the arms ensures it plays friendly with pretty much any smartphone you throw at it.
That said, it’s a fine stand even if you never intend for it to leave your desk. All edges are covered in a grippy elastomer, ensuring that the iZel (and your phone) won’t be sliding around your desk all day. The black/silver color scheme should mesh well with most desk setups, assuming that you don’t work in Toon Town.
What we like:
- Ultra easy to assemble and disassemble, making it perfect for portable use.
- Lightweight and incredibly durable
- Adjustable for just about any smartphone, with viewing angle support from around 45° to about 80°.
What we don’t:
- $25 bucks seems like a lot for a cellphone stand. However, if you plan to lug this thing around with you, the durability and portability justify the pricetag.
- The viewing angle kickstand likes to pop out. It’s easy to put back in place, but it seems like it’d be quite easy to lose