We talked about the Smarter Stand for iPad over the summer last year, and the company behind the product ended up shattering their initial Kickstarter goal, reaching over $150,000 in contributions. However, they’re back again, but with a solution for iPhone users. The Smarter Stand for iPhone incorporates a stand and a headphone wrapper in one small package. The Kickstarter campaign ends this Wednesday, April 10, and they’ve already surpassed their original Kickstarter goal of $15,000. However, you can still get in on the action and pre-order one for yourself. However, we ended up getting some samples to try out and see if the Smarter Stand for iPhone lives up to the hype.
First off, this new Smarter Stand has a very unique design. It makes for a pretty good headphone wrapper by itself, but it also acts as a stand for your iPhone, allowing you to keep your headphones wrapped up while you have it propping up your smartphone. However, you’ll have to have your headphones plugged into your iPhone in order to use the Smarter Stand as a stand, since it uses the headphone jack as a fulcrum of sorts. The Smarter Stand has a convenient location to slide the headphone plug into, although it seems to only work best with the stock Apple earbuds (or EarPods, as they’re now calling them). The stand isn’t too friendly with other headphone plug designs, as you can see with my own pair of headphones in the gallery toward the bottom, but it at least still works, albeit not as great as using regular Apple earbuds.
However, what I really like about the Smarter Stand is how it allows for room to feed the headphone earpieces through the middle after you wrapped them up. It’s a small design facet, but it’s incredibly genius and really handy. The two forks at either end also make it really easy to wind up your headphones, although you have to be careful not to wind your headphones up too tightly or too loosely -- too tightly can result in destroyed headphone cords, while wrapping too loosely can lead to unwanted unraveling.
As a stand itself, the Smarter Stand works pretty well. Again, you have to have your headphones plugged into your iPhone in for the stand to do its thing, but you can still have your headphones wrapped up if you want, and if you want to utilize your external speakers, you can simply unplug your headphones past that first notch to keep them plugged in, but not activated. Sadly, you can’t adjust the angle of the stand, but it sits at a nice 45-degrees (roughly), which we found to be optimal anyway.
In the end, if you need a simple and cheap stand that also doubles as a headphone wrapper, this is probably what you want. You can get one for as low $9 (plus $3 shipping to US), and it’s made out of flexible, but stiff thermoplastic polyurethane, so while it looks like a cheap accessory, it’ll hold up quite well. However, it only works well if you’re using Apple’s own headphones. You can use other brands, but the stand doesn’t quite work as nicely. It’ll at least work either way, but that’s definitely something to be aware of if you’re planning on backing the project.
The Smarter Stand is available for the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4/4S, as well as all generations of the iPod Touch. As for Android version, the company says that each Android device would require its own exclusive design (which can get expensive), but they’re open to making Smarter Stands for certain Android models if the demand is up.