Review: Clingo Universal Mobile Stand


If you want a desk stand for your phone without the all the usual paraphernalia of charging tips, USB ports, memory card readers, etc., then David Gilson might have found what you're looking for. Clingo is a new range of innovative stands and holders for mobile devices with a patent pending sticky gel. Read on to see whether David thinks it lives up to the hype or not.

Author: Clingo

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Clingo is a company that makes a range of really creative device holders; the key part of which is a gel pad, onto which your devices stick. I've seen similar types of material before, but Clingo say their gel is patent pending technology - I'll take their word for it! I've been trying the universal mobile stand for a few weeks after Mobile Fun kindly sent me one to try out. You can see their full range of Clingo accessories here. Other accessories in the range include a toy steering wheel for augmenting accelerometer controlled driving games, and a holder built inside a parabolic sound reflector!

The mobile stand I've been testing isn't called 'mobile' because of the devices you can mount on it. Rather, the stand itself is mobile, being fold-able into a compact-mirror style casing. The case is around 5cm in diameter. When it's opened, it swings back by about 220 degrees, and locks into place. One side holds a ring of Clingo gel which fixes the stand to any flat base, and the other side has a disc of gel onto which you mount your device.

Opening the Clingo Universal Mobile Stand

Opening the Clingo Universal Mobile Stand

It's the self-contained nature of this desk stand that I like. Unlike most people, I'm quite minimalist about how much stuff I have sitting on my desk. So I avoid the current generation desk stands that come with a zoo of charging tips, connector cables and ports. Conversely this is really a no-fuss little bit of kit which folds away to nothing - it even earned a place in my bag when I went to Nokia World.

As shown in the photo below, the phone is mounted at a reclined angle, and I found it to be quite a pleasing angle for making quick glances at the home screen and reading messages. With the E72, it's even just about possible to tap out a quick text message while mounted. Although, your mileage may vary with different devices. Touch screen devices certainly work well on the stand for light levels of interaction.

A Nokia E72 mounted on the Clingo Universal Mobile Stand

A Nokia E72 mounted on the Clingo Universal Mobile Stand

The stand's lack of height can make it awkward to fit some cables. For example, the E72's 2mm charging port is located on its base, and so there isn't enough room to connect a charging jack. Instead, you have to mount the phone slightly higher than normal; even then the cable is bent more than I'm comfortable with. However, this wouldn't be a problem when using one of the larger Clingo stands, which hold the devices much higher, giving clearance for any sort of cable attachment.

Confined space for attaching cables with the Clingo Universal Mobile Stand

Confined space for attaching cables with the Clingo Universal Mobile Stand

Also, because of its relatively small area, this Clingo necessarily has less sticking power than larger cousins. Most of the time this isn't a problem. However, I pushed it to its limit when attaching a USB cable to the the E72, as an alternative to using the 2mm charging port. Given the relatively high position of the E72's USB port, the torque was always enough to eventually make the it slide off the pad.

Having said that, the stand could support the weight of an N900, with the same USB cable attached; not to mention being mounted off-centre due to its camera cover. The N900 has a matte plastic back, while the E72 is a grooved stainless steel back. Naturally, rougher surfaces stand a better chance of sticking. For obvious reasons, using a larger Clingo stand would probably help here.

The Clingo Universal Mobile Stand supporting an N900

The Clingo Universal Mobile Stand supporting an N900 (mounted off-centre)

The big remaining question is does the patent pending gel actually work? Yes, it does work; although as discussed above, it has its limits. Finally, the Clingo gel experiences another disadvantage from regular use; dust and grease build up on the gel's surface and inevitably reduce its potency. The instruction leaflet that comes with the Clingo stand warns about this and recommends regular washing with water or a mild detergent, which does do the trick.

Overall, this is a handy little accessory if you want a desk stand that won't take up too much space on your desktop, or in your pocket!

David Gilson for All About Symbian, 4th October 2010.

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