There have, of course, been a few smartphones made over the last four years with built-in 'kick-stands', fold out widgets that allow the phone to prop itself up for media watching and general observation. These don't really seem to have taken off, partly because of the extra bulk needed in the case and partly because of the drive to thinner and thinner devices. In addition, they only really affect the angle of the phone, they don't lift it out of whatever detritus is currently on your desk or kitchen surface.
Which is why I thought the time had come to revisit the humble desk stand, here imagined in clean Apple iMac-style aluminium and with large, super high-grip pad. The latter isn't actually sticky (in the traditional sense), so doesn't attract dust very much (unlike desk stands from a few years ago) - it's simply high tech and is made from a material with incredibly high coefficient of friction.
The upshot is that you can place any smartphone on the pad at any angle and it stays there. I tried it with half a dozen phones of various build materials and it gripped them all. About the only thing it won't hold is something else made of grippy gel - the two don't really get along. For the naked phone though, it's perfect.
After a few months of use, if the pad does start to get dusty, a wipe with a damp cloth or hold the pad under running water and it's as good as new.
This phone holder has a felt pad on its bottom surface, to make sure it doesn't scratch your desk, another nice touch. The perfect smartphone accessory? Maybe. It's certainly a very handy way of either holding a smartphone for media watching while I do the washing up or making sure that my Nokia 808 or N8 are always presenting their persistent AMOLED clock at me (shown below) when I glance up during the night. Recommended.
Comments welcome if you've also tried this, or a similar stand. Any cons that you've found?