PopSockets! This simple smartphone accessory completely eludes from my techie radar for cheap and good gadgets! It is an elegant solution to so many problems. The sales and distribution team of PopSockets Singapore (who is also responsible for Asia-Pacific region) contacted me to give a shoutout on this product and suffice to say, I was excited. Apart from getting a pack of PopSockets to review (I gave half away to similarly-excited friends), I want to share why the PopSockets is literally the only smartphone accessory I will ever get – other than smartphone casings.
History of PopSockets
PopSockets began in 2012 with a kickstarter campaign to fund smartphone casings with 2 pop stands. The creator, David Barnett, improved the design and in 2014, released the current version. This accessory gained a cult following since then, all through word of mouth. It sold in over 45 countries to great success, and this year, Over the past year, PopSockets have been quietly selling in Singapore. Now, PopSockets looks to replicate the growth across Southeast Asia through increased marketing and promotions.
Stick it behind the phone with your favourite design as fashion statement. PopSockets have hundreds of designs to choose from, with new designs releasing every few months. You can even design your own from the USA website. It looks like a round sticker that you personalise at the back of your phone, except it does a few more tricks. Many people have even customised the surface with pop-up blings, and why not!
Pop out the PopSockets and it becomes a stand! Besides resting at an angle like traditional stands, I can rest the phone flat with the PopSocket popped out, so the phone appears to float on the table. I love this, so that the phone does not touch the surface, and the best part is that I can lift off the phone from the table with ease.
If you hold your phone with your little finger supporting the bottom of the phone, like me, then you will appreciate having a little apparatus to let you hold the phone securely. The PopSocket slides in between your fingers for a secure grip. You can free up all your finger muscles and your phone remains secure on your hands.
The PopSockets certainly solve the problem of landscape-oriented selfie shoots. Before that, I had to contort my fingers to grip the phone securely and tap the shutter. The volume button shutter release does not help because of the awkward position. With the PopSocket, I grip on it with 2 fingers straightened behind the phone, which is a much more comfortable position.
More about the adhesive in a moment.
For the ADHD
The PopSockets is also an avenue for your fidgety hands to vent on. Pull out and pop in as much as you want. Spin it on flat surfaces. The material is of good quality. Many other online reviews have shown the imitation products cannot hold a candle to PopSockets. It is not worth saving a few dollars and risk breaking the smartphone when the imitation product gives way.
PopSockets can also be used as cable wrap, but you need 2 PopSockets to wrap it properly. This was the original purpose of PopSocket when it began crowdfunding in 2012.
Reusable Sticky Gel
The best part of PopSockets, at least for me, is that the sticky gel is removable and reusable again and again. I was skeptical about the stickiness with repeated use, but it really sticks confidently and does not detach easily. Watch my video for demonstration.
When stuck on metal or hard plastic surfaces, the adhesive is strong, and during removal, there may be a few bits of gel left on the surface depending on the surface material. The adhesive is easier to remove on glass, but the strength is still good. It would not stick well on soft silicone (TPU) or rubber casing. Also, the surface must be flat and not curved. If there are areas that the PopSocket could not adhere to on the surface, it will peel off easily, for instance, ASUS Zenfone 2.
According to the website, if the stickiness wears off, just wash it, dry it, and redeploy again.
PopSockets have also designed PopClip, an accessory that allows you to mount the phone. You can use it on cars, fridges, mirrors, walls, etc.
What Does Not Work
After a week of using the PopSockets, I find that when I use it as a grip, I cannot reach the buttons on the other side of the phone as easy as before, especially when the device is quite a handful, like phablets, including Sony Xperia XZ Premium.
The other constraint is that the PopSockets might not be able to support phablets as a stand. It could prop up the devices but might not be steep enough, or it might tip over.
Also, the PopSocket does protrude a little from the back, so that might annoy some people, though I never experience any issue slipping the phone in my tight jeans pocket. Rather, it is a plus point for me to pull out the phone because of the slight protrusion.
Finally, there is a minor hassle to pop out the PopSocket before it can do its magic. Depending on one’s motivation, you might end up not using the PopSocket after a while. On the other hand, this nifty accessory remains accessible whenever the situation requires, without getting in the way of your smartphone usage lifestyle.
This useful smartphone accessory is sold for S$14.95 in Singapore. The aluminium designs price a bit more due to material cost. I highly recommend it, and I’m not saying because PopSockets Singapore give me favours (just a couple of free PopSockets).
Through my hands-on review, I am assured of the quality of the materials used in manufacturing the PopSockets. They appear to withstand normal usage of repeated pops. The best part is that the adhesive is strong yet reusable, which means your small investment can be deployed on multiple devices. This to me is the key reason why I am happy to own one. I switch smartphones very often because I receive review units regularly. And since they do not belong to me, I could stick the PopSockets and transfer them to other phones as and when I return the test units.
And please, DO NOT BUY COUNTERFEITS. PopSocket is patented (no. 8,560,031). Buying imitation is no different from supporting piracy in music and movies. What’s more, the quality is questionable, and the adhesive is NOT REUSABLE. Go to any of the shops that distribute PopSockets in Singapore and try yourself. The material is not just normal rubber or silicone. If you like the idea of PopSockets, get original. Otherwise, I’d rather you stick to counterfeits of the ring holder. Some designs when imitated works just fine. Not PopSockets. Don’t waste your money buying fakes and when you find that they don’t work, you end up buying the original, spending more eventually.
Buy PopSockets in Singapore at these Locations
- Books Kinokuniya ( Liang Court , Ngee Ann City )
- NBC Stationery and Gifts ( JEM , Raffles City , Bugis Junction )
- Isetan Shaw House ( level 4 stationery dept)
- Takashimaya Basement 1 ( stationery dept )
- Action City ( Vivo City , Marina Square , Bugis Junction )
- Megafash ( Great World City , Tangjong Pagar Centre , Cineleisure , Hillion , Suntec city , Marina Square , West gate )
- Gift Greetings ( Nex , Jem , Great World City , Tanglin Mall )
- Urban Write / Popular ( selected outlet starting August 2017 – Popular Bras Bash , CompassOne , Marine Parade , Toa Payoh Hub , North Point , Jurong Point , West gate , Popular Care Ng Teng Feng , Junction 8 , Causeway Point , Tampines Mall , Nex )