Best Cell Phone Stand of 2021
The Omoton Aluminum Desktop is our first choice due to its aesthetics and user-friendly design. Though it has a small footprint, it is big enough to stand out amongst the clutter. Unlike many other options we tested, this one can also undoubtedly hold a tablet of any size without risking toppling over and creating more of a mess. The aluminum, stiff-hinged adjustment mechanism stays in place but can be adjusted quickly and easily. The stand works great for one-handed use, as its silicone base plants it securely on your desktop.
If you are trying to minimize or reduce the number and size of objects on your desk, you may not be pleased by the size of the Omoton. This stand is not foldable and isn't the easiest to store. Besides the fact that it is larger than some of the other products in this review, the Omoton is a top-notch product.
The ToBeoneer Aluminum desktop cell phone stand is the ultimate in sturdy simplicity. There are no hinges or moving parts to wear or fail, and as you get only one phone viewing angle and one phone viewing height setting, you won't get "decision fatigue" from adjusting your phone position. This is simply one piece of aluminum bent and machined to hold your phone up and in view. The cutouts both lighten it and route your charging and/or headphone cord out of the way. Its initial purchase price is among the lowest in our selection, and the sturdy, simple construction should amortize that low cost over its lifetime.
You can't fold this thing up for stowage, nor can you make any adjustments. We found the display angle to be just right for most desk/tabletop work but found ourselves wishing for a flatter angle view when reading recipes in the kitchen or watching how-to videos at the garage workbench. We also hoped for a steeper viewing angle when lying on the couch, catching a few videos. A fixed angle like this one will be optimized only for desktop use, but you may likely use it in other settings.
It was a tough call between the Lamicall Adjustable Foldable and the Nulaxy A4. These stands are extremely similar, with a slight difference in price. The Lamicall impressed us with its compact, folded profile, rubberized base and backing, and its range of adjustability. We appreciated its versatility in that it could hold both a phone and a tablet with ease. This is our go-to for travel because of its simplicity and foldable design. It's also super easy to use with headphones or while charging your phone.
The fact that it is compact and adjustable angle-wise means that it lacks adjustability when it comes to height. The Lamicall doesn't give much height off the desk, which isn't a problem in most situations. After testing a wide variety of different stands, we found that having angle adjustability is much more important than height adjustment options.
The B-Land Cell Phone Holder is one of the more clever entries in our test. The flexible rod that makes up the bulk of it is both platform, adjustment, and stand. Both ends of this rod attach to a simple, pivoting clamp that holds your phone. You can hang it, wear it, or stand it on a surface. We found that you can affix or place it in dozens of ways and potentially in an infinite array of possibilities that we haven't even thought of.
Gooseneck-style cell phone holders take a moment to configure for your purposes each time you change its setup. The B-Land is no exception; it takes a bit of fiddling to set it how you like. Further, you are only ever going to get its position "close enough" and never "perfect" in alignment due to the nature of the flexible rod. Another issue we had is that the flexible rod sometimes becomes disengaged from the phone clamp portion. The flexible rod requires strong moves and stands up to rugged use. However, the phone clamp portion isn't nearly as robust, and you need to know where and when to be gentle or firm with it.
The UGreen is simple, light, and compact; it's just two pieces of plastic joined by an incremented, frictioned hinge. As you open the hinge further, you get a lower-angle view. This is the lightest and most compact stand we tested. The contact points are rubberized for stability, and for the minimalist digital nomad, the UGreen slides virtually unnoticed into a mobile office.
There is no way to adjust for height, and if you want to connect a power cord or headphones to your phone, you will be relegated to landscape view. The vertical view requires a clean, unused short bottom edge of your phone. We had no issues with the construction of the UGreen, but it feels a little flimsy. The Nulaxy stand folds flat like the UGreen but is heavier and feels much more robust.
If you are a highly organized, gadget-obsessed type, this may be the stand you've been looking for. The Omoton 2-in-1 is designed to not only hold a phone but also keep your Apple watch secure. This stand is fixed and all aluminum, with a silicone pad to help hold it in place. We liked the sturdiness of this stand, though its footprint is large, especially if you don't plan to use it as a watch stand all the time.
Though we liked the Omoton because it was a helpful way to keep our desk organized, you'll want to decide if you need a stand for your Apple Watch. Some of our testers found it useful, while others didn't use it all that often. That said, this is a great option for Apple Watch owners that are looking for a stand.
The Aduro Phone Holder is the only stand we tested that clamps down. Light to moderate bumps to the stand itself wobbled our phone considerably but did not dislodge it. You have to hold the phone steady with one hand while using the touchscreen with the other, but taps and jostles won't upset the whole apple cart.
The fasteners are a little moody and seem vulnerable. Getting the gooseneck rod oriented for your purposes takes a little effort and time but can be done.
The Nulaxy A4 cell phone stand does mostly what the Omoton does, but also folds flat. The Nulaxy is clean and simple, with both an adjustable angle and a little room for height adjustment. None of the other simple, metal stands adjust for both angle and height. There isn't a ton of height range, but it is enough to make some valuable minor adjustments. Additionally, the Nulaxy folds almost entirely flat for minimal space occupation when not in use, either for travel or storage.
Relative to the Omoton Aluminum, the Nulaxy is smaller and a little more cluttered in appearance. The smaller stature means that larger tablets won't sit securely, while the extra hinge is less visually appealing in use than the Omoton. With time, the hinges may loosen up and lend less support, though we've used the Nulaxy pretty steadily for over four months now with no degradation. If you travel with your cell phone stand, one that folds flat like the Nulaxy is the only way to go. Of those that we tested that fold flat, the Nulaxy is bulkier and heavier than others. On the other hand, that weight and sturdiness make it more convenient and stable in use.
The Lisen Stand is an adjustable height, lightweight option. Many of the top stands we reviewed have an adjustable angle but do not adjust height wise. We appreciated this feature of the Lisen. It's also quite a bit lighter than many of the metal stands we reviewed, but it has a larger footprint. It's made largely made of plastic, as opposed to aluminum, which gives it a different aesthetic, too. We liked the stability provided by the rubberized base and back, but ultimately tended to prefer metal stands in general.
In general, we preferred stands that had a smaller footprint on our desks. The Lisen is unnecessarily bulky, especially around the base. Though this size means that it can hold a small tablet with ease, it isn't necessary. We were also a bit concerned with the long-term durability of this stand. The adjustable part of the stand is plastic and felt like it could wear out quickly or even break if moved too forcefully.
The Lamicall Adjustable is designed to be used in conjunction with a MagSafe phone charging dock. Because of this, it has a very sleek and simple design, plus a small footprint. Aesthetically, this stand looks great on a desk. We appreciated having an adjustable angle, especially with the slightly finicky charging dock.
The Lamicall is small and takes up very little space, but this means it doesn't quite have the build required to hold a tablet. It takes up less desk or drawer space than the Omoton, but isn't quite as stable and doesn't hold as big a tablet. While you can adjust the angle, you cannot adjust the height or fold it flat, like the other Lamicall stand we tested.
Why You Should Trust Us
We bring years of productivity, attention to detail, and cell phone use to this review. Our primary tester on this project, Jed Porter, is well known for his work at sibling site OutdoorGearLab and as a full-time, year-round mountain guide and professional climber/skier. To optimize his time in the mountains, he has become one of our review and productivity gurus. Our review team brings fundamental office productivity, careful analysis, and a burning desire to do anything but sit at our desks. For that reason, we are students of efficiency and clean phone viewing/use spaces and systems.
We compared and assessed for versatility, stability, portability, ease of use, and aesthetics throughout the entire testing period. Each metric was evaluated individually, and all products were compared directly, and each metric was also noted during actual "real world" use. Calibrating subjective and objective assessments to one another yields our proven and authoritative conclusions.
Analysis and Test Results
To test cell phone stands, we mainly used them in our day-to-day lives. Then, to augment our daily use, we made formal observations. We weighed and measured each stowed product. We folded and unfolded each hinge, looking for wear and introduction of "play". We tried each model with two different cell phone sizes and a small tablet and tested each one with and without a charging cord plugged in.
While not all stands on the market will do so, all of those we tested will hold your phone vertically or horizontally and work with any phone model, size, or case configuration. What differentiates the models in our test is the variety of viewing angles and positions. Some adjust in nearly infinite ways, while others don't adjust at all.
Gooseneck-style products are the most adjustable. Both the B-Land Cell Phone Holder and the Aduro Phone Holder have infinite viewing angles and adjust for height over a range of 1-2 feet. The B-Land can be configured to hang and even wear, while the Aduro clamps and can hang above or below any shelf or table edge, making the gooseneck-style products the most versatile in our fleet.
The remainder of the products we tested are differentiated by height and angle adjustment. If the non-gooseneck products adjust for height, it is only up to a couple of inches at most. Height adjustment is nice but is secondary in importance to angle adjustment. If you have to choose angle or height, choose angle adjustment. The Nulaxy and Lamicall Portable adjust for height, unlike the rest of the non-gooseneck products.
Angle adjustment is helpful for any task that doesn't take place at a seated desk. When lying on the couch or bed watching tv on your phone, you want your screen more vertical than you do at a desk. When standing and viewing your phone, such as when following recipe directions in a kitchen or DIY instructions at a workbench, you want a flatter phone screen. An adjustable angle is handier than you would think. Other than the ToBeoneer and the compact Lamicall Portable gooseneck products all readily adjust for angle, as do most of the other stands.
In this subcategory, we looked at "bump resistance". Can you readily use the touchscreen without stabilizing the phone with your other hand? What if you accidentally kick the leg of your table? Will you dislodge it all? Stability is a function of the device's "stick" to the surface and the phone's security within the stand.
The stability of gooseneck stands is a double-edged sword. The long, flexible rods bounce around more than others. But, because the phone is clamped in place, a full disconnect is rare. The Aduro clamps on both ends — to your desk and your phone. A prowling house cat can wobble it, but shouldn't dislodge anything. The B-Land phone stand only clamps on the phone end, but its mass is greater, and its flexible rod is stiffer than the Aduro. We had good luck stabilizing the B-Land with a heavy book on the base.
The remainder of the products accomplishes stability with a combination of stand mass and rubber contact points. Heavier stands are more secure. All those that made our final cut have rubberized contact points everywhere they sit on a surface and everywhere your phone contacts them. The heavier metal stands, such as the Omoton Aluminum and the fold-flat Nulaxy A4, are stable enough to drive your touchscreen one-handed without stabilizing with your other hand. The plastic options, like the eminently portable UGreen, require two hands for most touchscreen operations.
You won't always be using your cell phone holder. For travel or stowage away from your improvised and temporary desk or home workspace, compact stored stature is valuable. Our selected products vary significantly in stowed size and mass.
Gooseneck products are bulky and heavy. Only the most generous bike messenger style work satchels will have room for a stowed gooseneck holder. The rest are all much smaller. All non-gooseneck products take up less space than a can of soda. Among them, the fully folding versions are the only ones we can recommend for digital nomads. The sturdy and fully adjustable Nulaxy A4 is the one we recommend most for portable use. Paired with a folding keyboard, the clever technophile can closely replicate a laptop workspace with less carried mass and bulk than a legit Brooklyn slice.
Much of what we like about the highest scoring Omoton Aluminum is its bulk. As it pertains to storage and transport, this bulk works against it. For dedicated desk usage, you won't notice the size in any negative fashion. Other stands, like the Lisen and the Omoton 2 in 1 are unabashedly large. These stands don't stow easily and take up quite a bit of space on a desk.
Ease of Use
What's it take to get your phone in position? Simpler, in this case, is better. The fixed-view angle and one-piece construction of the ToBeoneer is absolutely the easiest to use. On the other end of the spectrum are the gooseneck options. Getting the optimum viewing angle with either of these can be a bit of a wrestling match. We found the B-Land to be a little easier to work with than the Aduro.
The plastic, folding options feel a little flimsy, especially when the alternatives are so darn robust, but it seems that the wrong sort of table drop could damage both the UGreen or the Lamicall Portable. Though we aren't prone to intentionally testing to failure, we also aren't unfamiliar with equipment failure.
Pleasing aesthetics are intertwined with function and productivity. Simple products with smooth contours scored best. The Omoton excels in many ways; that it comes in silver and black tips the balance. The extra hinge of the Nulaxy increases its utility and portability but breaks up the look. The gooseneck models are pure function; no one fell in love with their look. The ultra-simple ToBeoneer leaves lots and lots of room for function after form. This value-oriented choice could be a sculpture first and a cell phone holder, incidentally, without scoring any lower. It's not sculpture, but that's perhaps why it costs so little.
We've conducted an in-depth comparison of the best portable phone prop options on the market. We purchased and used each model and had a team of testers consult on our findings. We bring a great deal of attention to detail to all product comparisons, and hope we've been able to aid you in finding the best option for your workstation.
— Jediah Porter