Best Cell Phone Stand
The Omoton Aluminum Desktop is a simple, sturdy, clean option. Its footprint on your desk is less (up to a lot less, depending on your phone) than your phone lying down on its back, but the overall structure is large enough not to get lost beneath papers and other desk detritus. Further, it is sturdy enough to hold all but the largest tablets. The phone cradle is adjustable in angle. The hinge is stiff enough to hold it in place but smooth enough to adjust with one hand. Every contact point (with phone and desk) is equipped with rubberized patches to minimize the impact of bumping and jostling. The Omoton was preferred over all the others by aesthetically-minded testers on our team.
Whether you travel with it or because your desk space is tight, if you don't use it all the time, the Omoton might be bulkier than you'd prefer. It is undoubtedly the largest non-gooseneck stand in our selection. Other than this minor debit, the Omoton is an excellent 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 will likely use it in other settings.
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 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 likely 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. 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.
This is the only stand we tested that clamps down. Light to moderate bumps to the Aduro Phone Holder wobble your phone considerably but did not dislodge it. You have to hold the phone steady with one hand while using the touch screen 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.
This Lamicall Portable stand goes head-to-head with the UGreen. The Lamicall has an adjustable height, while the UGreen has an adjustable angle. The Lamicall has the advantage of being able to hold your phone in a vertical view at your desk with a charging cord or headphones plugged in.
You won't notice the lack of angle adjustment in many circumstances. However, you will likely want a steeper angle at your bed or couch side than this Lamicall provides. For standup work, such as reading recipes or watching how-to videos at the workbench, a lower angle would be better. You don't have those options with this Lamicall. Overall, we've found that angle adjustment is more valuable in a stand than height adjustment is.
The Lamicall A Stand is very similar to the Omoton Aluminum Desktop. In fact, there are very few things to differentiate between these two, in a good way. The Lamicall is a little smaller than the Omoton, with both pros and cons associated with this size difference.
The Lamicall takes up less desk or drawer space than the Omoton, but isn't quite as stable and doesn't hold as big a tablet. Otherwise, it is the same general format as the Omoton. You can adjust the viewing angle on the Lamicall, but cannot adjust for height or fold it flat for storage, similar to the adjustment limitations of the Omoton.
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 touch screen 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 touch screen 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.
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.
If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you work well. 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 one and had a team of testers consult on our findings. We bring engineer-level attention to detail to all product comparisons. There isn't anything much simpler than a cell phone stand, but it matters.
— Jediah Porter