The Best Cell Phone Stands of 2020
The Omoton Aluminum Desktop Cell Phone Stand 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 to not get lost beneath papers and other desk detritus and 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 readily adjust with one hand. Every contact point (with phone and with desk) is equipped with rubberized patches to minimize the impact of bumping and jostling. The most aesthetically-minded testers on our team preferred the Omoton over all the others.
If you won't use this all the time, whether you travel with it or because your desk space is tight, the Omoton might be bulkier than you'd prefer. It is certainly the largest non-gooseneck stand in our selection. Other than this minor debit, the Omoton Cell Phone Stand is nearly a perfect 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. You won't get "decision fatigue" from adjusting your phone angle, as you get only one phone viewing angle. 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 cord and/or headphones out of the way. Its initial purchase price is among the lowest in our selection, and the sturdy, simple construction will amortize that low cost over years and years.
You can't fold this thing up for storage, nor can you make any adjustments. We found the display angle to be just right for most desk/table top work but found ourselves wishing for a flatter angle view when reading recipes in the kitchen or watching YouTube how-tos at the garage workbench.
The Nulaxy A4 cell phone stand does essentially what the Omoton does, but also folds flat. The Nulaxy is clean and simple, with both adjustable angle and some room for height adjustment. None of the other metal, simple 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. When not in use, either because of travel or storage, the Nulaxy folds almost entirely flat for minimal space occupation.
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 (a lot of time, likely… we've used the Nulaxy pretty steadily for two months now with no degradation of the hinges) the hinges may loosen up and lend less support. If you will travel with your cell phone stand, one that folds flat like the Nulaxy is the only way to go.
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. You can likely affix or place it in an infinite number of ways that we haven't even thought of.
With any gooseneck style cell phone holder, it takes a minute or so to configure it for your purposes each time you change its setup. The B-Land is the same. 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. The phone clamp portion isn't nearly as robust. You need to know where to be gentle and where to be strong with this one.
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 of view. This is the lightest and most compact stand we tested. The contact points are rubberized for stability. 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.
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 adjustable height while the UGreen has an adjustable angle. At your desk, the Lamicall has the advantage of being able to hold your phone in vertical view with charging cord or headphones plugged in.
You won't notice the lack of angle adjustment in many circumstances. However, at your bed or couch side, you will likely want a steeper angle than this Lamicall provides. For standup work, like 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.
The Lamicall A Stand is very similar to the top-scoring Omoton Aluminum Desktop. In fact, there are very few things to differentiate between these two; this is a good thing. 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 Editors' Choice winner. You can adjust the viewing angle on this Lamicall, but you cannot adjust for height nor can you fold it flat for stowage.
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 OutdoorGearLab. 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 spaces and systems.
Through the entire testing period, we compared and assessed for versatility, stability, portability, ease of use, and aesthetics. Each metric was assessed 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 day-to-day 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 sizes of cell phone and a small tablet, and tested each one both with and without charging cord plugged in.
All tested stands will hold your phone vertically or horizontally. Not all on the market do so. All that we tested work with any phone model, size, or case configuration. Not all on the market meet this description. 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 can adjust the most. 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 to any shelf or table edge. It can stand above or hang below the clamped edge. The gooseneck style products are 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 both adjust for height, unlike the rest of the non-gooseneck products.
Angle adjustment is nice for any task that doesn't take place in a seated desk situation. When lying on the couch or bed and watching tv on your phone, you want your screen more vertical than you do at a desk. When standing and viewing your phone, as when following recipe directions in a kitchen or DIY instructions at a work bench you want a flatter phone screen. Adjustable angle is handier than you would think. The gooseneck products all readily adjust for angle, as do most of the other stands. Only the Best Buy ToBeoneer and the compact Lamicall Portable do not adjust for angle.
Basically, we look at "bump resistance" in this sub-category. 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.
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, full disconnect is rare. The Aduro clamps on both ends; to your desk, and to 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 accomplish 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 like the Editors' Choice Omoton Aluminum, and the fold-flat Nulaxy A4 are stable enough that you can 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 for stowage away from your improvised and temporary desk or home workspace, compact stored stature is valuable. Our selected products vary greatly in stowed size and mass.
The 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 really recommend for digital nomadery. The sturdy and fully adjustable Nulaxy A4 is our Top Pick for Portability. Paired with a folding keyboard, the clever technophile can closely replicate a laptop workspace with less mass and bulk than a legit Brooklyn slice.
Much of what we like about the Editors' Choice Omoton Aluminum is its bulk. As it pertains to stowage and transport, this bulk works against it. For dedicated desk usage, you won't notice the bulk 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 Best Buy 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. You could literally drive a vehicle over the folded Nulaxy (We didn't. Yes, we're guessing. But we're darn confident. Should we do it? Dare us…) but it seems that the wrong sort of table drop could damage both the UGreen or the Lamicall Portable (again, conjecture; we aren't prone to intentionally testing to failure. But we also aren't at all 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 really fell in love with their look. The ultra-simple ToBeoneer leaves lots and lots of room for function after form. This Best Buy 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