Artwizz GrandStand for iPhone
While some iPhone and iPod touch stand developers have endeavored to top each other with smarter, more useful designs - Just Mobile's Xtand and Pivotal's Podium, amongst them - others, including a recently announced bean bag "stand" and Artwizz's GrandStand for iPhone (€20/Artwizz, $25/Harmonic Inversion Technology), appear to be in a race to the conceptual bottom. Absolutely uninspired visually and functionally, GrandStand is little more than a two-tone tray for the iPhone, and in our view hardly merited release.
GrandStand is primarily designed to accommodate the device in its vertical orientation, and consists of a curved silver metal backstand, a black base, and foam pads for the bottoms of both the phone and the stand. In order to keep the silver stand from tarnishing the device that comes into contact with it, Artwizz includes two thin, small clear stickers that can be applied if you want; they are barely visible except for a little gloss that can be seen on some angles.
Other than propping the iPhone up on its edge, GrandStand does nothing: the bottom foam padded surface is recessed in a manner that obscures the bottom speakerphone features, and though you can turn the iPhone on its side and rest it in widescreen orientation, you gain little in height or flexibility of position—two features that we liked in Xtand and Podium, respectively. Unlike Artwizz’s earlier SeeJacket Crystal cases, which actually innovated beyond their competitors by bringing full-face protection to the iPhone and iPhone 3G, GrandStand seems like a step back from similar accessories released to date.
The only reason that anyone might consider GrandStand is its $25 pricing—$15 less than Xtand, and $43 less than the overpriced but attractive and more versatile Podium. Yet the latter two stands really aren’t in GrandStand’s league: even at a relative discount, GrandStand still seems a little too expensive given its limited functionality and mediocre design.
If you’re looking for a very simple, relatively inexpensive iPhone stand, GrandStand may fit your needs. From our perspective, however, it’s worth supporting designers when they’ve taken the time to design thoughtful accessories rather than just generic ones like this. We’d pass on this one, but due to the lower entry price, you may feel otherwise.