Review: Thought Out PED4 Planet BH50 Pivoting Stand for iPhone 5
Thought Out's latest iOS device stand is PED4 Planet BH50 Pivoting Stand ($50), which was made for the iPhone 5. Compared to past products such as Stabile Pro, it's a simpler design, but with familiar elements. The combination of plastic, metal, and rubber raises your iPhone up four inches, and allows it to be positioned in pretty much any way you might want.
PED4’s base is a three-lobed sheet of glossy black plastic. Vinyl feet on the underside keep it level, and help prevent the stand from moving on your desk or table. Sticking through the center is a screw, which fits into a hole surrounded by plastic at the end of a metal pole. We found it easy to hand-tighten this connection, but Thought Out also separately sells a 11/16” plastic wrench called Devil Head that can be used to tighten the pole on the base—it’s $8 with the stand, or $12 on its own, and doubles as a headphone wrap. For all intents and purposes, it’s an unnecessary addition to this accessory, and expensive, besides.
At the other end of the pole is a plastic iPhone holder, with three of five arms covered in rubber. Unfortunately, the holder is not large enough to support cases, only a bare iPhone 5 or fifth-generation iPod touch. The holder is connected via a ball joint that allows your iPhone to be adjusted into a wide range of positions—180° pitch, with full 360° of yaw and roll motion. We liked the elevation PED4 brings for an iPhone; it’s well-suited for use at a desk while you’re working.
Ultimately, the concept behind Thought Out’s iPhone stand is good, but the execution of the design leaves something to be desired. PED4 will get the job done if you’re looking to hold a bare iPhone 5, but it’s not beautiful, and comes at a fairly high price. If the functionality is more important than how it looks, and you’re willing to either not use a case or go through the process of taking it on and off, this one may be for you. Those issues weigh in favor of a limited recommendation.