Review: Thought Out PED4 Planet CH50 Pivoting Stand for iPhone 5
If Thought Out's new PED4 Planet CH50 ($50) seems familiar, that's probably because the company released a very similar-looking predecessor model called BH50 earlier this year; see that review for full details. Unlike BH50, CH50 features a fully adjustable iPhone cradle, requiring you to use one of two included hexagonal wrenches to loosen and tighten each of five leg-like supports within its frame.
Thanks to this change, CH50 is now compatible with a wide range of iPhone 5 cases, as well as with bare devices. Otherwise, though, it’s an identical solution. Features preserved from the prior model include the black plastic base, tripod-compatible steel mount, and three-axis ball-and-socket system for significant iPhone positional freedom.
Each of CH50’s five arms is independently adjustable, meaning you can loosen the screws and reposition each arm to fit the case you’re using. It’s not the most efficient system, and the smaller wrench that’s included is less than ideal, with its handle feeling slippery—particularly when loosening particularly tight screws; the second wrench’s L-shaped design would work better, except it oddly doesn’t fit any of the screws here. You must also be careful, as the components can come apart if you unscrew them too far. But the arms do work, even accommodating fairly large cases. It supports options that are less than 2.75” wide and 5.5” tall.
BH50 earned a limited recommendation for its fair looks, somewhat high price, and lack of case compatibility. CH50 improves on the last of those, and the fact that it does so without a higher price is appreciated. We wish it worked without needing additional tools, though: the arms are a welcome feature, but not ideally implemented; Thought Out’s included wrenches could use some rethinking, too. Overall, CH50 merits a bump up to a flat B and general recommendation