MagPod combines sturdy MagSafe iPhone stand and handle [Review] | Cult of Mac

MagPod combines sturdy MagSafe iPhone stand and handle [Review]

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STM Goods MagPod review
STM Goods MagPod is a go-anywhere iPhone stand.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The STM Goods MagPod is a beefy iPhone tabletop tripod that magnetically attaches to the handset. And it can do double duty as a handle. Use it for keeping an eye on your texts or making FaceTime calls.

I put the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 accessory to the test in this review.

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STM Goods MagPod review

iPhone stands are not generally designed to be portable. But the STM Goods MagPod is. It has three legs that open to create a stable place to hold your handset while pointing the display toward you. Fold up the legs and you have a relatively rugged package that you can put in a backpack.

And it uses Apple’s MagSafe system so recent iPhone models solidly attach themselves.

Hardware and design

Despite its portable nature, the MagPod is quite stable when it’s open. The three legs are about 5 inches apart, and so you aren’t going to accidentally knock the stand over by bumping it. I tried. And rubberized “shoes” mean it doesn’t slide — taps on the screen won’t move it.

The iPhone attaches to a magnetic disc on top of the tripod. This moves slightly, but when you rotate the top portion of the accessory the disc swivels downward, allowing you to position the iPhone at any angle. It can go from completely horizontal to completely vertical.

And because the handset and stand are attached with magnets, you can put the screen in either landscape or portrait mode. Or anywhere in between.

Speaking of magnets, STM Goods MagPod makes use of the MagSafe magnets built into the back of the iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 series. There are additional magnets in the stand so it and the handset cling together tightly. Thumping on it won’t dislodge it. Heck, I can pick up the accessory by lifting the phone.

It’s made of ABS plastic, and comes in either white or black. Especially for the white version, the look seems tailored to match Apple accessories like Lightning cables.

STM Goods MagPod holds the iPhone securely.
The STM Goods MagPod securely holds an iPhone on your desk in a coffee shop.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

In use

I used the MagPod as an iPhone stand for several days, and it works well. I can easily point my iPhone toward me when I’m working or making a video call. It’s as stable as I said before, even with a cat walking around on my desk.

It doesn’t charge the handset, but the Lightning port is always available for you to plug the phone in.

MagPod is a tripod, which immediately raises the question of whether it can be used on photography. Yes, maybe kinda sort of. Put the iPhone in portrait mode and you’re ready to take pictures with the rear-facing lens. But you can’t point the rear lens upward because you can’t point the iPhone screen downward. And the stand protrudes into the corner of landscape images.

On the go

When closed, the collapsible mini-tripod is 6.3 inches tall and 2.4 inches at its widest. The folded-up legs make a cylinder with a circumference of 5.5 inches. The weight is 0.45 pounds.

That’s… beefy. You aren‘t going to toss the MagPod in a backpack and forget about it. Still, STM Goods’ accessory is a lot more portable than many other desktop stands. And much of the bulk is devoted to making a stable but flexible stand.

Besides, the folded-up stand works well as a handle. PopGrips are fine but you can get a serious grip on the MagPod. That might be a benefit if you have limited function in one of your hands.

STM Goods MagPod folded up and ready to go.
The STM Goods MagPod is a bit bulky when folded up.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

STM Goods MagPod final thoughts

A very stable iPhone stand that’s also portable is a rare thing — you usually have to choose one feature or the other. The MagPod does both. Plus, the ability to position the iPhone screen at any angle is a real bonus.

It’s a bit bulkier than I like, but that’s the product’s only real drawback.

Pricing

MagPod sells for $49.95 on the STM Goods website. And you can find it for less than that on Amazon.

Buy from: Amazon

Comparable products

The Moft Snap-on Stand & Wallet ($29.99) is very, very portable iPhone stand. But it’s not as stable or anywhere close to as flexible as STM Goods’. The same goes for PopSockets PopGrip for MagSafe ($30).

If you’re willing to disassemble it (which isn’t hard) the Twelve South Forté ($39.99) is reasonably portable.

STM Goods provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.