iClooly Phonestand Review

I’ve had a cellphone for years, but I never used it much until we recently dropped our landline.  I’ve started to worry about cellphone radiation now that I’m using it more – like those 3-hour phone calls to my friend, Leah.  In addition to the radiation from holding the iPhone to my head for so long, I often find the back of the phone starts to get a bit hot.  Also, the battery can die, which cuts into my gabfest.  I don’t like wearing Bluetooth headsets, so I started looking for another way to reduce my radiation exposure.  Recently I posted a news item about an iPhone Desktop Handset from Hammacher Schlemmer.  After a bit of Googling, I found that the handset was actually from iClooly, and I could get it much cheaper from Amazon.com.  I started trying it out as soon as my iClooly Phonestand arrived.

Some of the images in this review can be clicked for an enlarged view.

The iClooly Phonestand looks a little like the skeleton of an old-fashioned desk phone.  The base is made of anodized aluminum and white plastic.  The handset is made of white and silvertone plastic.  I measured the base at almost 3” wide (including the cord holder) X 7.5” long X 2.5” tall at the back.  The handset is 7.12” long X 1.85” wide X 1.4” thick.

The coiled cord is about 17” long.  It stretches to at least 40” long, but you should be careful stretching the cord that long as the base isn’t heavy enough to hold steady while the cord is under that much tension.  The cord has a standard telephone connector to plug into the handset and a 3.5mm audio plug to connect to the headphone jack on your phone.  iPhones use a 3.5mm plug, but not all phones do.  You could use this handset with any phone that has an adapter that will allow you to use a standard 3.5mm audio plug.  You can find a list of compatible phones at the iClooly Phonestand page.

The base of the Phonestand has a cord holder on the left side.  The handset rest doesn’t have any controls.  You can’t disconnect your call by simply “hanging up” the phone.  There’s a black sticky pad on the base to keep your phone safely in place.  The adhesive on the pad was so strong that I was afraid I was going to break my iPhone while trying to remove it from the pad.  I put the protective cover back on the sticky pad, and will just rely on friction to hold my phone in place.  At the front right corner is a holder for your stylus.

The base also has another cord holder at the bottom back.   You can run your charging cable through the bottom and charge/sync your phone while it’s in the stand.  This will be very convenient while I’m on one of my long calls with Leah.

Because I use a Bumper Case with my iPhone 4, I naturally tried to plug the handset cord into the iPhone while it was wearing the case.  The shape of the 3.5mm plug prevents it from making a complete connection while the phone is in the case.  I can make a phone call, but it takes some effort.  I either have to continually press down on the end of the plug with my finger or try to wedge it into the stand firmly enough that the plug makes a connection.  It’s still a bit staticy this way, and any movement of the phone can mean the connection is lost.

When I took the Bumper off, the 3.5mm plug make a stable, secure connection.  I tried making some calls, and no one I talked to complained about the sound.  When I asked about the call quality, everyone said it sounded great.  They were surprised when I told them I was using a handset instead of talking directly into the phone.  My daughter even thought the handset sounded a bit better than the iPhone itself.

The handset simply replaces a headphone/microphone set, and it has no controls built in.  You have to end your call with the controls on the phone itself.  This isn’t a problem, because you can’t get that far away from the phone while you’re talking anyway.

The handset is comfortable to hold.  My hand doesn’t get cramped even when talking for a long time.  I think this is because the handset is narrower than any cellphone I’ve used, and I can hold it securely without feeling like I’m using a death grip.  iClooly says using the handset reduces radiation exposure by 96%.  I don’t have any way to test that claim, but I do believe that keeping the phone on the table instead of against my ear has to offer a reduction in exposure.

If you have an AT&T iPhone (or a Verizon phone that’s connected to WiFi), you’ll find that the Phonestand holds your phone at a comfortable angle for multi-tasking while you’re talking on the phone.  The Phonestand can hold the iPhone in either the horizontal or vertical position.

As I mentioned earlier, you can use the Phonestand with other phones.  I don’t have access to any others, but phones considerably longer than the iPhone may not fit the stand in the vertical position, especially if the headphone jack is on the top.  Also, an adapter may interfere with the fit if the headphone jack is on the top or bottom.

I like the iClooly Phonestand, but I wish the headset cord would work with the Bumper Case.  I really think it might be worth removing my Bumper and using the stand when I make my long weekly calls to Leah, though.  I also like how I can charge my phone with the stand, and how it keeps my phone elevated and in plain view on my desktop or nightstand.  I think the price at Amazon is a fair price, too.  It’s worth considering if you want to try to reduce your radiation exposure but don’t like traditional wired earbuds or Bluetooth headsets.

 

Product Information

Price:$39.99
Manufacturer:iClooly
Retailer:Amazon
Pros:
  • Reduces radiation exposure
  • Good call sound quality
  • Can charge/sync your phone
  • Works as a horizontal or vertical stand
Cons:
  • Doesn't work with the iPhone 4's Bumper Case
Posted in: Health, Fitness, Sports, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Reviews

12 comments… add one

  • Andy Chen August 17, 2011, 12:56 pm

    Yow. Not working with the bumper case would be the dealbreaker for me!

    I wonder if the plug bit can be shaved down slightly for a better fit?

    1
  • Janet Cloninger August 17, 2011, 1:12 pm

    @Andy Chen I need to see if it can be shaved down. I love my bumper case, and I don’t like having to take it off and on a lot. I’ve already had to replace one because a pouch I was using stained it. (It still worked fine, but I hated how it looked with the black smears all over it.) I don’t want to replace it again because it gets stretched or torn or something.

    2
  • Andy Chen August 17, 2011, 1:42 pm

    I’m looking at the white ring of plastic closest to the tip. Maybe an Xacto knife could lop it off. Is that the part that prevents full contact?

    3
  • Ray Raddatz August 17, 2011, 2:08 pm

    I just ordered it from Amazon to try it with my HTC Evo. I’ll report back on my findings.

    4
  • Janet Cloninger August 18, 2011, 10:07 am

    @Andy Chen I used my Swiss Army knife to whittle down the diameter of that white plastic ring. I cut a little close and was afraid I’d ruined the cord – I could see a little bit of the base of the metal tip. Anyway, I can plug it completely in even while the iPhone is in the Bumper. It made a great connection, and the call I made to try it out had great sound quality. Now it’s perfect!

    5
  • Ray Raddatz August 25, 2011, 11:58 am

    Well, my iClooly arrived yesterday and I’ve been very happy with it… after a few modifications.
    For starters, my HTC Evo in its Otterbox Commuter case is a bit larger than an iPhone. Much like the users with bumpers on their iPhones, I couldn’t get my Evo to fit. This was easily remedied by snapping off the plastic tabs that support the bottom of the phone.
    I know that sounds like a pretty radical modification but the grip pad in the center of the cellphone holder keeps my phone in place quite well so the tabs aren’t absolutely necessary in my case.
    I also coaxed the two halves of the stand open a bit to hold my phone more upright. It makes it easier to see the screen from its place on my desk. I haven’t measured the angle but I’d guess it to be about 40 degrees now. Even at that steeper angle the tacky pad keeps my phone in place.

    6
  • donna December 25, 2011, 1:44 pm

    how do you use the iclooly with incoming calls The volume comes through the phone not the iclooly hand set Out going calls work fine

    7
  • Ray December 25, 2011, 3:05 pm

    Donna, the handset is just a speaker and a microphone. Call volume and Mic sensitivity would be controlled by the phone. I actually use the handset very rarely and only plug it in about half the time. It’s really just a quirky desktop stand for my cellphone

    8
  • fred June 11, 2012, 5:08 pm

    The fact that the iphone with a bumper does not fit into the phone stand is a sign of careless engineering me thinks. I’ll wait on this one until they get it right.

    9
  • Ray Raddatz June 12, 2012, 11:08 am

    This is just an update to how I’m using it now:

    I now have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus that I keep wrapped in a Otterbox Commuter case; much larger than the iPhone this was designed to hold.

    I’ve long since given up using the corded handset. It’s just one more thing to plug and unplug and I rarely use my cellphone to make calls at work. The trouble is that if I just leave the handset on the stand for looks I end up knocking it off and have it clattering onto my desktop a couple of times a day.

    I’m much less enamored of it now. It holds the phone at an angle that is hard to read. It’s too shallow and the lights over my cube glare off the screen. I’ve tried to bend it into a more upright orientation, but then my phone slides off.

    It’s going in the drawer soon.

    10
  • Janet Cloninger June 12, 2012, 11:13 am

    @Ray Raddatz I eventually found the coiled cable that plugs the headset into the phone was too short. Often when I’d be using it with my iPhone on the stand I’d find that I pulled the stand off the table when I’d move around. I finally just started using the handset alone. I’m thinking about putting the aluminum base into the recycling bin. The iClooly was expensive – way more than just one of those wired handsets that look like the old-fashioned telephone – but at least I get some use out of it just using the handset.

    11
  • Peggy Duncan December 8, 2012, 4:47 pm

    A dock extender will solve the problem of not being able to reach your port. You’ll be able to plug it into the phone port, and plug your cable into it. Mine is by RadTech, and I purchased on Amazon.

    12

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