It seems there is a desk stand for every cell phone, tablet, and gadget on the market today. Some are functional and inexpensive, while others are just good looks and costly. The Gadgeteer was asked to review a new entry into the iPhone 4/4S desk stand market, the iKliK-The Multi-Angle Viewing Stand for iPhone 4and 4S, from HammerStone Products. At $12.79 on Amazon.com, the iKliK is one of the least expensive desk stands for the iPhone 4/4S on the market. In this review we will see if it ends up as a gadget that I use everyday or in my gadget graveyard.
The iKliK arrived packaged in a retail plastic bag stapled at the top to a cardboard iKliK retail hanger. Simple packaging, but effective in a retail store for a small and simple product like the iKliK. The packaging is simple to open, being held together with just two staples between the top cardboard hanger and the plastic bag holding the iKliK and a small bag with round adhesive feet.
On the back of the iKliK packaging there is a graphical review of how to use the iKliK . The package comes with several adhesive feet that are designed to be placed on the bottom of the iKliK to keep it firmly planted on your desk or location of choice. I am all for the “do-it-yourself” part of a product, but some directions would have been helpful as I can imagine many consumers looking at the feet and saying “what do I do with these?”
The iKliK product itself is made of black thermoplastic and barely weighs in at several ounces – a true light weight. According to the packaging, the iKliK is recyclable, yet there is no recycling symbol on the bottom of the iKliK to tell me what kind of thermoplastic the product is made of to ease recycling. In fact, my community will not accept certain recycling items without the recycling stamp to tell the recycling company how to separate and recycle these types of products. This would be a simple fix for the company to make, not that I plan on recycling it anytime soon.
The iKliK is a simple, two-piece setup with a moving center section that holds your iPhone 4/4S. The iKliK has a ratchet mechanism built into both sides of the center section, that looks like a small set of gears, controlling the position of the iPhone 4/4S. The angling system on the iKliK supports four different viewing angles. The iKliK is by far one of the least expensive iPhone 4/4S desk stands that I have seen on the market. Overall it feels well-made, as the thermoplastic is solid and the feet keep it firmly planted on my desk. I can easily see where the name iKliK came from, as when one moves the iKliK into a new angled position, the device makes a satisfying “click” to let you know that it is in the next position. The product comes with a one-year warranty from the manufacturer, not that you should need it, as the product is relatively hard to break. (I should know better than saying anything like the previous sentence given the ability of my children to break anything that says “unbreakable” on it.) So far, so good. I liked the overall design for the money.
Next step in my testing was to put my iPhone 4 into the iKliK, and I immediately ran into a problem. My iPhone 4 won’t fit because it has a case on it that’s needed, given the Apple antenna design issues, to ensure a strong signal. The only way to get my iPhone 4 to fit into the iKliK is to remove the case – strike one against the iKliK. The iKliK is designed to hold your iPhone 4/4S in a horizontal mode only; there is no portrait option. While good for watching movies, I usually like to access my iPhone in portrait mode on my desk, as I don’t usually watch movies at work – strike two. I took some pictures to show the multiple angles that the iKliK supports the iPhone in, the first, above, is horizontal, followed by the four pictures below showing the iKliK in the full five angles of viewing.
I usually have my iPhone 4 installed in the Apple iPhone dock with charger, and again the iKliK misses out on providing a place to easily plug in the charging cable – it hangs out the side of the iKliK looking rather like an after thought – strike 2.5. Since this really isn’t a big deal, I could not give the iKliK a full strike and call it out at this point, and most docks eschew the charger, leaving it to you to hook it up.
The iKliK is great for watching movies or other video media as it supports the larger horizontal display format, and the five position angles of the iKliK make it easy to pick the optimum viewing angle. I would have liked to see some more angles, but given the weight of the iKliK, I could easily see it toppling over when placed further forward or back – strike 3 and you’re out. Seriously, these are some major and minor design issues that are apparent on many an iPhone dock today, but at the price of under $13 one can not expect the iKliK to do everything. Having designed and built products in the past, I realize that everything is a trade off. And in the case of the iKliK, the designers traded off a number of capabilities to create an iPhone dock for those that watch media in a horizontal format, probably on the go.
I did not get a chance to test the iKliK on an airplane, where I think it would be a great solution for keeping my iPhone well-supported to watch videos on the tray table. With its light weight and small form factor, the iKliK is easy to pack in my bag for trips and will not hurt my back from added weight.
My kids liked the iKliK in the car as it was a perfect fit between the two front seats, sitting on the arm rest back, for them to watch a movie. It could use a better solution for keeping it in place in the car, like a velcro strap and the supporting feet with the loop side of the Velcro. As a note to the team at HammerStone Products; when you make a Velcro strap accessory, please remember the reviewer that gave you the idea at the holidays.
For the price, at under $13, the iKliK is a good desk stand solution for those that watch a lot of media content or those that travel and want to enjoy their media content hands-free. For me, I really wanted to use the iKliK on a daily basis, as the idea is one that should work out well. Alas, the iKliK will find a home buried in my gadget graveyard mainly because of its inability to support my iPhone with the bumper case on, as well as not being able to hold my iPhone in a portrait position.
Update from the manufacturer:
The iKliK was was not designed aesthetically to hold the iPhone in portrait orientation but this functionality was designed and tested in. The iKliK holds the iPhone in three of the 5 angles while holding the iPhone in portrait mode while it is being held on one of the bottom corners. I use it this way sometimes and it works fine when at the desk when portrait mode is needed. While not a perfect solution, it works without problem.