CES 2021: PopSockets Will Eventually Go MagSafe

Stick it. Pop it. Don't drop it

Key Takeaways

  • MagSafe PopSockets stick to the iPhone 12’s new magnetic back panel.
  • MagSafe means that you can remove and replace them as many times as you want.
  • Unlike sticky PopSockets, the MagSafe versions don’t impede inductive Qi chargers.
MagSafe PopSockets

Who doesn’t like PopSockets? Some people, for sure. But if you have an iPhone 12, you owe it to yourself to try…MagSafe PopSockets.

Yes, MagSafe PopSockets, a rare two-word combo in buzzword bingo. The iPhone 12 has a circle of magnets embedded in its back panel, which sticks it to chargers and cases, while making sure that they are perfectly aligned. Now, PopSockets has made a PopGrip and a PopWallet that use this magnet

PopSockets’s PopGrips are those pop-up handles that every teen in the world has on the back of their phone. They make it easy to grip the phone in one hand, they work as a kickstand, and you can even wrap your headphone cord around there to keep it tidy.

So why do you need one? Well, you don’t, but neither should you brush them off as a fad.

Until now PopSockets accessories have stuck to the back of your phone, tablet, Kindle, camera, or other device using a sticky adhesive disk. This can be unstuck and repositioned, and if you clean the phone or case with alcohol before you stick, you can re-stick it quite a bit before dirt and lint finally ruin everything. 

With a magnetic attachment, you can stick and unstick the PopGrip all day long, and it will never loosen. The downside is that the magnetic connection isn’t as strong as the sticky connection.

The New MagSafe PopSockets

These new PopSockets, which should start releasing in the spring, stick to the back of your MagSafe-enabled case. These cases, available from Apple and others, stick to the iPhone, and have their own magnetic back. They also should pass through power from a MagSafe inductive charging puck, if you use one.

Compatible PopGrips have a larger base than the sticky versions, which stops the unit from tilting and shearing away from the magnetic pull. And because these MagSafe PopGrips have a high-friction backing, and stick to a case that will presumably be less slippery than the iPhone’s glass back, they should also resist sliding off the MagSafe mounting circle. 

Other new MagSafe-compatible items include the PopWallet+, a card-holding pouch with magnetic shield and integrated grip, and the PopGrip Slide Stretch (available March 2021), which foregoes all kinds of stickiness in favor of a wraparound grip to keep it secured. These are a good way to use PopSockets with non-MagSafe phones covered in non-stick cases. 

The PopSocket Slide Stretch, which uses no adhesive or magnetism.

Why Use PopSockets?

So why do you need one? Well, you don’t, but neither should you brush them off as a fad. We have a whole post on why PopSockets are great. One use, not covered in that post, is to add a camera grip your phone. Stick it on the back of the phone, toward the bottom end.

Then, you can hold the phone horizontally in one hand, with your first two fingers around the shaft of the PopGrip. This leaves your thumb free to tap the on-screen shutter button. On the iPhone, the main controls also are within reach of this thumb.

This makes it almost impossible to drop the phone, while freeing your other hand for tap-to-focus duties, or to fix your hair for perfect selfies.

This trick doesn’t work so well with the new MagSafe PopGrips, because they can’t be positioned close to the bottom edge of the phone, but at under $10, you can afford to try out the old sticky version. You never know. You might like it.

Want more? See all our coverage of CES 2021 right here.

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