PopSockets Might Be More Amazing Than We Thought

Once you pop, you’ll never stop

Key Takeaways

  • PopSockets are little pop-up handles/stands that stick to the back of your phone.
  • They’re just about the most useful way to spend $10 on a phone accessory.
  • PopSockets are not only for teenagers.
A PopSocket on the back of an iPhone.
@debutantesocial via Twenty20

Have you ever stuck a PopSocket on the back of your phone? No, because that stuff’s for teens, right? But it turns out, this is the one time in history that teens may have gotten something right. 

A PopSocket might be the best accessory you can buy for your phone. It’s a grip, a cable-tidy, a stand, and more. I have long been PopSocket-curious, but until I slapped one onto the back of my iPhone 12 Mini, I never knew how good they could be. 

Fiddle and Fidget

A PopSocket is a collapsible plastic mushroom that sticks to the back of your phone, and can be popped out with a fingertip. When collapsed, it’s small enough that you can still slide the phone into a tight pocket. When it’s popped out, it can become many things. But let’s be honest here. Its most essential function is as a fidget toy. 

You can twist it, pop it, open it up so that one side is in and one side is out, and then keep on fiddling with it. In terms of gadgets that weren’t actually designed as fidget toys, the PopSocket is right up there with opening and closing the flip top of an AirPods case. 

Stand And Support

The utility of a PopSocket depends on where you position it, and how big your phone is. On the little iPhone mini, sticking it in the center of the back is perfect. In this spot, you can pop it open, then slip it between your middle and ring fingers (aka the Spock grip).

This makes the phone almost impossible to drop, but also gives you full access to the entire screen with your thumb. It’s a perfect grip for reading, light typing, and—if you rotate the phone 90 degrees—for watching movies. 

This easy, secure, one-handed grip is also perfect for taking photos, either with one hand or two. Even if the PopSocket wasn’t good for anything else, I’d want it for photo-snapping duties. 

A young person snapping pictures with a grandparent, using the PopSocket on the phone to hold it in place.
@beachbumledford via Twenty20

I originally got the PopSocket because I wanted to use my iPhone mini without a case, and the PopSocket makes it harder to drop and lets you set the phone on a wet kitchen surface, giving a bit of clearance. 

But I soon switched to a case because I’m paranoid, and because a case with a lip lets you put the phone face down, hiding the screen without the screen touching anything and getting scratched. Fortunately, you can remove and re-stick the PopSocket multiple times. Make sure the back of the phone or the case is clean first, though. Isopropyl alcohol is perfect for this. 

Old Standby

I’ve hinted at this above, but the other thing the PopSocket is great at is being a stand. Fully extended, it lets you prop up a small phone at the perfect angle for watching videos, or just to see the screen while charging. With a larger phone, you might be able to do the same by sticking the PopSocket closer to one edge. In fact, you should probably experiment with the ideal placement for your phone before doing any sticking. 

The PopSocket is also good for propping up the phone while you take photos. You can even hang it on the rim of a sturdy cup or glass. Or you can use the extended PopSocket as a spindle around which to wrap your headphone wire or charging cable. 

"I have long been PopSocket-curious, but until I slapped one onto the back of my iPhone 12 mini, I never knew how good they are."

Not Only Phones

We’ve seen some crazy pictures where people stick multiple PopSockets onto their phones, which looks like it would make the whole setup hard to hold. But it’s worth buying extras for your other gadgets. If you have a Kindle, for example, a PopSocket makes it way easier to read one-handed. Or how about sticking one onto the front right panel of a small camera, making it easier to hold?

When you start looking for things to stick a PopSocket onto, you see plenty of opportunities. And that’s before we get to the customization and color options, which are probably the real reason the teenagers love these things. After all, what better way to show that you are an individual than to buy a pre-made corporate plastic mushroom to differentiate your $500+ pocket computer?

Was this page helpful?