I’ve used and reviewed quite a few iPhone stands over the years, and an ongoing problem with them is what they look like when your iPhone is not in them. Mostly, they look like something’s missing. They look like empty frames rising above your desk to call attention to…nothing. Not so with the Just Mobile AluCup, which looks like a desktop design element even when not in use…not that it’ll be sitting empty that often.
The AluCup is a multi-purpose stand for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch (or any other similarly sized device, since we don’t need to be Apple elitists here). The round and angled outer shell is made from a single piece of high grade aluminum (sound familiar) and features a rubber inset in black, red, blue or yellow. The button also has a rubber base to prevent slipping.
At its highest point, the angled opening at the top reaches about 2-3/8 inches. The lowest point comes in at 1-15/16 inches. This angle provides plenty of back support for your phone when it’s in the AluCup, but also allows you to see the entire screen from most angles. The opening allows for extra room to accommodate third party cases, meaning you should also be okay if Apple changes the iPhone or iPod touch form factor down the road.
Four slits are cut into the frame so you can place your charging cable through them, but I found this a bit impractical; My iPhone 5 didn’t sit well in the AluCup when it had a Lightning cable sticking out the bottom. However, the empty AluCup does make for a convenient place to store your cable when not in use…better than just draping it across your desk.
The AluCup is angled for you to lay your iDevice across the top of it, too, not just in it. I found that this didn’t work very well due to slippage, whether my iPhone was in a case or not. You may have better luck if using a silicone case that provides more grip. I did like using it this with my iPad, however, provided the bottom of the iPad came to rest on the desktop, preventing further slipping.
My recommendation for the AluCup, then, is based almost entirely on its most basic use. When I’m at work, I place my iPhone 5 in it without the charging cable. It sits there for the day, very much becoming a part of my desktop instead of an accessory I’ve just dropped somewhere in the way of other things. It’s safe, it’s handy, and it’s easy to retrieve. That it looks good in and out of use doesn’t hurt.
Buy the Just Mobile AluCup
Provides: Display for iPhone, iPad and similarly sized devices
Developer: Just Mobile