Breffo really chose a great name when they called their universal flexible smartphone stand the Spiderpodium. Why you ask? It looks like a spider and holds your smartphone on a podium... Anyway its a great name...
As you can see, it has 8 flexible legs that bend easily yet stay in place very solidly. The product is covered with this soft touch grippy rubber material. It is wonderfully delicate with your smartphone (won't scratch it) and provides enough friction to hold it in place on plastic, aluminum, wood, glass and stainless steel.
When you look at the different suggested designs on the box, you get a little intimidated. I did anyway because I was never good in art class. At first I kept getting frustrated because I couldn't reproduce the perfectly sculpted recommendations provided by the manufacturer so for the first couple of days it sat on my work desk waiting. Eventually I realized that I just needed to mold it as best I could and it became immediately useful.
The more I used it, the more uses I found for it. I started using it to
- hold up my smartphone (playing Netflix) while on the treadmill in the gym
- hold my smartphone on the headrest of the car to entertain the little one during a short drive
- hold my smartphone while using facetime video conferencing
- hold my smartphone on the shopping cart at the store
The slit in the middle of the base plate is used to slide a charging cable through.
At first you wonder how strong this product is. Can I trust it to securely hold my $800 iPhone 5s? The answer is yes. I mounted it to the screen of the elliptical trainer and watched a movie the entire time I was exercising. The machine was shaking (the gym probably needed to adjust it), nevertheless the Spiderpodium held my iPhone snugly and securely.
I wanted to test how securely it could hold my device for an extended period and hung an iPhone 4 (didn't want to risk my iPhone 5s) with a Mophie battery pack from the fridge door for 24 hours and it didn't budge.
I then performed the same test in the car (hanging it from the rear view mirror) for 24 hours in colder -5 degree Celsius temperature overnight and again it had held the device in place.
There is no "easy" way to carry the spiderpodium so I kept it in the pocket of my everyday use jacket. It is small and thin but you still notice it's there. Even though its an extra thing to carry, It went everywhere with me for 2 weeks.
This thing is reliable secure but sometimes it bent when I poked my smartphone to stop a video or answer a call. Its not a major issue but a slight annoyance when it happened.
What about the knockoffs?
When I do these types of reviews, I am often asked to compare the original (usually more expensive) to the Chinese knockoffs you can buy on sites like dhgate and aliexpress.
To answer honestly, I ordered one which is why this review took longer to publish. It took the Chinese seller almost 3 weeks to deliver my "Universal car bike mobile phone spider stand holder for iPhone 5s 5c 5 4s s Galaxy Note 3 Note2 S4 S3 S2 Portable Mount."
Differences between the original Breffo Spiderpodium and the Chinese knockoff I bought for $6:
- The knockoff has a less grippy rubber material and didn't hold it as securely
- The kockoff had similarly rigid legs but after 3 days of use, one of the legs became limp and could hold itself anymore
I understand the need to find a bargain but in this case, the Chinese knockoff proved to be less than adequate to securely hold an expensive smartphone.
At first I thought this was a useless gimmick but the more I used it the more uses I found for it. It is now part of my standard every day kit and will definitely come on all my business trips. My rating for the spiderpodium us 8/10 and a recommendation of buy.