Hands-on review: STM MagPod iPhone tripod
Image credit: STM
Hands-free watching, chatting, snapping, vlogging, filming, podcasting and more for iPhone 12 and up.
We previously reviewed the 'Myth' backpack from STM ('Smarter Than Most'). Now, taking something of a left-turn away from bags and laptop cases, the Australian company has launched its MagPod MagSafe-compatible iPhone stand and tripod in the UK, following its initial launch in the US and Canada.
Designed to be the 'smarter phone stand', the MagPod is around 15cm tall with its legs folded in. These legs open smoothly to form a tripod whilst keeping your iPhone at a comfortable viewing angle - adjustable to suit any occasion - and held firmly in place with magnets.
STM pitches the MagPod as a handy device for use anywhere at home or to carry with you (it is just about coat pocket-sized) and keep your phone hygienically elevated above the inevitable detritus of modern society (think coffee shop tables) that you will encounter on your travels.
Instructions are minimal with a product like this. Introduce your MagSafe iPhone to the MagPod until the magnetism kicks in. That's it, done. A rubber circular pad on top of the pivoting socket protects your iPhone's finish where the magnetic disc holds it in place.
It's only compatible with Apple iPhones and only those with MagSafe built in. This is the iPhone 12 and up, including 13 (obvs) and presumably the imminent 14.
It only comes in one colour: white. Goes with everything, mate. Whatever colour your phone is, white won't clash. A black version has been spotted out in the overseas wild, but for the moment only white is available in the UK.
It feels nice in the hand. Chubby, stubby and a little bit premium, with its rubberised feet (like little grey shoes for its three legs) and silky plastic body finish. It's not a flimsy, skinny-legged, wobbly tripod that is inherently unstable. The three fat legs of the MagPod that unfold from the body/handle together create a very stable triangle, even with a larger iPhone Pro mounted. With the legs closed, you've got a reassuringly chunky handle.
The angle of viewing is not infinitely adjustable, but from our experiments with an iPhone 12 and an iPhone Pro 13 there weren't many useful angles that we couldn't achieve. The top magnetic disc section - where your phone is mounted - moves back and forth from fully horizontal to around 45 degrees. This allows for a good viewing angle for watching the screen whilst simultaneously doing something else with your two hands.
The shaft of the MagPod also swivels for further viewing flexibility, to the extent that it can hold your phone in place fully vertical. Adjusting these two planes of movement, you should be able to find something that suits.
The magnets are strong enough to hold a large iPhone Pro in place, either in portrait or landscape orientation. We wouldn't advise running along the street with it - the only restraining factor for your precious iPhone is the magnet connection - but it's certainly solid enough to walk from room to room in your home without fear of the phone sliding off.
We've found the MagPod useful in all the situations where we previously had to hold the iPhone: everything from capturing better selfies and making FaceTime calls more naturally, to watching videos and catching up with box set dramas whilst eating breakfast or lying in bed.
The MagPod is not a product that's going to blow you away - at the end of the day, it is simply a very nice stand/tripod - but nevertheless it will definitely improve your day-to-day iPhone experience in a number of small but pleasing ways. The simple, unfussy, modern and minimalist design suits the iPhone ecosystem (and doubtless many of its intended end users) and while there may well be more flexible tripod/selfie stick options out there, there is something about the MagPod that makes it easy to like and bond with.
There's even a two-year warranty with it, although we have to wonder what could possibly go wrong. Nice to have the guarantee all the same. Perhaps £45 is a little steep for an impulse purchase, but the MagPod is well made and feels solid. It's a quality product. If you're tired of shaky handheld use or propping your iPhone up in unsatisfying ways, help could (literally) be at hand.
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