Studio Neat Glif+ - compatible with Apple iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5, $30
If you love cool gadgets and stylish design, the Glif is the iPhone stand and tripod mount adapter that will turn your head. Viewed from the side, the slender yet sturdy piece of rubberized plastic looks like an Art Deco sixteenth note. The notch between the note’s two stubby flags fits snugly onto the side of your iPhone 4/4S or 5 to let you use the Glif like a little kickstand, and the lower flag has a standard ¼-20 tripod socket embedded. The length of the Glif’s stem has a groove on the other side so that you can slip your iPhone smoothly into the groove either horizontally or vertically, and then mount the Glif onto a tripod head.
As a stand, the Glif is very stable and easy to use in both horizontal and vertical orientations. Its limitations are that the angle at which the phone is propped up isn’t adjustable and the Glif won’t fit on an iPhone in a case. When you slip your iPhone into the Glif groove (also sans case) and mount it on a tripod, things get a little less secure. The gadget’s rubberized plastic has a bit of flex, and while the groove grips the phone very snugly, it doesn’t have a tight enough hold to hang onto the phone when it’s not upright on your tripod head.
That’s where the “+” elements of the Glif+ package come in. The Serif, which is a C-shaped piece of rubberized plastic, clips onto the iPhone when it’s mounted in the Glif in horizontal orientation. The Serif runs perpendicular to the Glif, securing it to the iPhone. With the addition of the Serif, you can safely turn the iPhone on your tripod head to any angle without worrying about it falling off. The Serif fits securely into the Glif’s groove for carrying, and the Glif+ kit comes with a key ring attachment called the Ligature that screws into the tripod socket and lets you carry the Glif and Serif nestled together along with your keys. (If you just want to put your iPhone on a tripod and don’t care about having a stand, Gary Fong’s iPhone 4/4S Mount provides a slightly less expensive (and less stylish) alternative that doesn’t involve the two-piece approach of the Glif and Serif.)
If you’re still hungry for more design cleverness, consider that the Glif+ kit comes in a cardboard box that can be reconfigured to work as a bipod that you mount the Glif on top of. It’s about as stable and versatile as you’d expect a cardboard box with a hole in the end to be, but that’s more than can be said for any blister pack’s tripoding skills.
Aimee Baldridge is a writer and photographer based in New York. For more than a decade she has specialized in covering imaging technology, digital media, and the world of photography. You can see more of her work at www.aimeebaldridge.com.