Prop Up Your Phone in Style With the Clingo Universal Podium

Ever since I started getting interested in mobile technologies some five years ago, I have been looking enviously at pictures of desk stands and hoping I would find one that looked great, suited my needs, and wasn’t limited to one mobile device, given how often I’ve switched phones over the years.

Enter the Clingo Universal Podium. I spotted a picture of it a few months ago online and I knew it would be “it”: a surreal looking sturdy stand that fits any mobile device and would look perfectly cool with my HTC Desire Z.

Design

The Clingo Universal Podium is a stylish yet simple desk stand that is made of two elements: a steel frame and a plastic phone holder covered with a self adhesive green surface that’s responsible for all the magic.

Clingo Universal Podium

Clingo Universal Podium

The black steel frame is one of the most solidly built accessories I have come across. It has a large base in order to secure it onto any flat surface, and it rises in a sloping angular shape. The base is also coated with non-slip material prohibiting it from sliding across your desk.

The Podium from the side

The Podium from the side

Non-slip coating on the base

Non-slip coating on the base

The frame ends in a steel ball onto which the phone holder is fixed, thanks to a socket on its back. This ball and socket system fixes the holder while still allowing it to rotate around the frame. A nice touch is the addition of the Clingo brand name engraving on the holder’s back.

Ball and socket rotating joint

Ball and socket rotating joint

The front of the holder is almost fully covered with the self-adhesive green pad which is the most interesting part. The material is quite magical. When clean, you simply stick your phone on it and it will hold almost any device amazingly tight, whether it’s made of plastics like the Desire HD or metal like the Desire Z. Remove your phone and there’s no residue on its back.

Self adhesive coating

Self adhesive coating

Efficiency and Durability

The moment you hold the Clingo Universal Podium, even in its box, you know that the “made of steel” description isn’t a joke. The weight and finish of the unit are flawless. One minor gripe I have had is that the holder’s socket tends to get a bit loose around the ball, meaning that after a few months of usage, if I have a heavy phone placed on it, it will fall slightly forward so that I have to readjust it every 30 minutes or so.

However, on a positive note, the rotating head makes the Podium ideal for switching between portrait and landscape viewing, so you can enjoy both browsing and watching videos, for example, without having to hold your phone in your hand.

Desire Z held horizontally on the Podium

Desire Z held horizontally on the Podium

As for the self-adhesive material, I didn’t expect it to work this well, and it surprised me. It will even hold phones in a silicone gel case, albeit with a little less grip than when they are bare.

Desire Z held with its gel case on

Desire Z held with its gel case on

There are two quirks to this material though. The first is that as dust piles on it, it will temporarily lose its adhesive strength, forcing you to clean it with some water in order to regain all the power. The second is that due to how hard it grips the phone, you should not pull it off, as the battery cover might stay there, so the best way to remove your phone is to peel it off, starting from a corner or a side and continuing from there.

Close-Up on the sticking mechanism

Close-up of the sticking mechanism

Conclusion

After a couple of months of usage, I personally got used to the small quirks of the self-adhesive pad. I now clean it every week and it hasn’t lost any of its sticking power, and I instinctively peel off my phone instead of pulling it. However, one aspect I wish was improved is the ball and socket system, which is a bit looser now than when I first started using it.

All in all, the Clingo Universal Podium is a universal desk stand that fits practically any Android device. It’s solidly built and thanks to its rotating holder, it can fit your phone in any orientation, for video viewing, browsing, music listening, or any other task. All of this is topped off by a gorgeous design that wouldn’t look out of place, even without a phone on, on any desk.


Summary

A stylish and efficient universal desk stand for mobile phones and media players.

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  • http://casabona.org/ Joe Casabona

    Looks great! I just picked one up for my HTC Incredible!

  • kam

    I have the Clingo windshield car mount and really like it. Holds up my EVO with no problems. (They also include an adhesive-backed plastic disc for mounting it other places in the car, but I hear the suction cup doesn’t like to stick to the disc in cold weather.) I’ve had it for months and have only needed to clean the sticky pad once. I’d spring for the podium version as well, but I know it won’t fare well in a house with cats.

    • http://www.ritaelkhoury.com/ Rita El Khoury

      Haha, yes, cats, I can imagine the end of that scenario ;)

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