If you’re going to leave an iPhone in a dock all night to charge, or on your desk all day at work, you’ll want a powered one. Options there include Apple’s own dock, Belkin’s Charge Dock and Enblue’s Premium One.
But if you are constantly picking up and putting down your iPhone in the course of the day, sometimes a simple unpowered stand can be more convenient. I tried a couple of iMac-style stands supplied by MobileFun: the Elago M2, left, and Spigen S310, right.
Both are very similar in overall form-factor. An aluminum body with iMac-style foot, two prongs at the front to hold the phone in place, padding to cushion the phone against the stand and cutouts at the rear in case you do want to run a Lightning cable through to it. The obvious visual difference between the two is that the Spigen has a black rubber coating at the front …
Neither is iPhone-specific. Both are generic stands suitable for use with any smartphone, though the styling of course immediately brings Apple to mind. Both will also hold any phone in either vertical or horizontal positions.
My first impression was a strong preference for the Elago. The uniform aluminum look with just a small rubber protector visible gives it a much cleaner look than the rubber-covered Spigen. The latter also has rubber pads hidden behind the prongs at the front, to cushion the bottom of the phone.
However, with the phone in place, the visual difference between the two is much smaller.
There’s also not a great difference in the side view, and both have rear cutouts to allow cable access.
One thing you can see, though, is that the two are slightly different shades. Both are a close match for an iMac or Thunderbolt display stand, but the Spigen is the closer of the two.
There’s also a notable difference in footprint, the Spigen being more compact in terms of the desk space needed.
I was, then, warming to the Spigen. The clincher was that padding. Although the Elago has padding at both the rear and in the prongs, I was finding that the bottom-front edge of the iPhone was not protected. With a unit all about frequently removing and replacing the phone, I was concerned that it would get scratched.
That, then, decided me: the Spigen wins the day. Happily, it’s also the cheaper of the two.
The Spigen S310 is $23.99, while the Elago M2 is $33.49. Both are available from MobileFun. You’ll of course also find a wide range of iPhone stands and docks on Amazon, many of those also in aluminum.