Is Bigger Better? + Loopy Cases and PopSockets

When I upgraded from the iPhone 5s to the iPhone 6, I was terrified that I would never get used to my ENORMOUS new phone. Even more terrifying was the prospect that phones were only going to get bigger and bigger and eventually all the cool phones were going to be too big for my tastes (and my hands). Luckily I got used to the larger size fairly quickly. Additionally, Apple struck a nice balance when it decided to increase the size of the iPhone again, and kept the slightly smaller phone in the lineup (hence how we ended up with the 6/6 Plus, 6s/6s Plus, 7/7 Plus, and now the 8/8 Plus). Heck, they even brought BACK the extra small phone and renamed it the iPhone SE.

While I learned to love the larger screen on my iPhone 7, over time I became jealous of some of the features on the 7+ — mainly the camera and the longer battery life. When my marketing team at my day job invested in a team phone, I was able to try the 7+ for myself. It was the perfect opportunity to compare the two phones and decide whether bigger really was better. I quickly realized that I wanted the features of the bigger phone, but at the same time struggled a bit with the size. I wasn’t about to let that be a deal-breaker — after all, I had seen all shapes and sizes of people handle the iPhone Plus model just fine. As this debate was swirling in my head, I started to see more and more people with loops, rings, straps, and plastic discs on the backs of their phones. It got me thinking that maybe there was a good solution out there somewhere — I just had to figure out which one worked best for me. I did a bunch of research on these accessories so you wouldn’t have to, and settled on what I felt were the top two options — Loopy Cases and PopSockets.

Loopy Case (left); PopSocket (right)

 

Loopy Cases

These guys have a great brand. Their tagline “stop the drop” is clever, and their ads and influencer partnerships are all over my social media. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m just not a fan of cases. iPhones (and many Android phones) are beautiful devices, and I think it’s a crime to cover them up with ugly, bulky cases. But I am also excruciatingly careful with my phones. For those of you that are not (absolutely no judgment, I’m pretty sure I’m the weird one here), a Loopy Case might be the perfect hybrid of protective case + extra grip that you need. Here’s the rundown:

  • What is it? Plastic case with a rubber finger “loop” on the back that allows to you grip your phone more securely with minimal effort
  • Cost — $35-40 depending on the model of your phone, and what design you choose
  • Colors — Tons of options; I ordered a red “Signature Edition” case — I think signature edition means it’s a matte case instead of shiny.
  • Swappable loops — You can buy extra loops to go with your case (they even have glow-in-the-dark loops!); $5 each; I ordered several (photos below).
  • Slim design — Gives you the protection of a case without a ton of added bulk.
  • Good (but not great) build — I’ll be honest, I thought the case was going to be a little bit more solid. The material isn’t cheap, but it’s bendable. It will certainly protect your phone if you drop it, but I guess I was expecting a little more.
  • Different versions for righties and lefties — I don’t know how important this actually is — I think the loop might be angled differently depending on which version you choose.
  • Can be used as a kickstand (kind of) — Loopy Cases’ website shows a phone being propped up by the loop. In my experience, it didn’t work well. The iPhone 7+ may just be a bit too heavy.
  • Security against drops — Their #StoptheDrop says it all. Makes holding and using your phone wayyy more comfortable, and provides a surprisingly easy way to carry your phone if you’ve only got one free hand.
  • Awesome brand — Loopy Cases is another one of those brands that just seems to get it. Everything from their customer service to the personal touches included in their packaging reinforces that they want to nail the customer experience. It genuinely feels like they believe in their brand and they want to share that love with all of us. You’ve gotta appreciate that.

 

PopSockets

I actually bought a couple of PopSockets over a year ago after reading about them in a blog. They were cheap, so I figured why not. They arrived. I threw them in a drawer. They sat unopened and unused. Then the iPhone 7+ came into my life and I finally had a need for them. Here’s the rundown:

  • What is it? A circular plastic disc that sticks on the back of your phone, or the back of your case. It “pops” out so that you can rest it between your index finger and middle finger.
  • Cost — $10-15 depending on what design you choose
  • Colors — Tons of options; plain colors, patterns, characters, logos, fun designs + design your own (I have a donut and Colorado flag); you can also customize the color of the base and the handle.
  • Surprisingly sticky! — This was an obvious concern, but since putting them on my phones and (fiddling with them constantly), the stickiness seems as strong as ever. You can remove them (with some effort), wash them off, and reuse them — but I’m not sure I’d advise doing that more than a couple of times.
  • Can still lay your phone flat — Yes, it will be raised off of a flat surface ever so slightly, but this is as good as you’ll get with any of these solutions. Plus, it’s fun to spin your phone on a smooth surface when you have the PopSocket on the back!
  • Same version works for righties and lefties
  • Functions as a stand — I love this feature. It’s nice to be able to prop my phone up when I’m watching Netflix or reading a recipe while I’m cooking.
  • Lightweight, but not cheap feeling — For $10 I wasn’t sure what I was going to get. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality. The designs pop and colors are sharp. I constantly pull the PopSocket up and down and it hasn’t seemed to loosen up at all.
  • Security against drops — With a similarly clever slogan, “get a grip on your phone,” PopSockets perform the same function as the Loopy Case. Holding and using your phone is more comfortable, and it makes carrying your phone in one hand a breeze.

Loopy Cases and PopSockets are both great options. They provide most of the same benefits, and IMO are a must if you have a big phone. Not only do they do everything outlined above, but they also alleviate the discomfort that comes from simply holding your phone for long periods of time. It sounds silly, but I didn’t realize how much my poor pinkie was suffering until I started using these. Plus, your selfies will look amazing and you’ll never drop your phone on your face in bed again. If I HAVE to pick a winner, I give the slight edge to PopSockets — but this is DEFINITELY more of a personal preference than a totally objective ruling. The biggest reason for that preference is that I detest having a case on my phone. That said, the PopSockets work with cases too, so even if I was going to use a case I might still choose the PopSocket. If I had to give a couple of other reasons why I’m on Team PopSocket, it would be 1) cost, 2) you can still lay your phone “flat” on its back, 3) it provides a firmer grip (the Loopy Case shifts around a little more because of how loose the strap is), and 4) the ability to use it as a stand. So there you go. While my vote goes to PopSocket, I love the Loopy Case brand and I think they’ve got a really fun and clever marketing strategy. I also know a ton of you need/love cases, and if that’s the case, a Loopy Case is a solid option. Bottom line is if you want an accessory that makes holding, using, and carrying your phone infinitely more comfortable, I think these are two of the best choices out there.

If I HAVE to pick a winner, I give the slight edge to PopSockets — but this is DEFINITELY more of a personal preference. The biggest reason for that preference is that I detest having a case on my phone. That said, the PopSockets work with cases too, so even if I was going to use a case I might still choose a PopSocket. Other reasons why I’m on Team PopSocket? 1) cost, 2) you can still lay your phone “flat” on its back, 3) it provides a firmer grip (the Loopy Case shifts around a little more because of how loose the strap is), and 4) the ability to use it as a stand. So there you go. While my vote goes to PopSockets, I love the Loopy Case brand and I think they’ve got a really fun and clever marketing strategy. I also know a ton of you need/love cases. If so, a Loopy Case is a solid option. Bottom line is if you want an accessory that makes holding, using, and carrying your phone infinitely more comfortable, I think these are the two best choices out there.

*Note: I have not seen Loopy Cases sold in stores — but I have seen PopSockets. You can grab them at Target, Walmart, and Best Buy (to name a few). I’ve even seen them at smaller retail shops and boutiques in New Orleans. Of course, you’re at the mercy of whatever designs they choose to carry!

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I love great packaging and small personal touches like my name scribbled on the receipt with a marker, or stickers thrown in for free. I wish more companies and brands got this. BONUS: If you’ve made it this far you may notice a promo code in the photo (GETLOOPY). I don’t know if it ever expires, but if you’re going to order one anyways, give it a shot!
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Each Loopy Case comes with a carrying pouch.

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You can see that the ends of the loop do stick out a bit from the inside of the case. They lay almost flat when you slide your phone in. However, there IS the tiniest of bulges on the back of the case when it’s on your phone (read: I’m OCD). This may get squished down more over time, but I haven’t used it long enough to see what happens.

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Since you can’t lay your phone flat on its back (because of the loop), you’ll likely be laying it on its face. The case does have a slightly raised edge all the way around the phone so the screen won’t collect unnecessary scratches and wear.
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I bought these PopSockets over a year ago so the packaging has likely changed!

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PopSockets stick nicely to your phone even if you use a case. This is an Apple leather case and my PopSocket has stayed put.

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One of the best things about my PopSocket — being able to use it as a stand when I’m watching video content. Because of where I placed the PopSocket on the 7+ phone (not exactly in the middle of the phone) it DOES sometimes tip over because it’s unbalanced. It’s mildly annoying, but not a dealbreaker. This doesn’t happen on my iPhone 7.
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For fun, I stuck one on my iPhone 7 too. Although this phone is manageable without one, I’ve been surprised at how much I actually like having it on. Makes taking selfies (and all photos) so much easier!

 

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