There’s a pretty good chance that you’ve heard of PopSockets at this point. The mini grips for smartphones are everywhere. They can be attached to cases with adhesive, and there are are even third party cases that are PopGrip compatible. Just in time for the latest round of iPhones, PopSockets has released its own PopCase line. These are iPhone cases with PopGrip functionality fully integrated and optimized.
Grips aren’t really something I’ve ever had a use for. I usually pick the largest iPhone available, but I have big hands and securely holding the phone has never been an issue. Also, I don’t take many selfies and I don’t typically use my phone for watching streaming video.
However, my daughter is in that key PopSockets demographic, so the company sent cases for her iPhone.
PopCase Protective iPhone Case, With Optional MagSafe
You don’t want to slap a case on your iPhone unless it’s providing some protection. The PopCase has more than the basics covered, with shock-absorbing egg-crate impact geometry bumpers that provide 10-foot drop protection.
If you own an iPhone 12 or 13 series, you have the option of a MagSafe-compatible case (with optional MagSafe accessories including a wallet). The cases come in a variety of colors including clear and black.
The Big Appeal is the Close Integration with PopGrips
The point of a PopCase is its integration with PopGrips. These clever grips stay relatively flat when not in use, but they can be extended to “pop” out. This provides a more secure grip for selfies, and they may be more comfortable in general when doing anything involving the iPhone display than holding the phone by its sides — especially when iPhones keep getting larger.
However, the PopGrips do more than provide a grip, they can also be tilted to provide a support. Instead of propping the iPhone up to view video or participate in a video chat, the PopGrip provides a secure base. The PopGrip actually secures to a PopSlide, which is a strip of plastic that can slide up and down the length of the phone, using an integrated channel in the side of the case. This makes the PopGrip usable as a stand in both landscape and portrait modes. You could also use the PopSlide to move the grip out of the way for wireless charging, although the company does sell its own MagSafe charger that has a central depression to accommodate a PopGrip.
The much more comfortable and secure one-hand grip, and the stand mode are big wins for my daughter. She’s using my old iPhone XS Max and has small hands so it’s a bit-oversized when it comes to holding it. She also sets up her phone wherever she’s camped out to play streaming video. Washing dishes, cleaning, doing homework. She seems to need video playing in the background the same way I need music…
The functionality of the PopGrip is one thing, but the PopCase also lets you swap out the included PopGrip for any of hundreds of optional PopGrips. When I checked the company’s website, there were over 800 available. This includes pop culture-themed versions such as Disney characters, Harry Potter, Pokémon, and Star Wars options. You can also design custom versions. With PopGrips, you can have a single iPhone case, but switch up the look by installing a new PopGrip.
Swapping PopGrips involves pushing the grip down and twisting to remove it, then doing the reverse to install a new one. Sounds easy, but it can be a little tricky until you get the hang of it. Kind of like opening childproof medication bottles…
Pricing & Availability
PopCases are available for iPhones ranging from the iPhone X and up. Prices run anywhere from $50 to $60, so they’re quite reasonable. That price includes a basic PopGrip, so the cases are fully functional without spending extra. Additional PopGrips are where this case could turn into an investment. They range from $8 up to the $80 Polished Malachite Luxe grip shown in the photo.
The good news is that while iPhones change in form factor from year to year, requiring a new case investment, the PopGrips and accessories will be compatible with next year’s PopCases. So you can continue to use the collection of grips for years to come.
Disclosure: PopSockets provided PopCases and PopGrips for evaluation but had no input into this review. As an Amazon Associate, I earn affiliate fees from qualifying purchases.