School is a dangerous environment for most tools and tech, but none more so that phones. Phones are essential items in a phone, always in arm’s reach but often bumped, dropped, or banged in the hustle and bustle of changing classrooms or running to meet up with friends at lunch. Phone grips have been a lifesaver for me and my slim fingers, and considering how affordable these ones are, they’re well worth the investment.

Why PopSockets win the popularity contest

Now that PopSockets come in a swappable style that allow you to easily swap between styles to match your kid’s wardrobe — and can come off for wireless charging, should that be a thing your kid actually uses — the reasons not to use one are becoming few and far between. They’re affordable, they’re recognizable, and with the Pop Culture collection finally updated to swappable PopTops, they’re cool, too.

PopSockets are also as much a toy as they are a tool, and I often pop one of my spares up and down when I get bored during staff meetings, and I’m sure there are some easily distracted kids (like me) out there who could use a fidget toy to help them avoid drifting into a daydream during a lecture.

Kickstands are cool, but you know what’s really cool? Vertical kickstands

There’s more to a phone grip that in-hand use, though. While most non-fabric phone grips double as landscape kickstands, the number of phone grips that allow you to set your phone upright next to your computer or lunch so you can scroll through Twitter or reference notes while rushing through some last-minute homework are fewer in number and usually larger in size.

The Spigen Style Ring POP and the original Spigen Style Ring are something of the standard-bearer when it comes to phone grip kickstands, but I also adore the Scooch Wingback for its springy metal coil, which works great as a vertical kickstand for most phones and has a satisfying sound when you click it in and out.

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