Just the other week I reviewed the MiStand Tablet stand, and here we have the smaller sibling, the Mini, that the MiStand people were kind enough to send my way. As you can tell from it's name, the Mini is much smaller and as such, it's a smart phone stand.
Upon opening the outer packaging, you are greeted with a classy black box, with MiStand Mini embossed in silver on the top, it simply pulls away from in two pieces. Once opened, the Mini is shown laying neatly on its side, along with a small zip lock bag containing a separate PU (Polyurethane) pad which we will get to later. Just like the tablet stand, the MiStand Mini has been CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machined from aluminium. Although in the Mini's case, its a purely one-piece affair, there are no moving parts and the stand is set at a fixed angle. The finish is exemplary, no doubt helped by the Glass Bead Blasting and Anodization processes.
The Mini that I received had two strips of micro-suction material, one on top of the stand that sticks to the smart phone, and another on the bottom of the device, that lets the stand adhere to whatever it's resting on in order to provide a stable experience. Once you've peeled off the cellophane from the sticky strips, it's just a matter of placing your smartphone on it. I predominantly tested the Mini with my LG G2, although my other half has also used it with her Galaxy Note 3.
In contrast to the MiStand tablet stand, I found that the Mini's strips of sticky stuff weren't as effective as I would have liked, and not as sticky as the tablet stand. After getting in touch with MiStand, I was informed that the Mini's sticky strips weren't the same material as that which was used in the tablet stands. According to my contact at MiStand, they were in the process of changing over to the stickier polyurethane (PU) material used on the tablet stand and this should be completed by October. In the meantime, if you have purchased the Mini, and it is still using the micro-suctions material; providing you get in touch with MiStand within the first month of ownership, they will send you replacement PU pads free of charge. This is a hallmark of a company that listens to it's customers, admitting its flaws and putting things right, and as such, MiStand deserves recognition for dealing with the issue promptly.
Before I applied the PU pad to the Mini I found that the G2 with its case on wouldn't stick convincingly to the smart phone stand. After the application of the PU pad, I found that I could stick pretty much anything to the Mini regardless of if it had a case on or not, the change in the sticky stuff worked a treat, and helped restore confidence in the MiStand Mini. One item of information I neglected to mention in the tablet stand review, is that after use, sometimes the PU pad can attract dust and other sundry particles to its surface that cause a decline in stick-ability over time. This is easily remedied by placing the PU pad under running water and gently rubbing the sticky surface. Let the PU pad drip dry, and abracadabra, the stickiness has returned in full force.
One of the features that the Mini has over its bigger sibling is that it has a small hole at the front of the unit which is big enough to fit a charging cable through. This makes charging the smart phone on the stand a much neater affair. The angle that the smart phone sits at is just right, it seems to avoid unnecessary reflections while still giving the user full view of the device's display.
An important aspect of the Mini for me is that the stand is sturdy. This means that I can make use of the G2's Knock On feature without the Mini falling over, or being knocked back from the force of my tapping. In case you were wondering, the LG Knock On & Off feature allows the user to turn on the devices display with two taps at the screen. For me, its a deal-breaking feature, if the Mini hadn't been strong enough to cope with the G2's Knock On feature, it would have been destined to become an ornament gathering dust. Instead, it now sits proudly next to my PC monitor. As you can see from the images the MiStand Mini is quite small, it weighs in at just under 80 grams, standing less than 5.9cm (2.32-inches) tall, 5cm (1.96-inches) wide and has a depth of 6.2cm (2.44-inches).
On to the business end of the review, and I have to ask myself the question – would I purchase the MiStand Mini for myself? Despite costing more than I have ever spent on a phone or tablet accessory(£12), I believe I would. I feel it's reasonably priced at just £15 ($24.48), especially when considering its sublime finish and build quality. And, because the Mini is a universal stand made out of aluminium, it means that regardless of whichever smart phone you get next, the Mini is versatile and durable enough to handle it. Both the LG G2 and Note 3 sat proudly on the Mini, and I would be confident that any sub 6-inch smart phone would be perfectly comfortable as well.
With MiStand swapping over to the much stickier Polyurethane material as used on the tablet stand, I can honestly say that I'm struggling to find fault with the Mini other than the nitpicking notion that I wish I had received a black Mini smart phone stand to review. Having said that, the blue Mini is a good looking piece of equipment, and it's definitely grown on me. On the topic of colours, the MiStand Mini is available in the following colours – Black, Blue, Red, Silver and Space Grey. It is also available in Gold, which is currently on special at just £11($17.95) as long as stocks last.
If you would like to purchase a MiStand Mini for yourself, you'll be happy to know that we have a discount code for you. By typing miandroidhead into the appropriate box at checkout you will knock 10% off the asking price. For mainland UK readers, shipping comes to £3.98, bringing the total after discount to £17.48 ($28.52). For our readers in the U.S. shipping comes to £7.05 ($11.50) which brings the total to £20.55 ($33.53).
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