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Old September 10th, 2013, 11:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Review of JOBY MPod Mini Stand w/lots of pics!!!

This is a review of JOBY MPod Mini Stand. MPod Mini Stand for iPhone and Android phones

I'm sure most of you are familiar with Joby GorillaPod tripods, made out of daisy chained joints that bend and rotate 360 degrees giving it an amazing flexibility. Based on that gorillapod base, Joby expanded their product line with a lot of other cool grips and gadgets including the one for smartphones. It's a logical step since our smartphones became replacements of our point'n'shoot cameras and camcorders. Although I was excited to learn they had various smartphone grips, none of them used to be wide enough to fit our Note 2, even without a case. Fortunately, Joby just came out with a new grip called MPod Mini which can actually accommodate our Note 2. Let's take a look at it.

The stand itself is very lightweight, only 30g, and portable enough to keep it in your pocket when tripod legs straighten and aligned together. With a total height of about 4.5", the actual gorillapod tripod portion of it is about 3.5" meaning after the setup your Note 2 will be lifted of the surface about 3" which is perfect as a stand to watch movies, or to read/browse, or to set it up as camera to capture pictures and videos. The joint adjustment doesn't get loose, while still has enough flexibility to rotate with a precise control. But the highlight of this stand is it's unique grip. Unlike anything I have seen before it consists of jaws that extend thanks to a durable elastic band keeping two half together. Based on my use of Note 2 with Case-Mate Tough case, these jaws were able to accommodate a max phone width of 86mm and a thickness of 12mm. What does this mean? Without a doubt you can use it with naked Note 2, and also with a thinner type of cases like TPU or Case-Mate used in my example. It will not work with UAG case, or any other case outside of 86mm x 12mm dimensions.

Inside of the mounting jaws is a quality rubber lining that will not scratch or damage your phone or screen protector. It worked perfectly even with my tempered glass screen protector. Also, grip is very secure and tight. You can pick it up by tripod legs and shake it around - it will not even move. I also would like to note that unlike other Joby mounts, these jaw clamps are not removable from the tripod mount. They are permanently attached to a mounting joint which has a lot of rotation flexibility.

Overall, I absolutely love this little mini stand!!! For the price of $14.95 and a very high quality of used materials, I would consider MPod Mini as one of the must have gadgets for your Note 2. Keep in mind, it will work with ANY smart phone with a width and depth of up to 86mm x12mm so it's not just specific to one phone type. The only negative is limitation of the maximum size where a Note 2 with extended battery or a more rugged case will not fit. But other then that, its a fantastic value and a very original design. Plus I can guarantee while you're out in public with MPod Mini, it will get a ton of attention because of its unique look.

Here are the pictures.




























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Old September 11th, 2013, 01:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I like the looks of this thing, and great review, but 1 question: is it stable enough to use in a moving car? can I wrap it around a grip near the dashboard and the Note2 not bounce off when I hit the breaks/gas/potholes?
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Old September 11th, 2013, 01:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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This looks a lot like a stand I saw a few years ago that you could wrap around a fence or a pole to place your device in some pretty funky positions. Like AshtonDurkhun I'd like to know; are the legs are flexible enough to wrap around something?
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Old September 11th, 2013, 10:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I like the looks of this thing, and great review, but 1 question: is it stable enough to use in a moving car? can I wrap it around a grip near the dashboard and the Note2 not bounce off when I hit the breaks/gas/potholes?
No, I wouldn't recommend it for car mounting. This is more of a surface mount stand. Doesn't matter if its even or uneven surface, the bottom joints have non-slip rubber coating and you can adjust legs to compensate for any surface bumps. For car mount, checkout other suction-mount stands I reviewed here: http://androidforums.com/samsung-galaxy-note-2/708384-twister-reviews-note-2-accessories.html
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Old September 11th, 2013, 10:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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This looks a lot like a stand I saw a few years ago that you could wrap around a fence or a pole to place your device in some pretty funky positions. Like AshtonDurkhun I'd like to know; are the legs are flexible enough to wrap around something?
Yep, you are referring to the original Gorillapod stand with a longer legs (more joint pieces). Those will be easy to wrap around most of the things. This little guy has only 4 joints per leg so it will not be long enough to give you flexibility to wrap around pole, etc. I'm putting together review for another Joby stand called GripTight GorillaPod stand. That one has legs with twice as many joints, thus enabling all kinds of funky wrapping around. It has a standard camera mounting screw as well which attaches to GripTight holder. Unfortunately, it's their original holder which only supports phones with approximately up to 5" screen. Note 2 will not fit in there, and I'm writing that review using S4.

Since MPod jaw-grip is not detachable, you can't remove it and attach to a regular Gorillapod or another tripod with a standard camera mounting screw. But I guess the intention of MPod was to make a cool little super portable stand which works perfectly with N2. As I said, the quality of material is outstanding, and for $14 plus change its a great value. I will ask Joby if they have plans to expand their GripTight to accommodate bigger phone. FYI, here is a picture from my upcoming GripTight review (for S4), where you can see from the picture on the package how it looks:

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Old September 13th, 2013, 12:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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No, I wouldn't recommend it for car mounting. This is more of a surface mount stand. Doesn't matter if its even or uneven surface, the bottom joints have non-slip rubber coating and you can adjust legs to compensate for any surface bumps. For car mount, checkout other suction-mount stands I reviewed here: http://androidforums.com/samsung-galaxy-note-2/708384-twister-reviews-note-2-accessories.html
Ah, dissapointing. I looked through your reviews and the car-mounts all seem to be suction cup. I'm a bit leery of those since I had one with my old Axim PDAs (X5 and X51/X51v) and the only thing that saved them when I hit a pothole was that they were in a Rhinoskin aluminum case (really miss those cases... but then metal case radically drops reception...) of course Technology marches on, so perhaps they've improved (not to mention the Axims were about twice as heavy as the Note2 (and with 500mhz and a qVGA resolution!)

Assuming you had zero insurance and had to replace a $600 phone out-of-pocket, are there any that you would trust with your Note2 on a bumpy road?
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Old September 13th, 2013, 05:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ah, dissapointing. I looked through your reviews and the car-mounts all seem to be suction cup. I'm a bit leery of those since I had one with my old Axim PDAs (X5 and X51/X51v) and the only thing that saved them when I hit a pothole was that they were in a Rhinoskin aluminum case (really miss those cases... but then metal case radically drops reception...) of course Technology marches on, so perhaps they've improved (not to mention the Axims were about twice as heavy as the Note2 (and with 500mhz and a qVGA resolution!)

Assuming you had zero insurance and had to replace a $600 phone out-of-pocket, are there any that you would trust with your Note2 on a bumpy road?
Doesn't matter which case, even inside Otterbox brick, all the car mounts always use suction cup to connect to windshield or dashboard. Right now everybody switched to gel-base suction cups so it will stick even to textured dashboard surface. That is the only way to keep it secure - grip mount for the phone and suction cup connected to the base of mounting arm. I personally use Arkon mega-grip, for 3+ years now.
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Old September 24th, 2013, 11:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Joby GorillaTorch Flare and Switchback Review

After my review of various Joby GorillaPod stands for N2 and S4, from some of the reply/comments/PMs I realized that not everyone is familiar with these neat little stands. Originally designed for cameras, these became universal stands for smartphones and other accessories. One of these accessories is GorillaTorch line of flashlights that have same flexible joint legs and some very unique multifunction flashlight features which I thought a lot of you will find useful on so many different occasions.

First one is Gorillatorch Flare 125 (GorillaTorch Flare ? Hands-free emergency flashlight. The perfect camping flashlight, compact travel flashlight and mountable flashlight) with a max output of 125 lumen and 6 different modes of operation including 3 different light intensities, strobe light, and 2 modes of red light including emergency strobe. It has non-detachable gorillapod legs with a super strong neodymium magnetic feet to give you an option of either keeping these feet straight, or wrapping around any pole, or attaching to any metal surface. It is IP65 water-resistant rated and uses 3x AA batteries. For those who been in bad weather situations where everybody rushes to get D batteries, you don't know have to worry since you can get by with AA batteries and with a clever design where all 3 go in uniformly with '+' pointing up so you don't have to fumble in the dark figuring out battery polarity.























The second one is GorillaTorch Switchback (GorillaTorch Switchback ? the 2-in-1 headlamp and LED lantern) with a unique 2-in-1 design of a headband light and lantern light - thus a name of switchback where you can switch between two. This one has a maximum output of 130 lumen and also has multiple modes of operation with 2 white LEDs for flood light and 2 red LEDs for night vision. The headband has it's own unique design with lights on the front and battery pack (uses 2x AA batteries) with switch controls on the back. It is IPX-4 rated for water resistance and a very rugged design, even down to wire connection between front facing light unit and back facing battery control - which balances really well on a headband. To convert it to lantern, you insert the headband with light unit first and battery control last where these controls are exposed to be used along with a lantern fixture. The top of the lantern pops up revealing ultra-efficient holographic lens which evens out the light. The same white and red LED controls are applicable in lantern mode. You also get an option to use fold-in hook or included GorillaPod stand which slides right into the bottom of the battery control unit. As a bonus, a universal mounting screw attachment is included so you can use this GorillaPod stand with any camera. The design and the quality of the material is just outstanding, and clearly has intention to be used in indoor or outdoor rough conditions.

































Each of the units priced at $35, and considering it's functionality, design and durability IMHO a bargain for anybody who needs to have extra light for emergency, or working on your car/garage/workshop, or outdoors, or a hundred other uses.
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