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The Flygrip: When unusual just isn't enough

In the big wide world of mobile accessories the Flygrip will stand out, but even as a smartphone stand it's not worth its clunky design.

The Flygrip attaches to the back of your smartphone. Josh Miller/CNET

The Flygrip would find itself well at home in your standard infomercial. You know the kind I'm talking about, where black and white photography and lots of melodrama tell you about a problem that you didn't know you had.

All right, maybe I'm being a bit too snarky, but for a smartphone accessory, the Flygrip is not at the top of my wish list. It's unique, sure, and even a little useful, but that's not enough to make me stick a plastic doohickey to the back of my phone.

So what is it?
I admit that I did a double take when I first saw a woman demonstrating the Flygrip last May at CTIA. As I wandered the floor in search of iPhone cases, I watched her twirl a phone around in her hand, scroll through the touch screen, and even release her grip on the handset without it falling to the ground. The gravity-defying feats were all due to the Flygrip, which promises to let you "navigate your smartphone with one hand."

Yes, you probably do that already, but the Flygrip takes one hand use to a new level. Shaped in a Plastic "H," the Flygrip affixes to the back of your phone and give you a place to rest your index and middle fingers. Then, you can release your grip on your handset while continuing to navigate with your thumb. And don't worry if you're on the subway and someone knocks into your texting arm -- as long as your fingers are secured in the Flygrip, your phone should stay in your hand.

With the Flygrip attached you won't drop your handset. Josh Miller/CNET

How it works
If it sounds simple, it's because it is. The Flygrip doesn't revolutionize how you use your phone, but it may give you more peace of mind during a mad spell of Web browsing. You also can use the Flygrip as a stand for your handset. That's the best feature in my opinion.

Yet, there are a couple of things that are keeping me from using the Flygrip on a daily basis. First off, you have to affix the Flygrip to your phone with the adhesive backing. Though I was able to pry it cleanly from a Samsung Galaxy S3, after a few hours I'd worry about long-term use. Indeed, if the adhesive ripped off in bits or left any marks, I wouldn't be pleased.

Portability is another concern. Though the Flygrip collapses down, the internal spring makes it pop back up into its natural "H" shape. So not only did the Flygrip make my Galaxy S3 thicker, it also was constantly catching on the inside of my pocket or getting tangled with whatever else I had in my bag.

So even as a simple smartphone stand, the Flygrip's pros don't outweigh its cons. But that's just me so you may have a different experience. The company gets points for originality, but I've gone this far without. And as with most things I see on infomercials, I can keep on going just fine.

The Flygrip doubles as a stand. Josh Miller/CNET
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