When we first heard about Allsop's Clingo smartphone stands and mounts, we were hesitant to give it an in-depth look. After all, smartphone stands, grips, holders and mounts are about as common as an oxidized penny.
What intrigued us the most were not the mounts, per se, but the actual Clingo grip itself. The "patent pending" sticky green goo is supposed to last for practically forever without losing its stickiness. A few hundred sticks later, including tons of smartphones and gadgets, but also including everything a blogger needs such as bananas, bottles of hand lotion (for that Carpal Tunnel) and a plethora of other weird stuff, we finally have a verdict.
Is the Clingo as good Allsop says it is? Find out if Clingo is the only grippy mount you'll ever need for the rest of your life.
Stickiness Spider-Man Would Adore
Like every other smartphone mount, Clingo wants to be everywhere: on your desk, next to your bed, as a side screen on your computer monitor and even in your car. We got to try the Clingo with several mounts and they all work pretty much the same — which is to say, pretty well.
At first we were skeptic as to how Allsop's "magical" sticky green goo worked — and Allsop's not giving up any secrets just yet. We also wondered how well it would hold up after hugging our devices on a daily basis, but after lasting several weeks and not shattering any of our devices we're keen to believe Clingo really is stuff brewed from a wizard's cauldron. The only thing that kind of kills the Clingo is that as it becomes worn out day in and day out, you'll find yourself applying more pressure with each stick.
Setting it up is straightforward. Stick and unstick. Clingo is tough and doesn't leave any gunky residue behind. Several times throughout our tests, we were actually a little worried that it would pull the back case right off our gadgets during removal.
Clingo's good for the person who likes to "dock" their smartphone. Think of Clingo mounts as sidekicks to your computer, companions for your car and buddies for your bedside table. They're sturdy stands with sticky goo that hold your gadgets and other small tchotchkes (see video below!).
Your Car's New Buddy
Certain mounts such as the Universal Podium (our favorite), Universal Car Phone Mount and Universal Car Dash Mount include removable Clingo pads on re-attachable cradles held together by a ball joint. On most of the units, attaching and re-attaching the cradles's socket with the ball joint is a simple procedure, but we had particular trouble with the new (just launched) Dash Mount.
An Allsop representative tells us it was specifically engineered to feature a tighter ball joint and socket to hold up new larger and heavier smartphones such as the HTC Thunderbolt and EVO 3D. After a little prying and way too many clenched teeth moments, we were able to join the Dash Mount's cradle to its socket. Allsop would do well to just have them attached in the box as they ship.
In spite of that little boo-boo, we have to say that the Clingo Car Mounts actually make using a smartphone as a GPS navigation system during a trip pain-free. Setup is a suction or molded rubber grip away and not permanent. Even on the roughest speed bumps and most broken pot holes in New York, the Clingo mounts never failed. We actually took the Dash Mount out for a spin on a winding and curving mountainside road at well over the speed limit (shh, don't tell anyone!) and while every other object (purposely placed for testing!) on the car dashboard slid from side to side, the Dash Mount's so-called "non-skid" base surprisingly kept the smartphone in place without so much as moving an inch.
Handling Dust and Dirt Buildup
Generally, attaching a smartphone to a stand is not a permanent solution. For most of us, we'll stick our iPhones or Android devices to the Clingo at work, at night or while driving, and then remove it when we need to go out and about. During that duration when the phone's not sitting tightly on the Clingo, the green goop will collect dust and dirt — naturally.
Allsop claims the Clingo can be washed and worn for over 3,300 repetitions. While we didn't have quite the time to wash, stick and unstick objects to the Clingo mounts several thousand times, you do get a feel for when the Clingo's reaching the end of its life — the glossy shine from a fresh pad will disappear and the texture of the Clingo will become matte and smoothed out.
Reuse actually varied for us. Allsop's official instructions suggest washing the sticky pad in water and using your finger to remove any grime. For us, water didn't seem to do the trick too well. A few Google searches and we learned that a wet-tissue or disinfectant wipe keeps Clingo's stickiness fresher and longer lasting. Lo and behold, the Internet's advice worked! Our Clingo's are still going.
The Clingo Invasion
As you saw in our video above, Clingo can hold (almost) anything up that doesn't weigh more than the average modern day smartphone. Whereas most Clingo mounts are made for smartphones and smaller gadgets, there is a Clingo for heavier devices such as iPads and tablets that weigh under two pounds; the Universal Wave.
A good invention doesn't come at bargain prices, though, and Clingo is no exception. Prices range from $18 to $40 for Clingo mounts in different sizes and shapes. While we can't justify dropping down on the sillier Clingo devices such as the Parabolic Sound Sphere (basically a glorified bowl to amplify sound), Mobile Neklit (necklace with a Clingo pad) or the Game Wheel (think Wii Wheel plastic shell, but instead of a Wii Remote locked inside, it's your iPhone), we do think there's a niche market for Clingo's super sticky goo.
We just really wish this stuff was closer to the $10 range on the low and $20 at the high, but we get it — Allsop has future Clingo brainchildren to breed!