Phone stands are a great way to keep your phone up and off of your desk. You can more easily keep an eye on notifications, use the stand while you’re watching videos, prop your phone up as an alarm clock on your nightstand, or any number of other uses. Many phone stands are pretty ordinary, just a simple piece of metal or plastic. The Distil Union Stanley phone stand is anything but ordinary, and I’ll tell you all about it in this full review.
The Distil Union Stanley phone stand features the following specifications and features.
- Compatibility: Phones and tablets up to 8″ tall
- Bend to your viewing angle, or low angle for ergonomic typing
- Premium materials, skilled craftsmanship, and 1-year warranty
- Materials: Leather, Merino wool felt, and heavy steel
- Included: USB extension cable (6ft) – Note: Cable is NOT an iPhone cable. Instead, it works with any USB cable you already use to charge your device.
What’s in the Box
- 1 x Stanley phone stand
- 1 x 6’ fabric-covered USB extension cable
- 1 x Quick guide
I mentioned before that many phone stands are a simple piece of metal or plastic. The Distil Union Stanley stand is ultimately made of metal, though not exactly in the way you might be thinking. Stanley has a core of heavy, flexible steel that allows the stand to bend into various different shapes to fit your needs. The flexible steel core is coated on the inside by Merino wool felt, and on the outside by a rich leather.
The stand consists of a few different sections that will nicely bend into different shapes as mentioned above. The bottom is a solid piece approximately four inches long. The stand is 2 ½ inches wide across all areas, so moving forward I will only talk about the lengths of the various sections. The next section is roughly 3 ¾ inches long, and includes an oval-shaped cutout where your charging cable can snake through. The next section is almost exactly three inches long, and this is where the back of your phone will rest. This is also where you’ll see the Distil Union name in the lower right corner. The remaining area is taken up by two one-inch feet with space in between them, which will hold your phone up and off of the desk. The Stanley stand will bend in between each of these sections, and this is what allows you to form the stand into different shapes and configurations.
Little touches definitely stand out with the design here. The Merino wool felt on the underside of the stand is soft, and feels very nice. The leather just plain smells fantastic — I have always loved the smell of leather — and really gives Stanley a very classy look. Stanley is available in six different colors: Black, Brown, Grey, Lime, Aqua, and Red. The Merino wool felt is a dark grey on the black leather model, and a light grey on all other colors.
The included USB extender cable will work with any charging cable you have as long as it’s got a USB-A connector on one end. This is particularly helpful at a desk if your outlet is more than a few feet away. The extender cable will cover most of the ground between the outlet and the dock, and your regular charging cable can finish the rest of the trip on its own.
Ease of Use
At its simplest, using the Stanley stand is as easy as placing your phone onto it. If you’re happy with the starting configuration there’s really not a whole lot else you’ll need to do. You can use the hole in the back to run your charging cable through the stand and up through the gap between the feet to charge your device, and that’s not particularly challenging either.
You can also adjust the stand into a few different forms by bending the stand at any area where it is already bent. The Quick Guide suggests a low angle, flush with your desk for use in an office setting, where it will be easiest to type on the device without picking it up. A more raised shape is suggested for in the kitchen, for video chatting, or for on your nightstand. The raised shape keeps your device up and off of the counter in your kitchen, and provides space for your charging cable to come up and through on your nightstand.
With a phone stand, as long as your phone stays put and doesn’t fly off constantly that’s pretty good performance, right? That’s certainly a good base level to start from. Using the stand mostly at my desk, I found the low angle, or at least a form where the feet were flush with the desk worked best. I use a Nexus 6P, and found that if I had the stand in a position where it was up and off of the desk, my phone would bounce around anytime I touched it. Keeping it down lower solved that problem though.
In the lower position, I would find myself wrapping my pinky, ring, and middle fingers underneath the bend in the stand, while my index finger would remain on top to activate my fingerprint scanner if necessary. My thumb was then free around front to scroll or tap as necessary. This is where my comment earlier about the soft Merino wool came into play. It really provided a comfortable spot to rest my fingers while using my phone.
Having the stand up higher will work best when you won’t need to touch your device frequently. Any of Distil Union’s suggestions would be perfectly acceptable times for the higher stand position. The wool lining also works nicely if you have a smartwatch that charges overnight. With Stanley on your nightstand, you can easily run two charging cables through the hole in the back of the stand, and your smartwatch will happily sit on the inside of the stand while your phone sits and charges on the stand itself.
I wouldn’t have minded if the part of the stand that touches the back of your phone were just slightly larger. Especially with a Nexus 6P or any other larger phone it doesn’t quite go halfway up the back of the device. I would also recommend tilting the two feet up just very slightly. I took my phone out of its case and placed it on the stand with the feet in their normal position and it slipped right off. Angling them up just a little bit helped immensely.
The Distil Union Stanley phone stand is priced at $49.99, which is a little bit more expensive than some other phone stands. With that said, the materials and craftsmanship on display here truly do add value. Stanley is a premium stand crafted out of premium materials and it is very solidly built. There is definitely value in that.
The Stanley stand by Distil Union does a lot of things very well, and I really only had a couple of very small complaints. This is a stand that will stand (pun completely intended) the test of time and look (and smell) completely great while doing so.