One of the things that really caught my eye at CES 2013 was the FlyGrip, a rather neat little piece of molded plastic that attaches to the back of your phone, tablet, or any other flat-surfaced device. It allows you to hold the device using only two fingers, and also frees up your thumb for a full range of movement.
Unlike most Velcro or band grips I’ve played with, you can release your hand from the grip simply by not holding your fingers together. Also, when the FlyGrip is not in use, it can retract into itself, leaving a much less prone-to-catching extension on the back of your device.
The FlyGrip also can be configured to be a kickstand for your device, which is incredibly useful if you’re not lucky enough to have a phone, tablet, or case that came with one. I’ll make a note here that the FlyGrip probably will not make a good kickstand for a tablet, but it does nicely for phones of reasonable size.
The device comes in nine different colors at the moment, and adheres to almost any clean surface using some sort of 3M sticky tape. I believe the manufacturer includes two or three replacement strips in the packaging (however, the airline was not exactly easy on my baggage coming back and some things of mine have disappeared).
The grip makes it possible to easily gesture, use three other fingers and still hold your phone securely, or just watch a movie on the small screen at an angle. It’s one of the more useful little accessories I’ve run across, and it can work on pretty much any device. Unlike other grips I’ve written about in the forums, this won’t mess with your phone’s NFC or compass.
Unfortunately, the price is kind of up there, coming in at $29.95. There’s no reason a small piece of plastic that you glue on to the back of a phone should cost more than a decent protective case with a kickstand. However, something to note is that along with the FlyGrip, you also can get complimentary cases for your phone if you have a Samsung, HTC, Motorola, or Apple device. There seem to be 13 different cases for HTC phones, 10 for Samsung phones, 7 for iPhones, and 2 cases for Motorola products.
The thing is still a bit high priced in terms of what product you actually receive, but it’s not too bad. The manufacturer also claim that for every FlyGrip sold, a child gets a month of education through the Pencils of Promise charity. That charity claims that $25 will educate a child for a year, so roughly $2 of your purchase will go toward the charity, perhaps $5 toward the case, $1 for the adhesive tape, leaving the remaining $17 to pay for a hinged piece of plastic.
Shipping is also not included. For me it would have been $3.99, making the total for a really pretty awesome kickstand/grip and an average looking case $33.94 after all is said and done.
I feel that if this is going to be the price point for the product, I’d rather see $25 go to the charity to give those kids an education for a year, and the remaining $8.94 is what I would consider a reasonable and good price for this grip. I am actually really loving the grip, but $30+ is way too expensive for it. The design is wonderful, but it’s just a piece of plastic and 3M adhesive tape. It’s the best third-party universal grip I’ve ever played with, but the price hurts.
The FlyGrip is available in several color options with several complimentary cases from this website for $29.95, plus shipping and handling. I could not locate any third parties that sell this as of this writing, so that appears to be the bottom line.
Update: after reading some of the feedback and a letter they sent, revising my rating. US made, works on any phone or device, can be used on different phones for life (stick and peel), and a kick ass return policy. Still feeling it’s a bit pricey, but less absurd when those factors are brought in.