Skip to main content

I'm gifting this adorable USB-C tripod to all my friends this year

I'm not a fan of gimmicks, which led me to a high degree of skepticism over Kenu's Stance USB-C tripod. This is not the company's first go around the bases with a product like this, and after reading negative reviews of the Micro-USB model, I moved beyond skepticism to concern over potential damage to my Pixel XL's USB-C port.

Thankfully, I was wrong in both cases.

The Stance is pretty simple when it comes down to it: a combination of metal and plastic, with rubberized nubs on the feet and a flexible ball-and-socket joint that plugs into the USB-C port for stability.

Obviously, this means you can't use the tripod while charging, but the Stance, at 34 grams and a built-in keychain attachment, doesn't have to be hard to find when not in use.

There's also a bottle opener, because what good keychain accessory doesn't have a bottle opener?

It's also quite flexible, both physically and attitudinally. It can stand the phone up straight as a true tripod for portrait photos, video calls, or just to go hands-free in general; it can also work as a stand to hold the phone at a convenient angle while in landscape, for watching videos or lining up a shake-free nighttime shot. There's also a bottle opener, because what good keychain accessory doesn't have a bottle opener?

So the question is, is it worth the $24.95? When inserted correctly — and it took me a couple of tries to realize the mount, which must be pressed in with a bit of force, holds the phone very securely — the legs pivot to allow for the phone to stand at myriad angles. After several weeks of almost daily use, the mount doesn't seem to be damaged or frayed, and the socket still feels like it has a long life ahead of it. It has a limited vertical range of motion, so it's easy to keep the attached phone straight, and the legs have enough resistance that there doesn't appear to be any risk of them flopping around in your pocket, bag or wallet.

The major difference between the USB-C version of the Stance and its Micro-USB predecessor seems to be the robustness in the mounting mechanism, which, though it was reportedly made with the same "Grilamid" polymer, didn't hold up so well over time. It also wasn't, unlike USB-C, reversible and therefore the same shape throughout, which helps with longevity. (As an aside, the company that produced Grilamid, Swiss-based EMS-GRIVORY, calls the heat- and electricity-resistant compound "a noble polymer," which is immediately one of my favorite phrases of all time.)

The Kenu Stance has quickly become one of my favorite tools to carry around.

At 1.2 ounces and barely an inch wide, the Stance is both a great party trick and a pretty handy tool. The bottle opener is a bonus, and is certainly an extra incentive to spend the $24.95 asking price. Kenu also makes a Lightning version for iPhones, and still sells the less-commendable Micro-USB model, but for my money the USB-C version is the best option, if your phone supports it.

The Kenu Stance has quickly become one of my favorite tools to carry around, and is definitely going to be high on my gift list this year.

See at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

41 Comments
  • Who will hopefully still be friends next year xD
  • Whenever I use a tripod it's so I can have the phone in a static landscape position, so I think I'll keep my $24 and figure out a cheaper way to wreck my USB ports thankyouverymuch.
  • Coming soon to Android Central: "Android phones with most durable USB-C port"
  • That would actually be something I'd read Posted via the Android Central App
  • Seems like you can use it pretty easily in landscape mode, aww the second pic in the article, probably safer on the port that way too, doesn't have to support nearly as much weigh.
  • These do both. I have the micro USB one and it works great.
  • This is actually pretty cool! How does something like this affect the USB mechanism on the phone? Wouldn't standing the phone on an angle with such a small point of contact cause damage over time?
  • I would think so.
  • I feel like we have been friends for only a short time but it has been a while. My how the time flies.
  • I will be getting one of the tripods as a gift soon, right? :D
  • I was interested until I realized it can't do landscape....which is pretty much 90% of photos I take.
  • Can I be your friend?
  • I'm not a fan of holding my phone by the usb port. For too many phones, once that port goes, the phone becomes useless (cannot charge anymore). I'd rather take it easy on my port and have the phone held by the edges. But this is just one guys opinion.
  • nope nope nope
  • For those of us who want landscape https://www.amazon.com/GripTight-Phones-Compact-Portable-Smartphone/dp/B...
  • Nice
  • That holder works like a champ, and so does the tripod. I bought both over two years ago, tho ironically I never use them together... The top holder part became part of a 2-piece semi-DIY universal car mount (phone has NEVER slipped out btw), and the bottom legs i use with much larger Micro 4/3 cameras and lenses (from GM1 to E-M5 II). Needless to say I can highly recommend both, been using them long enough to do so with zero reservations.
  • That being said, the tripod recommended by Daniel is a little less bulky, and it can sorta do landscape, as evidenced by the article's second photo. For constant landscape use I'd go with the Joby tho, and for something more portable than either (will fit in your wallet) I'd look into the Clearshot, born on Kickstarter by a Boeing engineer. Still sold on Amazon for $15, I use it for reading at lunch time more than anything.
  • Wouldn't this damage the port over time? I've had issues like that with power banks and phones where if you apply too much pressue on charging port to the side it will get weak in recognising the power...being stand up on charging port is asking for troubles in my opinion. Thank god for LG G5 as I can always buy another battery base for 25$.
  • How would a new battery help with a damaged charging port?
  • Maybe you should look it up.
  • Base. Not the battery. The bottom of the phone removes.
  • You can charge the spare battery outside of the phone and swap batteries as needed Posted via the Android Central App
  • C'mon, be real, anytime you use the USB connector wrongly, putting excessive force on it, putting excessive strain on the PCB solder joints, is just asking to make you to ruin your phone.
    This is definitely something to avoid using.
  • I can't believe Android Central is recommending something like this... People, please don't use your USB-C port as a stand connector and buy a real phone tripod for God's sake. Android Central, you are going in the toilet and are this close to dropping off my list of Android blogs I visit regularly.
  • Wow....yea why would you want to create a huge leverage point on one of the most feeble parts of any cell phone....type C or other !
  • Is it a bottle opener or a prop to hold your phone in landscape?
  • ... checks USB-C spec... Nope... couldn't find it.
  • This seems like a terrible idea.
  • I have some of the Square Jellyfish phone grips and tripods. Not as handy, but not messing with my ports, either
  • Let's put some more wear and tear on the USB, cause that's such a great idea! Would never use anything like this.
  • This is such I bad idea. The USB c port does not stand a chance with this gimmicky thing. I'll pass.
  • Damn, too bad this won't charge.
  • As opposed to all the other charging tripods.
  • This is just idiotic.
  • Alternatives that won't put your port in peril: Clearshot ($15 on Amazon) - ideal for reading and/or portrait use, no larger than a credit card Joby Griptight (about the same as this on Amz, cheaper than on Joby's site) - maybe a bit bulkier than the one featured here but much more usable in landscape, and more versatile overall (legs can be used with larger cameras etc), they make an XL for phablets I think
  • Dose Trump recommend this?
  • Any multi purpose tool is awesome. Thank for sharing!
  • Over priced and you might risk damaging your charging port if you don't know what your doing. To each it's own
  • I'm going to join in the chorus of hell no's.
    How can you seriously be recommending something like this that is sure to damage your port over time???
  • Anybody that knows anything about the structural concept of moment arms has to realize that this is a terrible idea - it's going to put tremendous stress on the USB port, and damaging the port seems inevitable. Common sense and engineering theory both tell us that this is a really really bad idea. Quoting Reddit comments: Source: I'm an engineer.