Swappable PopSockets review: Wireless compatible and addictive AF

If you've gone out into any crowded public space in the last few years, you've seen at least one of them: a round little puck on the back of a phone, popping up and down as its owner uses the phone or just waits in line for Starbucks. PopSockets aren't just a phone accessory anymore, they're a life choice and a health choice, as they help your hands avoid awkward pinching, stretching, and joint pain while helping you reach more of your phone comfortably.

PopSockets come in hundreds of styles, but swapping between your favorite three PopSockets before required either ripping the PopSockets off your phone or having the three PopSockets attached to three different cases. Well, PopSockets wants you to buy more, and so they've tackled the problems PopSockets have with swapping and wireless charging and turned it into the best phone grip on the market.

The Good

  • Easier on your hands and phone
  • Wide material choices
  • Swap tops in a snap
  • Wireless charging compatible
  • Phone grip doubles as fidget toy

The Bad

  • PopTops are seriously addictive
  • You need to twist off PopTop to Qi charge
  • Kickstand hit-or-miss

Not like, love

Swappable PopGrips by PopSockets What I love

Waiting to be popped

Swappable PopGrip on left, Original PopSocket on right

PopSockets have been around for years now, and the new Swappable PopGrips have 90% of the same design as the original ones. A wide, flat top features a fun design or cool unique material, the bottom plastic base sticks to your phone with a gel 3M-like adhesive ring, and between the two sits a flexible accordion that "pops" up and down between fully closed, half-raised, and fully raised.

Also like original PopSockets, Swappable PopGrips are fun to pop up and down and up and down when bored or annoyed or conscious, and while popped out, you can grip said accordian in order to grip your phone at more forgiving and ergonomic angles, giving you one-handed access to more of your phone and (hopefully) ending your days of dreadfully RSI-inducing pinky propping.

Swappable PopGrips feel and look exactly the same when assembled and attached to the back of your phone case, which is to say they feel smooth and downright good in the hand, whether gripped or popping in and out to blow time. I've been a ring-grip fan for years, but Swappable PopGrips are luring me back to the PopSockets camp thanks to their fancy new features.

Rather than the flexible, "popping" section being anchored permanently to a groove in the base, the accordion is instead attached to a metal head that twist-locks into a groove in the plastic base. This metal head means you can twist off and swap out the "PopTop" — PopSockets' name for the top-and-accordion section — in order to slim down the grip's profile when Qi charging, or to swap it out with any other PopTop PopSockets sells, which is a lot.

There are literally hundreds of PopTops and Swappable PopGrips — a PopTop plus the plastic/adhesive base that sticks to your phone — available for purchase in various patterns, materials, and even charity-backed Poptivist designs.

Swappable PopGrips by PopSockets What could still improve

Swap everything but the best styles

On the note of PopGrip styles, about the only PopSockets not available in the Swappable style right now are licensed "PopCulture" PopSockets such as Star Wars, DC Comics, and NFL, which is an utter shame because these are the ones I want to buy the entire sets for. Half the allure of swapping PopGrips everyday is being able to rep your fandoms, and those are the only PopSockets this isn't possible for right now.

The other gripes to make with this grip are all small. Original PopSockets were thick, but they were all plastic, so if you had a powerful enough Qi pad, you could charge through the whole PopSocket. Now, you need to twist off that PopTop because it has metal in it. There could also be a small argument made about the PopTops being a little too easy to twist off, but I've only had it happen to me once unexepectedly.

Swappable PopGrips by PopSockets

Pop it!

If you aren't using a phone grip right now — and seriously use a phone grip, for the sake of your hands if nothing else — then Swappable PopSockets are the perfect ones for you to dive in with. They're easy to start with thanks to the $10 varieties, they work with wireless charging and it'll stick to just about any phone/case that doesn't have a powdery finish to it, and if you get bored with the PopTop you started with, you can branch out to new styles.

5 out of 5

It's hard to go wrong with any of the PopGrips styles, but if I had a suggestion to make, spend the extra $2 and buy a full PopGrip set every time instead of just buying PopTops. Whether you save them for your next phone or just the next case for your phone, it's easy to buy extra PopTops, but harder to buy those bases by themselves.

Swappable PopGrips by PopSockets

Save yourself from years of joint pain, your phone from shattering drops, and your mind from boredom with simple, seductively addictive Swappable PopGrips. Simply twist the PopTop off for wireless charging, or to swap it for one of a billion cute and downright addictive designs.

Ara Wagoner

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.