Two of my international friends Nghia Nguyen Dai and Jerome Tranie, the people behind the largest Windows Mobile website in France – Mobifrance-, have recently launched an online shop with cool accessories. The shop is called MaxiMobileShop and you certainly should have a look at the nice and sleek design of the website.
However MaxiMobileShop has some very cool accessories in the assortment, and in this article iClooly Alumi Stand for iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS will be reviewed. If you have an iPhone and you are looking for a well designed and cool looking deskstand, you certainly need to read the article below.
You might wonder why I start with a little background information before jumping into the design of the iClooly Alumi Stand. The reason is simple: The background information provides some thoughts which the designers had in mind, during the process of designing the iClooly Alumi Stand.
On the front of the box you can read the text: “Like iMac” and on the right side of the box: “Make your iPhone 3G look like iMac” The main goal of the iClooly Alumi Stand is to provide iPhone 3G & iPhone 3GS users a iMac-like user experience. Let us have a look at the functional design and investigate to what extend the quote is true !
The iClooly Alumi Stand (functional) design
The used materials matte brushed aluminium cmbined with the black plastic give the iClooly Alumi Stand a nice and high end finish. It expresses quality and well thought design. Despite the use of Aluminium there is no way you could damage your iPhone 3G(S) simply because of the great workman ship.
Let’s start with looking a the picture below, where the iClooly Alumi Stand is frontfacing to us in “landscape mode”. The foot is of full aluminium with a hole in it to save weight and optical reasons I guess. The part of the foot which is on the table surface is covered with a kind of rubber anti-slip material, providing a good grip of the iClooly stand.
The outer countour of the iPhone shape is also made from Aluminium, while the rest of the iClooly stand is made of black plastic material. While the top-side of the contour (look at the picture below) is clean and has no buttons, the bottom-side of the contour has some clever detail. Two black plastic buttons are embedded to operate the volume buttons, when the iPhone 3G(S) is docked into the iClooly Alumi Stand. During a test with a docked iPhone 3G I must admit that these buttons are very acurate positioned and function really well.
Another interesting detail on the inside of the iPhone “holder” in the picture above is a small edge on the horizontal interior part of the iClooly Alumi Stand. The designers have included this to fit and lock the iPhone really well into the iClooly Stand without damaging the device.
If you look at the right side of the iClooly Alumi Stand you see a large opening, which has two functions: (1) plugging the connector cable ito your iPhone to charge or sync with your notebook, (2) it is the place where the speakers of the iPhone are positioned, in other words the large opening gives a clear output of sound without dampening it. Again the sound quality is tested by playing the NOS Journaal on the iPhone 3G. Also connecting the iPhone sync- and charging cable is no problem, the milled hole is large enough to easily fit the connector.
If you look at the left side of the iClooly stand you notice two product details. First a milled hole for connecting the headphones or a cable to connect the iPhone with your receiver or audio installation. Second a black plastic button is embedded to power on/off your iPhone, while it is docked in the iClooly stand. Similar with the positioning of the volume buttons, the accurate positioning of the power control button is a compliment for the designers.
With the side-views at the iClooly Alumi Stand in the pictures above, I would like to describe an additional design detail. The “foot” and the “iphone holder” are connected via a spring-mechanism, which makes it possible to adjust the viewing angle when you operate the docked iPhone 3G(S).
Furthermore in addition to the spring-mechnism, you can see a “circle-shape” on the backside of the iClooly Alumi Stand, where the foot connects with the holder. It is a rotating mechnism to turn the docked iPhone 3G(S) from portrait mode into landscape mode and vica versa.
Finally you also see a black button between the rotating mechanism and the button-less top-side of the iClooly Alumi Stand. The function is very simple, it’s a mechanism to eject your iPhone 3G(S).
Thoughts and conclusions
Let me first start with congratulating Nghia Nguyen Dai and Jerome Tranie with the launch of the clean designed MaxiMobileShop website. A small remark, mainly caused the Mobifrance-background and French-speaking countries as a first market, is about the language of the product descriptions. However I know the team is working hard to translate these into other languages as well !!
With for example a 4 usb-port international travel charger and the iClooly Alumi Stand for iPhone 3G(S) MaxiMobileShop has certainly interesting and cool accessories. And perhaps cool is the best keyword to describe the iClooly Alumi Stand as well.
While you sometimes think of cheap and low quality hearing the word desk stand, this is certainly not the case for the iClooly Alumni Stand for iPhone 3G(S). I’m very impressed with the use of good quality materials and a well thought-out functional design. Therefore my compliments for the designers of this stand.
There are certainly situations where a stand like the iClooly Alumi Stand is very helpfull. Think about using the iPhone as a mediaplayer, which is connected to your audio installation, or when you are on holidays and watch movies or stream television. Actually it raised a different question to me: “Where is a bluetooth hardware keyboard for the iPhone 3G(S), which I can use in combination with the iClooly stand ?”
This gives the iClooly Alumi Stand a wide range of possible usability options as well, combined with a great functional design and use of quality materials make it an investment which is worthwhile to do. The pricepoint of E31,95 is very reasonable for the quality and functional product you get.
As excited and impressed with the design, the looks and the functionality as I am? Don’t wait any longer and order your iClooly Alumi Stand for iPhone 3G(S) over here @ MaxiMobileShop !!