The Xtand is an iPhone stand. It offers a precise fit for a first-generation iPhone (we didn't test it with a new 3G model), and comes with rubber-coated arms that tenderly grip the phone.
The iPhone slots in with the gentlest of pushes, but is then held in place firmly, requiring one hand to be placed on the stand base to help slide it back out again.
We admire the precision. No marks are left on the iPhone, and there's plenty of space for an earphone jack and the Universal Dock cable. The angle of the tilt can be adjusted in a very narrow range, and the gripping arms do rotate 360 degrees.
View your iPhone more easily
The value of the product is the convenience it brings by tilting the iPhone towards your head, rather than lying flat on your desk.
At £30 it's a lazy convenience, but yes, this might suit you better than the iPhone lying flat. It is stable for watching films, but can wobble when you are sliding buttons around.
We guess that the main purpose of the stand is for watching films on your iPhone. The obvious problem here, though, is that if you intend to watch a film on your desktop, why not watch it on your Mac or TV?
While travelling on a train, for example, you might enlist the help of a jumper or book to prop up the iPhone. You may even own an iPhone case that has a foldout arm to help, though we have yet to see these elegantly executed. As part of our test, we took the Xtand on the train with us.
Once set up, the Xtand is much better than the aforementioned jumper/book combo.
The problem, though, is that the stand cannot fold away into a discreet pocket. It's a static, clunky, oddly-shaped brute to cart about, and is not really portable in any sense of the word.
To recap, the stand works well for watching movies, and less well for sliding buttons about, but our main problem is that we don't really have a need for it at home.
Outside the home, it's inconvenient to travel with. So, aside from just buying the Xtand to have a plinth-like frame for admiring the iPhone, we have trouble seeing when we would use it.
We take our hat off to the maker for the precise engineering. Everything seems to be good quality, and we particularly like the iMac-like design.
If this is exactly the thing you have been looking for, you'll find it a well-crafted iPhone accessory.
However, it doesn't fit into our lives particularly well.