- This article originally appeared on Android Central and has been inducted into our Back to School guide
Phone grips might seem like an unnecessary add-on — "How could you possibly need help holding onto a phone?" — but I just have a few questions for you. How often does your child drop their phone? How often do you see them hunched over their phone to watch a video instead of propping the phone up and watching at a more natural angle? How often do you see them stretching their fingers out after a long night of texting their friends and sending weird meme selfies? If the answer to any of these questions was "a lot", then do yourself, your child, and your wallet a favor.
Buy them a phone grip. You can even buy them a cool one for less money than pizza night!
A penny of prevention is worth a pound of broken touchscreen
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They can make shock-resistant, drop-tested smartphone cases all the livelong day — and they do a great job of it — but nothing beats preventing the phone from falling out of your hands in the first place. That's the first and foremost reason to buy you kid a grip: so that they don't break their phone and make you shell out for repairs or replacements.
I'll take a $10 grip over a multi-hundred dollar repair bill any day of the week, which is why every phone that crosses my desk gets a PopSocket, Style Ring, or some other grip on it the second I'm done reviewing the first case. Whether it's a petit Pixel or gargantuan Galaxy, I have an easier and more reliable time hold onto the grip than I do to a flat-backed case alone.
Phone grips are healthy, even when your child's phone habits aren't
'm something of an introvert, but when out and about in the world, it's hard not to notice the tech — and tech habits — of those around me, especially when they're bad habits I'm still actively fighting myself. I'll find whole families hunched over their phones, teens overextending their thumbs trying to one-hand a text message and propping their phone on their pinky while taking selfies and scrolling Instagram.
I'm not a posture queen by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm painfully aware of the extra strain hunching over your phone or laptop can cause over time. Make all the jokes you want about Blackberry thumb and texting neck but an RSI is a painful and often irreversible thing, something I know firsthand: even years after swapping to phone grips, my left pinky yells at me every day I skip my GrabTab to review a case.
Now, a phone grip isn't going to magically cure your kid's poor posture hunching over the phone, but it can significantly help their hands by giving them something easier and more comfortable to grip. The ability of most grips to double as kickstands can also help improve their poster by allowing them to prop up their phone at an angle rather than hunching over it flat on a desk.
Kick bad habits and poor productivity with phone grip kickstands
Phone stands are awesome, but they're only useful when you have them on you. Since most phone grips double as at least landscape kickstands, adding one to your kid's phone can help make their phone and their homework time more productive since they then have a kickstand with them they can use on any flat surface.
I often reference notes on my phone while writing on my Chromebook, and this is especially helpful when I use phone grips like the Spigen Style Ring POP and Scooch Winback that keep my phone vertical rather than landscape. Kickstands can make looking at a phone easier on your child's neck by lessening their need to hunch over, too, compounding the grip's in-hand benefits.
Phone grips are cool
When your kid sees a phone grip with Darth Vader or Stitch on them, they just see a cool character that they want on all the things. This gives PopSockets a very unique advantage in trying to get your kids to want to use a phone grip, especially now that Swappable PopSockets will allow your kid to swap Darth Vader for the Dark Knight depending on which of their five favorite shirts they're wearing.
Both PopSockets and Speck GrabTabs have Pride collections, too, meaning if your middle or high school has a cause they're behind, they can show it off on their most visible accessory: their phone grip. PopSockets' Poptivism grips even give money to partner charities like March for Our Lives, Girls Inc and The Trevor Project.
So let your kid pick out a phone grip that speaks to their style. Call it a Back To School gift, even though it's healthier for them and extra phone insurance for you.
Swappable PopGrips by PopSockets ($10 at PopSockets)
Get a grip that's wireless charging compatible, easy to swap when your tastes change, and available with the coolest character designs around.
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