What Are Those Round Things on the Back of People's Phones?

By Genevieve Burgess | Miscellaneous | January 29, 2018 |


I am a lady with dainty hands. They’re very useful hands, they got me into college on a music scholarship for playing upright bass, they type about 100 words a minute, they can knit, sew, crochet, and embroider and are generally adept at everything I ask of them. Until I asked them to use an iPhone 8 Plus. I got an iPhone 8 Plus because I wanted the new camera with the portrait feature and wasn’t going to get near the money-hole/disaster of the iPhone 10X, and I am currently all-in on Apple products (I’m typing this on my iMac right now) so those were my options. With my previous iPhones, I’d steered away from the “Plus” models due to my dainty lady hands, but time had come to reckon with the fact that modern tech is moving to bigger screens and I’d have to find a solution. Luckily, the solution was already available in the form of Pop Sockets.

You’ve probably seen Pop Sockets before even if you don’t know the name. They’re a little round thing you can stick on the back of a phone or phone case that expand out to be a handle that’s easily held between two fingers, or that acts as a stand for phones situated in landscape mode on a desk. From what I can tell, they’re popular with middle schoolers and people who make corporate swag, and are just now starting to filter into the wider consciousness. If you are someone else who is literally using a phone that is larger than your entire hand, they are exceptionally useful for giving you the ability to use your phone one-handed without feeling like you’re tempting fate with the extremely expensive and delicate device you’re holding. For those who take a lot of selfies, they’re also great for getting you that crucial extra inch or two that comes with being able to hold the phone in the tips of your fingers rather than in your palm. You can get them in virtually any color or pattern you want, or design your own on their website. Pop Sockets did not pay me or give me a free Pop Socket to write this, I just genuinely needed a solution for a problem and wanted the rest of you to know in case you have the same problem.

I still remain skeptical that your “hand-held” device, that fits in your pocket, needs a screen that large, but perhaps that is my own frustration at the difficulty of using such phones one handed and their ability to fit in smaller purses. Never mind pockets, which are already vanishingly rare on women’s clothing and rarer still is the pocket that can accommodate modern phablet style phones. Still, as long as this is the direction things are going, it’s nice to know that there are solutions out there for those of us with smaller hands. I bet you can even get the White House seal on one if you were so inclined.

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