Accessory review: the HANDeBand handgrip
The HANDeBand handgrip is a set of two grips designed for holding a tablet or e-reader and a phone. I already reviewed something similar called the FlyGrip, which I thought was about the most useful accessory ever, so the HANDeBand needed to step it up to impress me. And it did.
First, there are two HANDeBand rings – a dual and a single. The single ring set is most likely more for your lighter devices, and the dual for heavier. The cool thing, though, is the bases are interchangeable, so if you want to take your two-finger grip and use it on your phone, or your single finger grip and use it on your tablet, you just slide the grip off of the base.
The base itself sticks to your device using something that appears to be a shaped 3M adhesive pad, although I can’t find any information out about what that is. The material is flexible black Santoprene rubber, which feels a bit like a tire, gives pretty easy, and snaps back no matter how I bend it. I was also told via email that the company offers free lifetime replacement adhesive if you want to move your grip base from device to device, or if the sticky stuff fails.
If you’re using this on a phone, you can turn the grip into a kickstand. Unlike the FlyGrip, though, you’ll need to remove the ring portion before you slip your phone in your pocket.
One of the neater things that the HANDeGrip offers is the ability to rotate the grip 360 degrees, which is quite useful when you want to take your tablet from landscape into portrait mode and still be effortlessly using one hand to hold your reader.
Texting is also a bit easier according to claims on the website. Although I did not try this product out on my phone, I would not doubt that. It does allow you to easily balance your tablet while typing though, so I won’t dispute the texting improvement claims.
There are a couple of other things that the HANDeBand offers with its universal attachment base. I’ve got an email that says they’re not announced yet, but you can figure that if you’ve got a universal attachment base for the HANDeBand that they’re going to get attached to other things shortly such as, perhaps, car mounts (you didn’t hear that from me).
The disadvantages of the HANDeBand vesus the FlyGrip are that the rings probably need to be removed before pocketing if you don’t have a lot of pocket room. Also, if you have the universal base mounted in the wrong direction, you can create a pocket-catching annoyance. The advantages are price, you get twice the bases/grips, and in the future there may be things that interact with the universal base that will smoothly go with the product you’ve already got installed.
When it comes down to it, I like this product. However, it’s not what I would choose for my phone personally. If I were going for a phone grip I probably would choose the FlyGrip. But it is what I would choose for my tablets, as the ability to rotate and the dual grip are just pretty much what is needed there, and my FlyGrip experiment on an iPad was not so great in the end.
One of the other nice things about this is that if for some reason you suddenly needed your hand extracted from the grip, you can extract your fingers the way they went in, or the rubber will push away if you need to go through the bands. When I was playing around with this, I did see if I could disengage the HANDeBand by pressing straight down simulating stumbling into something/finger popping force. You can get out without breaking your finger or the ring, although you may break the device. Usually this is the better trade-off.
One of the FlyGrip’s big claims for pricing was that everything is made in the USA and unfortunately I can’t find any information on country of manufacture for the HANDeBand. If you’re wanting a US-manufactured product, this might not be it (although I am awaiting for a return email on this and will update when I get it).
I still have a problem with this type of accessory being above $10, but getting two of them, a 100% money back guarantee, free replacement adhesive (from what I was told in an email – I can’t find that on the site), I’m having a harder time being troubled by the price.
The HANDeBand handgrip is available in grey, tactical and gloss black, and white from the manufacturer for $28.95, although shipping is not included. My personal cost for shipping is an additional $3, for a total of $31.95.