Developer: Poddities
Price: ~$25.00 retail
Device Reviewed With: iPhone 5

Usability Rating: ★★★★☆
Integration with iPad/iPhone Rating: ★★★★☆
Hardware Design Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-Use Value Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

There was a time when all phones had a small loop somewhere that allowed you to attach a wrist strap, lanyard, or similar to hang your mobile phone from. That went away years ago, but there are times when it would still be useful. If you use your phone a lot as a camera for instance, a wrist strap is a great way to secure that $700 camera you are holding.

Personal security is another time when a wrist strap is useful. In an era of snatch and grab crimes against smartphones, it’s nice to have a bit more protection. This won’t make it impossible to steal, but perhaps the thieves will try someone less careful.

The Netsuke from Poddities solves the issue fairly well with a tiny little addition to the bottom of your iPhone. With a quick removal of the two screws on the bottom of your iPhone and screwing on a plate that contains a small loop with the included screwdriver, you quickly have a loop. Take a look a the installation video below for more.

The real plus of the Netsuke is that it adds virtually no weight or size to your phone, while it creates a fairly strong connection point for a strap. In the two months I have been using the Netsuke, I’ve found it to be very secure and work well to secure my iPhone 5. It’s convenient to use the Netsuke both to secure my iPhone and to quickly pull it from my pocket.

There are some slight issues still with the Netsuke. For one, you have to provide your own lanyard or other strap to use the loop. The real problem is that the edges of the piece feel very unfinished–rough, stamped metal that can feel less than pleasing when holding it. The connection point also rules out the use of some cables, like the Lightning to HDMI cable. The loop connection point limits the access to the Lightning cable for some larger cables.

There are other options if you need a loop, Rokform cases for one. But those and other cage-like cases add considerable bulk and weight. This is by far the smallest of options.

Overall I like the Netsuke. I appreciate the extra security without bulk and, if nothing else, piece of mind. Netsuke is available for 2,100 yen (around $22.50) direct from Poddities and may be available from Amazon.

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