This could be you! The first time we saw the spider-like Life-Phorm all-in-one positioning device it reminded us of those Facehugger things from Alien. It’s the kind of gadget that looks like it might spring to life while you’re sleeping, scurry across the floor, and go eat a baby. Or maybe it’s a pawn in a larger Decepticon plan to take over the world and get some Energon cube. We don’t know, and we can’t be certain, but in the meantime, it will hold your tablet, smartphone, or camera in a variety of helpful positions!
Alien invader-like qualities aside, the Life-Phorm’s six legs are actually very useful thanks to their multiple joints. The legs themselves have three points of articulation, two that adjust up and down and one that attaches to the base that moves left to right. Out of the box, the joints are just stiff enough to hold in place even with weighty items attached but are still easily movable. You can tighten the joints with a Phillips head screwdriver to make them stiffer still, if that’s what you’re into.
The plastic at the tip of the legs at on top of them also have a matte feel to keep the Life-Phorm from sliding around on most surfaces. Hooks on the end make it possible to tie them together with a bungee cord or hang them from precarious perches. Additional holes and notches are also present, but appear to have no purpose at the moment. The folks at Lethal Protection, the manufacturer, told us that they’re contemplating future accessories to fit in those places, including a set of wheels. We can only imagine the havoc a sentient Life-Phorm will have with a set of wheels. There goes the planet.
On the front is a grippy base that holds mobile devices, but it takes a few minutes to master and doesn’t make switching devices a quick process. Basically you squeeze the brackets around a device to grip it. There are three parts: two brackets and a screw with a bumper. Fitting the devices in the bracket requires effort if you want a firm grip. Depending on how you put these parts together and adjust them, they’ll fit almost any size smartphone, tablet, eReader, or similar device. The screw is standard tripod size, so any camera that will mount on a tripod is easy to attach here. We fit an iPad, Galaxy Note 2, Nexus 7, LG Mach, Galaxy Camera, and Olympus Pen EPL-2 on it in our testing.
Though the Life-Phorm can hold tablets up to 10 or 11 inches, it doesn’t hold all tablets the same way. Larger ones will only fit in landscape mode while smaller models only fit in portrait. Same goes for phones. Once the device is in you can position it in either orientation, but if it’s large or you don’t have the bracket on tight enough, it may slip out. If the larger bracket was a bit longer, this wouldn’t be a problem.
To attach a camera, leave the bracket off completely and just thread the screw up through the base. This is the least complicated and most effective use of the Life-Phorm and provides an excellent and sturdy holder that’s even more useful than the GorillaPod. The Life-Phorm can hold even hefty DSLR cameras. But if you have a large lens, you may want to wait for the Life-Phorm Pro, coming next year. That model will be more heavy duty and made of aircraft aluminum and carbon fiber instead of high-grade plastic. It should hold up to 22 pounds.
We’d recommend this product as a camera accessory for fans of Tim Burton, but it also makes a good stand for watching movies, hands-free reading, or video chatting. If you’re into hanging a tablet from a horizontal surface, it’s good for that, too. I used it in the kitchen to keep my tablet within view, but out of the way of food particles. Or, if you’re adventurous, wrap the thing around your wrist and go pretend to be Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood or that poor dude from the last Transformers movie.
We can’t wholeheartedly recommend it for tablet/phone use. Locking your tablet or phone into place can be frustrating and we wish it held onto devices better. Then again, there aren’t many products out there that work with such a wide variety of products.
The Life-Phorm is a great accessory for photographers and will make a nice gift to anyone who watches a lot of media on their mobile device. Sure, it may be plotting the downfall of humankind, but at least it will be useful until it turns on you. The Lethal Protection Life-Phorm is available for $70 at all of these stores.