You know those wallets you stick to the back of your phone? How about the rings that also work as kickstands? Well, Monet is both of those things in one. And I hate how much I love it.
For the majority of my time as a smartphone user, I’ve been totally opposed to cases. In recent years, I’ve come to accept them as a necessary evil—as phones become more “premium,” they also become more slippery and fragile. So cases are pretty much a must.
I also refused to stick any of those stupid “hold your phone better with this ring!” or “attach your credit cards to your phone with this wallet!” gadgets to the back of my phone. It was bad enough I had to use a case, but I was absolutely not interested in making my sleek, svelte smartphone bulkier.
But then I had an idea. I’m a cyclist, and I’ve been putting my phone in a plastic bag, then throwing my driver’s license and debit card in the bag with the phone when I’m on the bike. That then goes in my jersey pocket. But I got sick of doing this—I wanted a simple way to carry all three in one place. So I thought one of those stupid stick-on wallet things would do the trick. I could throw my essential cards in there when I’m on the bike, keeping it all together and easily accessible.
What is Monet and How Does it Work?
One day while shopping at Sam’s Club, my wife found these things called Monet—it was a two-pack for $10 (they’re $15 on Amazon or $20 directly from Monet for one so you might want to keep an eye out at your local Sam’s Club or Costo).
The Monet is a pretty sleek little phone wallet that also has another neat trick: a pop-out “ring” that also works as a kickstand. Intriguing! As far as phone wallets, rings, and kickstands are concerned, it’s definitely one of the more interesting designs I’ve seen.
Monet is made of faux leather and holds two cards (maybe more if you really stuff it full, which I don’t recommend) in a crisscross pattern. Just below that, there’s a little “tab” of sorts that slides out, serving as a ring and kickstand. The design is really well thought out. Also, if you look at Monet’s website, they have an absolute ton of different colors and designs. It’ll cost you to buy direct ($20 versus $15 at Amazon versus $10 for two at Sam’s), but hey—you can’t put a price on uniqueness, right?
Being the curmudgeon that I am about stuff like this, I mulled it over for a while. The thought of sticking this crap—as clever as it may be—on the back of my phone didn’t sit well with me. But one more long ride with my phone, license, and debit card in a plastic bag, and I knew I wanted to do something differently. So we went back to Sam’s and picked up the two-pack—one for me, one for my wife.
I stuck it on the back of my phone with the intention of only using it when I went riding and otherwise trying to ignore the fact that it’s there. But man, let me tell you: I couldn’t help but start using it. And now that I have it, I never want to go without it.
I hate myself for it, too.
What Makes Monet Great
First off, this isn’t my first go with a kickstand or ring. I’ve tried the standalone rings, PopSockets, and other similar products. The good news is that I hated them all. I didn’t have high hopes for Monet, either, but as it turns out the design is smarter than anything else on the market (that I’ve seen, anyway).
For what it is, it’s pretty dang slim on the back of the phone—especially if you don’t keep cards in it all the time. I’ve only been using it as a wallet on the bike, or if I’m running out for a quick trip, so it’s empty most of the time. That said, it does keep the phone from lying flat on its back, which is annoying. I find myself putting my phone face-down more often than I’d like now, only because seeing it lying all “floppy” on my desk drives me nuts. I guess I’ll either get over it or die with it, heh.
But the best part of Monet is the thing I didn’t buy it for: the ring/kickstand. It’s so much better than I expected—I went from thinking I’d never use it to using it constantly. It took a few adjustments to get it in the right place, but fortunately, it’s reusable. How it’s positioned on the back of the phone now puts the ring in an excellent place for both uses (as a ring and kickstand).
It makes one-handing my phone—which is a OnePlus 6T, by the way—easier than ever before. When it’s hooked to my finger, I can easily drop the phone lower to reach the top; I can just as easily hook my pinky around the bottom of the phone to move it up and reach the bottom.
I’m sure this can be done with any of the rings on the market, but I feel like Monet is more ergonomic because of its offset design. Since the ring/stand is off to one side, it works so much better than any of the similar products I’ve tested in the past. You could achieve this by moving any ring-type product you have to one side or the other, but oh man…who wants to deal with that sort of asymmetry?
Another nice thing about the ring is that it can easily be pulled out and pushed back into place one-handed. I hook my middle finger around the ring while it’s lying flat, then sort of “flip” the phone on its side while pulling the ring out. There’s only a split-second where I could potentially drop the phone while pulling the ring out, but my finger slides into the ring as I’m pulling, giving the extra grip to keep that from happening. Similarly, I can push it back into the flat position with that same hand.
Finally, let’s talk about using Monet’s ring as a kickstand. I assumed it would be kind of flimsy, but since the little metal bar “clips” into place, it’s actually far more robust than I anticipated. With the way my Monet is positioned, the kickstand works in either landscape position—one has more of a dramatic angle than the other. The bad news? It doesn’t work in portrait. Sorry.
As good as Monet is, there’s one big drawback for users with wireless charging: it’s too thick for wireless charging to work. Pull it off and putting it back on every single day isn’t really a practical solution, either. I guess if you throw it on the back fo a case that comes off easily, then it’s not a huge deal—otherwise, you’re stuck with tired old wired charging. It’s up to you to decide if you can live with that.
Conclusion: This Stupid Thing is So Good
Like I opened with: I hate how much I love the Monet. While I got two of them for $10 at Sam’s Club (so if you have a Sam’s membership, try to grab it there), I still think it’s worth the $15 price on Amazon even for one. It’s just so useful and well designed… now I need another one for my other phone. Dammit.
Here’s What We Like
- Super slim, especially compared to similar products
- The ring/kickstand is super useful
- Tons of designs to choose from
And What We Don't
- Kickstand can't be used in portrait mode
- Prevents wireless charging from working
- You'll hate yourself for how much you love it