Clip showdown

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

I'm not a patent lawyer, but it seems to me the folks at ClipHanger and Clipacell might have a bone to pick with one another.

Two Ohio State Fairs ago, I wrote about a nifty little phone clip -- the ClipHanger -- that attached to the back of most any cell phone and was designed to hang from a belt loop or purse strap. An included convenience hook was designed to adhere to a car dash, computer monitor, wall or refrigerator for your convenience.

The ClipHanger still exists. You can purchase them for $13 (or three for $30) in any of 19 colors from If you're OK just buying the smoke-colored version, you can save money and order one for $10 (or four for $36) from SimplyGoodStuff. com.

But before you place that order, you might want to check out a new competitor that's hit the scene with a comparable phone clip called the Clipacell. Similar in shape and design to ClipHanger, this product has an interesting addition -- a built-in LED light that turns on by pressing the Clipacell logo.

And thus, a simple, good product becomes a simple, better product. And while Clipacell retails for $13, it's available at for $9 (or four for $30). I haven't figured out how adding a light makes this cheaper than its predecessor, but that is the case.

While Clipacell may not be the most fashionable product featured in this week's Alive, it might be the most functional. As I mentioned two summers ago, the product's design is the height of simplicity. It's a clasp that sticks to the back of your cell phone -- or PDA or any other handheld device -- so it can hang from a belt loop or the strap of your purse, giving you easy access.

With Clipacell, your days of digging for a ringing phone from the bottom of a backpack or purse could be over. With Clipacell, fumbling around in the dark should now be a thing of the past.

Clipacell is lightweight and made of a durable polycarbonate resin (the same material used in bulletproof glass and helmets).

It's hard to miss the similarity in design between Clipacell and ClipHanger. However, until the lawyers sort out whether either gadget has pilfered the other's design, Clipacell gets the nod for having more features and a cheaper price.

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