Grid Studio frames review: The best way to commemorate classic Apple devices

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Any iPhone or Apple lover will enjoy Grid Studio’s nostalgic artwork of vintage devices such as the original iPhone or Apple Watch.

Art with detail

Grid Studio put a ton of effort into every detail of their artwork. Each frame arrives beautifully wrapped in matte black paper. This not only protects the art, but gives you the feeling of opening a gift when it arrives.

Instead of a paper receipt or packing slip, you will then see a wax-sealed envelope. You step through the custom wax seal to access the documents within.

Stamped Riser Card

Inside the envelope you’ll find a thank you card, a QR code for a chance to win a freebie, and two display-worthy coins. One is a cream colored photo showing a Grid frame being assembled. It is stamped with the grille logo.

The iPhone Timeline

The iPhone Timeline

The second piece to display is an accordion-fold timeline of the iPhone. It is a high quality thick paper with a soft touch matte finish on one side. It expands to show the history of the iPhone – from the original launch in 2007 to the iPhone 12 in 2021.

We’d love to have an updated timeline to accommodate the iPhone 13, but it will surely be cumbersome for the company to create new ones every year, not to mention the extra length. The way it’s folded lets those vintage images pop in 3D. It looks like something we would see in a museum.

Apple Watch is one of the most personal devices Apple has ever created and it holds a special place in our hearts. Throughout the day, we connect more with our Apple Watch than with our iPhone. It has helped us stay up to date, stay healthy, and stay connected more than any other device.

Apple Watch framed

Apple Watch framed

Released in 2015, the original Apple Watch was a marvel. Despite its capabilities, there are surprisingly few components to see.

Close-up of the original Apple Watch

Close-up of the original Apple Watch

The bulkier parts include the bracelet, the aluminum body and the screen. Other interesting components include the heart rate sensor, the Taptic engine, the S1 processor and the speaker.

Grid lays out the components neatly with clean lines showing how everything comes together. One minor thing with our particular frame – the bottom strap is not straight. It’s not parallel to the body and it’s just enough to bother us, but not big enough to be a problem.

AppleInsider X Grid poster

AppleInsider X Grid poster

In frames, such as this Apple Watch model, that include a battery, a fake battery is used so that it can be safely stored, displayed, and shipped. However, Grid creates the fake batteries, they look identical to the real deal.

Our model was also provided with custom milling AppleInsider Plate X Grid. It’s a nice touch to make this piece more unique.

The original iPhone 2G

Arguably the most sought after part of the Grid lineup is the original iPhone. It’s amazing to see where this phone started.

The original framed iPhone

The original framed iPhone

This model has its little touches that we love. There’s a Steve Jobs signature just below a quote that reads “People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

Grid printed a smiley face behind the home button location on the front screen glass. Behind the screen glass are also rows of underlined icons representing the original icons included with the very first version of iOS.

Back then, the iPhone used full-size SIM cards, and the circuit board was split into several pieces.

Apple's first iPhone

Apple’s first iPhone

You can take a look at the old-school 30-pin dock connector that was used when placed in the charging station – the one that Apple has graciously included with every iPhone. The camera module is also adorably small, capable of just 2MP of photos.

This will surely be the ultimate collector’s item for any Apple fan.

iPhone 3GS

The iPhone 3GS was the third generation iPhone and was unveiled in 2009 at Apple’s WWDC conference, then held at the Moscone West Center. As Phil Schiller said, the S stood for speed.

Apple had yet to launch its A-series processors and was still relying on a chip made by Samsung. Even so, it was said to be twice as fast as its predecessor.

30 pin dock connector

30 pin dock connector

iPhone 3GS

iPhone 3GS

You can also see the improved 3MP camera which could record video for the first time, as well as the continued use of the 30-pin connector.

iphone 4s

Our final framed piece is the iPhone 4S. This time the S stood for Siri as it was the first device to include Apple’s virtual assistant. It was announced on the Apple campus in 2011, just a day before Steve Jobs’ liability.

iPhone 4S Grid

iPhone 4S Grid

It was powered by Apple’s A5 chip, clearly visible on the board. It is stamped, to make its provenance abundantly clear.

Apple A5 processor

Apple A5 processor

The design of Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S is similar to what Apple uses today on the iPhone 13 with flat sides and glass on the front and back. It still had the Home button and 30 pins although that wouldn’t go away for a bit longer.

This iPhone has an 8MP camera which seems significantly more complex than that of the iPhone 3GS version.

iphone 4s

iphone 4s

Should I buy a Grid Studio framework?

It’s easy to recommend any of the Grid frames to any collector or Apple fan. They have a wide variety of models over the years, all the way up to the iPhone X.

There is so much detail in the work with each piece placed by hand. We love the effort that goes into not just organizing the parts, but the printing as well.

The frames themselves don’t appear to be the highest quality and they use plexiglass instead of actual glass, but it wouldn’t be hard to slip into a different frame if desired. This is the only negative we have for the artwork.

Just be careful, because once you get one you’ll probably want to pick up another one.

  • Uses authentic devices to create the framed artwork
  • Hand assembled
  • Lots of attention to detail
  • Many iPhone models available
  • No iPod option (other than iPod Touch)
  • Cheap feeling frame and plexiglass

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Or buy

Grid Studio’s iPhone and Apple Watch art starts at $139, but promo code RSA30 hits an extra $30 off sitewide.


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