A technological journey into the past

Evaluation:
9/10
?
  • 1 – Absolute hot waste
  • 2 – A kind of lukewarm waste
  • 3 – Severely flawed design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptably imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Great, but not best in class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $249+

Marcus Mears III

Are you a tech enthusiast with an empty wall or extra shelf space? Studio Grid fill the frames with your favorite electronics from the past to create eye-pleasing art with a story behind it. Whether you love the first generation iPhone or the PS Vita, you can get one with an artistic touch from GRID Studio.

Here’s what we like

  • Captures your favorite classic technology
  • Fills the empty walls of tech enthusiasts
  • expert craftsmanship

And what we don’t do

  • Front panel is not anti-reflective
  • No other framing options

The GRID Studio team was generous enough to send me two frames for review. Here’s a more detailed look at the GRID 1 (first-generation iPhone) and the GRID Game Boy Color. But don’t worry, if you are an Android user, they also have a Deconstructed Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxyand After.

GRID 1: 1st generation iPhone

GRID Studio 1 hanging on the wall
Marcus Mears III
  • Frame size: 13 x 13 x 1.8 in (33.02 x 33.02 x 4.57 cm)

As soon as I saw pictures of GRID 1, a stylized first-generation iPhone, I wanted it on my wall. Technology as iconic and revolutionary as the 2007 smartphone deserves to be framed, and GRID Studio does it absolutely justice.

Opening the box and unsheathing the frame from its ornate wrapper, you’ll also find some welcome additions: a photo of a worker assembling a GRID 1 by hand, a thank you card with instructions for entering a gift, and a fold-out timeline from the iPhone, from the revolutionary creation that is now 15 years old to the modern powerhouses that are the 2020 models.

Looking through the front plastic viewing panel is like looking through a window at a time before 5G and 12MP cameras. These frames are best viewed in person, as the front panel is by no means glare resistant, which can make images difficult to capture. I’d consider shelling out a few extra bucks if GRID Studio offered an anti-reflective glass version, but the plastic panel works well enough for most viewing situations.

The title of the device is displayed on the top left with its anodized aluminum exterior directly below. Seeing that classic chunky brick of a back again makes me really appreciate just how thin today’s powerful phones are getting. This is one of the main reasons I love looking at GRID Studio art; of course, it’s aesthetic, but it’s also stimulating.

You’ll also find dimensions and other information about the first-generation iPhone scattered throughout the rooms. These contribute to the deconstructed, “piece by piece” look, breaking down the pieces into more than their tangible building blocks.

At the bottom of the frame is a quote from Steve Jobs, the late founder of Apple:

“People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

Jobs and the iPhone have undoubtedly changed the world, and seeing it hanging on your wall puts a dime in the inspiration bank.

GRID 1 framed art resting on a counter
Marcus Mears III

Something you might notice when browsing GRID Studio’s retired tech catalog is that every shadowbox is black and every matte background is white; you’re out of luck if you want your iPhone framed in another color (unless you want to replace the frame yourself, which is entirely possible).

The black and white color combination goes well with most walls, shelves, desks or counters where you would like to display your art.

It is important to note that the supplies for the GRID 1 are extremely limited and you may need to enter the drawing for a chance to buy one. This rarity, along with GRID Studio’s expert craftsmanship to cleanly deconstruct and reassemble the device, explains the $699 price tag attached to this artwork.

GRID Game Boy Color: Framed Memories

GRID Game Boy Color hanging on the wall
Marcus Mears III
  • Frame size: 13 x 13 x 1.8 in (33.02 x 33.02 x 4.57 cm)

If, like me, you have fond memories of playing Pokemon Red and bomber By the wormlight on the Game Boy Color (released in 1998) during nighttime car and bus rides, you’ll be just as excited to see your childhood handheld immortalized as the art.

There are some notable styling differences between this piece and the GRID 1; rather than straight, minimalist lines, the GRID Game Boy Color features retro tech-inspired lines to help designate the individual components.

Following this trend, instead of additional information and quotes from a founder, GRID Studio included video game references like 1UP from Super Mario Bros. and a graph of pokemon yellow opening scenes in this design. The lower right corner of the frame displays the Game Boy Color slogan: “Escape to a world of color”.

While modern graphics tend to mimic realism, it’s easy to forget how much joy 160×144 pixels is. One look at this framework was enough to flood my thoughts with the games I played in elementary school and make me want to download an emulator.

The cartridge slot on the outside on the back also made me nostalgic for the feeling of opening up a brand new physical copy of a game you’ve been waiting to play – buying and instantly downloading a game on Steam is convenient and everything, but where’s the fun in that?

You probably won’t have to look too long to notice a clear difference between the Game Boy Color you’ve been using and the ones GRID Studio is packing: there’s almost no noticeable wear. The components have been cleaned and polished to a degree I would consider almost immaculate, especially since they were tech scraps not too long ago.

Sure, there’s a smudge on the speaker here or a slight scuff on the exterior there, but nothing you won’t notice unless you’ve been watching it for weeks like I did.

A link to the past, a topic of conversation and illustrations to fill in your blanks; it’s yours for $249. As for GRID 1, you can only select this frame in black on a white background. The same plastic front panel is also found on the frames.

While I’m glad it chose an unassuming color scheme that looks good just about anywhere, I’d like to see GRID Studio provide a few more framing and front panel options (even if it’s is a special tailor-made service).

Is GRID Studio framed art worth it?

Absolutely. If you’re connected to the technology of the past in any way, or just like the look of deconstructed devices, you should consider decorating with it. GRID Studio Frames. They also make particularly interesting gift ideas for the techies in your life.

Depending on your choice of frame, you may back off on price; if you ask me, nothing in GRID Studio’s collection is unfairly priced. That doesn’t mean it won’t put a dent in your wallet, though.

Also be sure to keep the color of the frame and background in mind: if you don’t have room for a black frame, you’ll have to replace it yourself.

To note: GRID Studio’s products sell out quickly due to the scarcity of materials they use. If you see that a frame you want is out of stock, check back in a while to see if another batch has been assembled.

If you have a place and a person for it, GRID Studio frames are an artistic journey down memory lane with technology as your guide. Frames start at $158 and go all the way up to $699 at the most expensive.

Evaluation: 9/10

Price: $249+

Here’s what we like

  • Captures your favorite classic technology
  • Fills the empty walls of tech enthusiasts
  • expert craftsmanship

And what we don’t do

  • Front panel is not anti-reflective
  • No other framing options