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  • We checked to see if there's anything new worth testing and continue to stand by our picks.

June 29, 2021

If you’ve ever compared who has the longest arms to take a group selfie or struggled to keep your smartphone stable while shooting video, a tripod and mount made specifically for phones might make your life easier. We recommend using the Joby GorillaPod 1K Kit and the Square Jellyfish Metal Spring Tripod Mount together as the best smartphone tripod and mount, after testing dozens of options along the trails of the Pacific Northwest, in the urban forests of Minnesota, and on the streets of Seattle.

If you use your smartphone for low-light photography, time-lapses, selfies, or slow-motion video—or if you just like putting your phone in places that you can’t easily reach by hand—this pair holds any smartphone steady at any angle, yet the GorillaPod and Square Jellyfish combo is still small enough to toss into your shoulder bag.

Joby’s GorillaPod 1K Kit is stronger and more flexible than anything else out there for the price. The ball-head mount moves smoothly and the long, articulated legs wrap around most anything, such as a tree branch or street signpost. At 10.24 inches from mount to foot, it’s about 4 inches longer than most of the no-name, cheaper options; this gives it more reach for selfies and can help it wrap around thicker branches and posts. Additionally, its 2.2-pound weight limit is enough to support most compact cameras and even some mirrorless setups.

Unlike other models we looked at, the Square Jellyfish mount can hold a large smartphone stable in portrait or landscape orientation even without a stand. As small as a set of keys, the Square Jellyfish mount easily holds an iPhone 11 Pro Max and is stable enough to stand on its own in both vertical and horizontal orientations even without a tripod. Just make sure you get the metal mount version because there are user reports of the threads, which let you attach the mount to any standard tripod screw, wearing out over time on the cheaper plastic one. We chose to pair the Square Jellyfish with the GorillaPod 1K Kit because it is a more secure mount than the one that Joby pairs with its other kits.

If you need both a selfie stick and a tripod, the Yoozon Selfie Stick is an affordable two-in-one that quickly transforms from a telescoping arm extender to a tabletop tripod. It can’t grip a tree branch or street sign like the GorillaPod 1K, but it does come with a stick-of-gum-sized Bluetooth trigger—pair it with your phone and press its button to grab shots from afar.

Why you should trust us

Erin Lodi is a photojournalist, writer, and professional photographer with a wide range of experience researching, testing, and writing about photography trends, techniques, and tools, including her role as mobile-imaging editor at DPReview, the most popular camera site on the Web.

Signe Brewster is a photography enthusiast who writes Wirecutter’s guides to photography drones and gimbals. When she isn’t capturing videos from the sky, she likes to photograph Minnesota’s Victorian architecture with an iPhone 6S.

Who should use a smartphone mount and tripod

Anyone who likes to use the timer function in their phone’s camera app, stabilize their video, or shoot videos hands-free can benefit from a smartphone mount.

Most tripods are made for cameras, with no way to securely attach a smartphone. A smartphone mount, which usually takes the form of a clamp that grabs onto the sides of a phone, is an adapter that changes that.

The pool of people who will benefit from a smartphone-specific tripod is smaller. A regular tripod, which we cover in our guides to tripods and travel tripods, will work for a phone in most situations. However, the tripods we cover in this guide are uniquely built to function as selfie sticks or grab onto structures like signposts or trees. They’re also smaller than traditional tripods, which means you can casually throw one into a backpack instead of lugging around a gadget the size of a baseball bat. But they aren’t nearly as long as traditional tripods, which means you must attach them to another tall object to grab an eye-height shot; you’re out of luck in an open field. As a result, you should treat a smartphone tripod as a portable alternative, but understand that a traditional tripod is useful in more scenarios.

How we picked and tested

A tripod with a smartphone hanging from a tree.

We spent 20 hours researching more than 70 smartphone-stabilization systems before testing 21 sets of legs and 15 tripod mounts to determine what you really need to keep your smartphone snaps and videos steady. We filmed waterfalls while hiking in the Pacific Northwest and snapped images of the Space Needle in Seattle in an initial round of testing. In a second round of testing in 2019, we went on a photo walk in the woods of St. Paul and filmed hands-free videos indoors.

As with standard-size tripods and travel tripods, we considered legs and mounts separately (in this case, looking at phone mounts rather than the ball heads intended for full-size cameras). We tested legs to confirm that they were sturdy enough to support the weight of the smartphone and mount, and we tested the grippiness of their feet on a variety of surfaces.

We examined mounts to make sure they could securely hold smartphones as large as a cased iPhone XS Max, and as small as a Samsung Galaxy S7 without a case. We tested how easily we could make positional adjustments, giving extra credit to smartphone mounts that were able to serve on their own as makeshift stands. We also considered several all-in-one units, those with legs and an integrated mount. Ultimately, we realized we wanted a mount that could slip into a pocket easily, securely mount a smartphone to most tripod legs, and work alone to keep the phone upright in landscape or portrait position.

Portability was a primary consideration for both, because the best accessories for your most portable camera should also slip into a pocket or small bag.

Our pick for best smartphone tripod: Joby GorillaPod 1K Kit

Our pick for best smartphone tripod the Joby GorillaPod 1K Kit

If you find yourself taking tons of time-lapses, videos, and low-light photos, we recommend investing in the Joby GorillaPod 1K Kit flexible tripod legs paired with a mount, like our Square Jellyfish pick, for your smartphone. You can find many copycat versions of these legs online (Joby itself offers variants, including mini and magnetic models), but after comparing them with the real thing, we think the Joby GorillaPod 1K Kit will hold up better over time and be more practical in a wider variety of conditions, because it’s sturdier and designed with more useful features.

The GorillaPod 1K’s signature flexible, jointed legs can bend into just about any position, and once you place them, they stay put. In our tests, cheaper models slipped a bit when nudged lightly. You can even wrap the Joby’s legs around a pole or branch so that you can get in the shot by using a timer or a remote. And because they’re so long (about 8 inches), you can find purchase on a wider variety of poles and branches compared with smaller tripods with legs less than 5 inches long.

Most important, the sturdy GorillaPod 1K’s 2.2-pound weight capacity has no problem keeping larger smartphones like the iPhone XS steady—something a number of other tested stands, such as the wobbly MonoShot, couldn’t do. It’s even strong enough to hold up a compact or mirrorless camera.

The Joby legs and the Square Jellyfish mount collapse to the size of a small water bottle and weigh about as much as a navel orange.

Beyond nailing the basics, the GorillaPod 1K Kit also features a removable ball-head mount. The rotating ball head lets you make small, incremental camera position changes without moving the legs, a feature that came in handy when we switched between portrait and landscape orientation. Rubbery material on the oversize feet provided a better grip on slippery surfaces compared with the smaller feet found on the cheaper legs we tested.

Paired, the Joby legs and the Square Jellyfish mount collapse to the size of a small water bottle and weigh about as much as a navel orange. The resulting combo is easy to tote along in your bag or a larger coat pocket.

As a bonus, the Joby model is strong enough to serve as an especially small tripod for a large point-and-shoot, superzoom, or small mirrorless camera, whereas cheaper competitors struggle to deal with even a large tablet.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

Joby’s multi-jointed GorillaPod 1K legs are a little unwieldy at times, making you feel as if you were playing with a toy rather than using a tripod—but then again, you can’t wrap your normal tripod around a tree branch. The GorillaPod 1K is also bigger than some of Joby’s other leg systems, but we think the extra stability is worth the trade-off.

Like all of the multi-joint-leg tripods we tested, the GorillaPod 1K has its limits. Heavy jostling or hits cause it to slide down slick surfaces such as poles; don’t attach it to the handles of your four-wheeler and expect it to stay secure.

The best smartphone tripod mount: Square Jellyfish Metal Spring Tripod Mount

Also great: Yoozon Selfie Stick

The Yoozon Selfie Stick with a smartphone attached.

The Yoozon Selfie Stick impressed us with its ability to quickly transform from a 2-foot-tall tripod to a selfie stick, with the bonus of a Bluetooth trigger button that slides out of the handle to become a remote. If you’re more likely to take selfies or tabletop pictures than attach a tripod to a tree branch, a selfie stick could be a better option than the GorillaPod 1K.

In its collapsed form, the Yoozon Selfie Stick is about the size of a banana—small enough to be at home in a purse or sticking out of a back pocket. Grabbing and pulling on its top extends it to just over 2 feet, which makes it possible to fit a group of people into a selfie picture. Three legs pop out from its handle if you choose to place the tripod on a table for an eye-level shot.

The Yoozoon Selfie Stick folded

The Yoozon Selfie Stick folds up small enough to be thrown into a backpack or purse. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

The Yoozoon Selfie Stick extended.

The selfie stick extends to about 2 feet. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

The Yoozoon selfie stick transformed into a tripod.

The handle on the Yoozon Selfie Stick folds out to transform into a tripod. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

The selfie stick’s mount felt the third-most secure of any of the mounts we tested; only the Square Jellyfish mount and Vastar Smartphone Mount held smartphones tighter. It held a large iPhone XS Max without issue. We also like that you can take photos by pressing the Bluetooth button on its handle. If you’d like to take photos from up to 33 feet away, you can slide the button out to make it a remote.

It’s worth noting that the selfie stick, like almost all selfie sticks, does wobble slightly in the wind. If you’re planning on using it for video stabilization, you’ll have better luck on days without high wind.

The competition

Mounts

A former runner-up pick, the Joby GripTight One Mount, comes standard on many Joby smartphone tripods. The simple spring-release design folds to the size of a large car key and is fast to use. But we found it didn’t hold phones as securely as the Square Jellyfish mount; we had to be careful about installing the phone or risk it twisting out and falling.

The Vastar One mount tied the Square Jellyfish mount for stability and security. It’s also cheaper, so it’s a great option if you’re trying to spend as little as possible. However, it’s much larger and clunkier, and it takes longer to attach it to a phone.

MeFoto’s SideKick360 Plus mount is about the size of a corkscrew-style wine opener, significantly larger than our key-size top pick.

We found that the RetiCam mount offered the functionality we wanted but was much bulkier than the Square Jellyfish model we picked.

The newest version of the Glif is far better than the first, but we still can’t justify this nifty mount’s price.

Tripods

The Apexel Gorillas Tripod is a nifty alternative to the Joby GorillaPod Mobile Rig but the features that set it apart also keep it from being a possible pick. It's designed so that each leg can unscrew from the phone base. While the bendable legs are stiff enough that they don’t unbend on their own, they also sometimes unscrew from the base as you position them. Also, the joints where the legs connect to the base have limited range and there’s no way to adjust the tension, so you can’t open it far enough to lay it flat or lock the legs in place.

The Joby HandyPod Mobile pairs a short tripod with a Joby GripTight One Mount. Its legs fold together to form a smooth handle that’s more comfortable to use as a selfie stick than the jointed legs of a GorillaPod, but its lack of flexible legs also means it can’t grip tree branches or sign poles. We decided to dismiss it because the Square Jellyfish mount is more secure than the GripTight One Mount. We dismissed the Manfrotto Pixi Mini for similar reasons.

Joby makes many tripods with bendy legs, but their mounts aren’t as secure or easy to use as the Square Jellyfish mount. As a result, we think it’s a better idea to buy the GorillaPod 1K and pair it with the Square Jellyfish mount. The Joby GripTight GorillaPod Pro 2 is large and strong like the GorillaPod 1K and has the added feature of a cold shoe adapter for accessories like mics or lights, but it lacks a ball mount. The Joby GripTight One Magnetic Impulse, Joby GripTight Action Kit, and Joby’s GorillaPod 325 have shorter legs, which means they aren’t as strong and can’t grip as many objects.

The ChargerCity MegaGrab2 Selfie Kit, which used to be our budget pick, provides plenty of support, collapses easily into a small carrying bag, and costs less than half the price of the Joby legs and Square Jellyfish mount combined. But it’s less supportive and not as well-built. It also squeaks horribly during adjustment.

The MonoShot (the brand-name model we tested, though many nearly identical versions are available on Amazon) extends to nearly 6 feet but sways in the slightest wind at that height—just what you don’t want for your time-lapse.

Kenu’s Stance smartphone tripods are the only kind we’ve seen that use either your iPhone’s Lightning port or the Micro-USB or USB-C port of your Android or Windows phone as a mount. Though interestingly designed, the Stance models are less stable and work in fewer positions than our main picks.

The UBeesize tripod and mount combo is an Amazon best seller and even cheaper than our budget pick, but it’s far flimsier.

About your guides

Erin Lodi

Erin Lodi is a freelance writer reporting on cameras and camera accessories at Wirecutter. She started her career as a photojournalist working in newspapers—shooting film—and was the mobile-imaging editor at DPReview. She is also a professional photographer who has made her living photographing everything from rock stars to humpback whales.

Signe Brewster

Signe Brewster is a senior staff writer at Wirecutter covering drones, virtual reality, 3D printers, STEM toys, smart-home gadgets, and hobby tools. She previously reported on emerging technology and science for several tech publications (with brief stints at CERN and The Onion). She spends her free time quilting and pursuing an MFA in creative writing.

Sours: https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-tripod-for-iphones-smartphones/

JOBY’s GorillaPod Starter Kit now within $1 of 2021 low at under $21 on Amazon

Amazon is offering the JOBY GorillaPod Starter Kit for $20.80 with free shippingfor Prime members or in orders over $25. Down from $25, today’s deal comes within $0.85 of our last mention and marks the second-best price that we’ve tracked in 2021. If you’re looking for a way to take your smartphone photo and video setup to the next level, this is a fantastic way to do just that. This deal includes a tripod with a 1/4-20 thread, the universal smartphone clamp, GoPro mount, as well as the torch mount for an all-encompassing setup right out of the box. Plus, the JOBY GorillaPod itself is moldable to be essentially whatever shape you need, allowing it to be placed anywhere. Head below for more.

On a tighter budget? Well, this smartphone tripod gets you started for just $10 at Amazon. It includes a Bluetooth shutter remote, bendable tripod, and smartphone mount. The main thing here is that you’re not getting the JOBY GorillaPod build, and there’s no bundled microphone.

If you plan to take lots of video on the go, then consider picking up Apple’s official MagSafe wireless charger. It’s on sale for a low of $74 right now and allows you to easily keep your phone powered doing long video shoots or taking lots of pictures. Sound intriguing? Head in over to our deal coverage to learn more.

JOBY GorillaPod Starter Kit features:

The black/red GorillaPod Starter Kit from Joby has a ball and socket design with flexible legs that can stand, wrap, and hold onto various surfaces. The 3 oz pocket- and travel-size support folds to a length of 5.8″, and it is constructed from ABS plastic and stainless steel. The kit comes with five interchangeable accessory mounts, including a 1/4″-20 threaded camera mount, cold shoe mount, GoPro mount, smartphone clamp, and flashlight/microphone mount, lending itself to different photo and video applications.

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It is unclear why people have children when they own Apple accessories. That’s a family right there. It's not just the devices themselves (their prices practically rivaling college tuition funds), but the iPhone cases, the AirPod accessories, the Macbook stands, and the endless upgrades to the next generation, which you can’t not do, else you be marked a huge loser. The Apple family of devices and accessories grows and grows and keeps growing, ad infinitum. As such, you likely have an iPad and a standard iPad case, which gives you a tiny screen height boost when it’s folded, but leaves much to be desired. A separate iPad stand—yes, another iPad accessory—will do you one better.

There are plenty of reasons to get a tried-and-tested stand for an iPad. Use it on your desk while you work, and it'll raise the iPad screen to a more ergonomic, neck-friendly height. Use it while you watch television, and you'll give your arms a break. Use it to display recipes while you cook, replacing that stack of cookbooks that propped it up before. Take it around your house with you, or on the road. As for which stand to get, here are the 14 best options. Most will work for the latest iPad models as well as other tablets and e-readers. Some come in multiple sizes, if you're holding onto an older gen. Take a look, and expand your family.

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The Most Popular Stand

Adjustable Tablet Stand

$20 AT AMAZON.COM

This stand ought to work well for most budget-conscious folks, with a cord-organizing hole in the back and an adjustable axis to change the angle of the screen. It is Apple-esque in design too, complementing an iPad's finish.

The Most Adjustable Stand

Gooseneck Tablet Holder

$24 AT AMAZON.COM

To clear up desk space, consider a clamping stand. This one's gooseneck is flexible enough for you to manipulate to the best height and angle, and stiff enough to stay at that optimal height and angle.

P2 iPad Stand

$20 AT AMAZON.COM

If you need a simple stand with a few inches of height—nothing more, nothing less—this one takes up minimal real estate and features holes for cords in the back. 

The Best Charging Stand

BASE Charging iPad Pro Stand

$90 AT AMAZON.COM

When you hit the point of relying on your iPad Pro day in and day out for work, a stand that'll charge it while you use it is damn convenient. Logitech takes advantage of the iPad's smart connector to send it juice while it's propped up, hitting two features in one.

The Space-Saver Stand

X Tablet Stand

$26 AT AMAZON.COM

This stand incorporates a whiff of magic (or as some call it, smart design elements). You lay it flat and adhere it to the back of the iPad. You pop out the stand and adjust the angle when you want to use the tablet. Done, you flatten the stand so it all but disappears on the back of the tablet again.

The Most Stylish Stand

iPad Stand

$149 AT YOHANN.COM

If you can swing spending nearly as much on an iPad stand as you did the iPad, swing away with Yohann. Its elegantly carved stand—choose walnut or oak—balances in three different configurations for three different heights, and has a hole for a charging cord neatly cut into the iPad grip. 

Tablet Pillow Stand

$25 AT AMAZON.COM

Though it looks like something you'd find in a freshman's dorm room, there's no denying that the softer pillow is nice for lap use, and the side pocket just might prevent you from losing your Apple Pencil in between the couch cushions.

The Best Waterproof Stand

Waterproof iPad 10.2 Case

$32 AT AMAZON.COM

iPads aren't exactly rugged devices, but this case picks up the roughing-it slack. Primarily, because it's waterproof—good for camping trips but also reading on a raft in the pool. It also has a kickstand. 

The Minimalist Stand

Wooden Stand for Tablet

$35 AT ETSY.COM

Wonderfully simple, this wooden stand counterbalances the overwhelming techie-ness of modern life. 

GripTight GorillaPod PRO Tablet Stand

$70 AT AMAZON.COM

These legs—much like those on a space invader robot, which this stand somewhat resembles—are strong. They'll bend any which way you need them to, wherever you are, and they're capped by rubber grips to prevent sliding. The iPad holder also rotates.

iRest Lap Stand for iPad

$48 AT AMAZON.COM

Though not the most becoming of iPad stands, this one has a hyper-specific purpose: If you're sitting on a couch with your legs stretched out before you, you can set this stand on them. That's a balancing act the others won't achieve. (It'll work as a desk or counter stand, too.)

Easel Tablet Stand

$23 AT URBANOUTFITTERS.COM

Counter the high-tech gloss of Apple products with this adjustable, collapsible, beechwood easel. It has a real "one with nature" vibe to it.

The Most Portable Stand

Compass Pro Portable iPad Stand

$51 AT AMAZON.COM

The most portable iPad stand on this list, the Compass Pro is a sturdily built tripod that collapses into a flat, packable shape you can slip into its protective sleeve. In use, it'll adjust to three different angles.

The Best Stand for Kids

iPad Case with Screen Protector and Handle Stand

$26 AT AMAZON.COM

In the event that you have a human family along with an Apple product family, consider a kid-friendly (read: kid-proof) iPad case that has a kickstand. This one is mighty, screen protecting, and available in kid-appropriate colors. No adult supervision required, at least until the YouTube video is over.

Sarah RenseSarah Rense is the Lifestyle Editor at Esquire, where she covers tech, food, drinks, home, and more. 

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iPad Tripod: Movie Mount (video accessory)

The Best Walmart Pre-Black Friday Tech Deals You Can Shop Now

You don't have to wait until Black Friday to get great tech deals from Walmart! Right now you can score tons of discounts on electronics and tech items with the retailer's fall sale. 

Walmart's fall sale features big markdowns and discount items from top brands. Standouts include Apple AirPods Pro, a 55-inch TCL Roku Smart TV, Samsung Celeron Chromebook, Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch and an Apple 10.9-inch iPad Air. In addition to electronics, Walmart has amazing deals on kitchenware and appliances. 

To help you find the very best deals, ET Style has narrowed the expansive deals down to the ones we think are worth the money. 

Supply chain issues are expected to cause major shipping delays around the holiday season. If you want to make sure your holiday gifts arrive on time, FedEx, the U.S. Postal Service and UPS have released their holiday shopping deadlines to help guide you.

Below, shop a selection of the best Walmart tech deals right now, available for only a limited time. 

Tech










Kitchenware & Appliances




The Rozmoz 5.2Qt Air Fryer is anything but an eyesore. The beautiful and functional air fryer holds 5.2 quarts and has eight one-touch presets for quick cooking. 




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