By Rachel Kiley
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As smartphone cameras become more and more advanced, the amount and quality of gear made to go along with them have increased as well—including phone tripods. But it can be difficult to wade through all of the options, especially if you’re looking for something more serious than the average consumer may be seeking out.
Most phone tripods assume you’ll be setting up shop on a tabletop or other high surface, so make sure to pay attention to the details if you’re looking for something that expands to the height of a normal tripod. Beyond that, some of the most important things to keep an eye out for include stability, versatility, and how compact a phone tripod is in its smallest state if you plan to travel with it.
To get you started, we’ve rounded up some of the best-reviewed products currently available on the market and well-loved by content creators and more casual consumers alike.
The GorillaPod product line tends to be about as versatile as it gets, and their Mobile Rig is a dream for anyone used to working with unconventional setups. With a maximum height of about 25 inches, it’s perfect for setting up shop at your desk as you would with a normal phone tripod, but the unique flexibility of the GorillaPod also allows you to set up the tripod anywhere there is something for it to grip.
The Mobile Rig also has two arms and cold shoe mounts so you can add lights or other compatible accessories without the hassle of an additional tripod, making it a one-stop shop for a compact mobile setup in addition to being ideal for filming while out and about. And if you don’t want the additional arms, you can snag the similar Joby GripTight One GorrilaPod Stand at a lower price.
Sometimes basic is best, and if a simple, budget tripod is what you need, you can’t go wrong with the Apexel Mini Tripod. This extremely compact device doesn’t have a lot of height to it—it can only adjust up to 5” high, but it will keep your phone steady while you record thanks to the non-slip rubber pads.
As a bonus, the legs even come together so you can use them as a hand grip to record on the go with better stabilization and smoother movement than you would get just holding the phone with your hand.
Although something more affordable will be sufficient for most people, PGYTECH’s MantisPod Pro Tabletop Vlogging Tripod is for those who understand that a high-quality tripod can save you a lot of headache and hassle when you’re recording.
This particular model boasts seven “shooting modes,” or configurations that might best suit your needs, including a basic tabletop tripod mode, handheld mode, mantis mode so you can hang the tripod from various surfaces, and an extended mode that resembles a selfie stick.
The MantisPod Pro is compatible with a variety of cameras but includes a phone holder as well.
Sometimes, you don’t know when you might need to start recording and having the ability to prop your phone up on a whim can become invaluable. The Peak Design Mobile Smartphone Tripod/Kickstand is an accessory compatible with their cases and allows you to pop on a tiny support system to the back of your phone with the help of a magnet.
Okay, so this one isn’t really a tripod. As amazing as some of the smartphone tripod options are, there is a number of reasons why you might want to use a regular tripod instead. You might need the full height, you might already have one, or maybe you plan to switch between recording with your phone and a more traditional camera. Whatever the case, the Square Jellyfish Tripod Mount allows you to make use of any tripod with a 1/4”-20 threaded stud.