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8 best phone tripods that help capture your best side

Enhance your photography or selfie skills with one of these handy phone accessories

Steve Hogarty
Friday 02 April 2021 09:44 BST
<p>The cameras in our phones are excellent, but one thing they’ve not yet adopted is stabilisation</p>

The cameras in our phones are excellent, but one thing they’ve not yet adopted is stabilisation

There’s a silent arms race happening in our pockets. In recent years, rival phone manufacturers have been locked in a fierce battle to produce better quality cameras, miniaturising glass lenses, compressing delicate components and developing highly sophisticated image processing software to produce tiny cameras that rival full-size digital SLRs.

Our phones are now so excellent at taking pictures in fact, that sales of specialist SLR cameras have been in free fall for years. As the award winning photographer Chase Jarvis famously put it, “the best camera is the one you have with you”.

But one feature of high-end photography that phones haven’t yet adopted is stabilisation. Many premium phones use software processing or optical image stabilisation to alleviate the wobbling effects of taking a picture with shaking hands, but smartphone tripods are still the best way to eradicate camera shake completely and ensure a perfectly sharp photograph or video shoot.

For professional vloggers, night time photographers and work-from-home Zoomers, the smartphone tripod is an essential piece of kit. Balancing your phone on a coffee cup or propping it up against a rock won’t cut it – you need something stable, portable, professional and light.

A simple and cheap mini tripod can free up your hands, elevate your photography and transform your smartphone into your very own studio.

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We’ve rounded-up 8 of the best smartphone tripods available, from simple desktop stands to hard-wearing tripods for globe-trotting photographers.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

GripTight pro telepod

Weight: 410g

Height: 20cm - 63cm

This neatly designed telescoping tripod is multi-functional, and looks just as much at home on a desk as it does out in the field. When fully closed it can be used as a hand grip. With its feet extended it operates as a tabletop tripod for video conferencing. Extend the central mount and it works as a selfie stick. Extend everything and you’ve got a 31 inch tall free-standing tripod. A Bluetooth remote control lets you trigger your phone’s shutter from afar, so you can avoid having to make that awkward sprint back to your group of assembled friends before the timer goes off.

Developed with smartphone content creators in mind, the GripTight Pro Telepod mercifully does away with the more cumbersome and fiddly features of traditional tripods. The result is a slim, adaptable, and durable smartphone tripod for all situations.

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Veo 3GO 235AB travel tripod

Weight: 1.1kg

Height: 33cm - 136cm

Built to work with heavy SLR cameras and smartphones alike, Vanguard’s VEO 3GO tripod is a carbon fibre beast that’s packed with tech features travel photographers will appreciate. This tripod is lightweight, feels premium to the touch and fits neatly inside a backpack. It folds down to 13in and extends to almost four and a half feet. We love how you can easily remove one of the legs to use as a selfie stick or a vlogging arm, where an in-line Bluetooth remote control allows you to trigger your phone to start or stop recording.

Designed for the great outdoors, and with a price tag to match, the rugged VEO 3GO 325AB is maybe overkill for your home office setup, but travel photographers armed with iPhones won’t find a more full-featured smartphone tripod out there.

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Vesta mini table tripod

Weight: 155g

Height: 10cm - 15cm

The ultra-light and all-aluminium design of the Vesta Mini makes this pocket-sized tripod look and feel indestructible. The three sturdy legs are capped with rubberised feet and connected by a single mechanism, so that as you pull one of them out, the other two unfurl like a pair of synchronised swimmers. That makes this tripod super quick to set up and put away again, ideal for travelling photographers or hot desking freelancers. When folded, the legs are thin enough to act as a selfie stick, with the included phone attachment able to swivel on a ball mount to face in any direction.

This is a fixed height tripod at around 15cm tall depending on your phone, so if you want to avoid your colleagues peering up your nostrils during Zoom meetings you’ll need to find a suitable vantage point on your desk. For smartphone photographers who prefer to travel light, the Vesta Mini is an essential piece of kit.

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Weight: 390g

Height: 16cm - 27cm

The engineers at DJI are best known for building aerial photography drones, so they know a thing or two about how to take a stable shot in all kinds of conditions. They’ve brought their experience to bear on the DJI OM 4, a handheld smartphone stabiliser that uses three powerful motors to instantly counteract the movements of your hand and capture smooth, cinematic video. The DJI OM 4 features the cleverest mounting technique of any of the tripods in our list. You clamp a metal attachment to the back of your phone, and it snaps magnetically to the rest of the device with a satisfying clank. It’s quick to remove again, so you can resume using your phone in seconds.

The DJI OM 4 is more of a smartphone stabiliser than a dedicated tripod, but we’ve included it here because of its included tripod base. Used with the DJI app, it can track your face to keep you in frame during video calls, or very slowly pan across landscapes to create dramatic, sweeping time lapse videos that would make the Planet Earth team sweat. The DJI OM4 gets bonus points for resembling some kind of alien medical device.

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Gorillapod starter kit

Weight: 158g

Height: 15cm

The original Gorillapod launched in 2006, ushering in a new era of smartphone photography. This affordable smartphone tripod’s fully articulated legs can wrap around everything from tree branches to handrails with a firm grip, allowing shots to be taken from all sorts of unlikely angles. This makes it great for taking long exposure shots in awkward locations, and especially at tourist hotspots where more conspicuous tripods aren’t allowed.

For our tastes the Gorillapod is a little ugly for a professional home office setup, but this versatile tripod is an outstanding performer. The ability to grab and quickly reshape the legs to get the right angle for a video call is more convenient than fiddling with mount adjustments. The ideal beginner’s tripod for creators looking to add some stability to their shots.

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Manfrotto pixi mini

Weight: 190g

Height: 13.5cm

The best cheap mini tripod you’ll ever attach to your smartphone, Manfrotto’s Pixi Mini is a super simple and no fuss support that doesn’t compromise on build quality. This compact tripod was designed for holding up hefty DSLR cameras, so you’ll need Manfrotto’s Pixi Clamp to make it compatible with your phone. Together, the pair form a reliable tripod that resembles an excited little robot, but looks subtle and understated on the desk.

The clamp feels solid and can easily accommodate a large phone with a bulky case. Dual quarter-inch mounting points allow you to easily switch between portrait and landscape modes as you please. If you don’t need your tripod to do much more than simply sit there and hold your phone straight, the Pixi Mini fits the bill.

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Adonit PhotoGrip

Weight: 63g

Height: 7cm

The most compact tripod in our list, the Adonit PhotoGrip folds up to the size of a deck of playing cards so you can chuck it in your backpack and forget about it until you need it. The main grip works like a phone case, attaching to any smartphone wider than 4.5in so you can more comfortably operate the camera when holding it one-handed at arm’s length.

The tripod attachment feels cheap and plasticky, but it stands firmly enough with the help of grippy rubberised feet. The PhotoGrip doubles as a simple desktop stand too, propping your phone up in portrait mode and making it a great (if expensive) choice of smartphone tripod for the home office.

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Jelly long legs

Weight: 22.7g

Height: 11.4cm

The Jelly Long Legs tripod is a lightweight polycarbonate stand designed to be used with either a smartphone attachment or a larger tablet attachment. Despite the name, the Jelly Long Legs feel sturdy and supportive, with a large enough base to ensure your precious iPad doesn’t take an unexpected nosedive.

We prefer to use it as a smartphone tripod. The articulated grip uses a 360 degree ball joint so you can easily twist and angle your phone to point in the right direction.

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The verdict: Smartphone tripods

For sharper photography, better long exposures and a more flattering angle in your Zoom meetings, the highly versatile GripTight pro telepod is our pick of the best smartphone tripods. It’s not only a sleek looking desktop stand, but a compact outdoor tripod for smartphone photographers who travel light.

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