The best phone tripod isn't just for DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Tripods can also play a pivotal role in mobile photography. Some of the best tripods will even help you better capture scenes in the brightest or darkest conditions for any phone you attach to them. Manfrotto's PIXI Mini with Universal Clamp offers the best traditional tripod functionality in a "mini" form made for phones to shoot pictures with. This guide will help you find the right fit for you so you can compose the most stunning images.
Best overall: Manfrotto PIXI Mini with Universal Clamp
Manfrotto PIXI Mini with Universal Clamp
Ready to shoot and ready to last
Manfrotto is a household name for anyone in the know about tripods, and the PIXI Mini is one that should last a long time. The combination of stainless steel and aluminum with a technopolymer coat gives it a sturdy build. The ball-locking head is maneuverable for easier angling up to 35 degrees, and the low center of gravity at a height of 5.3 inches makes it simpler to use in tighter spaces. For long exposure shots, this tripod should hold up well.
The key to all this is the Universal Smartphone Clamp. This is not to be confused with Manfrotto's PIXI Clamp, which is a little more versatile, thanks to more rugged grips and an extra 1/4-inch screw thread. The Universal Clamp sports good springs, with each end using a rubber pad that is thick, yet soft and wide enough (3.2 inches) to handle most phones, even if they have a case. You could try to get creative with the thread on the clamp's rear by positioning the phone flatter on its back. However, it lacks the third thread the PIXI Clamp has that would simplify mounting a light or microphone on top of the phone.
They weigh less than eight ounces put together for a lightweight kit you can easily throw into a bag or carry as a handheld grip while out shooting. You also have the option to remove the mount and attach a DSLR or mirrorless camera up to a weight of 2.2 pounds.
Best value: Joby GripTight ONE GorillaPod Stand
Joby GripTight ONE GorillaPod Stand
Take it with you anywhere and everywhere
Joby's GorillaPod tripods are renowned for their ability to stand on almost any surface or wrap around almost any suitable object. The GripTight ONE comes with some diverse reliability, thanks to the tough and foldable legs that you can bend, twist, fold, and mold. This tripod should be able to capture photos and video from plenty of interesting angles.
The mount stretches out up to 3.6 inches, so it can handle most phones with and without cases and includes the option to orient it in landscape or portrait mode. It is also very lightweight and compact, making it travel-friendly. For the asking price, the Joby GripTight ONE GorillaPod Stand provides good value.
One potential issue over time is that the ball head doesn't have a handle to adjust tension. It articulates well on its own and keeps a phone stable, but it's hard to know how tight it will be after years of use. The mount does come off, revealing the 1/4-inch screw mount for other mounts or cameras (though weight support is limited to less than 1 pound).
Best portable: Ubeesize Tripod S
Ubeesize Tripod S
Flexible in both deployment and portability
Just like the Joby Griptight ONE, the Ubeesize Tripod S also comes with malleable legs that can snake around branches and poles. It has a higher center of gravity at 10.6 inches high when the octopus-style legs are straightened. They are made of metal and coated with rubber and foam to contour a little easier when wrapped around surfaces, as well as adding comfort when holding them in your hands.
While Ubeesize touts this tripod to be rugged so it is built for durability. The metal ball joint, coupled with the lightweight legs means this tripod is really only for phones and small action cams. That would explain why the company throws in a GoPro mount, too. The mount has a good level of flexibility in that it can stretch up to 3.75 inches, accommodating most phones and cases.
The included Bluetooth remote is primarily aimed at taking selfies, vlogging, and landscape shots, which is great for setting up unique angles, but also comes in handy for long exposure shots at night where you need to avoid touching the phone. Wrap those legs around a tree branch and you'll get some unique shots. You can pop it in your pocket and take it along with you on a hike. It weighs only 0.4 pounds so it's extremely portable.
Best versatility: IK Multimedia iKlip Grip
IK Multimedia iKlip Grip
More than just a tripod and mount
IK Multimedia advertises the iKlip Grip as being compatible with phone screens ranging from 3.5 to 6 inches, but that doesn't factor in how much bezels have been disappearing on devices. The mount stretches out up to 3.58 inches, making it compatible with larger models, including the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and its 6.9-inch display.
Rather than just a tripod, the iKlip Grip is actually a set of accessories. It can work as a handheld stabilizer, an extended selfie stick (up to 17.5 inches), or attach to a larger tripod through the detachable mount's 1/4-inch screw thread. The mount can also hold the phone in landscape or portrait orientations and comes with a Bluetooth remote for hands-free still photo and video capture.
There's a lot to like about the whole package, not least because it negates having to accessorize an accessory with other attachments. IK Multimedia throws in a Bluetooth remote to help take selfies or group shots from wherever you see fit, but it also serves as a great way to shoot long exposures or worm's-eye majestic shots where it might be hard to touch the screen.
Best for vloggers: Sensyne Ring Light with Extendable Tripod Stand
Sensyne Ring Light with Extendable Tripod Stand
Doing more than one thing at the same time
With the right gear, anyone can be an influencer nowadays. All you need is an internet connection combined with a good phone camera and a tripod. Sensyne offers a vlogging kit that is clearly aimed at any would-be citizen journalist or social media influencer. The Ring Light with Extendable Tripod Stand is essentially a bundle that combines the company's lengthy 51-inch Tripod Stand, Ring Light, and Bluetooth remote shutter.
While there are more advanced options for vloggers from name brands like Joby, Sensyne's product is more accessible owing to its surprisingly reasonable price. If you're just starting out your YouTube or TikTok journey, you don't need to shell out hundreds of dollars for a decent shooting setup. The adjustable Ring Light has plenty of brightness options in warm and cool tones. Unfortunately, the light is powered by an AC/DC adapter so you'll need a plug point to hook it up.
To make things easier, you also get a wireless remote to capture videos or images from a distance. This all-in-one-package comes with a carry bag to take the entire rig out and about. While a stretch to consider it a pro-level rig, it's versatile enough to simplify creative scenarios. It isn't the most premium product so don't expect it to last very long.
Best extra-long: Aureday 62" Camera & Cell Phone Tripod Stand
Aureday 62" Camera & Cell Phone Tripod Stand
For a wider and farther field of view
Most phone tripods focus on being small, easy to carry, and flexible. There are some limitations of these factors. Capturing panned-out photos or videos of a large setting can be quite problematic if your stand doesn't extend much. The Camera & Cell Phone Tripod Stand from Aureday addresses this specific issue.
The Aureday Tripod Stand stands a whopping 62 inches long on the ground when extended to the max. It has five sections so you can lock the height according to your photography or videography needs at that moment. Unlike the Sensyne tripod, this one has a sturdy build quality as it's made of aluminum alloy. The legs may not bend or twist but it does come with a wireless Bluetooth remote.
Another great perk of the 62-inch Aureday Tripod Stand is the rotating mount that can tilt anywhere between 180 and 360 degrees. It comes with a GoPros compatible mount along with the phone holder which makes it pretty versatile. Taking pictures and videos on this is really easy and if you want, it converts into a selfies stick. Thinking about all the great features, the Aureday Stand is worth every dollar of its inexpensive price tag.
Best mount: Joby GripTight PRO Phone
Joby GripTight PRO Phone
Holding still whenever necessary
You may already have a tripod that you like to use but aren't sure you have a mount you can trust. The GripTight PRO Phone has been Joby's more pro-level phone mount going back a couple of years, and it still really only has one job to do: secure a phone in place. Unlike Joby's other mounts, like the GripTight ONE, this is tougher and tighter. The spring has enough give for up to 3.5 inches wide, but that's about it. You may run into trouble if you have a thicker case on your device.
Not only that, but you'll have to watch how you place it so that it doesn't cover the power or volume buttons because of its wider footprint. It can articulate a phone at 90-degrees, taking care of both landscape and portrait orientations. But it also tilts up to 150 degrees, meaning you won't have to remove the phone or twist the mount laterally when you don't want to.
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Finding the right phone tripod really boils down to what it is you're trying to achieve. More seasoned mobile photographers will probably have figured that out going in, but sometimes, creative opportunity knocks when you least expect it. That's why this list is varied. The Manfrotto PIXI Mini with Universal Clamp is the best option for most situations, and with a wide range of phones.
And if you don't want the clamp anymore, you can always attach another. Even when closed, the tripod acts as a decent handheld stabilizer. It doesn't have flexible legs, or a Frankenstein-like rig to attach supporting gear, but it's well-made, dependable, and can work with many DSLR and mirrorless cameras to boot.
Good and supportive gear can always help take better photos, as is learning some of the fundamentals in using your phone's camera. You can learn how to get started with this Smartphone Photography eCourse. It also helps to have the best camera app on your Android phone so you have all the right tools to capture world-class images.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Ted Kritsonis loves taking photos when the opportunity arises, be it on a camera or smartphone. Beyond sports and world history, you can find him tinkering with gadgets or enjoying a cigar.
Namerah Saud Fatmi is a freelance writer for Android Central. She has a passion for all things tech & gaming and has been an honorary Goodreads librarian since 2011. When she isn't writing, she can be found chasing stray cats and dogs in the streets of Dhaka or slaying dragons in the land of Skyrim. You can reach her on her Twitter handle @NamerahS.
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Ted Kritsonis loves taking photos when the opportunity arises, be it on a camera or smartphone. Beyond sports and world history, you can find him tinkering with gadgets or enjoying a cigar. Often times, that will be with a pair of headphones or earbuds playing tunes. When he's not testing something, he's working on the next episode of his podcast, Tednologic.
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