Best Tripod for iPhone of 2021
The Joby GripTight Pro TelePod is one of our all-time favorite tripods. This is our go-to model for when we need a bit more height for our smartphone photoshoots. While it can't quite reach standing height, it does tower over many of its competitors. It feels solidly built, and it's compact enough when folded up to easily fit in a purse. It doubles as a selfie stick and has a solid smartphone mount, as well as a GoPro adapter. We appreciate that it's one of the more intuitive tripods to operate — particularly given its extensive array of features and functions.
Unfortunately, we found that one of the Joby's greatest assets — its height — can also be a significant weakness. At full extension, it's fairly wobbly, and in our tests, even a slight bump could cause a phone to go tumbling to the ground. We're also not sold on the locking system. Despite these flaws, we still think it's a great option for anyone who wants a taller tripod that can also operate as a selfie stick — just don't expect it to hold a heavy DSLR.
If you're looking for a top-tier tripod for your smartphone, we think the Manfrotto PIXI Mini is the clear choice. This model is exceptionally portable, easy to use, and takes under a minute to set up before it's holding your phone securely in position. The PIXI has a standard ¼" threaded mount, which makes it directly compatible with most DSLRs, as well as an included smartphone clamp and a GoPro mount. Even better, the included smartphone holder can double as a phone stand when detached from the tripod. The tripod feels quite solid and packs down small enough to easily fit in a purse or backpack.
The PIXI, however, is a rather diminutive product, meaning that you will need to set it on a table or other object for the vast majority of your photos. This makes it considerably less versatile than a full-extension tripod model. However, this might not present much of an issue, especially if you mainly shoot indoors. All in all, we think the user-friendly and highly portable PIXI is the best choice for most people hoping to take their smartphone photography to the next level.
If you are looking for a deluxe option for your next smartphone photo or video shooting session, consider the Neewer Ring Light Kit. This tripod has just about all the bells and whistles you could hope for, including an 18" dimmable ring light with diffusers. It extends to 61 inches of height and feels decently durable, securely holding your phone even when it's extended to full height. It provides very even light, includes both white and orange color filters, and didn't induce any LED flicker in any of our test videos, making it a great choice for recording your next video or vlog.
All of these extra features, however, mean that the initial assembly process is rather taxing. It's much easier to set up and break down after that, but it still takes a bit more work than any of the pocket tripods. The Neewer Ring Light Kit is also quite large and cumbersome when unfolded — enough to literally take over a small room. Although it does pack down into its included carrying case, we don't think it's the best option for traveling. The ball head on the phone mount also seems like it is a little more flimsy compared to the rest of the tripod. It might be overkill if you're aspirations don't extend past casual use, but this is one of our favorite options to recommend to those who are more serious about shooting content with their smartphone.
If you're shopping for a convenient and versatile tripod on a budget, our top recommendation is the UBeesize Flexible Tripod. This inexpensive model uses three segmented legs to provide flexible support for your phone. You can wrap these legs around objects or bend them to any angle to achieve the position you need, making the UBeesize exceptionally versatile and a great travel option. It's quick and straightforward to set up, includes a Bluetooth remote for remote shutter functions, and has a threaded post for mounting to a DSLR or other camera.
We weren't overly enamored, however, with the build quality of this tripod. We found the components to be middle-of-the-road at best, and we aren't sure how well it would hold up to years of use. This tripod can be decently stable — depending on how you configure the legs — but we will admit that we didn't have overflowing confidence in the UBeesize to safely and securely hold a heavier and more expensive DSLR. It's a great budget travel option that offers a ton of versatility, but it doesn't quite compare to some of the other models if you're seeking something for daily use.
If you're seeking a simple, stable tabletop tripod that won't break the bank, the Square Jellyfish Jelly Grip is a very viable option. This exceptionally compact and easy to use tripod sets up in seconds and is one of our favorite options for taking smartphone photos. It seems reasonably durable and can quickly be stowed away in a pocket or purse when not in use. You can even repurpose this product to serve as an adapter to make a traditional tripod compatible with a smartphone.
This tiny tripod needs to be set on a table or other solid item for most photos, so it's not quite as versatile as a flexible leg tripod that can be wrapped around poles or railings. Its plastic construction also doesn't feel as durable as comparable metal options. Despite these flaws, we think it's a great value option to elevate the quality of your smartphone photos, and we highly recommend it to anyone shopping on a budget.
The UBeesize 60" Tripod is the product that we would recommend to anyone who wants a smartphone tripod that is tall enough to shoot photos at eye level when set on the ground. This product is exceptionally easy to use and set up, all while folding up fairly small and offering comparable height to a traditional tripod. It usually retails at a budget price, is reasonably compact and lightweight, and includes a carrying case, meaning that it won't be a big hassle to take on your next trip.
We found the smartphone mount to be somewhat finicky — our phones tended to twist as we tightened them into position. In our experience, this tripod can also be a bit shaky when extended to its full height, and a couple of times we noticed that this height is just a smidge shorter than we would've liked. We didn't have any durability issues in our testing, but it wouldn't necessarily surprise us if some of the cheaper plastic pieces broke over time. Though it's not the most portable option out there, the UBeesize 60" Tripod is a great choice if you want a full-extension tripod for standalone smartphone photography. As a bonus, the pan/tilt head makes this an excellent option for shooting video.
The Joby GorillaPod 3K Kit is a solid smartphone tripod that is very versatile, though it can be somewhat difficult to use. The three flexible legs can wrap around objects and offer a wide range of adjustments to help you set up the perfect shot. It's also DSLR-compatible and seems built to last. It took almost no time to set up, and the built-in level is a huge help when adjusting the legs. Although it's portable enough to fit into a large backpack or purse, you'll definitely notice it while walking around.
We noticed, however, that the flexible legs are a little unwieldy and can take some practice to get set up stably and securely. This tripod is also so short that you will need to put it on a table or wrap it around a taller object if you want to take photos at eye level. It's a great option if you like tripods with flexible legs and want a burly one, but otherwise, you might be served better by some of the other options out there.
The Joby GripTight ONE Micro Stand is an exceptionally compact and portable tripod that can easily fit in a purse, pocket, or even a keyring. It's a high-quality stand with an aluminum ball head that seems like it can take some abuse, and it's incredibly fast and easy to set up. Although it is one of the most portable options we've tried to date, it's also one of the most limited.
The GripTight ONE Micro Stand is just barely a step above a smartphone stand, in our minds. It can't hold a typical DSLR, collapsing under the weight of anything more than a phone or a small point-and-shoot camera. Its short stature also limits your shooting, requiring you to place it on a table or other stand if you're trying to take photos close to eye level, though you can remove the adapter and add it to a traditional tripod. It's a good choice if you want a bare-bones ultralight tripod, but the lack of features limits its usefulness otherwise.
The DaVoice Cell Phone Tripod Adapter is a good option if you are attached to your current tripod and don't want to purchase a separate smartphone-specific model. Sporting a standard ¼" threaded adapter, the DaVoice easily connects to most tripods. Its spring clamp phone mount should be able to handle devices anywhere from 2.17" to 3.37", and it featuers rubberized padding to reduce the chance of scratching your phone and to ensure that it's held securely in position. This spring clamp system means it takes only seconds to install your phone, so it can be attached to most tripods in less than a minute.
Unfortunately, the DaVoice doesn't feel very durable to us, and its components don't inspire confidence. Both the spring clamp system and the rubber pull tab seem like they have the potential to wear out fairly quickly. It's an alright option if you're looking for an inexpensive way to make your existing tripods compatible with a smartphone, but otherwise, we would suggest a different tripod for most people.
The BZE Tripod/Selfie Stick seems like a good design in theory, but it feels like it's been executed somewhat poorly, in our opinion. This combination tripod/selfie stick is decently versatile. In tripod mode, it offers almost enough height for you to get away with setting it on the ground and passing as an acceptable selfie stick. It folds down into a reasonably compact package that isn't too bad to carry around and has a remote for triggering the shutter.
Unfortunately, that's about all the nice things we can say about the BZE. We think the construction seems very shoddy, with the tripod seemingly fighting you whenever you try to extend or collapse it. We also saw plenty of other users complaining about the connection between the remote and the phone or the remote battery failing to charge. We also found that the telescoping portion collapses under the weight of a DSLR. All in all, we think this is a fairly mediocre product that might be great if you're shopping for a combo product or on a tight budget, but that's about it.
The Zttopo Universal Phone Tripod Mount is an inexpensive smartphone adapter to make an existing tripod compatible with your phone. This adapter works with a standard ¼" threaded connector. It's simple and intuitive to attach your phone and lets you pivot between portrait and landscape orientation while accepting devices between 2.20" - 4.13" (56mm - 105mm) in width.
Overall, we found this product to be a giant hassle to use. It's much slower to install your phone on this adapter because it relies on a threaded clamp that needs to be tightened rather than a spring clamp that clips right to your phone. It also feels somewhat flimsy and didn't strike us as the most durable. The Zttopo is a cheap way to convert your existing gear to smartphone photography and might be a good budget buy if you plan on attaching your device and leaving it there. However, we believe a spring-loaded adapter is a better design for most people.
The Erligpowht 10" Selfie Ring Light Tripod is an overall lackluster product in our minds. The integrated ring light has three different color options, and the tripod can almost extend to full height, which makes it a suitable option for a slightly more sophisticated selfie or streaming experience. It's fairly easy to use and packs down decently small, though we do wish it had a carrying case for all of its components. It stands up reasonably well when fully extended but could topple over without a ton of force applied.
Unfortunately, the integrated light isn't bright enough to do more than supplement existing light sources — you shouldn't rely on it in a dark or dimly lit room. The cord for the light is quite short, making it easy to knock over. Additionally, the overall construction just feels cheap to us, and we wouldn't be at all surprised if this tripod wore out and broke relatively quickly. The phone mount isn't positioned in the middle of the light, which somewhat defeats the purpose of even using a ring light, in our opinion. It's a relatively cheap tripod for an iPhone with an integrated ring light, but it's also a good example of getting what you pay for. It's far from our favorite.
The UBeesize 51" Selfie Stick Tripod is overall one of our least favorite tripods for iPhones. While it is fairly easy to set up and isn't overly heavy, we feel that's pretty much it when it comes to things that warrant positive recognition.
In our opinion, the UBeesize 51" Selfie Stick Tripod is a bit of a misnomer. It can allegedly be used as a selfie stick, but we found that to be almost impossible. It's quite awkward to hold, and we would recommend other products if you are looking for something for this purpose. It doesn't feel like the most durable of tripods, and it was unsteady at full extension. It doesn't have a ball head, so you can only adjust the tilt, and it isn't particularly portable when collapsed. All in all, we find it hard to find a reason to recommend this tripod when there are so many better options out there.
Why You Should Trust Us
Laura Casner heads up our expert team when it comes to testing and reviewing tripods for iPhones and other smartphones. She has over a decade of professional photography experience and is always looking for creative ways to document her travels using all the available tools, from smartphones to high-end DSLRs. She is well-versed — and well-opinionated — when it comes to tripods and other camera holding gear, having used a wide variety on hundreds of shoots ranging from an epic 5-day cross-country trip documenting ultrarunners to the summit of Mt. Whitney to large scale commercial endeavors for clients like Neutrogena or Patagonia.
To test these smartphone tripods, we took hundreds of photos, setting each tripod up and breaking them down dozens of times. We evaluated and timed how long the setup process took for each, as well as ranked and scored their convenience and ease of use. In addition to scoring their stability with various smartphones, we also tested the compatible models out with a DSLR, noting if we would trust each tripod with the much heavier and more expensive camera. Finally, we also assessed the durability of each product by looking at how well each tripod held up to our rigorous testing process and conducting a widespread audit of existing customer comments to see if there were any common complaints.
Analysis and Test Results
Our photography experts split our side-by-side tests into four weighted rating metrics: ease of use, portability, stability, and durability. The top tripod performances in each metric are highlighted below.
Ease of Use
Our most significant round of tests focused on how convenient and easy to operate each tripod was. We timed how long it took to take each tripod from fully compacted to fully extended, noting any particularly troublesome spots. We also compared how versatile each tripod was, seeing if you can use them as a selfie stick or if they are tall enough for standalone use.
Immediately, both the Joby GripTight Pro TelePod and the Joby Flexible GorillaPod 3K Kit stood out to us as being exceptionally user-friendly. It usually took us less than a minute to set up either of these tripods, and both can work as a passable — albeit short — selfie stick. However, we did find that we usually had to place these tripods on a table or other object for most shots since neither can extend high enough to reach eye-level when placed directly on the ground.
The flexible legs on the Joby Flexible GorillaPod also supply a ton of versatility, allowing you to attach it to all sorts of things. However, it can take some extra time to get them adjusted and stable when using it as a tripod — particularly with larger devices.
The Square Jellyfish Jelly Grip Mount and the Manfrotto PIXI Mini are also exceptionally user-friendly and easy to use, usually only taking seconds to set up. Keep in mind, however, that this pair needs to be placed on another object for the vast majority of our photos to get enough height, which means they require just a bit more planning and effort to compose your shot.
We also found the UBeesize 60" Tripod and — somewhat surprisingly — the Neewer Ring Light Kit to be quite easy to set up. The UBeesize is essentially a typical tripod with a phone mount, so it does take slightly longer to extend all of the legs than some of the tabletop varieties, but it more than makes up for this by being able to shoot photos at eye level when another object isn't available.
Although the Neewer Ring Light Kit does take a decent amount of time for the initial setup, we were pleasantly surprised by how quick it is to set up and break down after that. The dimmable light makes it much easier to dial in the perfect shot as well, saving you time during your photoshoots. However, it's a more complicated design, so it still does take longer than the miniature tripods.
The DaVoice Cell Phone Tripod Adapter is a quick and easy way to convert an existing tripod to smartphone use. It has a spring-loaded clamp that makes attaching and removing your phone a breeze — much faster and easier than the threaded clamp on the Zttopo Universal Phone Tripod Mount.
The remaining tripods aren't overly difficult to set up, but we found that their latching and telescoping mechanisms operate much less smoothly than the top-tier tripods, making them a bit harder to use. In particular, we found the BZE Selfie Stick Tripod to be the most difficult, with its telescoping section causing a hassle seemingly every time we tried to adjust it.
Next, we focused on the portability of these products by examining their packed size, weight, and if they included any carrying cases or bags to make them easier to travel with. The Square Jellyfish Jelly Grip, the Manfrotto PIXI Mini, and the Joby GripTight ONE Micro Stand all took top marks in this metric for their exceptionally portable nature. The Joby GripTight ONE is the lightest of this trio, tipping the scales at just over 1.5 ounces, closely followed by the Square Jellyfish at 4 ounces, and the PIXI Mini at 7.5 ounces. These tripods could all easily fit in a purse or bag, and the Joby GripTight ONE could even fit in a pocket.
The Joby GripTight Pro TelePod does weigh a bit more than the smallest tripods, but we're still impressed with how portable it is — especially given that it can telescope up considerably higher than the tabletop models.
The UBeesize Flexible Tripod and the Joby Flexible GorillaPod are both fairly portable but more cumbersome to carry. Neither folds up that much, so they would only fit in a very large purse or backpack. They're also heavy enough that you'll probably notice the added weight.
While the UBeesize 60" Tripod and the Neewer Ring Light Kit are far from the lightest or most compact tripods when folded up, we found they weren't that bad to carry. Both pack into convenient travel cases and aren't too bad to haul around, though it is enough weight that we wouldn't necessarily want to tote them on a long trek.
Our next series of evaluations ranked and compared the stability of each tripod at different heights, the amount of force required to knock them over, and if they're sturdy enough for a DSLR camera — or more importantly, if we would trust them to hold up an expensive DSLR. Both the Joby Flexible GorillaPod 3K Kit and the Manfrotto PIXI Mini impressed us in this regard.
The PIXI Mini is rock-solid and super stable on a level surface, requiring a surprising amount of force to topple it over. This tripod is also compatible with a DSLR — and it's one of the few that we would trust with one, with a rated capacity of 5.5 lbs. The Joby Flexible GorillaPod is also compatible and stable enough in our minds to use with a DSLR, provided you have adjusted the legs properly. This tripod can tip over if you don't have the legs set far enough apart, which is something you need to be careful about if you decide to use this with more expensive cameras.
The Neewer Ring Light Kit, the Joby GripTight Pro TelePod, and the Square Jellyfish Jelly Grip all followed when it came to stability. Both the GripTight Pro TelePod and the Neewer Ring Light Kit are quite steady on their own but are top-heavy and easy to knock over, especially when they're at their full height.
The Square Jellyfish Jelly Grip is very similar to the PIXI Mini when it comes to stability, but its legs are more spindly due to its ultralight nature, making it just a bit easier to accidentally tip over. The same is true for the svelte GripTight ONE Micro Stand.
The other tripods all seem fairly shaky to use, giving us concerns about using them on anything but the most stable surfaces unless we were sure they wouldn't get bumped into while in use.
Our last group of assessments dealt with how durable we thought each tripod is, based on our opinions of their design and materials. We also combed through existing user reviews to see if there were any common complaints and deducted points from anything that broke during our testing process.
Most of the tripods fared quite well in this metric, with the three Joby models and the Manfrotto PIXI Mini particularly impressing us. These tripods all seem like they are built to last, with a mix of metal and plastic construction. We didn't find any common issues in our research and we like that these tripods smartly use metal components in high-stress areas, like the Joby GripTight ONE Micro Stand's aluminum ball head.
We didn't have any issues with the Neewer Ring Light Kit or the Square Jellyfish Jelly Grip but we noticed this pair of tripods rely more heavily on plastic components. They weren't showing any excessive wear and tear at the end of our tests, but we feel the metal components on the top tripods give them a slight edge.
All three of the UBeesize tripods — the 60" Tripod, the Flexible Tripod, and the Selfie Stick Tripod — felt much cheaper to use and seemed to employ lower quality components. They all survived our tests, but we wouldn't be surprised if they wore out or broke significantly sooner than some of the other products.
Unfortunately, both the BZE Selfie Stick Tripod and the Erligpowht Selfie Ring Light caused us to worry because they don't feel particularly durable. Their plastic seems much more prone to breakage, and we're convinced that dropping or knocking either of these products over might bring about their demise. Additionally, we were able to find plenty of complaints saying that the Erligpowht stopped working after a month or two of use, and the BZE seems to be plagued with remote connectivity and charging issues.
Hopefully, this has been a helpful breakdown of the top tripods currently on the market, regardless of whether you are looking for a flexible travel model, one with an integrated light, or a DSLR-compatible model that can extend fully. Our experts are here to help you find the perfect product to fit both your needs and your budget.
— Laura Casner and David Wise