The Best Tripods for iPhones of 2020
The Joby GripTight Pro TelePod is another one of our all-time favorite tripods, perfect for anyone who needs a bit more height for their next smartphone shooting session. While this tripod can't quite reach standing height, it towers over many of its competitors all while being solidly built in our minds and compact enough when folded up to easily fit in a purse. It's easy to use as a selfie stick and has a solid smartphone mount, as well as a GoPro adapter. We like that it is one of the more intuitive and easy to operate tripods — particularly given its extensive set of features and functions.
Unfortunately, we did find that one of the Joby's greatest assets — its height — can also be a significant weakness. It's fairly wobbly at full extension and, in our experience, even a slight bump could cause a phone to go tumbling to the ground if the Joby was at its maximum height. We also are a little tentative about the locking system. Despite these flaws, we think it's a great option for anyone who wants a taller tripod that can easily be used as a selfie stick, as long as they weren't planning on using it with a DSLR as well.
If you are looking for a top-tier tripod for your smartphone, then the Manfrotto PIXI Mini is the clear choice in our minds. This exceptionally portable and easy to use tripod takes less than a minute to set up, holding your phone securely in position. The PIXI has a standard ¼" threaded mount, making it directly compatible with most DSLRs, as well as the included smartphone clamp or a GoPro mount. Even better, the included smartphone holder can also double as a phone stand when it's off the tripod. It feels quite solid and packs down small enough to easily fit in a purse or backpack.
However, the PIXI is a rather diminutive product, meaning that you are going to have 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 but generally wasn't too much of an issue, particularly if you mainly shoot indoors. All in all, we think the user-friendly and highly portable PIXI is the best choice for most people looking to take their smartphone photography to the next level.
If you are shopping for a convenient and versatile tripod on a budget, then our top recommendation is the UBeesize Flexible Tripod. This inexpensive tripod uses three flexible segmented legs that can be wrapped around objects or bent to get whatever angle or height you need. This makes the UBeesize exceptionally versatile and a great travel option. It's very quick and easy to set up, includes a Bluetooth remote for remote shutter functions, and has a threaded post for attaching to a DSLR.
However, we weren't overly enamored with the build quality of this tripod. We found the components to be middle-of-the-road at best and aren't sure how well it would hold up to years of use. This tripod is decently stable — depending on how you configure the legs — but we will admit that we didn't have the most confidence in the UBeesize to safely and securely hold a larger and much more expensive DSLR. It's a great budget travel option that offers a ton of versatility but doesn't quite compare to some of the other options if you are looking for something that you will use daily.
If you are looking for a simple and stable tabletop tripod that won't break the bank, then the Square Jellyfish Jelly Grip is a very viable option. This exceptional 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 easily be stowed away in a pocket or purse when not in use. It can even be repurposed as an adapter to make a traditional tripod compatible with a smartphone.
This tiny tripod will need to be set on a table or other item for most photos so it won't be quite as versatile as a flexible leg tripod that can be wrapped around poles or railings. Its plastic construction also won't be as durable as a comparable metal option. Despite its flaws, we think It's a great value option to elevate the quality of your smartphone photos and highly recommend it to anyone shopping on a budget.
If you are looking for a deluxe option for your next smartphone photo or video shooting session, then you might want to consider the Neewer 18" Ring Light Kit. This tripod has just about all the bells and whistles that you might hope for, including a dimmable ring light with diffusers. It extends to full height and feels decently durable to us, securely holding your phone even when extended to its 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 perfect for recording your next video or vlog.
However, all of these extra features mean the initial assembly process for this tripod can be a bit taxing. It's much easier to set up and break down after that, though it still takes a bit more work than any of the pocket tripods. The Neewer 18" Ring Light Kit is quite large and cumbersome when unfolded — enough to literally take over a small room. It does all pack down into its included carrying case but we don't think it would be the best option for traveling. The ball head on the phone mount also seemed like it was a little more flimsy compared to the rest of the tripod. This is one of our favorite options to recommend to anyone who is a little more serious when it comes to shooting content with their smartphone but might be overkill if you are planning on more occasional use.
The UBeesize 60" Tripod is the product that we would recommend for 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 and is compact and light enough with a carrying case that means it isn't a giant hassle to take on your next trip.
We did find the phone mount can be a tiny bit finicky since your smartphone tends to twist as you tighten it into positions. In our experience, this tripod can be a little shaky when extended to its full height, which we also found to be just the occasional bit shorter than we would have liked. We didn't have any durability issues in our testing but we wouldn't be surprised if some of the cheaper plastic bits break over time. It might not be the most portable option out there but the UBeesize 60" Tripod is a great choice if you want a full-extension tripod for standalone smartphone photography — and the pan/tilt head also makes this a great option for shooting video.
The Joby GorillaPod 3K Kit is a solid smartphone tripod that is very versatile but can be a little more difficult to use. Its three flexible legs can be wrapped around objects and offer a wide range of adjustments to help you set up the perfect shot. It's DSLR-compatible and seems built to last. It takes almost no setup time at all and the built-in level greatly aids when it comes to adjusting the legs. It's portable enough to fit into a large backpack or purse but you would definitely notice it while walking around.
However, we did find the flexible legs to be a little unwieldy and can take some practice to get them set up stably and securely. This tripod is also so short that you will need to put it on a table or wrapped around some other object if you are trying to take photos at eye level. It's a great option if you like tripods with flexible legs and want one that is on the burlier side but otherwise, you might be served 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 is incredibly fast and easy to set up. It's one of the most portable options we have tried out to date but it is 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 limits your shooting, requiring you to place it on a table or other stand if you are trying to take photos closer to eye level, though you could remove the adapter and add it to a traditional tripod. It's a good choice if you want a bare-bones ultralight tripod but its lack of features and minimal versatility can be frustrating.
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 the standard ¼" threaded adapter, the DaVoice easily attaches to most tripods. Its spring clamp phone mount should be able to hold devices anywhere from 2.17" to 3.37", featuring rubberized padding to reduce the chance of scratching your phone and hold it securely in position. This spring clamp system means it takes only seconds to install your phone and can be attached to most tripods in less than a minute.
Unfortunately, we think the DaVoice didn't seem the most durable and its components didn't inspire confidence. Both the spring clamp system and the rubber pull tab seem like they will wear out fairly quickly and we wouldn't be at all surprised if this product broke with much less use than some of the other products. It's an alright option if you are looking for an inexpensive way to make your existing tripods smartphone-compatible but we would otherwise suggest alternative tripods for most people.
We felt the BZE Tripod/Selfie Stick is a good design in theory but was executed somewhat poorly. This combination tripod/selfie stick is decently versatile, offering just enough height that you can almost get away with setting it on the ground in tripod mode 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 to trigger the shutter.
Unfortunately, that's about all the nice things we can say about the BZE. We think the construction seems very shoddy, with this tripod feeling like it's fighting you whenever you go to extend or collapse it. We also saw plenty of other users complaining about the connection between the remote and the phone and the remote failing to charge. We also found that the telescoping portion collapses under the weight of a DSLR. All in all, we feel this is a fairly mediocre product that might be great if you are shopping on a tight budget for a combo product but that's about it.
The Zttopo Universal Phone Tripod Mount is an inexpensive smartphone adapter to convert any of your existing tripods to make them compatible with your phone. This adapter has the standard ¼" threaded connectors. It's simple and intuitive to attach your phone and lets you pivot it between a portrait and landscape orientation, compatible with devices between 2.20" - 4.13" (56mm - 105mm) wide.
Overall, we did find this product to be a giant hassle to use. It's much slower to install your phone on this adapter since it relies on a threaded clamp that needs to be tightened all the way compared to 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 for smartphone photography and might be a good budget buy if you plan on attaching your device and leaving it there but we usually would recommend a spring-loaded adapter 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, making it a decent 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 decently well when fully extended but would topple over without a ton of force required.
Unfortunately, the integrated light isn't really bright enough to do much more than supplement your existing light sources — it couldn't stand on its own 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 also isn't in the middle of the light, somewhat defeating the purpose of even having a ring light in our opinion. It's a relatively cheaper tripod for iPhone with an integrated ring light but it's a good example of getting what you paid for and is 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, that is about it when it comes to things that warrant positive recognition in our minds.
In our opinion, the UBeesize 51" Selfie Stick Tripod is a bit of a misnomer. While it allegedly can be used as a selfie stick, we found it to be almost impossible. It's quite awkward to hold and would generally recommend other products if you are looking for something for this purpose. It doesn't feel like the most durable of tripods to use and we found it to be a bit 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 a bit 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 on commercial shoots 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 Neutragena or Patagonia.
To test these smartphone tripods, we took hundreds and hundreds of photos, setting them up and breaking them down dozens of times. We evaluated and timed how long the setup process took for each tripod, as well as ranked and scored their convenience and ease of use. In addition to scoring their stability with a variety of smartphones, we also tried the compatible models out with a DSLR, noting if we would trust each tripod with this much heavier and more expensive camera. Finally, we also assessed the durability of each product both by looking at how well each tripod held up to our rigorous side-by-side testing process and conducting a widespread audit of existing user reviews to see if there were any common complaints.
Analysis and Test Results
Our expert photography gear testers split our side-by-side testing process into four weighted rating metrics, with the top tripods' performances in each metric highlighted below.
Ease of Use
Our most significant round of tests focused on how convenient and easy to operate each tripod is. 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 is, seeing if you 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 for being exceptionally user-friendly and easy to use. 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 plenty of 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 give a ton of versatility, letting you attach it to all sorts of things, but it can take some extra time to get them adjusted to be stable when using it as a tripod — particularly with larger devices.
The Manfrotto PIXI Mini and the Square Jellyfish Jelly Grip Mount are also both exceptionally user-friendly and easy to use, usually only taking seconds to set up. However, this pair both needed to be placed on another object for the vast majority of our photos to get enough height, meaning they required just a bit more planning and effort to set up your shot.
We also found both the UBeesize 60" Tripod and — somewhat surprisingly — the Neewer 18" Ring Light Kit are both 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 set on the ground.
While the Neewer Ring Light Kit does take a decent amount of time for the initial setup, we were pleasantly surprised how quickly it is to set up and break down after that, though it does take longer than the miniature tripods. The dimmable light makes it much easier to dial in the perfect shot as well, saving you time during your photo shoot.
The DaVoice Cell Phone Tripod Adapter is a quick and easy way to convert one of your existing tripods for smartphone photos. It has a spring-loaded clamp that makes attaching and removing your phone a breeze — much faster and easier to use than the threaded clamp of the Zttopo Universal Phone Tripod Mount.
The remaining tripods aren't overly difficult to set up but we found their latching and telescoping mechanisms to 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 bit of a hassle every time we went to adjust it.
Next, we focused on how portable each of these products is, looking at their packed size, weight, and if they included any carrying cases or bags that made 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 GripTight ONE Micro Stand 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, with the GripTight ONE even fitting in a pocket.
The Joby GripTight Pro TelePod does weigh a bit more than the smallest tripods but we are 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 fold up that much, so they would only fit in a very large purse or backpack and are heavy enough that you probably will notice the added weight.
While the UBeesize 60" Tripod and the Neewer 18" Ring Light Kit are far from the lightest or most compact tripods when folded up, we found they weren't all 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 go on too long of a trek with them.
Our next series of evaluations ranked and compared how stable each tripod is at different heights, the amount of force required to knock them over, and if they are DSLR-compatible — or more importantly, if we would trust them to hold up a DSLR. Both the Manfrotto PIXI Mini and the Joby Flexible GorillaPod 3K Kit 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 make it topple. This tripod is also compatible with a DSLR — and is one of the few that we would trust with one, having a rated load capacity of 5.5 lbs. The Joby Flexible GorillaPod is also compatible — and stable enough in our minds to use with a DSLR — provide 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 want to be cognizant of if you start using this with more expensive cameras.
The Joby GripTight Pro TelePod, the Square Jellyfish Jelly Grip, and the Neewer Ring Light Kit 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 are 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 just a bit more spindly due to its ultralight nature, making it just a bit easier to accidentally tip over. The same holds true for the GripTight ONE Micro Stand.
The other tripods all seemed fairly shaky to use, giving us some cause for concern if we were using them on anything but the most stable surfaces and were sure they weren't going to be 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 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 Joby GripTight Pro TelePod, the Manfrotto PIXI Mini, the Joby Flexible GorillaPod 3K Kit, and the GripTight One Micro Stand all particularly impressing us. These tripods all seem like they are built to last to use, with a mix of metal and plastic construction. We didn't find any common issues in our research and like that these tripods mostly use metal components in high-stress areas, like the 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 did notice this pair of tripods have a higher reliance 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 use lower quality components. They all survived testing but we wouldn't be at all surprised if they wore out or broke after significantly less use than some of the other products.
Unfortunately, both the BZE Selfie Stick Tripod and the Erligpowht Selfie Ring Light gave us some cause for concern and didn't strike us as particularly durable. The plastic seems much more prone to breakage and we are quite convinced that dropping or knocking either of these products over might bring about their doom. Additionally, we found plenty of complaints online saying that the Erligpowht stopped working after a month or two of use and the BZE was plagued with remote connectivity and charging issues.
Hopefully, this has been a helpful breakdown of all the top tripods currently on the market, regardless if you are looking for a flexible travel model, one with an integrated light, or a DSLR-compatible full extension model. Our experts are here to help you find the perfect product to fit both your needs and your budget.
— Laura Casner and David Wise