Today I will be looking at a gadget that lets you attach a smartphone to tripod or any accessory that has a mounting screw. If you or a person you know uses a smartphone as a full time camera keep reading! This gadget may be perfect for you.
The purpose of this gadget is to securely hold a smartphone to be mounted on a tripod or other accessory. The mounts are usually made out of plastic but sometimes metal. Each type of material has its pros and cons. Plastic mounts are lightweight and budget friendly while metal mounts are more durable and sturdier but cost more.
Most smartphone mounts that I have seen use spring retracted arms to hold a smartphone in. A few require the user to manually tighten the arms or use a tool to tighten the grip. I prefer the mounts with the spring retracted arms as this eliminates the need to use tools.
Some uses for this smartphone mount and tripod include
Using this mount with other accessories like a flexible tripod can be great for vlogs as well.
To get started, you only need three things. Assuming you already own a smartphone, you would only need the mount and tripod for a basic setup. You could swap out the tripod for an accessory that has a mounting screw, like a flexible tripod.
If you don’t have a tripod, you can buy one that doesn’t break the bank. Don’t worry about purchasing an expensive tripod if you’re not planning to shoot a feature film using a smartphone.
The WEIFENG WT 3110A is a great starter tripod. It is perfect for people that take lots of group pictures and don’t want a photo that looks like a selfie or groupie (excuse me for using those terms). However this tripod is very cheap and not reliable. If you’re looking for the same compact, lightweight, and portable tripod with much better build quality the Manfrotto MKC3-H01M is a better choice.
The following are pictures of the smartphone mount that I have. It’s a bit dated and I think you cannot find it online nowadays.
The online prices of these mounts range from a 1-20 dollars. If you choose to spend 1 dollar on a mount you can expect the item to arrive in a month if the seller is based in China. Spend a little more buying from a US based seller to get the exact same item, only difference is you’ll receive the item within a week. Spend the most and you can expect fast shipping on a bundle kit which includes a small tripod, smartphone mount, and wireless Bluetooth shutter remote.
There are two things you want to look for when buying a smartphone mount. First, make sure that it fits your device. This may sound obvious but people have complained that a specific mount didn’t fit and was too big/small. Check the description of the product you’re looking to buy. Most sellers put a list of compatible devices and some even list detailed specifications.
The second thing to look for is the screw thread size of the mount. There are only two main sizes and those are 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch. Look for 1/4 inch as that is the standard. DSLRs like the Canon T3i, Nikon D3200, and other popular cameras all have the 1/4 inch mounting hole. The 3/8 inch is used for professional cameras and it is very unlikely that a mount would have such a screw.
Where to Buy
Although this gadget seems really useful, I haven’t been able to spot any at brick-and-mortar stores. I probably haven’t looked hard enough, as I only buy phone accessories online. More often than not accessories sold in stores are overpriced. That being said, here are some links to smartphone tripod mounts on eBay. If you feel like browsing instead, here is a link to a search. Smartphone Tripod Mount eBay Search
Showcased here are mounts with different features.
Although this gadget is cheap and useful, I would only suggest buying this mount if you do a lot of the following: taking group pictures, recording still video, or doing timelapse video. The benefits of mounting a smartphone to take a couple of photos is negligible especially if you have to lug around a tripod.
If you want to play around with this gadget I suggest purchasing one. It is a cheap but worthwhile investment. You’ll never know when you need one.