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Tripods for smartphones: everything you need to know

Currently, almost every flagship has a camera with several lenses that allow you to take creative and impressive shots. But even if you don’t have the latest smartphone, you can improve the photo with a special tripod.

In this article, we will explain what they represent, how to use them, and which ones are best suited depending on your desires and needs.


What is a tripod for a smartphone?

A tripod is a stand with three folding legs, designed to accommodate photographic equipment. The device is mounted around the central rack for maximum stability and is equipped with a mount for a smartphone or camera on top, as well as several hinges that allow you to rotate and tilt the phone.

The biggest difference between a tripod for a smartphone and a DSLR camera is that the latter are usually larger and stronger, since the weight of the camera and additional lenses is much higher than that of a smartphone. Nevertheless, the main functions that they perform remain the same: stabilization of the device and the ability to take good pictures from different angles.

There are different types of tripods:

  • The most common and versatile is a traditional tripod with a mount for a smartphone. It has folding legs and can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, carbon fiber or aluminum. This tripod is the most versatile, but often the most expensive and heaviest of all.
  • The second type is a tripod for smartphones with flexible / folding legs. It is smaller, lighter and easier to carry. We will tell you for which pictures it is best suited in the next section of the article.
  • Finally, we have table tripods. These are the smallest tripods for smartphones - they often do not even have legs, because they must be located on a flat surface. However, desktop tripods can be great for video blogs and some types of snapshots, which we'll talk about later.

Why use a tripod?

If you're just keen on taking photos from your smartphone as a hobby, you might wonder how a tripod can help. You may have a fairly steady hand, however, the truth is that a tripod can raise all this to a substantially new, high level. It allows you to take many beautiful pictures and videos that you can never take from your hands. Let's deal with the main reasons.

Slow shutter speed

We all saw these stunning photographs in which the lights of passing cars turn into streams of light. This effect is achieved using a long shutter speed. You can take such pictures in the manual or professional mode of the smartphone, but for really good results you need a tripod for the smartphone. Why? Most photos are taken with shutter speeds from 1/600 second to 1/4000 second, although in low light the rate may drop to 1/200.

On the other hand, for shooting with a slow shutter speed, the shutter must be open for at least a couple of seconds while the phone is fully stable. This is usually not possible if you hold the smartphone in your hand. Even the most stable hands will move slightly, which, in turn, can lead to a blurry picture. With a tripod and a little experience, you can surprise your friends with beautiful long-exposure photographs.

photo at night or in low light

As with slow shutter speeds, one of the best ways to take great shots in low light or at night is to use short shutter speeds. Even if you do not use the manual mode for night shots, but choose the night mode, which can be found in the camera application on most devices, it is by no means ideal. That's why a tripod for a smartphone is the best solution if you want to take breathtaking night photos. This will help reduce noise and blur.

Even the Google Pixel 3 or 3 XL with its stunning Night Sight mode, which uses powerful firmware and mixed exposure, can benefit from using a tripod. Moving objects is one of the few things (if not the only one) that Night Sight has problems with, but with a tripod for your phone, you can turn your night photos on your Pixel into great ones.

Scale photos or videos

If there is one element that has significantly improved in the field of mobile shooting over the past couple of years, then this is zooming (zoom). We now have amazing technology, such as the 10x hybrid zoom on OPPO and the awesome 50x digital zoom on Huawei P30 Pro.

Nevertheless, from the videos demonstrating the impressive capabilities of this technology, you can clearly see that at large distances, even due to the slightest movement, the picture becomes blurry. To avoid this, if you want to photograph, for example, every gargoyle in a Gothic cathedral, you will need a tripod for a smartphone with a rotating ball head.

better crop and panoramas

Panoramic shots also benefit if they are taken on a smartphone mounted on a tripod. Photos will be much more resilient with fewer cropped areas. However, a tripod can also make you think more creatively. Using the tripod, you can take pictures from a variety of angles that would be impossible or inappropriate when you hold the smartphone in your hand.

Some tripods allow you to take photos at ground level, for example, without having to crawl. Setting up a tripod also gives you time to think about your picture and what you want to do. It will provide an opportunity to capture the exact mood and atmosphere that you want to see in the photo.


Probably one of the best options for using tripods is shooting any video. There is nothing worse than shaky frames that prevent you from focusing on something that is shown and said in the video. If you choose a lighter phone tripod, you can use it not only for shooting videos in timelapse mode, but also for video blogs on the go, as well as much more.

How to choose a tripod?

As mentioned earlier, there are various types of tripods that suit different needs. We will look at the three most common and explain why they are best suited, and recommend some of the best models of each type.

Table tripods

This type of tripod is the smallest of all, and, as the name suggests, is best suited for use on a flat surface. Some models are designed for smartphones, while others require a separate mount. They are usually lightweight and easy to transport, but using this device is best at home.

Are you striving to become a good influencer or streamer? Want to take great selfie without a hand in the frame? Then tabletop tripods are the best solution. They can also be used for timelapse. If your balcony offers a beautiful view, just put your smartphone in a tripod and take a photo - whether it be autumn red-yellow leaves, or winter snow slowly covering the landscape. Desktop tripods are also great for video blogging, so if you are planning on starting your career on YouTube, this device is a must have.

But which desktop tripod is worth buying? We recommend that you check out the Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod. It weighs about 220 grams, and the maximum height reaches 16.5 cm. The tripod also has a universal clip for a smartphone. It is durable, portable and folded up can be used as a monopod for a selfie . Its main advantage? Price - it costs about 1600 rubles.

Flexible Octopus Tripod

These tripods, often called octopuses, have earned their nickname due to their flexible legs. They can be folded or adjusted in several ways and used to capture objects. This tripod is a cross between desktop and more traditional tripods. It is lightweight and portable, but usually the maximum height is less than that of traditional representatives.

However, they are much more versatile than desktop ones. You can use the device at home to conduct a video blog or take a selfie, but you can also take it with you on a trip . It is also possible to attach a tripod to tree branches, fences, poles and other objects to get the perfect group photo and much more.

The tripod with flexible legs we recommend is the JOBY GorillaPod 1K. It can be used with both cameras and smartphones, with the stand and ball head included (although you can purchase the stand separately). The tripod is incredibly durable, but also portable, as it weighs only 0.43 kg. On the other hand, its carrying capacity is almost a kilogram. This means you can use the tripod with various devices, including tablets, if the need arises. JOBY GorillaPod 1K usually costs about 2000 rubles, but can be found cheaper. However, the tripod has one drawback - a tripod for a smartphone is not included. You will have to buy it separately, but there are many budget versions, such as the universal Manfrotto , which costs about 300 rubles.

We also recommend that you check out Jellyfish's Metal Smartphone Spring Tripod Moun. The tripod is very durable and flexible, and thanks to the adjustment on the back, you can position your phone at different angles.


Traditional tripod

When it comes to photography, you won't go wrong if you choose a traditional tripod. It provides maximum stability and height, and can also be used for shooting or photographing in almost any situation. Tripod is best for timelapse mode, landscapes and group portraits. However, this type, as a rule, costs more than the two previous ones, and often does not have a mount or clip for a smartphone.

Traditional tripods can also be heavier if not made from lightweight materials such as carbon fiber, which will further increase the price. Nevertheless, if photography on a smartphone or other device is your serious hobby, a traditional tripod is exactly what you need.

That's why we recommend Ravelli aluminum tripods. The brand offers five models, each of which has a different maximum height. The highest is an 182-centimeter video tripod, but for beginners we recommend the 154-centimeter Ravelli APLT4. It costs about 1600 rubles and is easy to transport. The device can be reduced to 48 centimeters, it weighs about 1 kilogram, and a carrying bag is included. But the best part is that the Ravelli APLT4 comes with a universal smartphone mount. This is one of the best entry-level tripods you can buy.


Note: we must mention that there are many universal tripods that can be used as a selfie stick and tripod, but we cannot guarantee their quality and durability. The same applies to some universal Bluetooth remote controls, which may have problems connecting to your smartphone. That is why we have now removed them from our list.

These were our tips on why you should use a tripod for your smartphone and which one is best for you. We didn’t include any great products on the list? Let us know in the comments and share your tripod photography experience!