Mobile / Buying Guide

Recommended Support and Grip Devices for Smartphones and Tablets

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Even though smartphones and tablets were designed to be used as handheld devices, first and foremost, unless you’re taking pictures under bright sunny skies, you should mount your phone or tablet on some sort of support device for truly sharp images. Support devices for smartphones and tablets come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and in this roundup, we consider some of the options.

Mini tripods designed for use with mobile devices are available with flexible or solid legs. Small and light enough to stow away in your coat pocket or the side pocket of your camera bag, tabletop tripods are available from Joby and Magnus. Typical of the genre is the Joby GripTight ONE GP Stand, which holds smartphones up to 3.6" wide firmly in place on a GorillaPod stand. Smaller still, but sturdy nonetheless, is the Joby GripTight ONE Micro Stand, which can support smartphones measuring up to 3.6" wide, like its taller GorillaPod sibling.

Joby GripTight ONE Micro Stand for Smartphones

Need a mini tripod with a secure mount bracket for your tablet? The iStabilizer tabFlex Spring-Loaded Mount for Tablets just might be your ticket. Mountable in portrait and landscape positions, the iStabilizer tabFlex features protective rubber coatings, ¼"-20 threads, foam padding, and includes a flexi-leg mini tripod.

iStabilizer tabFlex Spring-Loaded Mount for Tablets

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The original Platypod Pro was a slam dunk. In its place is an update with a larger footprint—the Platypod Max Camera Support. Measuring 5.3 x 7.8", the Platypod Max is designed for low-profile positioning of cameras and rigs weighing upwards of 300 lb. Features include a 3/8"-16 Titanium bolt, five ¼"-20 threaded holes, dual 2" belt slots, ¼"-20 and 3/8"-16 accessory holes, and twin nail holes.

Platypod Max Camera Support

Platypod also offers a soup-to-nuts package – the Platypod Max Camera Support with BE-117 Ball Head Kit. In addition to a Platypod Max, you get an Oben BE-117 Ball head (17.6-lb capacity) with an Arca-type compatible quick release and a 17.6-lb weight capacity.

Platypod Max Camera Support with BE-117 Ball Head Kit

Tripod Adapters

If you already have a tripod or table pod, and all you need is an adapter to secure your smartphone or tablet onto your tripod, we have you covered. The Arca Swiss-compatible MeFoto SideKick360 and SideKick360 Plus hold smartphones 2.3 to 2.8" wide and 2.99 to 3.58", respectively, in horizontal and portrait modes, right out of the box. The L-shaped SideKick360 and SideKick360-plus also feature three ¼"-20 threads and a 3/8"-16 thread, 360-degree rotation, and are available in a choice of black, orange, red, blue, titanium, and green.

MeFOTO SideKick360 Plus Smartphone Tripod Adapter

anycase 6.0 Tripod Adapters for iPhones 6 Plus/6s Plus and 6/6s are made of CNC-machined, laser-etched 6061 anodized aluminum. Rugged in every way, both anycase versions fit all standard ¼"-20 tripod screws, have non-slip protective pads, and can be used with devices up to 0.75" thick.

anycase 6.0 Tripod Adapter for iPhone 6/6s

The ever popular Xuma Smartphone Mount is compatible with devices measuring 2.4 to 3.25" wide. It features three ¼"-20 threaded tripod sockets, a rubber-coated finish, and a spring-loaded bracket, allowing your mobile device to be mounted securely on any standard tripod ¼"-20 screw.

Xuma Smartphone Mount

The Cinetics Smartmount Tripod Attachment is a simple cylindrical device machined from black anodized aluminum, with a ¼"-20 thread and soft grip pads to hold your smartphone in place.

Cinetics Smartmount Tripod Attachment

Dot Line offers three beefy Smartphone Tripod Mounts for securing smartphones and tablets up to 4" wide. Depending on the model, these supports feature anti-scratch pads, all-metal construction, and quick-release mounts.

Dot Line Smartphone Tripod Mount

If your needs include a solid support device for your 7" tablet (with or without a case), check out the Square Jellyfish Metal Mini Tripod Mount, which mounts in either portrait or landscape mode on any tripod with a universal screw mount.

Square Jellyfish Metal Mini Tripod Mount

Gimbal Stabilizers, Handgrips, and Handles

What looks like a cute robotic tripod holding a smartphone is, in fact, the Joby MPod Mini Stand for Smartphones. Suited for use with most smartphones, the Joby MPod Mini Stand sports flexible interconnected legs and a rubberized “claw” for securely cradling your phone.

Joby MPod Mini Stand for Smartphones

Smooth, jiggle-free pans and camera movements are key to good video production, which is why we have gimbal stabilizers. Available with either dual or three-axis stability controls, gimbal stabilizers are designed to smooth camera movements for natural, jerk- and wiggle-free camera movements and panoramic video sweeps.

Designed for iPhone models 7 and up, select Samsung S8 and S8+ models, and GoPro models 3, 4, and 5, the Feiyu SPG Plus 3-Axis Gimbal Rig for Select Smartphones & GoPro3/4/5 is a dual-handle, 3-axis motorized gimbal, featuring automatic vertical mode switching, remote shutter control from the handle, a side arm for counterbalancing, up to one-second exposures for low-light situations, and up to eight hours of use per charge.

Feiyu SPG Plus 3-Axis Gimbal Rig for Select Smartphones & GoPro3/4/5

If you’re looking for an electronic stabilizer that can be used for smartphones and GoPro action cams, the Steadicam Volt is worth investigating. Simple to set up, the Volt features sport and movie modes, 3-axis stabilization, a rechargeable battery, and a storage pouch.

Steadicam Volt

Alternatively, you can check out Vello’s ActionPan Stabilizing Action Grip/Handle with Smartphone Mount Kit, which features a multi-position mounting platform and removable mic and light-shoe mounts. Vello’s ActionPan Stabilizing Action Grip/Handle is designed for use with devices measuring up to 3.25" wide.

Vello ActionPan Stabilizing Action Grip/Handle with Smartphone Mount Kit

There are many reasons you might want to mount your smartphone on your bicycle’s handlebars. If your smartphone is between 2.2 and 3.6" wide, you should look into purchasing a Joby GripTight PRO Bicycle Mount for Smartphones. Compatible with or without a phone case, the Joby GripTight PRO features a standard ¼"-20 threaded screw and can be positioned in portrait or landscape orientation, depending on your needs.

Joby GripTight PRO Bicycle Mount for Smartphones

Do you have a favorite support system for your mobile device? We’d love to hear about it. Use the Comments section, below.

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