Buying Guide: Smartphone Stabilizing Devices

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Your smartphone may have image stabilization, but if you want to capture sharp stills and jiggle-free video, you need to use a stable support. At B&H, we stock many accessories that guarantee sharper, steadier stills and video from your smartphone. Many of the accessories listed below can be used with iOS and Android devices. Additional supports and stabilizers for specific models of iOS and Android devices can be found on the B&H website.

Smartphone and Tablet Adapters

If you already own a tripod with ¼"-20 threads, all you really need is a smartphone or tablet adapter. Ranging in price from a couple of dollars to a couple of hundred dollars, smartphone adapters are available from more than 40 manufacturers.

If you want to mount your smartphone on a tripod with a ¼"-20 thread, all you need is a simple smartphone adapter, such as the Manfrotto TwistGrip Tripod Adapter Clamp for Smartphones (left) or the Really Right Stuff Mobile Phone L-Clamp with Dovetail Jaw and Pocket Stand (right).

Flexible Supports

In addition to having a rather quirky product name the [Fuse] Chicken Bobine Auto Flexible Dock is interesting for its use of a 24" flexible aluminum gooseneck as its main component. Designed for smartphones and tablets featuring Lightning connections, the [Fuse] Chicken Bobine Auto Flex Dock can be used as a free-standing coil, or you can plug the dock’s USB connector into your computer and charge it while you work.

[Fuse] Chicken Bobine Auto Flexible Dock

Gimbal Stabilizers

Even in the steadiest hands, shooting handheld video is seldom smooth from start to finish. Gimbal stabilizers enable you to track moving subjects and capture smooth pans when shooting video. They are available from DJI, EVO Gimbals, DOBOT, Feiyu, Steadicam, Glide Gear, and about a half dozen other companies.

The DJI Osmo Mobile Gimbal (left) and Steadicam Volt (right)

Most gimbals are single-handed affairs, though some models, such as the Feiyu SPG Plus 3-Axis Gimbal Rig for the GoPro 3/4/5 and select smartphones, are dual-handle designs. Gimbals have quick learning curves, they don’t require ridiculous levels of skill or dexterity to use properly, and they vastly improve the quality of video camera movements. Apart from dedicated gimbal stabilizers, most universal gimbals are compatible with many different smartphones.

The Feiyu SPG Plus 3-Axis Gimbal Rig

Mini Tripods

Minipods, also known as tablepods or mini tripods, are popular among still and video shooters due to their light weight and small form factors. Essentially tiny tripods, minipods can be positioned on rocks, shelves, steps, tree branches, the trunk, hood, or roof of your car, or any number of ledges, steps, and outcroppings.

Leica’s solid aluminum Table Tripod (left) and Ball Head (right) might be overkill for a smartphone, but keep in mind it’s sturdy enough to support just about every other camera and lens you own.

Depending on the brand, some minipods have solid legs, while others have legs made up of flexible cable or articulated, flexible, sectioned legs that you can wrap around a fence post, a tree branch, the handlebars of your bike, or any place else you can think of securing a smartphone.

One of the more visually interesting minipods is the Novoflex NF 3320 Minipod, which features three infinitely adjustable legs and an undeniably Swiss design sense. Add a generic smartphone holder and you’re good to go. Other notable minipods include Joby GorillaPods, of which there are about two dozen designed specifically for use with smartphones. Other compact tripods for smartphones are available from Leica, Sirui, Manfrotto, Kenu, Bower, Polar Pro, Vuse, and Hakuba.

Novoflex NF3320 Minipod and Joby GripTight ONE GorillaPod Stand

One of the smallest smartphone tripods is the Joby GripTight XL Smartphone Mount with GorrillaPod Micro 250 Tripod, which is small enough to fold up and slip into your shirt pocket.

The Joby GripTight XL Smartphone Mount with GorrillaPod Micro 250 Tripod is as tiny as they come, and the GripTight XL Smartphone Mount can be separated from the Micro 250 Tripod and used with any tripod with ¼"-20 threads.

If your mini tripod (or any tripod for that matter) isn’t designed to hold your mobile device, all you need is a FastCap Tech SuperMount for Smartphones, which can be adjusted to support devices measuring 1-3/4 to 3" wide. Features include rubber padding to prevent scratches and ¼"-20 threading on the base plate.

Handgrips, Handles, and Selfie Sticks

Some people love them, other people hate them—nevertheless, there are few smartphone accessories as popular as selfie sticks and that’s why we carry close to 50 models from more than 20 manufacturers.

The Revo Selfie Stick Mannequin Challenge Kit with Light for Smartphones (left) and IK Multimedia iKlip Grip Smartphone Stand with Remote Shutter (right)

We also stock some very sophisticated handles and handgrips that enable you to capture steadier, sharper stills and videos. Some of the more notable models include the IK Multimedia iKlip Grip Smartphone Stand with Remote Shutter, the Bower Xtreme Action Series Wireless Shutter Selfie pole, the saltwater-safe Quik Pod QP Explorer 3, and the Revo Selfie Stick Mannequin Challenge Kit with Light for Smartphones, which, as the name implies, includes a 46-lumen LED lamphead.

Clamps

Smartphone clamps, some with suction cups and others with “jaws,” are another option. As you probably guessed, we have a number of options here, too, including Shill Suction-cup clamps, the Bracketron TekGrip Vent Mount for Smartphones, and the Really Right Stuff Mobile Phone L-clamp with Dovetail Jaw and Pocket Stand. If you require a support that can secure your smartphone to a pole or pipe, the HERCULES Stands Smartphone Adapter and the IK Multimedia iKlip Xpand MINI Universal Smartphone Mic Stand Mount are worth closer inspections.

The IK Multimedia iKlip Xpand MINI Universal Smartphone Mic Stand Mount (left) and SHILL Simple Suction Cup Mount with Smartphone and GoPro Adapters (right)

Support Stands

Kanto manufactures a pair of phone and tablet stands that feature weighted-steel bases. The Kanto Living DS100 and DS200 Phone and Tablet Stand are designed to keep your smartphone or tablet firmly in place on your desk or work counter. Both models support devices measuring 4.4 to 7.5" and feature 360° rotation with four rotation points (five points on the DS200), a 6" aluminum support arm (15" arm on the DS200), ¼"-20 threads, and integrated cable management. Both units support devices weighing up to 2.2 lb and they’re available in white or black.

The Kanto Living DS200 Phone and Tablet Stand

Sliders

If you want to slide your camera or smartphone from left to right or vice-versa while adding a sense of movement to your video, you should consider purchasing a slider. Though intended for “real” cameras, you can attach an iPhone adapter to a standard slider and use it to capture silky video movements.

The edelkrone Wing 3 Slider for Smartphones folds up nice and neat, but opens for up to 16" of travel. Designed for smartphones and smaller cameras, the eclectically named edelkrone Wing 3 Slider can support payloads of up to 3 lb. Similar in size and design is the CAME-TV SL02 Folding Arm Slider, which is equally adept at linear and panning action.

The ProAm USA SimpleSLIDER 24" (left) and edelkrone Wing 3 Slider for Small Cameras and Smartphones (right)

Though there’s no reason why you can’t attach your phone to just about any slider, simpler, reasonably-sized sliders suitable for tracking subjects with smartphones include the ProAm USA SimpleSLIDER, which features a 24" track, and the 48" ProAM USA SimpleSLIDER Camera Slider & Video Dolly,

Multi-Mode Smartphone Supports

VariZoom produces a choice of multi-function smartphone support kits. The VariZoom StealthyGo Plus Multi-Use Support & Stabilizer with Smartphone Remote contains a choice of five support modes. It can be used as a handle, a minipod, a monopod or selfie pole, a clamp, or a stabilizer. Also included is an iOS and Android-compatible remote. Alternatively you can check out the VariZoom StealthyGo Ultimate Smartphone Photo and Video Shooting Kit, which also offers five modes of operation and a 2-lb weight capacity.

The VariZoom Stealthygo Plus Multi-Use Support & Stabilizer with Smartphone Clamp and Bluetooth Remote

Do you have any experience with smartphone supports? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts about the model you used.

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