While it doesn’t have the highest megapixel count of the smartphone world, the iPhone’s camera produces some impressively sharp and detailed images. When you add the wealth of photography (and videography)
apps available through the App Store you have the makings of a powerful and convenient way of creating content.
A problem arises when you’d like to be part of the image. The front-facing camera is only designed for video chat; the resolution is intentionally low to conserve bandwidth at the cost of image quality. Holding the phone at arm’s length is a poor solution. Fortunately our friends at Arkon have a solution: the Mobile Grip Smartphone Tripod.
When I unboxed it the tripod seemed more like geek-focused origami than an actual accessory, but without even perusing the instructions I was able to deploy the tripod and affix the universal phone mount (although I don’t endorse doing so- instructions are good, mmkay?) The tripod is constructed of plastic, but felt sturdy for the task at hand. The universal mounting clamp held my iPhone 4 snugly (with or without a case) and the rubberized feet on the tripod had good purchase, although without the phone the tripod is light.
As with any other configurable tripod each joint in the mount’s arm can be affixed at a variety of angles, allowing for a surprising range of angles for your phone. Once your photography is completed the tripod folds compactly and stows away in an included nylon bag. While Arkon designed the tripod for photography, I found it useful for desktop use as well: it made a great stand beside my iMac, and worked particularly well as a stand for FaceTime calls. I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing several Arkon products in the past and have always been comfortable endorsing their rapidly expanding product line. The Mobile Grip Smartphone Tripod is no exception, it’s been the most widely useful mount I’ve reviewed. The accessory is available now from Arkon’s website for a very reasonable $17.95.