When Joby released the original Gorillapod back in 2006 it caught on at a speed which surprised even them. The miniature tripod was lightweight, portable and folded down small, but the best thing about it was the legs were flexible, so you could attach it to almost anything.
Gone were the days of trying to balance your GoPro on a rock or the edge of a bowl to try and get the shot you want. And if you wanted a group photo after a session? Just wrap the Gorillapod legs round a railing and you’d have a perfectly stable tripod at waist height. It was the perfect addition to any action sport's photographer's camera bag.
"Gone were the days of trying to balance your GoPro on a rock or the edge of a bowl"
Since it launched over a decade ago, the Joby Gorillapod has gone on to sell millions worldwide. But the brand haven’t been resting on their laurels. They’ve continued to innovate, and with more and more people now relying on their phone as their primary camera - both for stills and for filming - they now have a range designed specifically for smartphones.
They recently sent Mpora over a few of these products to try out - here’s their verdict.
Joby Grip Tight Pro Video GP Stand Review
The Joby Grip Tight Video GP Stand stand is a variation on the brand’s classic Gorillapod design, with a smooth-turning tripod head for filming and a mobile phone grip on top. The adjustable, rubber-coated jaws of the grip expand wide enough so that they’ll hold a smartphone of any size without damaging or marking it.
The whole thing swivels so you can film portrait or landscape. You can even add some crazy Dutch tilt to your shots should you wish, locking the phone at an angle with an easy to adjust knob. A second knob can be used to lock the vertical angle of the head, or you can leave it loose allowing you to move the shot up and down with the aluminium panning arm that extends out the back.
Including the adjustable legs, the whole thing packs down to 30cm x 5cm x 8cm, so it won’t take up much room in a camera bag, and it weighs a mere 282 grams.
The best feature of the whole thing however is the mount that attaches the head to the tripod legs. It’s weighted well and turns with just the right amount of resistance, enabling you to pan left and right smoothly using the panning arm. The footage we got using this with an iPhone 7 was genuinely impressive. If you’re fed up with the shake that inevitably comes when you film handheld on the phone, this is the perfect solution.
"If you’re fed up with the shake that inevitably comes when you film handheld on the phone, this is the perfect solution."
You can take the head off the Grip Tight Pro and use it as a standard Gorillapod, mounting a GoPro or something similar, but you’ll lose the panning arm - that’s attached to the smartphone grip. So although the maximum load capacity here is 1 kilogram, if you’re looking for something that will support something much heavier than a phone, we’d recommend buying one of Joby’s beefier models.
But if you use your phone to film a lot and you’re after something that will make videos, Facebook live casts or Periscope streams smoother, less shaky and more professional-looking, then this is a great inexpensive addition to your camera bag.
Joby Grip Tight One GP Magnetic Impulse Review
The Joby Grip Tight One takes the Grip Tight Pro Gorillapod and shrinks it smaller still. This is 3.4cm x 5.2cm x 16.5cm when packed down, and weighs just 96 grams - less than your average apple. It’s designed to fit into your pocket, making it a great bit of kit for casual travellers.
The capacity of this mini-pod is correspondingly smaller, just 352 grams, but that’s enough to support the weight of a GoPro, a small point and click camera, or a phone. The Grip Tight One will fit all three, with a regular tripod mount and detachable jaws that hold a smartphone.
Designed more for stills than filming, this doesn’t have the same smooth-moving head as the Grip Tight Pro, or the panning arm. The jaws are less heavy duty than those of the Grip Tight Pro too, and don’t lock your phone in with the same precision. However does have a couple of cool extra features. The feet of the Gorillapod are magnetic, so you can stick it to any metal surface, massively increasing your mounting options.
The magnets are pretty strong (although depending on how much you value your phone, we probably wouldn’t recommend hooning it down the motorway with one of these on top of your car) but you can definitely get some cool angles with this. You could fix it to your fridge to get those all important “pre-riding coffee" shots for your edit for example.
The second really rad feature is the Impulse bluetooth remote, which controls your phone’s camera from up to 90 feet away. The potential of this is pretty huge, especially for action sports fans. Stick the tripod underneath a jump or on the edge of a skate bowl and you can bag action shots of yourself. Similarly, when you’re shooting group photos it’s no longer a question of which mate has the longest arms.
If you’re looking to make your Instagrams that little bit more interesting, this phone friendly mini-tripod will help you stand out from the crowd.
Joby Grip Tight One Micro Stand Review
Unlike the other two, there’s no Gorillapod beneath the Grip Tight Microstand. While this limits the mounting options, the small size of the mount will appeal to a lot of travellers - this is about the size of a bottle opener and will fit easily in any pocket.
The angle of the stand is adjustable, and the three splayed legs make it stable. It’ll keep your phone steady if you’re filming something, but it’s equally useful as a stand to hold your phone while you’re watching stuff. Joby’s website shows it being used on the fold down table of a plane seat, where we could imagine it would come massively in handy.
The jaws that hold your phone are the same as those on the Grip Tight One, and they have the same standard tripod screw mount, so you can take them off and mount them on a proper Gorillapod or tripod if you like. You could also mount a GoPro or a point and click camera on the legs.
While it’s not a professional-level tripod by any means, the Grip Tight Micro Stand is a nifty little gadget that could help you improve the shots you get on your phone.