Mobile accessory review: JOBY GorillaMobile for iPhone 4/4S
JOBY GorillaMobile - compatible with iPhone 4/4S, $39.95
JOBY’s GorillaMobile mini tripod uses the same ball-and-socket design that has made the company’s larger GorillaPods so useful and popular. The legs are composed of a series of ball-and-socket links, with rubber rings around them to add grip strength. The ball at the foot end of each leg also has a rubber pad to aid stability. On top of the legs there are two ball-and-socket links that give the pod the functionality of a ballhead.
When you mount your iPhone in the small mount on the top link, you can swivel it 360 degrees and tilt it forward or back about 75 degrees. Bending the legs allows you to fine-tune the angle of the phone even further. Gorilla seems to have found just the right balance between flexibility and friction to make the pod maximally adjustable but still able to hold an iPhone in position without drifting.
To mount your iPhone on the tripod, you’ll need to put it in the included “case,” which is just a lightweight plastic rim that fits around the edge of the phone. It leaves all of the iPhone’s controls and ports exposed, but adds rails to the sides that you can slide into the track-style mount on top of the GorillaMobile. Its main disadvantage is that it prevents you from using accessory lenses that only fit on the iPhone without a case, such as an Olloclip. Otherwise, it’s an unobtrusive addition that you can just leave on the phone.
You can mount your iPhone in vertical or horizontal orientation, and the mount’s grip is strong enough that you don’t have to worry about it slipping out in any position. JOBY also includes a standard ¼-20 tripod mount adapter that slides securely into the built-in mount, so that you can use the GorillaMobile with an iPhone in a case that has a tripod socket.
The GorillaMobile’s flexible legs can be wrapped around any available support of a suitable size, such as a pole, the back of a chair, or your bicycle handlebars. The strength of the links and the rubber detailing give it a strong enough grip to reliably hold your iPhone in position. It also works nicely as a tabletop tripod, even for macro photography. By splaying two legs forward on either side of the phone and pushing the third leg straight back, you can even position a phone horizontally for tabletop macro photography with a lightweight macro lens like the Easy-Macro.
Of all the full three-leg camera phone tripods I’ve used to date, this one provides the best combination of versatility, stability and ease of use. It’s a little pricier than other mini-tripods, but I think it’s worth the extra cash.
What we like: The GorillaMobile is very well made and versatile, allowing you to position its flexible legs to get just the right angle with your phone or wrap them around another support.
What we don't like: The GorillaMobile is one of the more expensive phone tripods, and the phone case that allows you to mount your iPhone on it prevents many accessory lenses from being used.
Aimee Baldridge is a writer and photographer based in New York. For more than a decade she has specialized in covering imaging technology, digital media, and the world of photography. You can see more of her work at www.aimeebaldridge.com.
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