JOBY is synonymous for its GorillaPod range of compact tripods that feature flexible legs. The accessory vendor also has a growing range of stands targeted at smartphones, two of which were recently released. Varying in design, the MPod Mini and GripTight Micro come with separate designs targeted at different users.
The MPod Mini is designed to hold smartphones when taking still photos, though it can also be used for other situations such as filming or watching videos. Smartphones are held in place by an adjustable head mount that clamps the device into a horizontal position.
The clamp is able to expand enough to support a smart phone measuring up to 11.5mm in width and 81mm in length. The stand itself is able to support devices weighing up to 325g, so a large phablet such as the Samsung Galaxy Note has no problem slotting into the clamp.
The flexible leg design from the GorillaPod range has been carried over to the MPod Mini, though the compact nature of the stand means there is only four movable joints on each of the three legs. If you have used the GorillaPod, you will know that these legs are useful in adjusting the camera’s balance on any surface or wrapping them around an object such as a pole.
Due to the MPod Mini’s similarity to the GorillaPod, its appeal lies in the fact that you can easily adjust the legs to take photos on uneven surfaces or by stringing your smartphone up from a branch or pole. Like the GorillaPod, it is intended as more of an entry level product and retails for $18.95.
The flexible legs from the MPod Mini are absent on the GripTight Micro, which instead comes with three non-adjustable legs. The legs and adjustable head mount fold into each other in a manner reminiscent of a Swiss army knife.
While the MPod Mini is mainly constructed from plastic, the MPod Mini comes with a steel inner frame and zinc alloy legs. The MPod Mini is aimed at everyday use, while the more robust design of the GripTight Micro means it is better suited for outdoor activities such hiking or camping.
More so than the MPod Mini, the GripTight Micro is exceptionally compact thanks to its thin design, which reduces the stand to a fourth of its size from when it is unfolded. This makes it easy to slip the GripTight Micro into a corner of a backpack or even attach it to your keys.
The stand supports smartphones weighing up to 250g and measuring between 54 to 72mm in size, so all the popular models on the market are supported by the GripTight Micro. The more premium material of the GripTight Micro means that it comes with a higher price tag than the MPod Mini at $29.95.
Which one is right for me?
If you are looking for a simple yet flexible stand, then the MPod Mini is hard to beat, particularly due to its entry level price tag and adjustable legs. If you have no need for the adjustable legs and prefer to have a stand that is more compact, then the GripTight Micro is likely the better choice.
Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.