While IK Multimedia is best known for its line of affordable studio and recording accessories for iOS devices, the company has ventured into a series of cases and stands, although these have also traditionally been aimed at studio environments — usually providing mounting options for iPhones and iPads on mics and music stands. With iKlip Grip ($60), the company takes a slight departure from that more focused use, producing a more general tripod and selfie stick mount for iPhone and iPod touch users.
iKlip Grip uses a modular design comprised of three main components — a desktop tripod that also doubles as a handle, a telescoping detachable tube, and an expandable, tripod-mountable bracket to hold your iPhone, iPod, or other similarly-sized smartphone. The tripod and bracket are constructed from IK Multimedia’s usual light-but-durable thermoplastic material while the telescoping tube is made from aluminum.
In the box you’ll also find a wrist strap and Bluetooth shutter control that is compatible with both iOS and Android — one button for each platform due to the way that different Bluetooth commands work with each. The shutter control is a handy addition that works up to 30 feet away from the device, allowing you to place your iPhone on the tripod and easily take group photos without having to rely on the iPhone’s built-in shutter timer. It uses a standard CR2032 lithium battery, which is included, and an on-off switch on the side allows you to keep it powered off when not in use to save battery life. The remote works as expected—simply switch it on, fire up the iOS Camera app, and press the “A” button to take a photo. Holding down the button will also take burst photos on iPhone that support that feature (iPhone 5s or later), or start and stop video recordings if you’re set the iPhone to that mode. Like other Bluetooth remote shutter controls we’ve seen, all this actually does is mimic the “volume up” button on the iPhone, so when the Camera app isn’t running, it will in fact simply turn up your iPhone volume, which might be a useful side-feature for some users.
iKlip Grip can be assembled either with or without the telescoping tube, although switching between the two configurations will require some disassembly and reassembly. In our case we found that keeping the tube in the configuration was the most versatile, although since it doesn’t fully collapse it adds an additional 8” of height to the iPhone over using the tripod alone. With the tube in place, the tripod can extend up to about 20” in total, either from a standing base or for handheld use — as noted earlier the tripod doubles as a handle when folded in, with a shape and rubberized sides that make it well-suited for this purpose.
The ball joint and mounting bracket are the most notable features of iKlip Grip that distinguish it from other tripods we’ve seen. The bracket itself is spring-loaded and ranges from 2.13” to 3.58”, making it capable of handling anything from an original iPhone to an iPhone 6 Plus, and in fact is wide enough even to handle all but the bulkiest cases, even on a 6 Plus. The bracket is rubberized on the inside and has enough spring tension to hold the iPhone very securely, yet it’s still easy enough to remove, and of course the iPhone can be placed in the bracket facing in either direction, allowing for optimum positioning of either the front or rear cameras. The bracket also uses a standard threaded mount, allowing it to be used with just about any other tripod of your choice.
The design of the ball joint allows the iPhone to be oriented in either a portrait or landscape orientation, or any angle in between, and the tripod is balanced sufficiently that even an iPhone 6 Plus hanging off the side in portrait mode won’t cause it to tip over, even when fully extended — a nice touch that we were pleasantly surprised to discover.
iKlip Grip is definitely a well-engineered and thoughtfully designed product with some nice touches, but it also carries a premium price, and we’re forced to question if the package as a whole is quite worth the $60 asking price. You’re definitely getting some solid construction and versatility, and in an era when many people are forgoing traditional cameras in favor of iPhones, it has a solid niche market. But it also comes down to how much you find yourself needing to use a tripod or selfie stick with your iPhone. The price tag is definitely a bit high for the merely casual user who only has an occasional need, particularly when more basic solutions can be found for a third of the price, though if you’re serious about iPhone photography and find yourself wanting a versatile accessory, it’s definitely worth considering, earning it our limited recommendation.
Company and Price
Company: IK Multimedia
Model: iKlip Grip
Compatibility: All iPhones + iPod touches