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Lifewire / Yoona Wagener
360-degree rotating ball head
Fits most smartphones
Bluetooth remote allows hands-free shooting
Smartphone clamp design pinches
Mechanism for ball head difficult to use
The CamKix Bluetooth Camera Shutter Remote Control and Tripod is an extremely affordable option for both casual and professional photographers or vloggers who want a simple and portable product to enhance the shooting experience.
Small tripods aren’t difficult to find, but if you’re looking for more than just compact size, the CamKix Bluetooth Camera Shutter Remote Control and Tripod delivers. You can use this tripod with extendable legs from various shooting angles and even as a handheld grip. Even advertised as a vlogging kit by the manufacturer, this tripod offers plenty of versatility for pros and casual photographers, Instagrammers, GoPro enthusiasts, and vloggers alike.
We tested this tiny, but multifaceted tripod to see how easy it was to use the advertised shooting grips and angles, the responsiveness of the remote, and the overall sturdiness of the device.
The CamKix tripod is simply but efficiently designed with heavy-duty plastics and a solid metal ball-head. While the tripod is quite small at 3.4 x 0.4 x 3 inches (HWD), its compact stature offers stability and holding power. The short and stout legs with rubberized grips on the bottom give the tripod traction and substance. The legs are easy to extend and to fold up, and when folded, the tripod can be used as a handgrip or selfie stick for even more shooting variation.
The only areas where the design falls a bit short are with the smartphone mount and ball head rotation mechanism. The smartphone mount features a spring-loaded design which allows you to simply pull it wide enough to place your smartphone inside. CamKix boats mostly universal compatibility with smartphones with a maximum stretch of almost 4 inches. We were able to comfortably fit an iPhone 6S, but had more difficulty with an iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone X—both of which are just slightly under and over 3 inches wide. We did have to watch our fingers to avoid pinching from the clamp.
The short and stout legs with rubberized grips on the bottom give the tripod traction and substance.
The other downside we found is with the lever that allows you to control and stabilize the angle of the ball head. It also works with a spring-action feature, but it’s actually rather hard to move the lever and adjust the ball head at the same time. It’s not impossible, but it requires a bit of grip strength and timing.
There are really only two steps involved in setting up the CamKix tripod. The first is placing the smartphone mount on the tripod with a simple twisting motion. The second is readying the Bluetooth camera shutter remote. We followed the straightforward user manual instructions that guided us to turn on the Bluetooth remote and then searching for the shutter through our iPhone’s Bluetooth settings. Our phone found the device immediately and paired instantly with it once we hit connect. From there, we were set to freely use the remote.
The Bluetooth remote paired instantly and we never noticed any issues with the connection dropping.
The Bluetooth remote paired instantly to our phone and we never noticed any issues with the connection dropping. The only instance of slow response time we encountered was when we used the flash on the camera. There was just a slight delay from the remote shutter prompts.
Otherwise, we were able to take as many pictures as we wanted in succession. We also gave the monopod grip and selfie-stick angles a try, which were both easy positions to obtain with just a simple movement of the legs. If you want a wider angle shot from a selfie angle, we could see how this tripod might fall short, but there is an extender you could purchase for that purpose. But this seems like more of an accent to the main job of this device, which is stabilizing your phone for video or photography.
Even with the heavier iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone X phones, we never experienced any instability or tilting of the stand. We could easily rotate the ball head without adjusting the clamp. And while moving the lever to adjust the ball head allowed for more flexibility with the ball head angle, placing the lever in the locked position did not completely lock the ball head altogether. It just secures it so there’s less movement. This isn’t a dealbreaker, but we’d say we noticed the ball head lever and performance to be the most noticeable shortcomings of an otherwise very easy and comfortable-to-use device.
The CamKix tripod and Bluetooth shutter remote retails for just $15. The CamKix Bluetooth Camera Shutter Remote Control retails for $8 on its own, which makes this combo a steal considering the multiple ways you can use the tripod and its firm build. It’s possible you could find a sturdier, taller, and easier-to-maneuver ball head than this tripod offers, but that will come with a bigger price point.
The CamKix Bluetooth Camera Shutter Remote Control and Tripod is an inexpensive, multifunctional solution for capturing content with your smartphone.
At first glance, the Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod Kit (MSRP $37, view on Amazon) is very similar to the CamKix Bluetooth Camera Shutter Remote Control and Tripod. But the difference is in details like the materials, which include stainless steel and Adapto, which is a unique polymer that’s similar to aluminum but is half as heavy. The PIXI tripod also extends to nearly 10 inches, versus the 5.5-inch extension of the CamKix. The PIXI tripod also comes with a universal smartphone clamp that accomodate most phones as well as compact system cameras and smaller DSLRs. Of course, the Manfrotto tripod is double in price than the CamKix and doesn’t come with a Bluetooth remote, but you do get a 2-year warranty plus a 3-year extension for well under $50.
Find the right fit for your needs by browsing our roundup of other smartphone tripods and the best vlogging cameras.
Big value in a small package.
The CamKix Bluetooth Camera Shutter Remote Control and Tripod is an inexpensive, multifunctional solution for capturing content with your smartphone. While it’s not the top-of-the-line option and does come with a couple of design foibles, it’s notably reliable, easy to use, and easy on the budget.