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Lifewire / Daniel Wilson
Lightweight, compact design
Comfortable, non-slip grip for better handling
Easy to use
Mount is a bit wobbly
The Mpow iSnap X is a user-friendly, Bluetooth-controlled selfie stick that’s excellent value for the price. Even better, it's compact and lightweight, which makes it easy to take along on any adventure.
The Mpow iSnap X selfie stick uses Bluetooth to remotely control the shutters of smartphones and snap pictures from a distance. While the Mpow generally retails on the low-end of the price spectrum for selfie sticks, don’t let the low cost fool you—this compact selfie stick is one of the most popular selfie sticks on Amazon for a good reason. We spent over a week using this fan favorite to understand just what makes it such an attractive gadget. Read on to here’s what we’ve learned.
The Mpow iSnap X selfie stick arrived in a small, white box which contained the selfie stick itself, an instruction pamphlet, and a charging cable. When it’s collapsed down, the Mpow isn’t much bigger than the smartphones it's designed to secure. Measuring an impressive 7.1 inches out of the box, the selfie stick is extendable up to 31.9 inches. This small stature, combined with its weight of only 4.3 ounces, makes it perfect for carrying in a pocket, purse, or backpack.
Measuring an impressive 7.1 inches out of the box, the selfie stick is extendable up to 31.9 inches. This small stature, combined with its weight of only 4.3 ounces, makes it perfect for carrying in a pocket, purse, or backpack.
It does arrive charged, although charging it doesn’t take long, only one to two hours. Users should note that the Mpow includes a much-needed warning regarding charging—it is not compatible with quick-charging adapters, but only standard 5V/2.4A chargers that don’t boost the amperage.
Setup was smooth and painless. First, we long pressed the shutter button on the soft-touch, non-slip grip handle for three seconds until the LED began to blink which signaled it was ready to pair with our smartphone. Then, we enabled Bluetooth connectivity on our Samsung Galaxy S8 and nestled it into the frame which can hold smartphones between 2.2 to 3.3 inches wide. The compact Galaxy S8 fit without a problem.
It took up to 30 seconds, but soon we saw the Mpow iSnap X was available for pairing. We selected it and, just like that, setup was complete. From here, we were able to rotate and adjust the 270-degree swivel mount for the best selfie angle, extend the telescopic handle, and began to snap away.
One criticism was that during testing a small amount of wobble was apparent when the Mpow was extended to its full length. While our smartphone didn’t ever fall free from the mount due to the silicone grip which keeps it secure, we did notice that this wobble occasionally led to it shifting somewhat in the frame so that it wasn’t nested into a perfect 90-degree angle, which is where the smartphone is safest. Because of this, users should be aware that it’s a good practice to check one’s smartphone periodically to ensure its safety, particularly if taking photos from greater heights.
Users should note that the Mpow includes a much-needed warning regarding charging—it is not compatible with quick-charging adapters, but only standard 5V/2.4A chargers that don’t boost the amperage.
Another issue we ran into was the Mpow’s power. While it was perfect for a weekend of casual shooting, it struggled to maintain its charge during a day of intense usage. Maintaining the Bluetooth connection can also cause smartphone batteries to drain more quickly, particularly for older phone models which may already struggle to hold their charge throughout the course of a day. For people traveling and anticipating taking a lot of photos, it may be prudent to bring an external charger.
Selfie sticks have a broad price range that varies between $10-$100 depending on their features. Generally retailing for about $9, the Mpow is not only one of the most popular devices on Amazon, but it’s also right at the front of the pricing curve for selfie sticks. As a compact, discrete selfie stick that can be set up in a matter of seconds, it’s easy to see why it’s popular for the price.
The Mpow is at such a competitive price that it doesn’t have many challengers for wireless selfie sticks. But if you’re willing to go wired, the JETech Battery Free Selfie Stick is the Mpow iSnap X’s main competitor.
The JETech Battery Free Selfie Stick, unlike the Mpow, connects to smartphones via a 3.5 mm cable that plugs directly into a smartphone’s headphone jack, meaning if you have a newer phone without a headphone jack, you won’t be able to use it. At its collapsed length it’s only 7.2 inches. It can extend up to 28.7 inches in length, just short of the Mpow’s 31.9-inch max length.
It’s also slightly lighter, at a mere 4 ounces. This means that, just like the Mpow, it’s great for putting in a pocket or handbag and bringing along for an adventure. Also, it’s battery-free since it relies on a smartphone’s battery to power the remote shutter. Thanks to this, you never have to worry about running out of a charge.
Priced on Amazon for around $10, it’s in the same price range as Mpow, making it an excellent choice for people with older smartphones or battery concerns. For users who don’t want to worry about dongles for missing headphone jacks, the Mpow is the better option if you want to go fully wireless.
Simplicity, affordability, and portability make the iSnap X a winner.
The Mpow iSnap X selfie stick is an easy-to-use gadget at an affordable price. It’s easy to see why it’s got such hype—it’s inexpensive, compact, lightweight, and extremely portable, which makes it perfect for carrying along on any adventure.