I’m finding that, thanks to the amazing cameras in both my iPhone 6 Plus and my Sony Xperia Z3, I really don’t have much need for a dedicated camera. The right accessories make that even more the case, and the $34.90 SHOULDERPOD S1 smartphone tripod mount is one such accessory. It serves multiple functions and fulfills each role quite nicely.
The SHOULDERPOD S1 is three smartphone-ography accessories in one. It is a Tripod mount, a filmmaker grip and a travel stand. It arrives in three pieces and goes together in just a few seconds. What makes the S1 stand out in an evermore crowded smartphone accessory market is its build-quality. This may look like a simple gadget but it is one seriously executed smartphone TOOL.
The S1 is the first professional tripod mount that will hold all smartphone models perfectly. Even the big phablets like the iPhone 6 Plus, Galaxy Note 4 or Xperia Z Ultra. Do you think your smartphone is too big for mounting it on a tripod? No worries, the S1 will do the job.
The design of the S1 is such that is will work with pretty much any and every smartphone currently on the market. Even better, it works whether the phone is in a case or not. Rather than holding a phone in place by employing spring-loaded pressure the way many phone mounts do the SHOULDERPOD S1 uses a complex and heavy-duty thumbscrew that is manually tightened around the device you are looking to secure. This takes more time to set but provides a more secure grip than most phone mounts. When you consider the price of today’s high-end smartphones that’s a good thing.
The device holds phones ranging in width from 48mm to 93 mm. That means it will hold all models of the iPhone, get a grip on all of the Samsung Galaxy line, safely secure the Sony Xperia line and nicely grip any Nokia Lumia phone. Thick external batteries such as those from Mophie and waterproof cases from LifeProof may be an issue but the range of devices and cases with which the S1 will work is pretty extensive.
Video Review of the SHOULDERPOD S1 Smartphone Tripod Mount
Here’s how ShoulderPod describes the three different functions provided by the S1.
TRIPOD MOUNT: With the S1 you can mount your smartphone on any tripod thanks to the universal 1/4″-20 threaded base. You can also mount it on a slider or on a shoulder rig for taking smooth shots and steady video clips. The S1 is adjustable, so you can use it with almost any smartphone model.
FILMMAKER GRIP: Fix the S1 to the right side of your smartphone, then mount the provided aluminum grip extension for extra hand ergonomics and the wrist strap for maximum security and turn your mobile devices into professional filming equipment. You’re now ready for taking the most steady and creative handheld shots.
TRAVELER STAND: The S1 stands on its own, so you can hold your smartphone steady even when you don’t have a tripod. Mount the grip at the centre of your device for using it in landscape-mode or slide it sideways for adjusting the viewing angle in portrait-mode. Take great night images of your next trip, shoot timelapse movies on the go or edit your pictures comfortably while having a capuccino at Starbucks.
The company also notes that they designed the S1 smartphone tripod mount to be “future proof.”
The SHOULDERPOD S1 has been designed as an expandable concept, a wide range of accessories and functions for the mobile creative’s community. Initially we’ve included the aluminum grip extension and the wrist strap in the S1’s pack, but we will add new accessories soon for configuring your rig for many other professional uses.
I’ll be bringing the S1 with me to CES 2015, and I expect that it will come in quite handy as my iPhone and Xperia Z3 go to work as my primary cameras. You can learn more about the SHOULDERPOD S1 here on the product page.
Source: Manufacturer provided review sample of the SHOULDERPOD S1 Smartphone Tripod Mount
What I Like: Works with a wide array of smartphones; Solid design that is designed for serious smartphone-ography; Serves multiple functions; The company plans additional accessories
What Needs Improvement: Expanding the opening to fit a large phone can take a few seconds as you turn the thumbscrew