Our recent Smartphone Super Shootout confirmed that not even the latest generation of top-end smartphones come close to enthusiast compact cameras and DSLRs in the image quality department. However, even the most dedicated pixel peepers and image quality evangelists have to admit that your smartphone is the one camera you always have with you.
Given the relatively unimpressive high-ISO image quality of smartphones (compared to dedicated cameras) the one accessory you should also always carry with you is a tripod. In combination with the right camera app it allows you to set lower ISO sensitivities on your phone camera when shooting low-light scenes, resulting in much cleaner images than you would get in hand-held shooting. Tripods are equally useful for shooting self-portraits with your smartphones primary rear-facing camera or capturing the motion of a flowing waterfall.
The problem is, most tripods, even mini versions, are too bulky for always toting just in case you come across an attractive night scene or waterfall that might be worth capturing. That said, the Joby Grip Tight Micro Stand isn't bulky at all. In fact, when folded up it's so small you can easily carry it in your jeans pocket or even use as a key fob. Yet it's a nicely made and sturdy mini-tripod that firmly holds your device in place and allows you to easily adjust the shooting angle.
The Grip Tight Micro Stand is in reality not one but two products that can also be purchased individually. The Grip Tight is a foldable spring-loaded smartphone holder that screws on to any standard size tripod mount. The Micro Stand is a foldable micro-tripod that can be combined with the Grip Tight but also works well with compact cameras. The mount's socket joint is stiff enough to even hold larger models, such as a Micro Four Thirds camera with a kit lens. The Grip Tight is also available in combination with Joby's Gorillapod (Grip Tight Gorillapod Stand).
The Grip Tight Micro Stand works perfectly well as a table tripod but doubles as a smartphone stand for watching videos on your device or conducting Skype calls. There is an abundance of mini tripods and phone holders available in retail outlets, but with its clever foldable design and miniscule carry-anywhere dimensions the Joby Grip Tight Micro Stand really stands out from the masses and makes it an easy recommendation to our readers. It's available for $29.95 on Amazon.com.
What we like: Miniscule dimensions, clever folding design, works with a variety of phones, good build-quality
What we don't like: A little more expensive than other mini tripods