As smartphone capabilities continue to close in on standalone cameras, I’ve been using my phone a lot more for shooting video. However, the best shots demand a tripod, and carrying one of those defeats the point of using my phone instead of dragging a camera around.
Peak Design’s stealthy little phone tripod fixes that. I’ve already praised it in our updated guide to the best iPhone cases, but I like it even more a few weeks later. If you’re a fan of their camera bags (or their floaty light carbon-fiber tripod, like me), you know what to expect from Peak Design: stylish, considerate design, careful material choice and a spendy price tag.
This aluminum tripod folds down to a credit-card-sized profile, a little thicker than Apple’s MagSafe wallets. With a solid micro-ball head, you can adjust the angle of your phone while it’s in tripod mode. Better still, it can firmly attach magnetically to the phone in both vertical and horizontal orientations.
The tripod works best (that is, attaches most solidly) with Peak Design’s smartphone cases, which have launched in a new array of colors for the iPhone 15 series. However, if you have a MagSafe-capable iPhone (from the iPhone 12 onwards) or case, you can still attach this tripod, whether folded away, but it seems a little weaker.
Peak Design also has cases for the latest Pixel 8 phones, meaning, gasp, an accessory I could use for my favorite phones this year. (It also has a Samsung case series and a universal adapter that adheres to the back of any phone.)
There are many things to like, but the main draw is that I can keep it attached to my phone and in my pocket, which means I’ve ditched my GorillaPod tripod. Unlike other foldable phone stands, the micro-ball head means I can adjust the angle and positioning. Peak Design’s attention to detail is… something. The company included a tiny hex key built into the tripod legs for tightening the ball head. The key magnetically locks in place, so there’s no fear of losing it.
It can also magnetically attach to your phone in vertical and horizontal orientations, making it an excellent stand even when you’re not trying to shoot video or photos propped up on your desk. If you’re desperate, you can use the tripod legs as a short selfie grip.
The only drawback is the price, especially if you compare this to MagSafe phone stands from Moft and Anker. However, these only prop up your iPhone – I wouldn’t call them tripods. Also, if you want to ensure this tripod is securely attached, I’d recommend spending more on a Peak Design case, too. But compared to other smartphone cases and peripheral kits, I appreciate that you don’t have to buy the companion case – and the tripod seems solid enough to last until your next smartphone purchase in a few years.
Peak Design Mobile Tripod