Twist 'n' snap.
Despite all the many cameras we review here at The Test Pit, we've often found that the best and most convenient way to capture what's going on around you is with your phone. It's just right there, isn't it; ready to snap away at a moment's notice? As phone cameras continue to improve you might find yourself pulling out even more, so you need need a small and handy gadget to help clamp it to a tripod or mount. You need the Manfrotto TwistGrip.
The only other Manfrotto phone accessory we've reviewed was the PixiSmart Mini Tripod, and that impressed us no end; especially the way it gripped a phone. However, if you already own a tripod (or GorillaPod) than the entire PixiSmart package might not suit. The TwistGrip, however, will. This is a small, robust, and compact accessory that can grip even the largest of phones and then attach to a conventional tripod or screw mount.
This clever little bit of kit gets its name from the fact that you twist both ends of the solid metal unit to create the clamp jaws. Each end is lined with soft rubber, helping to hold your phone still, while also not scratching the crap out of it. You then pull it open, place it around your phone, then close; tightening with the little knob on the back. After that you're free to screw the whole thing on to a conventional tripod, or indeed to any mount with a standard screw.
This means you now have a very sturdy adjustable clamp for your phone, allowing you to attach it just about anywhere, and not only for photography. If you need to lock your phone into position in your car or on your bike, the Manfrotto TwistGrip is perfect.
The top side of the aluminium body also has a little trick up its sleeve. Remove a plastic filler tab and you have a standard cold-shoe mount, designed to accommodate lighting units like flashes and torches. Again, this adds a whole new dimension to your smartphone photography, allowing you to customise and amplify your shoots like you would with a DSLR.
We love this little thing... and little really is the key here. Although the clamp on the PixiSmart was good, it was a fixed (and quite awkward) shape that made storing it compactly difficult. The Manfrotto TwistGrip folds to the size or a very small remote control, allowing you to slide it down the edge of your camera bag, or indeed drop into your pocket. Happy shooting.