We love to hate them, but there is no getting around the fact that selfie sticks are a truly useful invention. Not only are they great for selfies, selfie sticks are also incredibly useful for taking shots from creative angles that would otherwise be difficult or impossible.
What is a Selfie Stick?
The selfie stick is basically a monopod (a tripod with one leg) equipped with a shutter release button and handle on one end, and a phone mount on the other. Most selfie sticks are extendable, and many come with a variety of different features to choose from.
There are, of course, a few non-negotiables that you should look for when choosing your selfie stick. Here are a few to keep your eye out for:
- Make sure the phone mount is large enough to accommodate your phone.
- Pay attention to the way the mount grips your phone. By nature, a selfie stick will be lifting your expensive device high above the ground. This is not a time where you want to chance any slippage. Make sure you choose a selfie stick that is secure.
- Portability is important — you are more likely to actually use a stick that isn’t annoying to carry around everywhere, which means that shorter, lighter sticks are generally better.
- The remote on your selfie stick doesn’t need to be detachable, but the stick you choose should have some sort of shutter-release button. Otherwise, you will be stuck racing your self-timer, which can headache-inducing.
- Separate camera shutter remotes are handy, but think twice about using one if you are prone to losing things.
- A sturdy design will help keep your images blur-free. Flimsy selfie sticks result in a lot of camera wobbling, which in turn will ruin your pictures.
- Bluetooth enabled selfie sticks are super easy to use, but keep in mind that they do require power. A lower-tech stick that plugs into your phone may seem clunky and less desirable, but keep in mind that it also won’t need to be charged.
When it comes down to it, the versatility of the selfie stick makes it a must have for any budding cell phone photographer. Hoping to add one to your photography tool kit, but don’t know where to start? Here are 7 great selfie stick options for you to try.
Top Selfie Sticks for Android and iPhone
Amazon Price: $15.99
The Anker Handheld Monopod doesn’t come with all the extra bells and whistles, but sometimes you just want a simple product that gets its job done well. And simple is where this product excels. Many reviews mention how easy this selfie stick is to use. Just attach your phone to the mount, pair the devices, and you are ready to go!
This monopod is made with an aluminum alloy frame — which means that it is both sturdy, and incredibly lightweight. The mount swivels so that you can take pictures from different angles, and the stick itself provides 20 hours of battery life. Once retracted, the stick measures 7 inches — the perfect length for slipping into a purse, backpack, or large pocket.
- Extends up to 29.7 inches
- Built using a sturdy but lightweight aluminum alloy
- 20 hours of batter life on one charge
- Pairs via Bluetooth
- Compatible with most smartphones between 2.2 and 3.3 inches wide
- Weighs 4.8 ounces
- Retracts to 7 inches for easy storage
- Not compatible with Windows phones
Amazon Price: $18.99
The Fugetek FT-568 is perfect for photographers looking for a sturdier selfie stick. The tradeoff is that the stick itself is a little heavier than many other models. The stick comes with a mirror attachment — a handy feature if you want to take portraits with your phone’s (generally superior) rear camera — as well as a locking phone mount to keep your phone extra secure. The Fugetek extends up to 49” and can be used with DSLRs as well as phone cameras.
- Extends to 49 inches
- Sturdy enough to use with DSLR cameras
- Locking phone mount to prevent phone drops
- Fits all large smartphones and can be used over thick cases
- Mirror mount for use with rear camera
- Detachable Bluetooth remote
- Compatible with most phones
- Weighs 10 ounces
Amazon Price: $21.69
The best part about the Joysee Bluetooth Selfie Stick is its built in tripod. The handle of the stick folds out into three separate legs — a handy feature that saves you from having to cart around a separate selfie stick and tripod. The stick itself extends up to 35 inches and comes with a detachable camera remote. Sunset time-lapses, family portraits, conference calls — this selfie stick is ready to do it all!
- Extends up to 35.5 inches
- Compatible with any smartphone running iOS, Android, or Windows
- Fold-out tripod built into handle
- Detachable Bluetooth remote
- Mount supports 270 degrees of rotation
- 20-25 hours battery life with one charge
- 5 inches when folded
- Weighs 7 ounces
Amazon Price: $12.99
The JTWEB All in One Bluetooth Selfie Stick Compact is another selfie stick that skips all the bells and whistles and focuses on doing one thing really well — taking awesome selfies. Not only is the Selfie Stick Compact the smallest and lightest selfie stick we’ve reviewed, but it is also incredibly sturdy. According to JTWEB, the stick itself is made aviation-grade aluminum. There are no plastic parts, which means you won’t need to worry about it getting jostled or crushed in your bag.
- Extends to 20 inches
- Compatible with iOS 9.2 or above, and Android 4.4
- All metal design using anode treated, aviation-grade aluminum
- Collapses to just 5 inches
- Weighs 4.4 ounces
- 20-25 hours of battery life
- 15 minutes to full charge
Amazon Price: $19.49
As most photographers know, lighting is everything when it comes to taking next-level pictures. Studio lighting is great, but not practical when taking pictures out in the real world. Enter the MOCREO Wireless Selfie Stick. This selfie stick has a unique feature that really makes it stand out — a built-in fill light. The fill light has three different settings that make it easy to fix poorly lit photo-ops.
- 360 degree, adjustable fill light
- Extends up to 33 inches
- Folds down to just 7.2 inches
- Rear mirror
- Attractive, rose gold color
- Weighs 8 ounces
Amazon Price: $59.95
Need a selfie stick that’s longer than the rest? You won’t need to look any further than the Mighty Selfie Stick. This stick extends to a whopping 10 feet — and no, that’s not a typo. The Mighty Selfie Stick also has a detachable tripod base, as well as a detachable Bluetooth remote.
- Extends up to 10 feet
- Collapses to 26 inches
- Bluetooth enabled, detachable remote
- Detachable, steel tripod base
- Compatible with phones up to 4.25 inches and GoPro
- Weighs 1.95 pounds
Amazon Price: $19.98
The Electron Beast is a selfie stick that is absolutely loaded with features. Most notably, it is capable of rotating up to 360 degrees with the touch of a button — and can even do so while recording video. On top of that, it also comes with a built-in tripod, detachable wireless remote, and fill light. The downside, is that all those features equate to a larger, heavier product — which could be a deal breaker for some users.
- Extends up to 33 inches
- 2 sided mount securely holds phones up to 3.25 inches wide
- 360 degree remote controlled rotation
- Detachable Bluetooth remote
- Built-in tripod
- Compatible with most iOS and Android phones
- Fill light
- Retracts to 7.9 inches
- Weighs 10.4 ounces
Selfie sticks are an invaluable mobile photography tool. Really.
Selfie sticks are an incredibly helpful tool, not only for taking selfies, but also for taking photos at creative angles and for extending you camera above the heads of crowding tourists. Many selfie sticks come with additional features that can solve a multitude of photographer woes. Struggling with finding the right lighting? Look for a selfie stick with a fill light. Want to step back and take a hands-free photo, or set your phone on a stable surface to get a time lapse of the sunset? Many selfie sticks come with built-in tripods. Sick of constantly racing your self timer? Look for a selfie stick with a detachable, Bluetooth enable remote.
As you can see, the options are practically endless, and extra features can be a game-changer — or they can in the way. Remember to think of how you like to do photography, and look for a selfie stick with features that support your needs.
Despite all the bad press, a selfie stick may be exactly what you need to take your cellphone photography to the next level. Sure, people might roll their eyes, but when it comes down to it, the selfie stick is nothing more than a tool. So ignore the haters, and give one a try. Your photography will thank you.