Why You Need a Smartphone Camera Remote in 2020

A Bluetooth camera remote for your smartphone will crisp up your photos. Think about it, if you’re tapping on your phone screen, then you’re creating vibrations that your phone’s camera has to deal with.

What’s a Camera Remote (or Remote Camera Shutter)?

They have a few different names – camera remote, remote shutter, remote clicker, and magic-button-make-camera-go-click-click.

It’s a little remote you connect to your phone, usually via Bluetooth, and it activates the shutter button for you. Simple, right? There are universal camera remotes, camera remotes for iPhone, and camera remotes for Android phones, of course.

If you do not immediately see the enormous potential benefits, then let me spell them out for you over the next few minutes.

Why You Need a Bluetooth Camera Remote #1 – Because Screen Tapping Causes Vibrations

If you’re aiming to do some serious photography with your smartphone, a camera remote is a no-brainer. The most common way to take a picture is by tapping the screen – and then you’ve already made a mistake.

Tapping the screen, no matter how carefully you do it, causes vibrations. These vibrations will affect the shot. In most instances, they’ll slightly affect the focus (since you’re moving the camera). In particularly bad cases, you’ll get a blurred image from the movement of the camera!

Photographers using traditional cameras get spared this hardship. Their button press introduces no vibration (and most nice cameras have motion dampening technology anyway). Our curse (and our boon) is that smartphones are so light even a tap will move them.

That’s where the remote camera shutter comes in.

Since you’re not even touching the phone, there’s no room for error (barring earthquakes, of course, but what are you going to do about that?). Of course, a camera remote works best in tandem with a smartphone tripod or some other stand.

Why You Need a Bluetooth Camera Remote #2 – To Unlock A Whole New World of Selfies

Believe it or not, the selfie didn’t originate with the camera phone.

Nope, those ancient devices called “disposable cameras” saw plenty of selfies. So did the non-disposable variety of camera, all the way back to their inception.

Smartphones DID change the selfie game when they came up with the novel idea of placing cameras on both sides. Rear-facing cameras are kind of hard to take a selfie with, but front-facing cameras – that’s the stuff.

That was a revolution in the world of selfies – and when camera remotes become popular for smartphones, that will be the second glorious revolution.

Think about it. You can take that annoying, awkward, and embarrassing arm out of the corner of all your photos. Not only does that lead to better photo composition, but it also opens you up to a whole new world of selfie poses.

When was the last time you saw a classic “sexy look over the shoulder” pose in selfie form? Never? Just one time, but they totally had a drone? Yeah. Now it’s easy.

Why You Need a Bluetooth Camera Remote #3 – To Take Group Photos (with the Whole Group!)

shot with phone camera remote
Digital Photography School

You’re picking up what I’m laying down. Whenever you’re at the annual family reunion, some (lucky) person has to take the picture. They’re absent from the photo, just like they’re absent from your life the rest of the year.

Not anymore! It used to be that you’d have to use the family photographer – that guy who is 30 and still lives with his parents but shoots only high school graduation photos. His once-yearly photography gig was his only contribution to the family, and now it’s gone because anyone can do it!

Sure, it’s possible to take a whole group photo without a remote camera shutter. Every family-comedy movie ends with a scene of the entire family posing while dad sets a timer on the camera and then runs to join the others.


Notice how there’s always some shenanigans going on in that picture? Little Timmy is doing bunny ears behind his sister’s head, or the baby vomits. That kind of low-brow humor to get the last chuckle out of an audience that’s already checked out of the movie.

In real life, though, you can use a camera remote for your phone to ensure that there’s plenty of time to smack Timmy upside the head or to leave the baby in a bush so you can finally have some goddamn peace and quiet.

Uh, yeah, where were we?

Why You Need a Bluetooth Camera Remote #4 – Ever Heard of Phone Pranks? Take Remote Pictures with Your Friends’ Phone!

Some people leave their Bluetooth on all the time. I don’t know how they do that. My battery would die in like an hour if I tried.

But, if any of those people are your friends, you might be able to link your camera remote to their phone by entering it into pairing mode. That’s when the fun begins.

Sure, you can take pictures of the inside of their pants pocket. Some camera remotes, however, can do more than snap pics. Taking a video, for example, grants you audio.

Now you can practice being the world’s greatest spy.

Why You Need a Bluetooth Camera Remote #5 – You Can Take Photos of Yourself, So People Think You Have Friends

remote camera shutter phone
You can do better.

So, this whole section is self-explanatory, but if I don’t reach an arbitrary word count, Google will ignore this article, and my boss will get mad.

While this idea is similar in principle to taking selfies, it’s a different kind of image. You’ll need a tripod, probably one of those that can grip various surfaces with their tentacles (that one in the picture is above is the best, but here are more since you can’t be satisfied).

Go out to a place that you would typically go with friends – the movies, a restaurant, a concert, the bow of a sinking ship, etc. Attach the tripod to a surface that’s about chest height – that’s the critical part. Taking the picture from that perspective will imply that it’s another human taking the photo.

Then, use your handy-dandy notebook — camera remote, I mean. Snap a picture while you’re laughing in an exaggerated fashion. That’ll obscure the fact that you’re crying a little from loneliness.

Bonus points if you’re doing an activity meant clearly for couples. Go ice skating or have a picnic. Can you convincingly stare at your phone as if it’s the eyes of your soulmate? That’s an Oscar-worthy performance.

It might help you find a real significant other, even. People who (appear to be) in a relationship are more attractive to potential mates. Science says so.

You’re welcome.

The Best Smartphone Camera Remote Shutters

Best Quality Option

Moment Bluetooth Remote
Title Moment Bluetooth Remote
Battery 500+ hours
Transmission Distance 50 feet
Durable Yes
Our Rating 9.5/10
Cost $$
Link Check Price

Best Deal Option

Bluetooth V3.0 Selfie Shutter Remote
Title Bluetooth V3.0 Selfie Shutter Remote
Battery 40 hours
Transmission Distance 6-30 feet
Durable No
Our Rating 6.5/10
Cost $
Link Check Price

Best Budget Option

Bluetooth Camera Remote Shutter
Title Zttopo Bluetooth Camera Remote Shutter
Battery 200 hours (replaceable battery)
Transmission Distance 30 feet
Durable No
Our Rating 7.0/10
Cost $
Link Check Price

Now that we’ve got you all buttered up, it wouldn’t be polite just to leave you hanging. I know you’re salivating for a quality remote shutter, and I’m equally excited to get you one.

While it’s incredibly possible to get a camera shutter button as a perk while purchasing a tripod or some such, I wouldn’t recommend using it as your go-to. They can be unreliable or difficult to use, and it would be a tragedy if you lost a good photo because you were wrangling some $2 piece of Chinese junk.

Here are the top camera remote shutters for Android and iPhone:

Moment Bluetooth Remote

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Moment’s products are super high-quality. Their Bluetooth remote is, in addition to performing at the expected level, a surprisingly cost-effective option that is definitely worth considering. This baby packs some serious battery life and transmission distance as compares to the rest of this list and for only a couple more dollars. It sounds like a no-brainer to me.

But do note that there are compatibility issues with Android phones. As a result, iPhone users should jump on this opportunity while others should look elsewhere.

Bluetooth V3.0 Selfie Shutter Remote

Do you want the very basics that a shutter remote has to offer? Well, then the Bluetooth V3.0 Selfie Shutter Remote should be near the top of your list. Yes, other offerings have better transmission distances and batteries, but you’re looking at this option because you don’t believe that you even need a smartphone camera remote. You can always get this one, and upgrade to a better quality option later.

Zttopo Bluetooth Camera Remote Shutter

Two camera remote shutters for the price of one? Count me in! At the end of the day, this product has one job and one job only, so if the job gets done who cares how cheaply made the product is. It may be worth trying the Zttopo Bluetooth Remote Shutter if you’re traveling because if it breaks you won’t be too broken up about it.

So, You’re Picking Up A Smartphone Camera Remote, Right?

Getting one of these things is a no brainer because they limit the vibrations caused by tapping on your phone’s screen and allow you to take selfies from up to thirty feet away. If you’re looking to improve your smartphone photography by including yourself in your photos, then this is the best way to make that happen. Let us know in the comments how many of these you have lying around? I just got my fifth – does every piece of mobile photography gear come with one?

4 thoughts on “Why You Need a Smartphone Camera Remote in 2020

  1. Chromatic abberation is not camera shake. You should get all the wording correct before making a video

    1. You’re absolutely right about that, and I’m grateful you brought it up. I have edited the video as best I can to address the mistake. Thanks for the correction!

  2. It seems that they’re all compatible with iPhone and Android in the picture taking area, but the video capturing initiation only seems to work for iPhones. did you come across any that would do the same for Androids?

    1. Rudy – great question! I haven’t tested many different remotes against others but as a whole they tend to be finicky – better, as you said, for photos than videos. In truth, I usually have my volume on so that I can hear the ‘shutter’ sound go off to be sure that the remote has actually worked. I also have one that takes photos on the iPhone by hitting the Android button and vice-versa, so I can empathize with your frustration.

      That being said, one of the ones I have worked just now with my Pixel 3a and the other didn’t. There are no discernible branding marks on the one that worked though and I can’t for the life of me remember where it was I got it. My best recommendation if you can’t find one that works is a 10-second timer and run like hell.

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