Joby have been making knobbly-but-nice mini camera tripods for a few years now. Their patent-pending leg design means you’re not restricted to standing your camera on a level surface. You can wrap one or more legs around a branch or railing, or bend the legs sideways to make a stable platform. The Gorillapod tripods are available in a bunch of different sizes to support everything from your tiny compact camera (or Flip Mino), right up to a chunky model that supports 5kg DSLRs.
Now Joby have turned their hand to the mobile market. The Gorillamobile kit comes in two flavours: one with a suction cup for generic mobile devices, and one with a custom-fitting case for iPhone 3G and 3GS. Local New Zealand importers Lacklands have kindly hooked me up with an iPhone model for review.
Having just picked up a brand new iPhone 3GS, I was looking for a protective case. The case that comes with the Gorillamobile does a fine job even if it didn’t double as a stand. It has a nice soft-touch finish, and is designed so that when not clipped to the tripod, there are no protrusions to get hooked on your pocket or bag. The case clips around the back or your iPhone, so you’ll need a screen protector if you want 100% protection.
The Joby tripod clips into the iPhone case with a simple sliding action, and is released with a button. There’s a secondary locking ring to avoid any accidental releases. It’s incredibly easy to set the iPhone up in a stable position, and you can rotate it to any angle you want. The Gorillamobile would be a great iPhone stand if that’s all it did.
But wait, there’s more! Both Gorillamobile kits come with a standard 1/4″ tripod screw clip and two additional adhesive clips. This means you can use the same tripod for 3 additional devices. Basically you’re getting the original Gorillapod with added extras. The clips are fairly unobtrusive, so you can leave them screwed into your pocket camera or stuck on your other mobile devices. The Gorillamobile tripod has no problem propping up my fairly chunky Panasonic TZ5, using the standard tripod mount. It takes seconds to unclip the tripod from the camera, and clip it back on to the iPhone.
Overall, for something I originally thought would be a bit dinky, the Gorillamobile impressed me. iPhone case, iPhone stand, Camera tripod, and mobile device stand, all in one well-built kit.
Local New Zealand pricing hasn’t been confirmed yet but I’m guessing something like $80-$100. I’ll update this post as soon as I find out. The Gorilla mobile will be stocked in all the regular appliance and electronic stores.