The Joby GorillaMobile Tripod for iPhone 4/S: One Useful Little Gadget [Review]

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As a photographer and podcaster, I’m a big Joby fan. Their tripods are generally high quality, incredibly flexible, and as functional as they are fun. The Joby GorillaMobile Tripod for the iPhone 4/4S ($40) is definitely worthy of much the same praise, but an issue I have with its build quality and price leave me with a raised eyebrow.

The Good:

The GorillaMobile is incredibly flexible and allows you to hold your iPhone at practically any angle, making it wonderfully versatile. It’s also the perfect height for use on a tabletop, making it a natural choice for podcasting, holding your iPhone steady for recording audio, or taking images.

Better, you can use the GorillaMobile to hang your iPhone from anything its legs will fit around. Joby has also covered the tripod legs with rubber making it them super grippy. The legs do a good job holding on to whatever you wrap them around, keeping them from sliding around. You can see from the photo below I hung my iPhone — mid-rung — on the back of a chair. Those little rubber grips are keeping it in place without sliding even though the rungs are vertical and not horizontal — isn’t that a neat trick…

The Bad:

Though the GorillaMobile works well, its mainly-plastic construction leaves me wondering for how long. Sure, the plastic joints work fine now, but what about in a year? What about in two years? I would expect these kind of cheap plastics in a tripod costing $10 or $20, but for its $40 asking price, I expect better materials. I would have been much happier if the GorillaMobile was either $20 less or kept its $40 price tag and boasted a mostly metal and rubber build.

Another minor gripe: I find the GorillaMobile a little sluggish to put on and take off. There’s an awkward bumper-like piece that must be put on the iPhone before the tripod legs can be slid on, and putting everything together isn’t as fast and easy as some other solutions out there.

Verdict:

I love the Joby GorillaMobile for my iPhone 4S and would whole-heartedly recommend it. It has made my iPhone so much more useful, and as a podcaster has made recording videos a lot more efficient. I just wish I didn’t feel like I’m going to need to buy another one a year from now after this one breaks.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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Related
  • TextuallyActive

    Yeah, I just bought one from the website and i really hope it doesn’t break on me. My gorillatorch broke and they refused to replace it even though it was their batteries that shipped with it that broke my device. I wish I would have known before I spent more money with them @joby:twitter 

  • JOBY, Inc.

    Hi Erfon - 
    Thanks for the review! Glad to hear your happy with your GorillaMobile. Happy shooting and podcasting! 

    -JOBY

  • Brian Rossbach

    Honestly I am surprised that you are worried about it lasting a year.  I mean, I have yet to have a case on a phone that lasted a year, so why would this be any different?  Besides, looking at the case it appears that they intend for the user to leave it on their phone as an actual case and that would facilitate the addition of the stand at a moment’s notice.  Does Joby offer the option of just purchasing the case should it become damaged, or is it an all or nothing situation?  Reviews are nice, but this one just didn’t make a lot of sense.

  • Dice Yamaguchi

    Brian is right, if you use the case as a tool for taking video and photos to be removed, the repeated motion wears out the case closure portion. The most disappointing aspect were the leg sockets cracking one by one leaving a floppy mess that barely stayed upright. This happened over a couple of weeks of carrying the legs with me everywhere to take photos and videos.
    I have no complaints about the function, but am now left with a pile of parts after a month of use-I wish they had used the aluminum sockets of their higher grade tripods.

About the author

Erfon ElijahErfon Elijah is the producer and host of The CultCast. When not editing podcasts or watching Mrs. Doubtfire, you’ll find him on Xbox Live hunting Black Ops II foes like the Predator. Here are his tweets...

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