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 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…
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.
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.