Adonit actually found a way to make taking vacation pictures with your iPhone easier. The PhotoGrip Qi turns your phone into an old-school point-and-shoot. Plus it includes a tripod with a remote shutter button. On top of that, its flexible iPhone clamp wirelessly charges the handset.
I still remember the days before phone cameras. Come see how well Adonit did re-creating that experience.
Adonit PhotoGrip Qi review
I just got back from Yellowstone Park, which reminded me daily that the iPhone isn’t well designed for taking vacation pictures. It’s awkward holding the super-slim phone in landscape mode so that your hand isn’t blocking the screen, and doing so isn’t the most secure way to hold an expensive device over a bubbling geyser.
PhotoGrip Qi clips to the back of your iPhone, with a bulge on one end that provides a secure grip. There’s a shutter button placed right under your index finger. This is how stand-alone cameras were designed back in the day.
It really is much easier to take landscape-oriented photos with the iPhone held in this accessory. It provides a more natural and comfortable way to hold the camera, and the grip is covered in a rubberized, slightly rough material, making it less likely you’ll drop this device. And a firmer grip will probably lead to better pictures.
A pair of cushioned clamps give the PhotoGrip Qi its name. These hold the iPhone against a backplate with Qi wireless charging coils built into it. The bulge contains a 3000mAh battery.
The phone is held in place quite securely. And the clamps are cushioned so they won’t damage the phone. Adonit says they’ll fit any handset that’s between 2.28 inches and 3.35 in. (58mm – 85mm) wide. The phone can’t be thicker than 0.39 in. (10mm). An iPhone XS Max fits just fine when “naked.” My Mujjo Full Leather Wallet Case makes it too thick — the phone and case don’t completely fit under the clamps.
On top of the grip is a camera shutter button, exactly where one would be if this was a point-and-shoot. But it can do a trick far beyond the basic camera of old: the shutter button slides out so you can put your phone down and take selfies from a distance.
Tripod and stand
The PhotoGrip Qi with the iPhone inside will stand upright on the battery bulge, making it easy to take portrait selfies with the shutter remote.
Adonit includes a small tripod so you can take hands-free landscape images. This is 5.2 inches across when open, which is wide enough to hold up the iPhone. Just remember, the tripod is only about 1.5 inches tall so you’ll need something to put it on if you want something besides pictures of your ankles.
Either of these options come in handy when you want to take a Time-Lapse image. You really need some kind of stand to hold your iPhone long enough for these to be any good..
The screw hole on the PhotoGrip Qi is a standard size; I could attach this accessory to a full-size tripod.
PhotoGrip Qi performance
A long day of sightseeing is hard on an iPhone’s battery. The PhotoGrip Qi can wireless charge your handset while you’re using it. Just put the phone in the clamps and press a button to start power flowing.
In my tests, its 3000mAh battery was able to give an iPhone XS Max a 33% charge. Note that this phone has a 3,174 mAh built-in battery, but wireless charging is always inefficient. Other Apple devices with smaller internal batteries should expect to get a bit more of a boost from this accessory.
If speed is an issue, the battery level in the XS Max went up about 9% every 20 minutes, so this charger can give all it has just over an hour.
The PhotoGrip Qi is recharged through a USB-C port, the same as recent MacBooks. A status LED blinks green/red when charging, glows green when wireless power is available, or blinks red when power is getting low.
With this accessory attached, obviously your phone isn’t going to fit in your back pocket. Adonit includes in a carrying case with a shoulder strap to tote around your camera and the tripod. It’s a bit bigger than necessary so you could slip a few other travel necessities in there too.
Adonit PhotoGrip Qi final thoughts
Anyone who misses the convenience of point-and-shoot cameras can see the advantages of the PhotoGrip Qi. It really does make it easier to hold your iPhone to take landscape images, especially for your fingers aren’t quite as nimble as they used to be. On top of that, the remote trigger, stand and tripod mean you don’t have to be holding your camera to take pictures.
Plus, Adonit has made a very portable wireless iPhone charger. You might take it with you on trips even when you don’t plan to take any pictures just for recharging.
Adonit’s official cost for the PhotoGrip Qi is $59.95. It’s available from Amazon at that price at the time of this writing.
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When evaluating its value, we have to consider this gizmo combines the features of two devices. Phone camera grips typically sell for about $20 but these don’t have wireless charging. The Uniq HydeAir ($49.95) does have wireless charging but can’t be used when taking pictures. Combine the two and the PhotoGrip Qi’s price seems reasonable.
Adonit provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more stuff we recommend.