Belkin iPhone stand cleverly keeps camera focused on you [Review]


Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro review: iPhone camera dock★★★★★
Enhance your video calls and content creation with the Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro can hold up an iPhone, rotate and tilt to keep the camera focused on the user during video calls. It’s wish fulfillment for every TikTok or YouTube creator working alone. The same goes for anyone who’s frequently in video conferences.

I went hands on with the accessory and my iPhone 15. And wow, this thing is impressive.

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Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro review

When video chatting with an iPhone, you can hold your iPhone or put it in a stand. In the first option, the camera moves too much. In the second, it doesn’t move enough. The same is true when making a TikTok or YouTube video without someone handling the camera for you.

Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro can be your camera operator. Place an iPhone 12 or newer model on the MagSafe connector and the stand automatically rotates 360 degrees (and more) or tilts up and down 90 degrees to keep you on camera.

It works with both front and rear cameras, and can charge the iPhone at the same time.

Table of contents

Your robot camera operator pal

Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro
Belkin’s new iPhone stand pans and tilts to keep the camera following you.
Photo: Belkin

Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro is cylindrical and about 8.5 inches tall. It’s just large enough to do what it needs to do and no bigger. The gadget won’t crowd your desk, though be sure to give it room to move.

The accessory needs to be a cylinder so it can rotate a full 180 degrees. If for some reason you want to film yourself walking around and around, you can.

A MagSafe charging mat sits at the top of a short arm. This magnetically holds your iPhone, and can tilt 45 degrees upward or downward. So yes, you can jump up and down on camera if you want to.

Because the connection is magnetic, you can easily position your handset’s camera in landscape mode to record YouTube videos or in portrait mode for TikTok videos.

I put the dock on my desk so it’s ready for video calls, and to keep my iPhone battery topped off with the wireless charger. It makes a great stand for the handset — just don’t force the motors to move to position the screen.

DockKit enabled

There have been similar products before, but the Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro stands out by using Apple’s own DockKit system. That means it doesn’t require a third-party application — the tech is already built into the iPhone.

DockKit is part of iOS 17 and was unveiled at WWDC2023. “It determines how to best position the iPhone camera to frame and track objects, with improved person tracking using combined body and face tracking for human subjects,” noted Apple.

There are limitations. Most notably, the iPhone video application you want to use must support DockKit. FaceTime does, of course, but Slack does not. I expect more software support soon — Belkin’s recently released iPhone camera dock is the first to be DockKit-enabled.

And the software is intended for video. You can’t use it to center yourself in a still image. For example, when using the Apple Camera app on my iPhone, DockKit only activates in Video mode. Switch to Photo and my iPhone camera stops following me.

I’m hoping Apple changes this in DockKit 2.0. It should stay active when taking a still images. It’s great for selfies.

Belkin iPhone camera dock simply works

Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro iPhone camera dock making a FaceTime call
Belkin’s iPhone camera dock is right at home helping with a FaceTime call.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

My testing of the Auto-Tracking Stand Pro began even before I realized it. Last autumn, I had a video call with a Belkin spokesperson during which she got up and moved around. The camera smoothly followed her, and I assumed she was calling me from an iPad with Center Stage. No, she then revealed she was demonstrating her company’s upcoming iPhone camera stand.

I was blown away. The camera moved smoothly, and perfectly quietly, too. I really thought it was a fully software solution, not hardware.

Once I got an Auto-Tracking Stand Pro to test for myself, I continued to be impressed because it simply works. I don’t have to do anything complicated — put my phone on the dock, activate it, run a video or conferencing application, and forget about worrying about the camera. It’s going to follow me, no matter how much I move around.

I hesitate to say the system keeps me centered when recording — DockKit is actually smarter than that. In my testing, the iPhone camera dock doesn’t twitch every time I move slightly. That’s good — too much camera movement is distracting and even potentially nauseating for viewers. Instead, I’m kept somewhere near the center of the image, and the dock only moves when I significantly change position.

That said, I don’t want to overstate the capabilities of Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro. Unlike a human running the camera, the device can’t anticipate my actions. When I start walking to one side, the camera follows me, but there’s a brief delay. In other words, it’s a lot better than a static camera, but neither is it perfect.

As for multiple people on camera, my experiments indicate that the Belkin iPhone camera dock follows the first person it sees. When I start a recording then have another person join me, the camera stays on me if they walk off. It’ll angle to try to keep both of us in frame, but if we get too far apart, I take priority.

And DockKit offers a neat trick: when I’m holding something off to one side, the camera keeps me and the object centered in the frame. It’s just what you want if you’re going to use video to demonstrate a product. And if I’m on a FaceTime call while looking at my MacBook, the camera will angle itself to show both me and the laptop so it’s clear I’m not staring off into space.

Both front and rear cameras supported

The system supports recording with both the front- and rear-facing cameras. In my testing, the front camera works perfectly for video conferences — but then, that’s what it’s there for.

Before recording your TikTok or YouTube video with the rear camera, I recommend doing some experiments with the front one to get used to the quirks of Belkin’s accessory and DockKit. Then flip to the rear camera and start filming.

I tested the limits of the hardware/software so you don’t have to. My iPhone and the Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro continue to follow me even when I’m 20 feet away from the camera. That’s as far as I could get in my office.

I also tested to see how quickly I had to move to get off the camera. I literally had to run while only about five feet from the camera to be going too fast for it. So it’s probably ready for you to record an exercise video.

Belkin camera dock vs. Apple Center Stage

Center Stage is a brilliant feature that lets an iPad’s front-facing camera follow someone on a video call. There are a lot of similarities to Belkin’s iPhone camera dock with DockKit, but some significant differences too.

Most notably, Center Stage only works in video conferencing apps. It’s not intended for recording video. And even if it did, the feature only supports the tablet’s front-facing camera, limiting the resolution.

In short, creators really need the iPhone solution. And don’t expect Center Stage to make it to iOS.

No wall socket required

Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro gets power via a 5-foot USB-C cable, and it comes with the necessary wall adapter.

The accessory does not have to be plugged in to operate — it has its own built-in battery — so you can position it wherever you need, including the middle of a large room. However, it will not charge your iPhone without an external source of power.

Belkin says the battery is good for five hours of use. Mine lasts longer than that, so the exact length depends on how much you move around.

Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro final thoughts

Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro in use
The Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro can be your virtual cameraman, whether you’re making a TikTok video or simply on a video call.
Photo: Belkin

Belkin and Apple collaborated to make the best iPhone accessory it’s been my pleasure to test in years. It’s not going to replace human camera operators, but it’s a godsend for any video creator working alone.

I regularly watch college lectures on YouTube, and the Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro would be ideal for these. A professor can address the class directly then walk over to a whiteboard and they’ll smoothly stay on camera. Without needing help from anyone.

All in all, it’s a blessing for video creators of almost any type. And it’s great for those who are on frequent video conferences, too.


Frankly, I’d give it more stars if I could.


Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro costs $179.99. It’s available now.

Buy it from: Amazon or Belkin

Belkin provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.


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