I’m going to head into unpopular territory at this moment and defend selfie sticks. Yes, we’ve all heard the criticism, the decrying of the narcissistic society that pictures of one’s self are seen to represent. But selfies are really just pictures of people that capture the person working the camera. When they don’t flood our social media streams, they are just a way for both you and your friends or family to be in the same picture. Forget the reactions on Twitter today – 10 years from now, that’s likely something you’ll be glad you have.
While the simplest way to take a selfie is the time-tested handheld method, there are limitations. You can usually only get two or three people in the shot and one of youis going to have an arm awkwardly stretched off-camera. To solve that problem, we have the variant of monopods dubbed “selfie sticks”. With a good selfie stick, you can get more people in the shot, or get the camera to a better angle, like shooting over a crowd.
The Smart iReach is a selfie stick with a few nice distinctions that set it apart. It has a shutter release button in the handle, so you aren’t dependent on a timer to take your shot, and the connection is made via Bluetooth, so there are no wires to connect or get in the way. Its spring-loaded jaw will hold just about any phone, even in a case (it had room to spare when I tested it with my iPhone 6 Plus in a case). And if you want to use it with a small camera rather than a phone, you can easily remove the phone-holding jaw mechanism and you have access to a standard 1/4-20 mounting screw.
The Smart iReach is about 9 inches long when compacted and 28 1/2 inches when fully extended. It has a carbon fiber design and weighs in at 5.6 ounces. The stick relies on friction to hold it in the extended position, and can get a bit stuck if pulled too far. As I used it, I learned that it would securely stay in position without being pulled to the full limit of its length. It’s very solidly built, with a nice finish. Charging is done through the micro USB port in the handle, and a USB to micro USB charging cable is supplied in the package. The company estimates battery will last for roughly 50,000 photos, or about 4 – 6 months, on a charge so you’ll be busy snapping for quite a while.
Bluetooth pairing is easy to set up and you can check the compatibility list here to make sure it will work with your phone.
The Smart iReach is available in black, white, or pink and priced at $49.95, available directly through the company website (which is currently offering a 29% discount) or online retailers such as Amazon.