A 10-Step Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Selfie Stick
The selfie stick is a monopod which is held at arm’s length with your smartphone attached to the other end, so you can take photographs of yourself and anyone else with you.
Selfie sticks are quite useful in many situations, such as when you are travelling alone and you want to take a decent selfie with a landmark in the background. They help you to hold the phone at a better angle and at a further distance away from you.
There are quite a few different types of selfie sticks, each with its own unique features, advantages and even disadvantages. Here is a 10-tip beginner’s guide to help you buy the right selfie stick.
1. Types of Selfie Stick
There are three basic types of these self-photographing monopods.
- Selfie sticks with Bluetooth to pair with your smartphone and use a button to take a picture.
- Selfie sticks with a 3.5mm headphone jack you plug into your phone and also with a button to take a picture.
- Selfie sticks without a way to connect to your phone and will need a separate Bluetooth remote (if it isn’t included). Otherwise the phone’s camera timer will have to be used.
The most recommended of these is probably the one that connects to your phone through the headphone jack. It uses power from your phone, meaning there is no need to charge the selfie stick or even purchasing a remote.
2. Length When Folded and Total Reach
Both of these are very important because the sticks need to be compact enough to be taken with you when you are travelling, as well as long enough to have your phone far away enough to capture the best photos.
In general, most will be approximately eight inches when folded, although some can be folded down to shorter lengths. About 40 inches when extended is a good length to have.
3. Pay attention to build quality
Try and avoid getting selfie sticks that are of poor quality. You will want one that can fit easily into your bag or carrying case. You will also want one that’s fit for all sorts of conditions, such as hot places and wet weather. Get one that suits your style, and most importantly, one with a comfortable grip.
4. Know the Connectivity
Bluetooth sticks have to be kept charged. However, connecting one to your smartphone with a 3.5mm headphone jack means no charging. Also keep in mind if the stick does not connect to the phone wirelessly or by the headphone jack, a Bluetooth remote will be needed.
5. The Clamp
This is a key part of the stick because it holds your phone in place. Check to make sure the clamp supports your phone, and it needs to have a firm hold on it so your phone doesn’t fall out. Clamps which have the lower edge tapering downwards will hold a phone better.
The right selfie stick should be easy to use no matter where you are. Some sticks have a split at one end to make a tripod. This is quite useful if you want to take selfies that look like regular photos.
For most smartphones, the rear camera is going to take better pictures than the front camera. Some selfie sticks will have a mirror, allowing you to use the rear camera of your phone, resulting in you taking better quality photos.
If you like water activities such as snorkelling and scuba diving, then you may want to capture some of the action under water. In this case you would need to get a selfie stick that is waterproof.
Like any popular gadgets in the marketplace today, you can purchase accessories for your selfie stick. You can get lanyards, belt clips, flip-lock extensions, Universal adapter (allows you to attach Digital Cameras and action cameras such as Go Pro) and a few others.
Finally, the price is a highly important factor with any purchase. Spend too little and you could end up with a selfie stick of poor quality. Good selfie sticks can be purchased for as little as $10-$20.