Officially this is the “Mpow iSnap X Bluetooth Self-Portrait Monopod” but everyone will recognise it as a selfie stick, not a self-portrait monopod. Personally, I like selfie sticks though I fully admit that there are some right idiots out there who shouldn’t be let anywhere near a knife and fork, never mind a three foot long pole with a small weight on the end. I’ve seen and used a couple of self sticks in my time, some of which were utter rubbish, but fortunately the Mpow iSnap X is the best I’ve used so far as it ticks all the boxes. Easy-to-use, well made, holds the smartphone securely and the remote trigger works. Let’s take a look in more detail.
Starting with the physical aspects, folded up the iSnap X measures 187 mm (or 7½”) long and extending the telescopic pole will take it to 723 mm (or 2’4½”). Including arms, that means the smartphone will be sitting a little over 1 metre or 3½ feet from the person holding the stick.
The handle is covered in a soft touch rubber coating which easy to grip and there’s a wrist lanyard for extra security. At the other end, the mount has sprung-loaded grips that hold phones 55 mm wide up to 85mm. The spring is good and strong, but the rubber coating will stop the grips marking the phone. The grips are angled inwards to ensure that any phone is held firmly and I tried a range of phones from the Nexus 4 through to the OnePlus 2 without any concerns as to loss.
The Mpow iSnap X feels reassuringly well made. The telescopic extension is tight, with little play once fully extended and it seems screwed into the handle rather than only using plastic clips. There’s an interlocking groove in the extension to ensure that the mount stays in the upright position. The thumb screw on the mount seems fairly solid but the position is held only by friction. Time will tell how well this holds up.
The iSnap X uses Bluetooth for remote control of the camera shutter. Pairing is straightforward: hold down the “M” button for three seconds and then choose the iSnap X from within the Bluetooth settings on the smartphone. Once done, pressing the blue “M” button on the handle simultaneously presses the shutter on the camera. I used both a Nexus 4 and OnePlus 2 to test and they worked fine with still pictures. Video was a little different, with a single click working on the OnePlus 2, but the Nexus 4 needed a double click. The instructions suggest holding down the button to take video; perhaps this works with Apple phones. YMMV, as they say but the compatibility list indicates Samsung, Motorola, Nexus and Apple phones should work. Windows Phone and Blackberry are apparently not.
In the end of the handle, there’s a micro USB port for charging the iSnap X and a tangle-free (flat) USB to micro-USB cable is provided in the box. I’ve no idea how many photos between charges – I’ve had the stick for two weeks and haven’t had to recharge.
Overall, the Mpow iSnap X seems to be the ideal selfie stick. It’s well made and grips the phone with confidence, which is exactly what you want when sticking a £400 smartphone on the end of a 3ft stick. The iSnap X is available from Amazon.co.uk for GB£8.99 for the black version. It’s a bit more for the pink and blue versions but whatever the colour, it’s money well spent.