When it comes to selfies mobile phones created a phenomenon. People even began buying accessories for the job such as the selfie stick which allows the phone to be extended out and apps were created for the job.
But you have never seen a method for getting that picture quite like this one. Coca Cola has created what is probably the world’s first selfie bottle. Yes, you heard that right, a soda bottle that snaps an image of you each time you take a sip of your drink.
It’s a fairly normal looking Coke bottle, except for the camera attached to the bottom. The image was created by an advertising firm in Israel and will be spread via social media. The company hopes that people also spread images of themselves drinking a Coke.
There is no word on if the bottles will be available worldwide or of the price. They may catch on, but it seems more likely a novelty item.
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.
Thanks to Mpow and Patuoxun for the review iSnap X Self-portait Monopod.
I’ll admit, as a male growing ever closer to the age of 40, I’m not much of a selfie taker. Regardless, the culture of the selfie is becoming more prominent with each passing day. Like it or not, selfies aren’t going away anytime soon. Proof of this can be found in the proliferation of accessories designed to maximize one’s selfie experience. Most prevalent among these being the selfie stick. And while that particular item may solve one problem when it comes to taking selfies, there are still other pressing selfie-related matters that need to be addressed. Specifically, what do you do when it’s time to take a selfie in low-light conditions? A new ring light called Kira being developed in Japan may have the answer.
This ring light clips onto the top of a smartphone providing a wash of directed, even light towards the holder of the phone. Thus improving the conditions for selfie taking in low-light environments. Kira can easily be stowed in a purse or pocket and then attached to a smartphone as needed. It’s worth nothing that many smartphones don’t have flash LED’s on front-facing cameras. So, Kira is filling a need there. It’s also possible to see uses for this accessory beyond selfies. The ring light could be useful for video chat applications like Skype and FaceTime, too.
Kira is currently raising money thru a Japanese crowdfunding site. No word yet as to when the device might be available for public purchase and/or how much it’ll cost.
The OED named “selfie” as the word of the year for 2013 and since then it’s been embedded in the zeitgeist. In turn, the selfie stick became one of Time’s inventions of 2014 providing greater depth and spatial awareness for the inclusive snapper. In short, they’re great fun and you get more in the picture. Marlo talks with Noah Rasheta from iStabilizer about their new monopod aka selfie stick.
iStabilizer have a range of gadgets to mount, hold or otherwise position smartphones, tablets and action cams. The new version of their selfie stick makes life especially easy for selfie takers with a universal smartphone mount at one end and a Bluetooth button at the other end of the stick to press the shutter in the camera app. The stick works with both Apple and Android smartphones – there’s another button on the handle to switch between the different types. Overall, it couldn’t get any easier: put smartphone in mount, hold stick to get the best picture, smile and snap.
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