The Manfrotto TwistGrip is one of the best smartphone clamps on the market. All serious smartphone photographers should be packing at least a mini tripod, but the secret sauce in any such set-up is, of course, a decent smartphone clamp you can rely on. It’s mostly a commodity market flooded with cheapies, but this one really stands out.
Weighing 80g and measuring 106x30x10mm (not including a 106x30x10mm knob, that pokes up a further 10mm), the Manfrotto TwistGrip is made from aluminium. That’s not something you can say for many smartphone clamps. It’s a reasonably simple design, with the clamp able to extend from the default 75mm to a maximum of 106mm, which enables it to support a six-inch smartphone without any problems. That’s going to suit most users, though it won’t stretch to the really big tablet-style smartphones (the maximum width of phone it can take is 85mm).
Although it’s also available with Manfrotto’s HandGrip and BaseGrip for using a smartphone handheld and creating a mini-rig for video, here’s what this little Italian-made clamp can do on its own – and why we love it.
Dimensions: 106x30x10mm when flat
Payload: maximum 6-inch smartphone
Mounting points: Cold shoe takes flash or mic
There are several aspects of the TwistGrip that make it stand out in a crowded market. Perhaps the most useful is the cold shoe amount on the top, which is able to host a mic or a flash. That’s very useful. So is the 1.4-inch thread that makes the TwistGrip easy to attach to any tripod, though that’s a feature common to all smartphone clamps, of course.
The TwistGrip’s high-quality knob is useful for securing its position tightly, but there are also a few nice touches you just don’t expect to find on a product like this. For example, there’s a silicon rubber pad discreetly positioned just where a smartphone makes contact with the clamp, thus avoiding any scratches as aluminium potentially meets aluminium.
Design, build and usability
What we love most about the TwistGrip is its stability, how securely it grips a smartphone, and how easy it is to move about with it.
Although in use as a standard smartphone clamp it must be in the same C-shape configuration as all such products are, the two tops both pivot through 360º so the entire device lays flat. That makes it a cinch to slip it into a pocket or a camera bag without anything catching. When gripping a phone, either naked or in a phone case, there are a couple more silicone rubber pads that are soft on a smartphone but provide some grip. They’re also ranged inward to help prevent any slippage. The locking knob works well and is easy to use, but it can get a little stiff over time.
Although it’s perfect for mounting a mic or a flash on top of a smartphone, you don’t have to use it with a smartphone at all. It works just as well as a support solely for a mic or a flash, in either a C-shape or a flat orientation.
However, don’t go loading the TwistGrip with heavy accessories because it quickly loses its stability – it’s best used with a smartphone and a small, lightweight mic or flash.
One of few truly premium universal smartphone clamps available, Manfrotto’s TwistGrip impresses with its secure grip, its flexibility with accessories, and its build quality. Add unique portability thanks to its lay-flat configuration and here’s a stylish and super-useful smartphone clamp that will help you get more from your smartphone and tripod.