If you're looking for a cell phone tripod with bendy-flexible legs, a Bluetooth remote cell phone camera shutter button with an included battery and you're on a budget, then the Insignia Tripod & Bluetooth Shutter package is for you.
Here, Best Buy (maker of Insignia products) has created a cheap alternative to the popular-but-pricey Joby GorillaPod Magnetic Tripod with Ivation Wireless Bluetooth Camera Shutter Remote Control package though the Insignia packge does not feature a magnetic base.
The Insignia Tripod fails in only one category: It is not designed to hold your cell phone in portrait mode while you snap your selfies. It's designed for landscape photography only - but since the Insignia Tripod is a bendy-legged beast, you can twist it into a pretzel shape, which will successfully hold your phone upright for portrait-style photography.
The overall Tripod package, once unboxed, screams no-frills, cheap but functional, all at once. Turn on the remote shutter via a switch on the side and a blinking light lets you know its ready to pair with your phone. The round, black remote shutter is very straightforward in its operation - it even features a short lanyard, and its range is reasonable - in general, a nice addition to the Tripod package.
The Insignia Tripod is made of durable black plastic, foam rubber and metal. The collapsible, spring-loaded, plastic clamping mechanism which holds your cell phone should fit easily around most phone cases - my Galaxy S7 wearing an Otterbox Defender squeezed in nicely.
Articulation is a problem all-around: Each leg has only approximately 15 degrees of movement outward, and the clamping mechanism only rotates upward / outward in one direction. However, the bendy legs of the tripod can be argued into numerous positions in order to address uneven surfaces. Rotating the clamp causes it to unscrew from its tripod base, but it can be done. The clamp can be dogged into firm position by a plastic lever on the side of the tripod.
Before you consider not purchasing this tripod, keep in mind that it is indeed a cheap steal at just under $35.00. I wouldn't pay more than that for the quality of this product - kudos to Best Buy for giving consumers what they want at just about half the price.
- Chipper F. Xavier, Esq.