Amateur Photographer verdict

The Joby RangePod Smart Tripod is a versatile tripod that works well and is great value for money
  • Great price
  • Versatile with phone holder
  • Good build quality
  • Bag straps aren’t comfortable

If you’re looking for a great value tripod, but want it to be as versatile as possible, then the Joby RangePod Smart tripod is a great options, with support from smartphones all the way to large cameras and lenses.

At a glance 

  • Arca Swiss compatible ball head 
  • 1.69KG weight, max 8KG support 
  • Aluminium construction 
  • 160cm maximum height 
  • 4-leg sections, with twist locks 
  • Available in black or red 
  • $144 / £107 as a kit (normally £132)

Joby RangePod Smart Tripod Features 

Joby RangePod Smart Tripod with head. Photo JW

The Joby RangePod Smart tripod is an affordable entry-level tripod with a range of features letting you use the tripod with a smartphone or a camera. There’s a modern arca-swiss compatible ballhead with spirit level bubbles for both vertical and horizontal shooting.  

A phone adapter is included that can be adjusted for different sized phones, and has a locking mechanism, as well as an additional tripod socket for additional attachments, or for mounting vertically (if you don’t want to use the tripod head vertically). It’s even got a cold-shoe for accessories such as a microphone or small (LED) lighting unit.  

Joby RangePod Smart Tripod with phone holder. Photo JW

If you’ve seen the Manfrotto Befree or Element MII range of tripods, then you may see some similarities, as the Joby RangePod looks similar, and in case you’re unaware, Joby are part of the Manfrotto family. The Joby RangePod is even made in Italy.  

Like the Befree tripod, there are adjustable leg positions controlled with leg angle selectors (toggles) at the top of the legs. Position 1 lets you reverse the leg to keep the tripod closed for transport, then there are two different leg angles available, as well as completely unrestrained.  

Joby RangePod Smart Tripod with bag. Photo JW

The centre column has a stop at the end that can be switched for a bag hook (included in the box), so you can add weight to the tripod if needed. You can also remove this entirely and reverse the centre column for low-down shooting.  

Key features

  • Arca-swiss compatible head – The ball head comes with a quick release plate that is made out of very solid plastic. 
  • M-lock leg locks – These are rubber covered and chunk, letting you quickly tighten and release these as needed. 
  • 360 head – the ball head, and 360 rotation can be locked off separately, letting you use the head for 360 photos and video.  
  • Rubber stopper – There’s a rubber stopper / surround around the bottom of the ball-head meaning if you accidentally drop the centre column it should land with a gentle thud.  

Joby RangePod Smart Tripod Performance 

The tripod is quick to setup, thanks to chunky leg locks (Joby call them M-locks) that can be quickly unlocked with a twist. On the bottom of the legs are rubber feet, and at the top of one of the legs is a large rubber grip to help with carrying the tripod, so that you don’t have to hold cold metal. 

Joby RangePod Smart Tripod with bag. Photo JW

The legs are made up of 4-sections, and are relatively sturdy, with the thinnest showing the most flexibility. If you do need the legs to be less flexible, then you could leave the last section un-extended, if you don’t mind losing some height.  

The ball head can be removed if needed, and underneath is a 3/8inch thread. This doesn’t hide a smaller 1/4inch thread, so if you lose your head, there’s no option to simply put your camera on the tripod.  

Twist locks are featured on the legs, as well as rubber feet. Photo JW

There’s a padded bag included, and this has rope straps, which aren’t the most comfortable to use. But for the price point, this is something I can live with, as I’d rather the money went on the tripod rather than the bag if any costs need to be saved.  

Smartphone holder included

The smartphone adapter is an impressive little bit of kit, looking almost identical to the Manfrotto MCPIXI (normally £17.99) and supports phones up to 104mm / 4.1inches wide, this is generous for even large phones like the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. It’s a solid adapter, and feels really well made. 

Joby RangePod Smart Tripod Verdict 

The Joby RangePod Smart is an affordable entry-level tripod that gives smartphone and camera shooters a great entry into the tripod market, without any obvious cost cutting, or more importantly constraints. If you look at cheaper tripods, they tend to lack twist leg-locks, and have noticeably worse build and design, with the build quality of the Joby RangePod to be commended.  

Amateur Photographer Recommended 4.5 stars

For more options have a look at the best tripods, as well as the best phone tripods.