Amateur Photographer verdict

This handy device provides a much better grip on your phone for photography and video. Usefully, it also works as a wireless charger and powerbank. It’s a great option for smartphone photographers.
  • Provides a secure hold on your phone
  • Bluetooth connects to phone quickly
  • Handy built-in powerbank
  • Works as wireless charger/night stand
  • Should continue to work with future devices
  • No option to attach a wrist strap
  • Relatively pricey

There’s no denying that the latest smartphones are genuinely useful photographic tools, which are often capable of doing things that conventional cameras cannot. But even the best smartphone cameras, such as the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, are a horrible shape to hold and shoot with. Enter the ShiftCam SnapGrip – a magnetic clip-on handgrip with a built-in Bluetooth shutter button, that’s designed to make your phone much more secure to shoot with.

ShiftCam SnapGrip at a glance:

  • $70 / £70
  • MagSafe hand grip
  • Bluetooth Shutter release
  • Wireless charger
  • Built-in power bank
  • Available in 5 colours: black, and two shades each of blue and pink

With its MagSafe connector, the SnapGrip fits directly onto most iPhones since the 12-series. It can also be used with Android devices, but you’ll have to stick the supplied adapter disc onto your phone or a case to make this work.

In terms of size, the SnapGrip is best suited to use with large-screen flagship devices, like my iPhone 15 Pro Max. However it can also be used with smaller models. I tried it on the iPhone 14 Pro, which was also absolutely fine. But the grip stuck out from the side of the phone by a centimetre or two.

The ShiftCam SnapGrip works in both portrait and landscape orientations, and with most iPhone cases. Credit: Andy Westlake

There are several advantages to the magnetic design. It’s particularly quick and easy to fit, and you can attach your phone onto the grip equally well in either portrait or landscape orientation. It also works with most iPhone cases, including the excellent Peak Design one that I use. There’s a good chance it’ll continue to work with devices you might get in the future, too.

ShiftCam SnapGrip key features:

  • LEDS: A series of status LEDs on the side indicate Bluetooth connectivity, wireless charging, and the charge level of the built-in powerbank
  • Power in: The USB-C port can be used to charge both the built-in powerbank and the battery on an attached phone
  • Wireless charger: Pressing the small button initiates wireless charging from the powerbank. A double-tap stops charging
  • Kit contents: The box includes a USB-C charging cable, a magnetic disc for use with Android phones, and a small tool to reset the Bluetooth connection

ShiftCam SnapGrip in use

The first thing you need to do when you get the SnapGrip is pair it with your phone via Bluetooth. Once that’s done, it’s very simple to use. There are just two controls; the Bluetooth shutter button, and a smaller button alongside that starts up wireless charging.

The ShiftCam SnapGrip has two buttons, the Bluetooth shutter release and a smaller one to fire up wireless charging. Credit: Andy Westlake

A first press of the shutter button switches it on and activates Bluetooth; it reliably connects to my iPhone 15 Pro Max in a matter of seconds. Then pressing the shutter button takes a photo or starts video recording – just as long as you have the camera app open, of course.

There are no other camera controls, and no power off command, either. The device simply switches itself off after extended inactivity.

Rubberised pads on the back protect your phone, and a column of LEDs indicate the device status. Credit: Andy Westlake

This isn’t just a clip-on shutter button, though. It also works as a wireless charger, complete with a built-in 3200mAh powerbank. While this is useful to have, it isn’t super-fast; it boosted my phone’s battery level by about 10% in 45min, and by a maximum of 25% in 1 hour 45 min.

You can also use the SnapGrip as a charger stand to top up both your phone battery and its internal powerbank overnight, via a single USB-C cable. However, you can’t recharge other devices from its USB-C port.

The device can be used as a wireless charger and supports nightstand mode on iPhones. Credit: Andy Westlake

If I have one minor gripe, it’s that you can’t attach a wrist strap for extra security. But then again, it would probably be better to attach one to your phone case instead. It’s also worth noting there’s no tripod socket or cold shoe, either – this is a simple grip for hand-held shooting.

Not to be mistaken for…

This isn’t the only product on the market called a ‘SnapGrip’. There’s also a very similar-looking device from a company called Camoric, which is rather cheaper. The version I have works as a shutter release button and wireless charger, but doesn’t include a powerbank – that comes in Camoric’s ‘Pro’ model.

ShiftCam SnapGrip (left) compared to Camoric SnapGrip (right). Credit: Andy Westlake

While the Camoric device works OK, it feels quite flimsy. The leatherette that covers the grip doesn’t stick down properly on mine, either. In contrast, the ShiftCam SnapGrip is very much better made and feels like a higher-quality product. In my opinion, it’s worth the premium price, but the Camoric could still be worth considering if you’re on a tight budget.

ShiftCam SnapGrip Accessories

The ShiftCam SnapGrip has a MagSafe attachment point on its front which can be used to attach further accessories. ShiftCam’s own offerings include the SnapPod mini tripod grip, SnapShoe cold shoe, and SnapLight LED ring light. You could also use it with any of the other MagSafe tripod mounts available.

ShiftCam SnapLight, SnapPod, and SnapShoe
Shiftcam’s accessories: from left to right SnapLight, SnapPod, and SnapShoe. Credit: ShiftCam/AP

ShiftCam SnapGrip: Our Verdict

It’s no exaggeration to say that the ShiftCam SnapGrip transforms how you can use your phone camera. I’ve been sceptical about similar clamp-type devices I’ve tested in the past, but this is much more practical and convenient, thanks to its magnetic design.

The ShiftCam Snapgrip on the iPhone 15 Pro Max the with Peak Design case. Credit: Andy Westlake

It snaps quickly but firmly into place, providing an extremely secure hold along with the intuitive feel of a proper shutter button. I’m perfectly happy using it to carry my phone one-handed, just like I would a ‘real’ camera. Throw in the powerbank and wireless charging, and it’s a genuinely useful device.

Amateur Photographer Recommended 4.5 stars

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