What to Know Before You Buy a Selfie Stick

If you’ve been traveling a lot, chances are you’ve seen people taking photos on their smartphones attached to the end of a long pole. It’s little wonder as these so-called selfie sticks serve as valuable tools that provide its user more liberty in taking solo photos and group shots, choosing angles, and getting better composition.

Truth to be told, selfie sticks are not completely new as they’ve been around since the 1990s and are simply inverted monopods with handles first utilized by extreme sports enthusiasts. In recent years, it saw a significant boom globally also due to its inexpensive price tag and for it being a perfect fit for the worldwide “selfie” trend.

If you want to join the growing fad and are searching for a selfie stick, be mindful like with any other purchase, it’s practical not to buy any first thing you see. There are things that you need to consider to ensure that you get the most out of your chosen equipment. Don’t fret, as we’ve prepared the things you need to know before buying a selfie stick that will help you take your self-portraits to the next level.

Taking a selfie using a selfie stick

The Clamp

Selfie sticks come with a mount with an adjustable width to fit and hold your smartphone securely. The most common types feature a rubberized clamp that will firmly squeeze your device and keep it in a horizontal position.

Read the product’s specifications to ensure that it can support your smartphone. If the mount is too wide, it may cause your device to fall, damaging it in the process. If the mount is too narrow, it may not also grip your phone tightly even after clamping it. Thus, further putting it in peril. To keep your device safe, see to it that the selfie stick you’re getting is compatible with your phone type, weight, and size. 

Meanwhile, the majority of the selfie sticks available online allow you to rotate or swivel the clamp. Some can be adjusted up to 180 degrees, which will provide you the opportunity to take a wide range of angles.

Reach and Folded Length

Perhaps, the main advantage of having a selfie stick is extending your reach, far beyond the length of your arms. As such, it’s vital that you opt for one that can extend at least 3 to 4 feet in length. Note that there are ones you can draw out up to 10 feet. The catch is that they can be heavier and harder to stabilize. Not to mention that they are also more vulnerable to breaking.

Another tradeoff of choosing a lengthy selfie stick is that their folded length isn’t compact and portable, making them harder to fit in your travel bag. Shorter selfie sticks have better portability once you fold them and are easy to stow in your backpack. Still, the choice is yours and it boils down to your needs.

Taking a selfie in a snowy terrain using a selfie stick

Build Quality

While it should be automatic that selfie sticks must be durable, given that they’ll be holding your precious iPhone 13 Pro as you take a selfie on a beautiful cliff, not all selfie sticks are created equally. Since you’re already spending money, make sure to get a quality stick, especially if you don’t want to see your phone falling into oblivion.

Selfie sticks are usually made of either aluminum alloy or stainless steel. The former is a combination of different metals, with aluminum being the predominant one. It’s generally lighter, resistant to corrosion, and has higher oxidation. While stainless steel is heavier and isn’t as resistant to harsh elements, it’s more sturdy and less prone to bending or breakage.

Again, don’t take this factor lightly and settle on cheap, shoddy plastic rods, so you won’t end up damaging your smartphone.

Camera Trigger

Most people think that selfie sticks are mere telescoping poles but they’re actually remote controls that can connect to your smartphone to trigger the camera. Some come with a separate Bluetooth-operated shutter key that is easy to link and use, but you need to carry, charge often and keep an eye as it’s prone to losing.

The best android selfie sticks link through a 3.5 mm audio jack. They are best for longer trips, as you can conveniently plugin using the audio jack. A shutter button is directly located on the handle of the selfie stick, which can just press to snap a photo.

Others have built-in Bluetooth functionality and come with an integrated shutter button. Yet, you also need to connect to your phone and charge every now and then. Some selfie sticks don’t have camera triggers at all, requiring you to rely on your camera’s app timer. It can be a very big hassle, setting it up on every photo!

Taking a selfie

Added Features

With the rising popularity of taking selfies, selfie sticks keep pace by also evolving and providing even better features for their users. Today, selfie sticks come with different added features, ranging from belt clips, mirrors for easier positioning, lanyards, flip-lock extensions, zoom and focus controls,  and other ones that can be used underwater. Selfie sticks with these features, however, may come with higher price tags but are worth paying for their convenience and if they fit your selfie needs.

Ease of Use

Lastly, the selfie stick you should be purchasing must be easy to use regardless of the situation. Is the handle easy to grip or slippery? Does it have dents or grooves for better grip? Are you comfortable with its weight and experience no issues raising it up with your smartphone clamped on? Is it easy to pack? Check all the reviews and read others’ experiences. From there, you can draw your own conclusions on how well the product will serve.

Taking a _selfie


That’s the rundown of the things you need to know and consider before you buy a selfie stick. Bear them in mind before buying online or from brick and mortar stores. Through that, you can make a smart purchase and get your best selfie buddy!