But while testing the Sony Xperia 1 IV phone, I found the ultimate phone tripod and vlogging setup. The trick is that it actually consists of two products: the $140 Sony GP-VPT2BT Wireless Bluetooth Shooting Grip and Tripod and the $199 Sony Vlog Monitor. And yes, that is essentially a just-shy-of-$350 setup to hold your phone so you can film yourself. Also, the vlog monitor only works with Sony Xperia Pro-I and Xperia 1 IV phones. So it doesn’t work with an iPhone 13, a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra or a Google Pixel 6 Pro. And the tripod/grip/remote only works with Sony cameras and phones.
If you’re prepared to spend the money and have a Sony phone, Sony’s tripod and monitor will completely improve your phone vlogging experience. You may have looked for a phone tripod if you’re an aspiring filmmaker or simply want to take better vlogs and selfies. The trouble is that there’s an almost infinite number of options, ranging from simple phone stands to complicated systems that include a vlogging grip and a remote control. You must also consider the fact that phones like the iPhone 13 Pro and Galaxy S22 Plus capture higher-quality video with their back cameras than with their selfie cameras, making it even more difficult to compose your picture. (Fortunately, there are plenty of TikTok hacks to get past this.)
Like a small selfie stick, the Sony grip-and-tripod hybrid allows you to hold your phone physically farther away so that you can get more of your face and body in the shot. Unlike a selfie stick, it doesn’t have the baggage of cringey judgements from onlookers. The grip also connects to your phone or camera via Bluetooth, meaning you don’t need to run a cable from the tripod to your phone or camera. The grip works as a Bluetooth remote even when you don’t have anything mounted on it, which I find quite appealing.
So why am I recommending a tripod and monitor that costs close to $350 and only works with two niche phones? Because these accessories are outstanding. If you own or plan to buy a Sony camera or either of the two supported phones, I’d recommend considering this setup. As for everyone else, I’d love to see similar setups from phone makers or third parties that offer products with this level of quality and ease of use.. Originally designed for Sony cameras like the ZV-1, ZV-10E, A7C and A7S III, the Sony GP-VPT2BT was an easy way to turn those cameras into a vlogging setup. Usefully, the grip also works with the Xperia Pro-I phone and upcoming Xperia 1 IV.
In terms of price, it’s difficult to compare the Vlog Monitor with other tiny magnetic screens, largely because they don’t exist. But a recent TikTok trend has people using their Apple Watch as a tiny, rear-facing monitor for the iPhone, and the result is identical to using Sony’s Vlog Monitor. Right now, a brand-new Apple Watch Series 3 — which we no longer recommend since it won’t receive new software updates — costs $199. So the Vlog Monitor’s price makes sense in my book.
Unsurprisingly, this setup also worked great with Sony’s Photo Pro and Video Pro apps, which work with the monitor straight out of the box. All you need to do is have the Vlog Monitor turned on and plugged in. Once connected, you have all the same robust controls for getting the image to look the way you want and the convenience of being able to use the rear camera for selfies and vlogging.
Do I wish either the grip or the magnetic monitor would work with other phones like the iPhone? Absolutely. It would make this setup a worthwhile investment for years to come. But if you’re getting an Xperia Pro-I or an Xperia 1 IV, this grip and monitor combo makes those phones an even more versatile way to record videos. If you also own a Sony camera, you get double the use.