Best smartphone camera accessories 2023

The cameras on our smartphones are getting more capable with every iteration. So, it’s no surprise to see them used more frequently for professional content creation.


Almost everyone in the world uses their phone to take photos and videos, but if you want to separate yourself from the crowd, you might want to invest in some accessories to help take your shots to the next level.

There’s a whole world of camera accessories out there, and the truth is, all of them are equally beneficial for smartphones as they are for professional mirrorless cameras.

So, let’s dive into the exciting world of camera accessories. We’ll cover everything you could want or need including stabilisers, lighting, microphones and more.

SmallRig Smartphone Video Rig Kit

1. Best all-in-one solution

Everything you need to turn your smartphone into a professional video creation tool, all in one handy kit.

Pros

  • Everything you need in one handy kit
  • Excellent build quality
  • Highly configurable

This kit from SmallRig covers pretty much everything you need to improve your smartphone filmmaking, all in one convenient box. The core is a cage that clamps to any smartphone, and the rest of the accessories can mount to the plethora of threaded holes and cold shoes around the chassis.

In the box, you’ll get the cage, two side handles, a bi-colour adjustable LED light, a shotgun microphone, a clamp to mount a power bank, a mini-tripod and all the associated cables, tools and screws that you’ll need.

As a bonus, it comes in a neat carrying case to keep everything organised. It’s all built to an exceptionally high standard, and while the kit doesn’t come cheap, it’s still pretty great value for everything that comes included.

Insta360 Flow (6)

Insta360 Flow

2. Best mobile gimbal

There are lots of smartphone gimbals to choose from, but the Insta360 Flow is our favourite. It’s compact, easy and powerful.

Pros

  • Incredible AI tracking features
  • Pocketable design
  • Built-in tripod and extension pole
Cons

  • Features are slightly limited on Android

Built image stabilisation has improved dramatically in recent years, so smartphone gimbals aren’t as necessary as they once were. However, there’s a lot more to gimbals than just stabilisation, and if you want the smoothest shots, it’s still the right tool for the job.

There are loads of options in this category, but our favourite is the Insta360 Flow. It has an ingenious design that folds into a pocketable form factor, while somehow squeezing in an integrated tripod, extension pole and long battery life – you can even use it to charge your phone, in a pinch.

The reason Insta360 takes our top spot is all down to its software. Its AI tracking capabilities are unmatched, effectively turning your smartphone into a robot camera operator that can follow your every move, it’s an incredible tool for filming yourself.

Peak Design Mobile Tripod - Best smartphone camera accessories

Peak Design Mobile Tripod

3. Best pocket tripod

This tiny tripod folds flat into a credit-card-sized package and still maintains full articulation along with horizontal and vertical support.

Pros

  • Impeccably crafted
  • Tiny and pocketable
  • Adjustable tension

The Peak Design Mobile Tripod isn’t just our favourite pocket tripod, it’s one of our favourite pieces of camera equipment in general. It’s finely crafted from precision-cut aluminium, and folds down to be impossibly small, all while maintaining full ball-head articulation, as well as support for horizontal and vertical shooting. When you’re not taking photos, it doubles up as an excellent desktop stand for watching videos, too.

It attaches to your phone with some strong built-in magnets that are compatible with Apple’s MagSafe phones. If you’re not an Apple user, you can use a Peak Design SlimLink phone case or Universal Adapter. Just bear in mind that you may have an additional cost on top of this admittedly pricey tripod. If you can get past the pricing, what you get in return is a tripod that can slip into your pocket unnoticed, ready to deploy for your next timelapse, video call or group shot opportunity. We rarely leave the house without it

An honourable mention goes to the Peak Design Creator Kit, which allows you to connect your phone to GoPro mounts and full-sized tripods via Peak Design’s proprietary SlimLink quick-release connection. It’s perfect for certain situations, but it does require a Peak Design case or adapter to function, meaning it’s not quite as versatile as the Mobile Tripod.

Arnarkok Phone Mount

Arnarkok Arca Swiss Phone Mount

4. Best phone mount

This phone mount is compatible with almost any tripod imaginable. It also adds some convenient mounting points of its own.

Pros

  • Arca-swiss compatible baseplate
  • Horizontal and vertical compatibility
  • Integrated cheese plate and cold shoe

A good mount will allow you to use your phone with professional tripods and all manner of other photographic accessories. This is another area where options are plentiful, and we’ve tried many of them, but none have impressed us as much as this one.

It goes by various names, our version says Woohoto on it, but the one linked here is under Arnarkok. In any case, it’s always easy to find on Amazon, and it comes at a very affordable price.

It’s a solid metal construction with a locking clamp mechanism for added security. It can be used in either a horizontal or vertical orientation, and this axis can be locked too. There’s 1/4-20 cheese-plate mounting on the back, a cold shoe on top, and the base is Arca-Swiss compatible. It opens up a whole world of rigging opportunities.

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Zhiyun Fiveray M40 (1)

Zhiyun Fiveray M40

5. Best portable light

Good lighting will really transform your photos and videos. This portable light from Zhiyun is our favourite option.

Pros

  • Incredibly bright
  • Bi-colour output
  • Lovely design

A good lighting setup can make images from the cheapest camera look exceptional, and it’s something that’s often overlooked in smartphone photography. As with most accessories, there’s a lot to choose from, but the light that we use the most is the Zhiyun Fiveray M40.

This compact little light is astonishingly bright, with an output that could only be matched by cumbersome mains-powered lights just a few short years ago. This unit simply charges via USB-C and is small enough to slip into your pocket.

It’s a bi-colour light, which means you can adjust it to match any scenario, indoors or out. Everything is controlled by two knobs on the side, one adjusts the brightness, and the other adjusts the colour temperature. You can either mount it on a stand or use the mount as a kickstand when it’s on a table, it’s very versatile.

Movo VXR10 (2)

Movo VXR10 Microphone

6. Best external microphone

Audio is one of the most important parts of any video production, and this microphone from Movo can really elevate your sound to the next level.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Great price
  • Compact and portable
Cons

  • Shock mount could be improved

We’ve been using the Movo VXR10 for a number of years with our mirrorless cameras, and it works just as well with a smartphone. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that most modern flagships have done away with the headphone socket, so you’ll need to keep a dongle handy in order to use this.

The VXR10 comes at an affordable price and sounds just as good, if not better, than many of the big-name options. It’s self-powered, so you don’t need to worry about charging it up and comes with a dead cat wind muff to keep unwanted noises at bay.

It has a pretty basic shock mount included, with a cold shoe adapter and tripod thread in the base. It pairs well with the phone mount listed above but there are lots of different ways to mount it if you get a little creative.


How we chose the smartphone camera accessories

Here at Pocket-lint, we test all the latest and greatest smartphones, and as you might expect, that means we spend a lot of time taking photos and videos with our phones. This means that we’ve learned a thing or two about which accessories will actually be useful, and every product that you see on this page is something that we’ve both tested thoroughly and continue to use on a regular basis.

We consider a lot of factors before adding a product to our buying guides. This includes build quality, reliability and performance, as well as value for money when compared to competing products. Everything you see on this page is, in our view, one of the best tools for smartphone photography and filmmaking, so you can buy with confidence, knowing you’re getting a quality piece of kit.

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