Selfies are fun. With the ever-improving quality of front-facing cameras, they’re getting better, too. If you want all your pictures online to be the best quality, though, you’re still going to have to use the rear cameras on your iPhone. They’re just that much better. Problem is, it’s hard to take properly-framed selfies using that. At least, that was the case before the Ulanzi ST-09 came along.
Designed to mount your Apple Watch Series 5 (and, we guess, Series 6, since they’re similarly-sized) on the back of your iPhone, it lets you turn the smartwatch into a second screen on your smartphone, so you can use it to frame selfie shots using the rear cameras. No more taking multiple rear camera shots, hoping one of them turns out the way you like – just mount this thing on your phone, dock your Apple Watch in place, and take proper selfie shots using the best cameras available on your iPhone.
The Ulanzi ST-09 is a clamp that mounts across your phone’s body and puts a dock sized to fit an Apple Watch in the back. From there, you just put your smartwatch on the dock, pair it with the iPhone, and launch the Camera Remote app to use it as a functional viewfinder. Sure, this is hardly as convenient as using the front camera to take photo or video selfies. If you insist on using the rear camera for your Instagram photos and stories to get the best possible shot quality, though, using an accessory to make it easier sounds like the kind of thing you will be very interested in doing.
Is this the kind of thing you can mount on your iPhone on a semi-permanent basis? If you use your rear camera to shoot selfies regularly, it could be viable. Sure, it makes your iPhone unnecessarily thicker, but it does allow you to use the rest of phone without any obstructions, so it’s just like adding an extra thick case in tow.
The Ulanzi ST-09 also adds a cold shoe on top and a tripod slot at the bottom. That way, you can attach an additional accessory, like a fill light or a microphone, to turn it into a full-fledged vlogging camera, as well as mount it to a tripod for hands-free capture, a monopod for a better handheld grip, or a monopod-tripod combo for both. It comes with silicone pads on the sections that come in contact with the phone or the watch, by the way, so it won’t leave any nicks or scratches on your expensive gadgets.
While this is obviously designed for an iPhone and Apple Watch pairing, it might be viable for other smartphone and smartwatch combo. According to the outfit, the clamp design can mount to around 98 percent of smartphones in the market, so you can fit it in an Android phone without any trouble, although the watch dock restricts you to smartwatches similar in size to the Apple Watch Series 5 and 6, which makes finding compatible devices just that much harder.
The Ulanzi ST-09 Selfie Phone Clip is available now, priced at $19.95.