Kit provides capable monopod and awesome lens.
Let me begin by announcing that I am not a part of the selfie culture. I take pictures of my family, my wife, my children and their activities, and rarely find myself within shutter shot of a camera. I have seen YouTube videos, I have been to events and I have directly seen many of today’s youth and those who are not so youthful, following trend and using selfie sticks. Alas, many places now ban selfie sticks for various reasons. You can guess at many of the reasons, especially when reminded that these devices allow for angled pictures at a distance from your body.
I have received a TECHO Three-in-one selfie kit to review. Upon initial inspection there is a simple brown box, devoid of any writing surrounded by a simple white slip cover. Interestingly, the box is nice and likely can be used again to package a future gift, which is a bonus. The slip cover is easily removed from the brown box. The front of the slip cover displays the contents and the back doubles as the instructions.
Included in the packaging is a telescopic selfie stick with a black handle and silver/chrome like accent, with the logo “TECHO”. You also receive 2 extra lenses that clip over your phones camera aperture. These are listed as macro view and wide angle lenses. The instructions seem easy with 3 simple steps. Step 1 put the Mobile device on the clip and plug the 3.5 mm audio cable into the phone. Step two: hold both ends of the selfie stick and expand the telescopic portion. Step three: press the button on the stick to take photo.
Now to the fun part, actually unboxing my new toy. Removing the lid from the brown box, one is immediately made aware of the telescopic device. It uses up the entire length of the box. The dimensions of the device are approximately 7 inches long by 2.5 inches wide. There are two black drawstring bags. These bags are actually quite nice and the larger of them may even serve well as a sunglasses holder. The smaller bag has the lens clip inside of it. There was nothing else in the box. There are no extra instructions. The selfie stick device fits nicely into the large bag when fully collapsed. The lens clip fits nicely into the small bag, which can also fit into the larger bag.
Next, I decided to follow the instructions on the slip cover. There is a 3.5 mm audio cable inside of a plastic holster (to the side of the device), which will plug into your cell phones audio jack. This will allow the selfie stick to control the camera via the button on the handle. The camera cradle is wide enough for a Samsung galaxy S5 (my wife’s phone) and likely any standard size phone to include the iPhone. However, it does not open wide enough to fit my iPhone 6s Plus inside of the Otterbox Defender case. My typical rule is my phone does not come out of its case. It is a very close fit and I suspect, without the case, it would fit an iPhone 6s Plus.
Extending the selfie stick to its full extent reaches a length of approximately 32 1/4 inches. The end of the selfie stick does have a swivel feature allowing you to angle the camera and to have better control over your photographs. The photo button on the selfie stick handle is very responsive and snapped the pictures quickly on my wife’s Galaxy s5 and on my iPhone 6s Plus (plugged into the phone but the phone would not fit in the cradle). This function is intuitive. Next, I wanted to evaluate the included lenses. The packing comes with a super wide Lens and a .4x macro lens. To get to the macro lens, you need to unscrew the super wide lens, which leaves behind the macro lens. The clip has a nice rubberized backside, allowing the clamp to hold onto the phone and not smudge or damage/scratch the phone.
The macro lens, as detailed on the slip cover is recommended to be used for super up close photography as in flowers, coins, close up detail. I took a picture of a Chucky Cheese coin with my phone seen to the left. I took a picture with the macro view lens to the right (not zoomed). The picture to the far rid zoomed in to the maximum that the phone can zoom. This is the center of the nose of the right image. I was most intrigued by this add on lens. The wide lens is meant to capture more of the scene such as in architectural/interior and landscape photography. This did provide a modestly opened up picture, allowing you to take wider photos without backing up. This lens was nowhere near as neat as the magnifying lens feature. Per the packaging, the macro lens allows you to take sharp photos as close as 40 mm from the object.
The clamp holding the phone is spring-loaded and seems to hold the phone in place very tightly. At first I was worried it would fall out or not hold onto the device snuggly. However, this clamp holds the device very well and would take a considerable force to lose contact with the phone. I suspect the chances of falling or dropping are minimal. I like that the clamp has rubber on either end to protect the held device. This is a must for me as I take very good care of my devices.
Now that I have the device, evaluated and experimented with it, I can imagine some interesting utility. Very recently, I was forced to hire an electrician to determine the source of my power outage after a storm. The electrician walked each outlet back to the junction box, taking pictures inside of outlets and inside of the walls when able with his phone. This was not a simple fix and multiple outlets had issues, which required repair. He was required to cut a hole in the wall to trace the wires and two holes in the ceiling in my bathroom to determine the location of a suspected hidden junction box. He was forced to reach over his head and into the ceiling space and again used his phone to snap pictures of the wiring. I do believe, in this circumstance, a this device would allow him to get better reach, change the angle of his photograph and would allow him to take the photograph at a distance thanks to the telescoping feature. It is apparent that this could help the automotive industry, and could help where cell phones are used for documenting purposes such as home inspections, car accidents or car repair, etc. It would become even more useful if there was a way to control the angle of the swivel on the end of the selfie stick electronically, similar to that found in pan and tilt cameras.
I admit my understanding of the selfie stick was a bit limited initially. I wish the clamp was big enough to hold my iPhone 6s Plus in the OtterBox defender, which does limit utility for me. However, the included extra lenses are a perk that likely did not have to be included. I applaud the company for including the lenses. There may actually be utility in the macro lens for a jeweler or coin collector as it really adds to the magnification of the camera. I have included a picture of a Chucky Cheese coin above to review. The picture is with the macro view lens attached to the Samsung galaxy S5. The amount of detail is amazing. In all I would rate this device as a 4/5 based on the lenses and the device itself. If the lenses were not included, the device is still worth 3/5 stars. Again I wish the clamp would expand another few millimeters to allow the Otterbox defender 6s plus case.
I never thought I would own a selfie stick. However, here I am the proud owner of this device. If you are in the market for a selfie stick, I believe you will be very happy with this product. Additional pros to the device: it will fit easily into your pocket or bag, there are no batteries, no syncing, no apps. It is a simple plug and play device. You can buy this from Amazon and it is on sale as of the writing of this review.
Buy on Amazon: Portable Self-portrait Lens Kit