What’s the best self ie stick?

More than a tourist gim­mick, the de­vices help com­pose photos taken by smart­phone.

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS - By Nick Guy

It’s the Looq DG, which plugs into the phone’s head­phone jack to trig­ger the shut­ter re­lease.

Let’s get this out of the way up­front: No one truly needs a selfie stick. But they can be some­what use­ful. To f ind the best selfie stick, we put in 20 hours of re­search, brought in 20 mod­els for test­ing and took dozens of self­ies in var­i­ous con­di­tions, in­clud­ing at a frozen- over Ni­a­gara Falls. If you can’t stop your­self from buy­ing one, we found Looq Sys­tems’ Looq DG ($ 20) to be the best op­tion for most peo­ple. Why a selfie stick?

A selfie stick isn’t just a silly tourist gim­mick. Used the right way, it lets you take the kinds of shots that would oth­er­wise re­quire another per­son to cap­ture. A stick can po­si­tion your smart­phone far­ther away than arm’s length, avoid­ing the “head f illing the shot” look and giv­ing you more con­trol over how much back­ground is in the im­age. Also, an ex­tended arm is go­ing to be vis­i­ble in a selfie, but a prop­erly po­si­tioned selfie stick isn’t. How we picked and tested

We looked only at selfie sticks that could trig­ger photos re­motely ( via a wired con­nec­tion or Blue­tooth), didn’t re­quire a mo­bile app to func­tion and were com­pat­i­ble with var­i­ous sizes of iPhones and An­droid phones.

Be­cause travel con­ve­nience is an im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion, we fa­vored sticks that shrunk down to shorter lengths for eas­ier pack­ing and were lighter for eas­ier car­ry­ing.

But we also val­ued those that were the long­est when ex­tended, as a longer stick al­lows for wider shots.

We tested the se­cu­rity of each stick’s cra­dle by shak­ing the stick around with a smart­phone in­stalled. ( Com­mend­ably, no phones fell to their doom with any of the sticks we tested.)

We also tested the ease with which we could ad­just the an­gle of a phone while in each stick’s cra­dle. Run­ners- up

If our top pick is sold out, or if you want to save a few dol­lars, pick up a wired selfie stick from ei­ther Ipow or Noot. For about $ 15, you get the same gen­eral func­tion­al­ity as you would from the Looq DG, though there are some mi­nor dif­fer­ences.

The Ipow and Noot have a cra­dle de­sign ( com­monly found in other selfie sticks) that’s not quite as easy to use, and each is longer com­pacted, and shorter ex­panded, than the Looq DG. The two sticks’ han­dles are also slightly dif­fer­ent. The Ipow has a ribbed- rub­ber tex­ture while the Noot is more of a hard foam, though nei­ther is prefer­able to the other. Wrap­ping it up

Looq Sys­tems’ Looq DG pro­vides an easy way to take bet­ter self­ies or group photos with­out the need for bat­ter­ies or in­con­ve­nient recharg­ing; it col­lapses to a short length and ex­tends to a long length; and it’s rea­son­ably priced.

This guide may have been up­dated; please see TheWire­cut­ter. com.

The Wire­cut­ter

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