ShiftCam SnapGrip Review: The best camera grip for your iPhone, but do you even need one?

Add a camera shutter button to your iPhone.

ShiftCam SnapGrip
(Image: © Future)

iMore Verdict

The ShiftCam SnapGrip is a unique MagSafe accessory that helps improve photography on iPhone. That said, a few quirks and a design that isn’t pocket-friendly make the added benefits of the product also its biggest downfall.

Pros

  • +

    Want more grip for photos? This does it brilliantly

  • +

    Premium feel with optional additional accessories

  • +

    Doubles as an external MagSafe battery

Cons

  • -

    Button activates volume rather than launches camera

  • -

    Bulky in pocket

  • -

    MagSafe magnets are strong but it’s still MagSafe

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For most people, the iPhone is the best camera they have on them in almost all circumstances, which opens up a world of possibilities for iPhone camera accessories. When Apple announced MagSafe with the launch of the iPhone 12, it created the potential for magnetic accessories that make using your iPhone easier than ever before.

The SnapGrip by ShiftCam is a clever use of MagSafe that adds a shutter button and grip to your iPhone to help with your smartphone photography. Built into a small form factor that also includes a battery pack, the ShiftCam is a great idea for an accessory. But does it actually improve your photography experience on iPhone?

ShiftCam SnapGrip: Price and availability

ShiftCam SnapGrip

(Image credit: Future)

SnapGrip is available on the ShiftCam website and Amazon for $69.99. You can purchase the Creator Kit bundle, including the SnapPod and SnapLight, alongside the grip for $129.99. SnapGrip comes in five colors: Midnight, Blue Jay (pictured), Chalk, Pink, and Pink Pomelo.

ShiftCam SnapGrip: Ease of use

ShiftCam SnapGrip

(Image credit: Future)

The tagline for the SnapGrip is “Snap, Grip & Shoot Content,” and it does exactly what it says on the tin. You magnetically attach the SnapGrip via MagSafe and get access to a 3,200 mAh battery pack, a shutter button, and a grip to hold your iPhone in a more comfortable position when shooting photos and videos. 

In terms of what it sets out to do, the SnapGrip works a treat. If you’ve ever found the slick glass and aluminum, stainless steel, or titanium edges of your iPhone uncomfortable to hold, the SnapGrip has you covered. In the Creator Kit that I received, I also got the SnapPod and SnapLight, which can attach magnetically to your iPhone as well to add a ring light or a tripod, and it all just works.

One of my biggest complaints about the SnapGrip, however, is that for a product that’s meant to make taking photos on your iPhone easier, it actually makes it harder. Either you keep the SnapGrip connected to your iPhone and hope you’ve got huge cargo pockets, or you need to take your iPhone out of your pocket, unzip the SnapGrip from the included carrying case, and attach it to your phone every single time — which usually ends up with you missing the moment you were trying to capture in the first place.

ShiftCam SnapGrip: Build

ShiftCam SnapGrip

(Image credit: Future)

The SnapGrip feels incredibly premium, it has a nice matte texture with a decent weight to it, as well as strong MagSafe magnets. The SnapGrip charges via USB-C, and the shutter button is nice and clicky. All of the extra accessories are also sturdy, and the monochrome colorways really pop.

The build quality of the SnapGrip bundle makes the price justifiable, nothing feels cheap. One caveat is that no matter how premium the build quality is, it still relies on MagSafe. MagSafe is brilliant, but when you’re holding an iPhone via a grip or sliding the grip attached to your device in and out of your pocket it just feels like it could slip off at any point. I wouldn’t feel comfortable using the SnapGrip in a busy city like New York or Greenock, it’s too easy to pry out of someone’s hands.

ShiftCam SnapGrip: Features

ShiftCam SnapGrip

(Image credit: Future)

Do you want added grip and a shutter button for your iPhone? The SnapGrip is the best implementation of an additional button that I’ve ever used — but that begs the question: do you really need it? For close to $70, the inconvenience of adding the SnapGrip to your iPhone when you want to take pictures really takes away from the product. Snapping photos on an iPhone is often dependent on split seconds, and I found that after using the SnapGrip for a few days, it was far more efficient to just not use it. Everything here works as it should, although the button weirdly activates the volume rocker when not in the Camera app, that means on my iPhone 15 Pro Max, I used the Action button to open Camera and then the shutter button on SnapGrip to take the picture — is that really improving my iPhone photography experience? I’m not so sure.

If you’re adamant about wanting a grip for your iPhone, I don’t think you’ll find a better product. The shutter button works quickly via Bluetooth, the battery pack is a nice addition, and the grip itself is nice and premium. That said, for those who take quick snaps with their iPhone, this only adds friction to the experience.

ShiftCam SnapGrip: Competition

In terms of competition, I found quite a few options for similar MagSafe grips on Amazon at a much lower cost. I doubt they feel as good as the SnapGrip or work as well, but if you’re looking for a cheaper option, they may be worth trying out.

The biggest competition for the ShiftCam SnapGrip is the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Why would you need the extra button when you’ve got a dedicated Action button that can be used for snapping quick pictures?

ShiftCam SnapGrip: Should you buy one?

You should buy one if…

  • You want a shutter button and a grip
  • You want a battery pack with added functionality
  • You don’t mind attaching the SnapGrip every time

You shouldn’t buy one if…

  • You like to take quick photos on the fly
  • You are worried about MagSafe strength when using outside
  • You own an iPhone 15 Pro

ShiftCam SnapGrip: Verdict

The ShiftCam SnapGrip does exactly what you’d expect a MagSafe battery pack/camera grip to do, but it opens a debate on whether or not you should actually use one of these accessories. If you’re looking for a shutter button to take quick pictures, the friction of constantly attaching or reattaching the SnapGrip or even using it continuously in your pocket really takes away from the idea. For some people, this will be the best $70 they ever spend, for others, the SnapGrip might start to gather dust after a few uses.

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.

Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.

John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019. 

John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit. 

  • Annie_M
    It's pretty pricey for what it does. I have a tripod with a remote control that cost a lot less, and is just fine for my needs.
    Reply