One of Jimmy's favourite phone accessory companies in recent years is BitPlay, the Taiwan-based company that has been pretty on-point with their products dedicated to elevating your photography/videography. Exclusively made for Apple products, BitPlay released the BitPlay SNAP! Case, Clip and inSpire earlier in 2020, re-introducing the mechanical shutter function in their phone cases that Jimmy loved in earlier incarnations.
Any serious photography or videographer knows that having the right accessories for their camera (plus the skills, of course) can greatly help in getting 'The Shot'. When it comes to smartphone photography, the concept is the same. BitPlay makes it much easier for these creatives with a set of accessories that ticks all the boxes: a series of lenses, a phone case, tripod and clip - all designed to make sure you get full use out of your iPhone camera.
First, let's talk casing. The new SNAP! case has a rubber bumper now, which means that the drop and impact protection has been drastically improved. The coloured cover is interchangeable, so you can mix and match your phone with your clothes, if you're so inclined, and just snap it on as and when you want. The lens mount is a very nice brushed metal texture and aesthetically, just looks really cool without a lens attached. In terms of physically screwing the lens on, this particular version is much easier to attach, which is always helpful when on the go.
And this mechanical shutter button is brilliant... thanks for bringing it back, BitPlay!
Secondly, BitPlay also introduced the inSpire tripod, giving the Peak Design tripod a run for its money with it's simple, one-action lever that allows control of the whole head of the tripod so minute adjustments are very easy to make. It also comes with a tiny ball and socket mount as well, since the design of the tripod doesn't allow a full 90 degree tilt with the whole head. By adding the additional ball and socket mount, the tripod is then given freedom to swivel any which way you want.
As a a vlog-pod, it's pretty impressive, with sturdy legs that are weighted just enough to be solid but not too heavy to be held at arms-length. The one downside that we've found is that it lacks the versatility of the gorilla-pod which is capable of gripping surfaces, however the inSpire works well on a flat surface.
BitPlay also brought back the Clip, which is great news for those who haven't been indoctrinated into the Apple market. Not only is the Clip made of metal and compatible with the amazing premium-quality Zeiss lenses, it is also suitable to use with any smartphone that has a camera function; simply clip onto your phone over the camera lens (back and front) and away you go!
There are a couple of issues with the BitPlay products that we would be remiss if we didn't mention. The case itself is pretty cool, but we do have an issue with the grip in that its design is a bit of a weird one.
With all the effort of creating such a case, having to stick the grip on with double-sided tape feels a little bit like a letdown in design. The very original BitPlay case was one with a screw-on grip (either plastic or wooden versions) that was really nice to hold and to look at; the new rubber version that needs double-sided tape to attach them to the case feels like the cheapened option.
The second issue is the weight, but being mostly made of metal and with the amount of protection it provides, a little extra weight is not really a huge sacrifice.
If you're looking to do a lot of content creation (especially on social media) and all you're armed with is your smartphone, BitPlay products are well worth looking into - especially if you're working on the go and under a budget.