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Verdict

The Manfrotto Pixi is a longstanding favourite for photographers who need a small desktop tripod. It’s sturdy and works well, but the lack of vertical shooting support limits its appeal for mobile shooters.

Pros

  • Simple, sturdy design
  • Fast adjustment
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Doesn’t support vertical shooting
  • Limited tilt range
  • Only suitable for relatively flat surfaces

Key Features

  • Small and compactIt’s less than 20cm long when folded and weighs just 170g, making it very convenient to throw in your backpack and take anywhere.
  • Single button adjustmentThe ball head can be adjusted with a single button press, making framing your shots fast and convenient.
  • Supports heavy payloadsThe Pixi supports up to 1kg payloads, so you can use it with a mirrorless camera as well as a phone.

Introduction

The Manfrotto Pixi has been around for a long time, it was originally introduced in 2013 and in the time since, it has become a staple for photographers who want a lightweight and compact mount for tabletops and flat-ish surfaces. 

In the years since its release, smartphones have all but replaced affordable compact cameras, and to adapt to the times Manfrotto now offers a package that includes a smartphone clamp (it’s the MKPIXICLMII, to be exact). This means it can be used with any smartphone, as well as any camera that has a 1/4-20 tripod thread.

There’s no question that the Manfrotto Pixi is a relatively affordable and lightweight option at just £42/$50, but is it worth investing in? I’ve been using it for the last few weeks to find out.

Design 

  • 170g weight
  • Closed length 18.5cm
  • Aluminium ball head, technopolymer legs

The Manfrotto Pixi tripod kit comes in two parts; you get the Manfrotto Pixi tripod itself, and a separate smartphone clamp with dual 1/4-inch tripod threads and a small integrated kickstand. To use it with a phone, you just thread the clamp onto the tripod screw, and if you’re using a camera, you just twist it on there instead. 

Manfrotto Pixi Mini kit and smartphone on a table
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The tripod feels extremely well built. It’s dense, compact and mostly made from what Manfrotto calls “technopolymer” – I’m pretty sure that just means hardy plastic. The ball head, on the other hand, appears to be machined from a solid block of aluminium.

The legs have two positions, either closed or open, and they’ll sit at a fixed 45 degrees when in use. There are small rubber feet on the end for a bit of grip, and elsewhere everything has the same smooth plastic finish.

Manfrotto Pixi Mini smartphone holder
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

I found the phone clamp a little less impressive. It feels plasticky, sounds hollow, and just doesn’t have quite the same air of quality. It functions just fine, and has ample rubber grips to keep your phone secure and protected, but it’s not going to impress. Especially when you hear the wretched squeak it makes when you open the clamp.

The clamp has a 1/4-inch tripod thread on the base, that’s the one you’ll use with the Pixi, and there’s also a tripod thread on the rear, but I can’t see that being much use with these legs. There’s also a fold-out kickstand on the back, which can position your phone at around a 45-degree angle when it’s not mounted on the tripod. It could be handy, but it’s also very flimsy-feeling.

Manfrotto Pixi Mini thread connection
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Performance 

  • 1kg maximum payload
  • 35-degree tilt, 360 rotation
  • Single-button adjustment

The design of the Manfrotto Pixi means that it’s mainly suited for desktop use and flat surfaces. You can’t adjust the height of any of the legs, so very uneven terrain is going to be a no-go. You’re also limited to a single height of 13.5cm, so unless you want a very low angle, you’re going to want to be on the lookout for desks, benches and other raised surfaces to get your desired angle.

Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod on a table with a phone attached
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The biggest advantages of this tripod are that it’s small, quick to adjust and can support up to 1kg payloads safely. That weight limit isn’t going to matter much for smartphone shooters, even the heaviest flagships are less than half of that, but if you want to use it with a mirrorless camera too, it could be very handy.

The ball head adjusts with a single button; you just push it in, move it to the desired position and let go to lock it in place. It’s very quick and convenient compared to a typical ball head with a locking screw.

One-button adjustment of the Manfrotto Pixi Mini
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The biggest drawback to this tripod is that there’s no support for vertical shooting. In a world where TikToks, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts reign supreme, that’s sure to be a dealbreaker for a lot of people. Of course, you can use a different phone clamp and make it work, but out of the box you’re limited to just 35 degrees of tilt in a landscape format.

Secondary thread in Manfrotto Pixi Mini smartphone mount
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

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Should you buy it?

You want some solid desktop legs for both your camera and your phone

With a 1kg max payload and a very confidence-inspiring ball head, the Manfrotto Pixi is a great choice for mirrorless cameras –  and the smartphone clamp is a nice added bonus.

You want to make vertical videos

You’ll need a different smartphone clamp to make vertical shooting possible, and at that stage, you should probably just look at a different tripod.

Final Thoughts

The Manfrotto Pixi has become a staple in the photography world, and for good reason. It’s small, light, relatively cheap and can handle a good amount of weight. The addition of a smartphone clamp makes it even more handy, but it’s still those with traditional cameras that’ll make the best use of this product.

If you’re just using it with a phone, the lack of vertical shooting support and the cheap-feeling clamp are sure to disappoint.

I’d recommend looking at the HandyPod Mobile Lock from sister company Joby, instead. Bizarrely, it’s cheaper and better in pretty much every way. It supports vertical shooting, has a sturdier clamp with a cold shoe and has a more ergonomic grip.

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How we test

We test every tripod we review thoroughly, using it in various scenarios with different smartphones to make sure they work just as well regardless of the phone you have. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Tested for over a week

Tested with various smartphones of all shapes and sizes

Compared to other mobile tripods

FAQs

Can you buy the Pixi Mini Tripod without a smartphone clamp?

Yes, and it’s quite a bit cheaper too – though you’ll only be able to connect devices with 1/4-inch tripod threads without it.

Full specs

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