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Gift Guide: Help your selfie with some add-on gear

Not all selfies are created equal. Some are blurry, are poorly framed or miss the action entirely because you might be scrubbing your thumb fishing for a virtual shutter button as the moment passes you by.

Although phone manufacturers are trying to help by building in tools for better selfies, many of these have their limits. For better selfies, consider some of these gadgets for yourself or your loved ones.

The Satechi Smart Selfie Extension Arm Monopod, in Decatur, Ga. The item is a telescoping pole that can extend to three feet and hold a smartphone while operating the phone's camera controls via Bluetooth-connected buttons on the grip of the pole.
Ron Harris/AP
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1. Selfie Extension

Satechi Smart Selfie Extension Arm Monopod ($50):

This telescoping monopod from Satechi helps get more than just yourself in the frame. Similar to the Kodak unit, this monopod has spring-loaded rubber pieces that grip the phone on its sides, holding it firmly in place. From there, you simply extend the telescoping device out to its full three feet and get lots of buddies or surroundings into the shot.

What really helps is that a shutter button on the grip of the pole connects to your phone via Bluetooth, allowing you to snap the selfie without reaching up to the phone. Once I paired the monopod to my phone and launched my default camera app, I was able to easily snap various selfies with a birds-eye view and other vantage points longer than my arm.

The Satechi unit worked fine with my phone's default camera, but not with other camera apps I enjoy, such as FxCamera and Candy Camera.

Samsung's new Galaxy Note models do let you fit more people in by stitching multiple images together. You tilt the phone left and right, and the Note's software does the magic behind the scenes. The shot won't be as instant, though, as what the monopod can provide.


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