We round up some of the best selfie sticks available to buy for iPhone and Android smartphones.
Selfie sticks first began to appear in 2014, but it seems that 2015 is going to be their year. According to my Facebook feed, a HUGE percentage of the UK population got a selfie stick for Christmas, and during my time at CES 2015 in Las Vegas I spotted them everywhere, being used by excited tourists to capture photographs of themselves and their friends and family with the Strip in the background.
If you've yet to join in with the selfie stick craze, and you've decided that it's time to give in and buy yourself one of these gadgets, here are some options to choose from, ranging from basic and budget to surprisingly technical.
We'll start with the cheap and cheerful option, the £3.24 MonoPod available in various colours from Amazon. It's the most basic of those listed here, with a simple mount (or cradle) that connects to a spring-based mechanism that adjusts to fit the size of your smartphone. The mount has a hinge that allows you to position the smartphone at various angles and turn the smartphone from landscape to portrait orientation.
It doesn't come with a remote control so you'll need to set the timer, or buy a separate remote shutter button.
The MonoPod can be extended to approximately 90cm, but be careful not to pull too hard when you're extending it as we pulled the top off the first time we tried. The grip at the bottom of the stick is ideal, though, so you shouldn't drop it as you try desperately to pose while keeping the stick out of shot (apparently that's what you need to achieve to become a selfie stick master).
Overall, you really do get what you pay for with this one, but if you're willing to use the timer function on your smartphone and are prepared for the slightly flimsy nature of the product, you'll be suitably satisfied for your £3.24.
Considerably more expensive but also undoubtedly better quality is the Me-Shot Deluxe from XSories. Available in pink, orange or black, the selfie stick has much sturdier parts than the MonoPod, so we imagine it'll stay fully intact rather than falling apart in your hands.
There's a hinge that lets you adjust the angle of your smartphone, as well as two options for the mount that let you hold the smartphone in portrait or landscape orientations. The mount should fit any smartphone, thanks to an easily adjustable grip that is tightened by simply twisting the knob on one side. It felt strong during our testing, so we weren't worried about the smartphone falling out, and rubberised grips mean you don't need to worry about it damaging your device.
The textured portion on the bottom of the selfie stick (where you'll be holding the stick during use) is comfortable to hold but easy to keep a firm grip on. That's handy, because it can extend to 93cm.
With the XSories selfie stick, you'll also get a Bluetooth-connected remote control to allow you to take the photo without the need to set a timer, but it's quite large compared with other remote shutters we've seen.
Best selfie sticks: Quick Selfie Pole with Shutter Button for iPhone
If £3.24 is just a bit too cheap and £47.99 is stretching the budget, here's another option for you that sits in the middle.
The Quick Selfie Pole with Shutter Button for iPhone from MobileFun is, contrary to what its name may tell you, actually compatible with Android devices too. It comes with two smartphone holders to fit medium or large smartphones, so most iPhone and Android devices will work.
This one actually has a shutter button built-in, which we think makes it the most effective selfie stick we've tried. It does, however, mean you'll need to charge the selfie stick on a regular basis using the USB cable provided.
Pairing it is as easy as turning on your smartphone's Bluetooth and tapping 'Shooter', and from then you can press that button on the handle to take a photo at any time.
It's a shame that the smartphone holders are quite flimsy, because otherwise this is a great offering for selfie-lovers.
Very similar to the Quick Selfie Pole with Shutter Button for iPhone is Everything Tablet's Bluetooth Selfie Stick, which comes in black or hot pink. It's essentially the same, with a built-in shutter button that requires charging via USB, two smartphone holders for medium or large devices, and an extension length of around a metre.
We found extending this selfie stick quite tricky, though – you'll need to put some muscle into it!
But for £14.99 we'd suggest that it is the best value out of the selfie sticks we've tried, offering a well-built product with a convenient and easy-to-use shutter button.