Gadgin Bluetooth Remote Control Camera Shutter Release

Rating: 4 out of 5
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The ultimate in shutter remote controls for phones, the Gadgin bluetooth shutter release will pay for itelf within a few clicks.
Pros
  • High quality
  • More reliable than cheaper remotes
  • Pairs easily with bluetooth
Cons
  • More expensive than other remotes
  • Can change phone volume

Overview

Read: Why you should always use a remote control shutter release for phone photography.

The Gadgin bluetooth shutter release is the best camera remote currently available for iOS or Android, period. Compared to its competitors, it is simpler and more reliable.

That's not to say it's infallible. Just like any external bluetooth add-on, it may still have compatibility problems with some devices. However, it's higher quality design means that it will outlast any other shutter remote, and the free replacement or refund offered by Gadgin means that you can buy it without risk.

Portability

Weighing in at just 8 grams, this shutter relase is tiny. That's great for carrying around but, speaking from personal experience, also makes it easy to use. Fortunately it comes with a wrist strap and a carrying pouch, and it is also eash to slide onto a key ring using the large hole in the bottom half of the remote.

Connecting via Bluetooth

Unlike many cheaper shutter remotes, the Gadgin is incrediably easy to connect to your phone or tablet. Power on the remote and turn on bluetooth on your device, and the shutter should pop up in the list of nearby devices. Select it to pair them. The blue light on the side of the remote will indicate whether it has successfully paired. It's that simple.

If you are having problems, check that the remote has not paired with another device by accident (such as a car). Currently bluetooth can only handle a single connection at a time, so accidental pairing may be what is preventing it from connecting to your phone.

One of the biggest selling points of the Gadgin is that it stays connected. If you have used other bluetooth devices (such as speakers or keyboards) you may have encountered problems getting them to stay paired between uses. This is a common problem in the cheaper competitors to this shutter remote, such as the CamKix. However, the Gadgin should automatically re-pair to your phone everytime you use it. If you experience problems, try turning bluetooth off and on again on your phone/tablet.

Gadgin advertise a range of 10m/30ft for this remote, but you may not achieve this range if you have a weak bluetooth sensor in your phone. However, the range should be sufficient to take selfies or use a tripod within a few meters on any device.

Taking Photos

The shutter button on the remote is large and easy to press. It sends a bluetooth signal to the phone which triggers the camera app to take a picture, or to start/stop recording. However, because the remote only sends a single signal, it cannot be used to record video in Snapchat because that requires the recording button to be activated continuously for the duration of the video.

Depending on your phone, some photo or video apps may not recognize the signal from this remote. See the "Compatibility" section below for a list of recommended apps which are known to work well.

Some phones will also recognize the bluetooth signal as a volume change, and will increase the volume as well as taking a photo. While this is another relatively minor issue, it will prevent you from keeping your phone from staying in silent mode. If this bug affects your model of phone, you will either need to manually adjust the volume back after using the remote, or disable sound notifications for every app.

The keyboard bug

In addition, both Android and iPhones will detect this remote as a keyboard. This will prevent the built-in keyboard from popping up when you need to type something. To conteract this, you need to reactivate the built-in keyboard as the default in the phone's settings. On Android, a notification to this effect may automatically pop-up when you first pair the remote..

If this doesn't work or isn't possible on your device, then you will either have to turn off bluetooth, or turn off/unpair the remote.

Power and Battery Life

This remote runs on batteries, so if it powers down during a photo shoot then keep calm, replace them, and carry on. Gadgin estimates that each battery will last about a year (based on an average of three uses per day). Unfortunately they will run down a lot faster if you are using the shutter a lot and don't turn the power off continuously (you may need multiple batteries per day).

The remote takes CR2032 batteries (those flat circular discs about an inch in diameter), which can be bought anywhere that sells batteries. However they can be a little expensive when puchased from a shop (they're cheaper on Amazon at about $1 each). Fortunately, this remote comes with two batteries included, so you already have a spare. The blue LED light will blink rapidly when the battery needs replacing.

The shutter will automatically switch to a low-power mode after a couple of minutes of inactivity. While this is great for battery life, it also means that you will have to restart it if you take too long setting up a shot (forgetting to do this means you'll miss a great picture). However that's a minor quibble.

Compatibility

Gadgin use Bluetooth 3.0 to connect this remote with you phone. Obviously, your device will have have bluetooth to use it. It should work with:

  • Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) or later
  • and iOS 6.0 or later

It will not work with Windows phones.

If you are having trouble getting your camera app to work with this remote, SmartPhoneSnap recommends the Open Camera app.

Other camera apps known to work with this remote include: Camera 360, VideocamDirect, Powercam.

Worried about compatibility? Gadgin offer a 1 year replacement or refund guarantee that should ease your concerns.

About the author

Jonathon Walker

Jonny got into smartphone photography after his fancy SLR died in the middle of a trip to South America. Now he uses his Samsung Galaxy almost exclusively.