Review: SmartCine Complete Universal Smartphone Video Kit

I do a lot of videography, so I was excited when Movo sent a review unit of the SmartCine Complete Universal Smartphone Video Kit ($99.95). It is a multi-component kit that you assemble to create a full-featured videography tool that just needs your smartphone. Technically, it also needs a 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter, because Apple chose to drop that feature. The SmartCine includes a lot of items in one, namely a quality HD microphone, a multi-level lighting ring that surrounds the camera lens, and the option of adding either a wide angle or fisheye lens. The lenses screw in easily, but be careful you don't get fingerprints on them. I've used other cases with lenses that attach via magnet and that is a nice touch.

Related: Pivo Review: Action-Tracking Phone Mount Lets You Take Magical Movies & Photos

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

Movo

Speaking of lenses, the new iPhone 11 and 11 Pro have two or three lenses in different spots, so you might not need to use the lenses that come with the kit. Then again, this kit could be ideal when paired with an older iPhone or iPod touch that includes a 3.5mm jack and none of the newer camera lenses. The kit is adjustable in several directions to accommodate a variety of phones as long as they aren't in too thick a case. I found the rubbery grip to be comfortable but I'm more likely to leverage the included tripod mount. I'm not sure it will replace my gimbal stabilizer for action videos, but for instances where I need quality audio recording and the desire to light my subject well, this is a nice option.

Movo

Pros

  • Integrated videography kit with multi-level lighting
  • Quality microphone
  • Comfortable with rubbery grip and lanyard or tripod mount
  • Accommodates a variety of phones
  • Optional wide angle and fisheye lenses

Cons

  • Requires Lightning-to-3.5mm cable
  • New iPhone 11 cameras offer lenses built in
  • Case holds items individually, not assembled
  • Doesn't have gimbal functionality
  • Thicker cases might interfere with clamp and lens opening

Final Verdict

The SmartCine Complete Universal Smartphone Video Kit from Movo can turn you into a serious videographer, with minimal hassle as long as you have the right phone.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.
Todd Bernhard's picture

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.