Accessory for your Smartphone Camera that Includes a Fill Light

Review by Fernando Santos

As mobile phone cameras keep improving with each new phone released, more and more photographers use their phones as their everyday camera. Even if that’s not you, the new Ulanzi CG-02 camera grip is an interesting and inexpensive add-on for those who use their phone as a camera, daily or not. 

The main benefit of the Ulanzi CG-02 is the improved ergonomics: having a proper grip to hold the phone, instead of doing it with just two fingers, and being able to use your index finger to press the shutter, just as you’d do on a typical DSLR/mirrorless camera. You also get a standard 1/4″ threaded hole that you can use to attach the phone to a tripod. There’s also a cold shoe mount to use with other accessories, like a small microphone, for example. If all that wasn’t enough, the grip also has a 3-level, daylight-balanced, built-in LED light that you can use as fill light, if needed. But wait, there’s more! The shutter button is detachable and, because it works via Bluetooth, you can use it as a remote camera trigger for your phone, from up to 50′ (15m) away. 

Ulanzi really packed a lot into this $24.95 product. Its spring-based clip can fit most smartphones available, from 2.28–3.38″ (58–86mm) width. There are two USB-C type ports to charge the remote trigger and the LED light, respectively. The CG-02 weighs just 4.16 oz (118 g) and, considering all the features, it’s priced very aggressively. 

Even though the Ulanzi CG-02 Bluetooth Smartphone Camera Grip with Fill Light works well, I did find a couple of flaws: The zoom in/out buttons don’t work with iOS devices, and there’s no indicator on the LED light battery level. Nothing serious, though, that would detract me from recommending this product.