Laptop Mag Verdict
The Pivo Pod Silver is an AI-powered cameraman that fits in your backpack with autofocus and tracking that rivals DSLRs
AI is on point
Auto Focus is fantastic
App is user friendly
Amazing battery life
Uses Micro USB
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Field of View: 360-degrees
Size: 6.93 x 4.13 x 3.11 inches
Weight: 1 pound
The Pivo Pod Silver is a fun, tiny device that gives users the ability to film videos, take pictures, and make it seem as if they have a cameraperson with them. From stunning slow-mo videos, action videos of you working out, or even playing with your friends and family, this automated, 360-degree rotating motorized smartphone mount is the personal film crew that fits in your pocket. All you need is the Pivo Pod Silver, a smartphone, and Bluetooth connectivity, and its showtime.
Pivo Pod Silver pricing and compatibility
ThePivo Pod Silver costs $139 and comes with a 4-second full rotation speed, with four different rotation speeds, and is compatible with both iOS and Android. It works with just about every video meeting platform, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet. There is also a $109 Pivo Pod Red that comes with a slightly less powerful motor and has a 10-second full rotation speed and 3 rotation speeds.
Pivo Pod Silver design
The Pivo Pod Silver has a lovely matte-black finish, with a slim silver ring that hugs the upper center of the unit just under the motorized mount. The entire unit is gently covered in what feels like soft-to-the-touch silicone, giving it a nice,l secure feel. The Pivo Pod also comes with a matching remote control covered in the same soft silicone that allows you to control the unit. Overall, the build quality is excellent.
The Pivo Pod SIlver has a 1/4 inch thread on its bottom surface so you can connect it to a tripod or a smartphone gimbal. Having the option to put it on a tripod is helpful when you don’t have a higher surface around. There is also a bubble level on the top of the unit to help you get perfectly level and aligned shots. This especially comes in handy when shooting outdoors on different surfaces that may not be level. The adjust mount on the top of the unit works to perfection and allows you to firmly place your phone in the unit and tighten it into place with the twist of a knob.
The Pivo Pod comes with a remote control that you can adjust the motor. It has several buttons for changing the motor direction and speed, image capture, zoom, and pausing the motor. Sadly, there’s no power button.
The Pivo Pod Silver comes with a micro-USB port for charging the unit; which is a rather antiquated choice in this day and age. A circular light at the center of the unit turns blue when the button is pressed and connected to your phone via Bluetooth and red when disconnected or charging. The unit measures 6.9 x 4.1 x 3.1 inches and weighs 1 pound, making it compact enough to fit in a jacket pocket or a backpack.
Pivo Pod Silver features
Let me be clear: the Pivo Pod Silver is only meant to mount smartphones. Although the motor is smooth, fast, and well-built, it’s meant for the minuscule weight of today’s phones, not a DSLR. The Pod is small but its motor is capable. I was concerned that it may be underpowered and would stutter while trying to follow me, but it was smooth throughout without any noticeable hard stops in my videos. However, when you have the AI Auto Focus set up to follow your face or other objects, sometimes you’ll notice quick motion, as the unit works in conjunction with the Auto Focus to keep up with your movements if you suddenly change direction.
A nice feature of the Pivo Pod is its buttery smooth 360-degree horizontal rotation. This means you can set the Pivo up to take those gorgeous panoramic photos we usually mess up a few times before getting the shot. It also means that if you set up the Pivo where you can walk around the unit, it will follow you around as your phone films. It’s a really nice effect you have to try for yourself.
The Pivo Pod Silver setup is super quick thanks to its Bluetooth connection. Just hold down the power button for a few seconds, open the Pivo app on your phone, hit the connect button on your screen, and that’s it. Once you’re connected, you will notice that the software will start tracking your face and the motor on the unit will match your movements.
Pivo Pod Silver Software
The Pivo Pod Silver’s software is really the star of the whole experience. The AI Tracking and autofocus ability are excellent and rival many DSLR cameras. Setup is a breeze; all you have to do is download the Pivo app from your app store and, once installed, sign up for an account.
The app provides you with many options. You can choose whether you want the autofocus to tightly follow your face, or switch to a larger box frame to follow your body. There is even a mode to follow larger objects and, guessing by the horse icon, follow and film you while horseback riding. The auto-tracking on the Pivo is fantastic and better than some DSLRs that cost a ton of money.
You can adjust the settings for the motor tracking speed. There are 4 speeds (Slow, Normal, Fast, and Frenzy) to choose from. I like Frenzy because it keeps up with all my goofy spastic energy.
You can also adjust where in the frame the Pivo Pod keeps you. It can either be in the center of the frame, off to the right or left, or fully in the frame using your camera’s zoom capabilities to get in a little closer.
There is an auto-zoom feature that allows the Pivo to zoom in or out on the subject it’s following. If you walk across the room, the unit will follow you, but also zoom in to keep a tighter frame. There is also a predictive follow mode that lets the Pivo’s AI predict where you will move next, helping to keep things steady while filming. The auto-exposure mode gives the unit the ability to adjust the exposure automatically based on the environmental lighting.
Another useful software feature is the ability to set it up to use during video calls and live streaming. It will follow your movements when you’re shooting footage of you cooking or exercising, or if you’re using a whiteboard and you walk over to it and point out things in a meeting.
The Pivo Pod Silver also has a neat Smart-Capture feature, with three options to help you capture photos and videos without using the remote or touching the phone. You can clap to get the unit to take a photo or start capturing a video. You can use your voice by saying ‘cheese,’ ‘take,‘ ‘snap,‘ or ‘shoot‘ to trigger the unit. Lastly, you can spread your arms out horizontally to initiate an image or video capture.
Lastly, there are 12 special effects to help you create like a pro and make GIFs, clone trails, 360-degree motion time-lapses, tiny planets, or panoramas with no editing skills needed.
Pivo Pod Silver battery life
I am unable to judge the battery life because I only charged it once after getting the unit. I’ve used it for at least 8 hours across several days and it still has about 60% of the battery remaining. You can check the battery status via the smartphone app. There is no way to get the battery percentage but you can check the battery level.
The Pivo Pod Silver is a great investment if you’re looking to take your content creation to another level and add a more professional look to your photos and video. Also, it’s a really useful tool for all your Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams meetings. For under $140, (you can grab the Pivo Pod Red for $109) you can really level up your social media feeds, creating flowing content that will have your followers believing you’re a celebrity being followed by a film crew. It’s so easy to use, the motor is stable, fast, and smooth, the AI and autofocus are responsive. Overall, the Pivo Pod Silver is a great accessory that I fully recommend.
Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.