Mobile Mondays: A first look at the Beastcage for iPhone 13 Pro

If you’re looking for the beefiest, strongest, most adaptable iPhone 13 series cage, look no further.

While my first impressions are from a pre-production model, I have since found out there are no changes and the product is shipping exactly as I received it.

Depending on your style of photography or video, this could be the case for you. But as with everything related to mobile content creation, the phrase “it depends” will heavily influence whether or not this is THE ONE.

Read on to see what I mean.

Beastcage for iPhone 13 Pro — Technical specifications

The Beastcage comes with an M37x0.75 lens/filter mount, M17x0.75 lens mount and a Moment bayonet lens mount. Below are technical specifications, provided by the Beastcage website:

  • Size: 171mm x 98mm x 17mm (6.73in x 3.86in x 0.67in)
  • Weight: 312g (11oz) (Without accessories)
  • Material: Machined 6061-T6 aluminum with black anodized finish
  • Lens mount: M37 x 0.75, Moment bayonet, M17 x 0.75
  • One cold shoe mount
  • Ten 1/4″-20 mounts
  • Two neck strap mounts
  • Three action handle mount

Beastcage for iPhone 13 Pro — A cage specific to your smartphone

While Beastcage does make a generic phone cage (more on that later), for those with the budget and/or the need, Beastgrip makes a phone specific cage for almost every major cellphone, including my new iPhone 13 Pro.

I got one a few weeks early to test and my opinions are based on actual use plus my comparisons against other cages, both generic and dedicated. I already mentioned the Beastgrip Pro which is a generic case. The advantage that the dedicated cage has over the generic one is that it is form fitting, beefier and offers easier options for connecting third-party lenses and filters.

Comparing the Beastgrip iPhone 13 Pro cage to the Small Rig dedicated cage for the iPhone 13 Pro, I note several similarities. But the main difference is the Beastgrip cage works with more third-party lenses and filters and is quite a bit more stout. But is also quite a bit heavier.

Working with the iPhone 13 Pro

There is a very precise fit without any messing around or extra setup. I just inserted my iPhone inside the cage, snapped it shut and was ready to shoot. The quick-locking cover secures and releases the iPhone within seconds. A tool-less, quick-release mount allows you to swap between any lens mount plates quickly and easily. And this is a strong suit of the Beastgrip product. Right out of the box you can use it with lenses or filters from: Beastgrip, Moment, Sandmarc, Moondog labs, Sirui lenses and the Beastgrip DOF adapter.

I know of no other cage or case with this much flexibility. If you do, please let me know in the comments.

This feature really extends the value of the cage because if you have multiple third-party external lenses (and at this point, many of us do) then you don’t have to throw them away because they aren’t branded for your specific cage .

There are plenty of attachment points on the cage. You can attach a microphone or LED light, the Beatsgrip CH-50 handle or their action handle (which is great for low-angle shots). All of these offer a better grip while you are filming handheld.

Note: If you buy one of the handles, you’ll want to pick up a NATO rail or adapter rail. This isn’t abundantly clear from the info on most retailer’s websites. The only way to attach the top handle is via a NATO rail. The only way to attach the handle on the side of the cage is with a special side rail. You can also mount these handles on either side of the cage and again, you need to specify which side because each takes a different kind of rail.

There is an oversized cutout that exposes the iPhone’s speakers and gives full access to the lighting port. Some cages aren’t as well designed in this regard, but I found the Beastgrip cage made it easy to charge the phone and connect accessories.

Beastcage for iPhone 13 Pro — Build quality

I must say the thing is built like a tank. It’s made of machined anodized aluminum, and I have absolutely no doubt it will outlast any iPhone you mount inside it. If there is a negative here, it’s that the cage is SO well made and SO beefy that some people may find it too heavy. That is just a personal choice. Nobody can say it isn’t sturdy.

There are mechanical buttons that provide comfortable access to power and volume controls. Unlike some cages, the design permits continued easy access to the screen to allow you to accept phone calls and texts, no need to take the phone out of the cage.

I will note that if you’re moving from the Beastgrip Pro (generic cage) to the specific iPhone cage that matches your phone model, and you want to use the Beastgrip 58mm filters, you will need the 37-58mm adapter ring which is simply a step-up ring.

I like the fact that this cage comes pre-assembled. Often, when using grip for video I spend as much time putting things together as actually using them. That’s not an issue here. It just works out of the box.

Beastcage for iPhone 13 Pro — Add-ons

I also added a Platypod Disc to the bottom so I have an Arca-Swiss compatible plate that I can use to mount all this to a tripod if needed.

You can attach virtually any accessory you want to this cage using one of 1/4″-20 accessory mounts, cold shoe mount and/or two neck strap mounts.

Want a cage that’s universal?

If you don’t want to be tied down to a specific smartphone, check out the Beastgrip Pro Generic Cage. There are three primary reasons I like that product:

  1. It’s generic in that it will work with almost any cell phone. If you upgrade your phone every year, and you buy a phone specific cage, then you render your old cage useless and this is expensive.
  2. The generic cage is very sturdy and will protect your phone better than any case.
  3. It has lots of mounting points including places to mount handles, mics, lights, filters and lenses.

At $139.99, it’s a safe investment.

It does have a down side and that is that it’s a bit fiddly to perfectly line up accessory lenses or filters over the iPhone camera. Whereas, on the dedicated cage, there’s no fiddle factor! Everything fits perfectly. Like I said, there’s always an “it depends.”

A top-notch, heavy-duty cage for your smartphone

There are always trade-offs anytime you pick a piece of gear. Sometimes you want lighter gear but sometimes you want beefier gear. Sometimes you want something that will work with any phone and other times you want a phone specific solution. The good news is that today, almost all the gear we can choose from is top-notch.

The thing I like about the Beastgrip iPhone 13 Pro Cage is that it just works and works nearly perfectly. It’s heavy (twice as heavy at nearly 30 ounces compared with a similarly configured Small Rig cage) but that means it’s heavy-duty.

If you’re using a gimbal, you’ll need one of the hybrid gimbals designed for mirrorless-cameras and cell phones because this case will be too heavy for most smartphone-only gimbals. You can attach just about anything you can think of to this cage and the Beastgrip lenses are all top-notch quality as well. But this cage extends your options by coming with everything you need to use just about ANY brand of add-on lens or filter (not just those made by Beastgrip) and that is one place it really shines. I think they nailed this one.

That said, I’d stick with the Small Rig cage if I were primarily a handheld type of shooter. It’s half the weight, very sturdy and does have cool side handles that make it easy to hang on to. It’s also less expensive when fully configured. I use them both. I use the Beastgrip Cage primarily on a tripod so its weight doesn’t bother me a bit, but it is something to be aware of.

I highly recommend the Beastgrip iPhone 13 Pro Cage.

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