The potential to revolutionise fitness content creation: Pivo Pod review

What's The Best Fitness Writer puts the influencer must-have, the Pivo Pod, to the test.

from Pivo Pod
RRP  £154.99
Man playing tennis in background and iPhone and Pivo Pod in foreground. Image credit: Gemma Lavers

by Gemma Lavers |
Updated on

The Pivo Pod has been introduced as a cutting-edge and versatile gadget. It's supposedly transforming the way we create content with our phones, where the best smartphones around have ever increasingly impressive video capabilities. With its innovative technology, this compact device offers a range of features that make it a must-have for both amateur and professional action photographers and videographers.

At its core, the Pivo Pod is a smart rotating device that turns your phone into a powerful content creation tool. It allows your phone to rotate 360 degrees automatically. This enables you to capture stunning panoramic photos and seamless videos with ease. So whether you're shooting a mini-vlog, creating TikTok's or capturing special moments, the Pivo Pod's rotating abilities can add a dynamic element to your shots.

In the era of TikTok, Instagram reels and YouTube shorts, we've all become self-proclaimed directors of our own blockbuster movies and documentaries. But, let's face it, sometimes out handheld devices need a little extra magic to shine. Today we're reviewing the nifty Pivo Pod, with Health & Fitness Writer Gemma Lavers taking it upon herself to test how this clever gadget can turn your everyday shooting into a seamless experience.

Verdict: A powerful tool for influencers, sports coaches, content creators alike. A solid investment for those who prioritise high-quality and dynamic videography.

Pivo Pod
Price: $154.99 (starting)
Alternative retailers
Walmart$135.99View offer
Macy's$159.99View offer
Saks Fifth Avenue$159.99View offer

Pros

  • User friendly Pivo Pod app is really simple to use and is available for both iOS and Android
  • Pod and tripod are both compact and lightweight, making it easily portable so you can take it with you to various locations
  • Advanced AI tracking means you don't have to do anything to get the perfect shot, it's all auto-aligned and auto-zoomed for you

Cons

  • Having the Pivo Pod app open and recording quickly drains the battery life of your phone
  • Not efficient when there's more than one person in the foreground

What's good?

I'd say one of the standout features of the Pivo Pod is its Auto Tracking mode. By using facial recognition techology and advanced AI, the gadget locks onto a person (it even can track an animal). It uses Auto Zoom and Auto-Alignment to self-correct a shot, making sure the subject is always in focus and centre stage. This feature is definitely the most valuable for solo content creators who wants to maintain a professional, polished look, without the need for a camera operator.

Another great thing about the Pivo Pod is its effortless set-up process. From unboxing, to capturing its first dynamic shot, the Pod was honestly hassle-free. The first step is to simply place your phone in the holder, and tighten so its secure. Then download the Pivo Pod app and hold down the button on the Pod. Once connected via Bluetooth, use the app to control the device. The intuitive interface guides you through the steps, making it accessible even for those with minimal technical expertise. This simple set-up means you can start creating captivating content right away, rather than faffing with instructions.

Moreover, a key feature that adds to its appeal is its portability. The Pivo Pod's compact design ensures that it can easily be stashed in your bag, making it an convenient companion for on-the-go content creation. Its extremely lightweight build allows you to set up your content creation studio in various locations, without adding unnecessary bulk to your gear. Even when combined with a tripod, I found the Pivo Pod was still really lightweight, and it offered added stability when filming a tennis match.

I'll also mention the Pivo Pod is sold in three separate packs to cater to all budgets. One with just the remote control at a reasonable £154.99. Another 'Starter kit' with a smart mount at £189.99, and a final 'Essential kit' with the smart mount and tripod at £259.99.

What's okay?

When filming fast sports events, in this instance I filmed tennis, I was unsure as to how well the Pivo Pod would keep up with either the speed of the player moving, or the speed of the ball. The Pod is supposed to complete a full 360 degree turn in four seconds. Although that sounds fast, when filming live sports, this can feel like a long time.

On most occasions the Pivo Pod didn't struggle to keep up with the subject. Occasionally there were times when it couldn't quite turn quick enough to keep the player in the centre of the shot. This wasn't a massive deal for the type of filming I wanted to do, but it's just something to be aware of if you're wanting to primarily use the Pod for sports filming.

I would also add that while the Pivo Pod's battery life is reasonable, it's not exceptionally long-lasting. The device typically lasts a few hours on a single charge, which should suffice for most shooting sessions. However, if you plan to use it for extended periods of time, it's a good idea to carry a portable charger with you.

Any negatives?

I only have a couple of tiny grumbles to say about the Pivo Pod. The first being that having the app open and recording, it drains the battery life of your phone significantly. I probably filmed for about one hour and my phone battery started at 95%. By the end of that hour, it was on 33%. I'll make clear that this is only a minor gripe, as I do often carry my phone charger on me anyway, but again, it's just something to be aware of - unless you have one of the best smartphones for battery life, in which case you are laughing.

Another issue I found, and this perhaps is a slightly larger one is that it's not efficient at tracking or framing two or more people in a single shot. The Auto Tracking mode excels at following a single subject. But, it struggles to track the same individual when another person comes into the foreground. Once multiple people are in the frame the Pod gets confused about who to track, and often switches between the two, which isn't super helpful when you're only wanting to track one player.

This limitation requires users to manually adjust the device or opt for alternative methods when capturing shots that involve group sports or interactions between multiple individuals, which can be annoying in certain filming scenarios.

More items to consider

Pivo Tripod
Price: $79.99
Alternative retailers
B&H Photo Video$55.99View offer
Adorama$63.35View offer
Saks Fifth Avenue$79.99View offer
Walmart$79.99View offer

The Pivo tripod perfectly complements the Pivo Pod, and takes your online content creation to the next level. With a durable build and adjustable height, it offers stability and flexibility. The tripod also ensures your shots are steady and precisely framed. Its quick release plate and easy-to-use locking mechanisms allow for effortless set-up and adjustment. Compact and portable, it's a valuable addition to your gear for on-the-go shooting.

Pros

  • Provides a stable and sturdy platform for your phone to ensure your shots remain steady and well-framed
  • Adjustable height to allow you to find the perfect angle and elevation for your content
  • Straightforward to set-up with its easy locking mechanisms

Cons

  • Not necessary for some uses of the Pivo Pod

The GoPro HERO10 boasts an impressive 23-megapixel sensor, it captures stunning 5.3K video at 60 frames per second. This delivers exceptional image quality and vivid colours. Its HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilisation technology ensures, as the name suggests, smooth footage. Even when filming in the most challenging, action-packed environments, for example, live sports. The HERO10 is not just about video either, it's equally proficient in photography, offering high-res photos with its 23MP sensor.

For more of its specifications and features, and to explore why this GoPro sets the bar so high for action cameras, read our full review here.

Pros

  • Exceptional video quality with its 5.3K video, resulting in crisp and high-resolution footage
  • Impressive stabilisation with HyperSmooth 4.0 technology
  • Versatile photography features for high-quality photos and time-lapse sequences

Cons

  • Some reviewers found the HERO10 is better at taking footage during the day rather than at night

The Nikon Z30 makes for a great entry-level camera for anyone wanting to start their photography or videography journey. Despite its compact size, the Z30 boasts a powerful 20.9-megapixel APS-C sensor, offering excellent image quality and sharpness. With 4K video recording capabilities that are promised to 'raise your vlogging game', the Z30 caters to both budding photographers and vloggers.

This camera is a promising choice for those who seek versatility and creativity without the bulk of larger DSLRs. Read our full review of the Nikon Z30 here.

Pros

  • Simple to use
  • Quality images
  • Nice form factor

Cons

  • Only one SD slot
  • No viewfinder

Who tested it?

Gemma Lavers is a Health & Fitness writer for What's The Best. When she’s not travelling or writing, Gemma loves spending her weekend completing home workouts, or attending yoga, Pilates or Zumba classes.

How the product was tested

The Pivo Pod and tripod were tested in October 2023 for two weeks. It was mainly used to film sports, like tennis and football, but was also tested in the gym. The Pod was tested with an iPhone 13 Pro.

Gemma Lavers is a Health & Fitness writer for What's The Best. When she’s not travelling or writing, Gemma loves spending her weekend completing home workouts, or attending yoga, Pilates or Zumba classes.

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