I have wanted to do a Pivo Pod review on the new Active model (formerly the Pivo Silver).
I saw the Pivo advertised all over Instagram, especially the Pivo Pod Active (formerly known as Pivo Pod Silver).
I thought to myself, the concept of the Pivo is cool. But then I thought, can that work?
I thought about it a bit, and eventually, I had some YouTube content I wanted to shoot, which would make a gadget like this helpful.
So, I pulled the trigger and went for it. I went to the website and bought the Pivo Pod Active (formerly known as the Pivo Pod Silver).
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What Is The Pivo Pod, And What Does It Do?
The Pivo Pod (which charges via USB cable) is a smartphone mount that allows you to place your cell phone on, and while filming yourself on video and moving around, the phone will follow your movements with Pivo auto tracking and face tracking.
This allows you as the video subject to move freely just as you would if a real-life camera person were filming you.
The hands-free auto-tracking concept is unique, as many video creators need the camera to follow them while they walk, run, ride horses, or sometimes talk while shooting film.
And while a cameraperson might be the top option for self-recording, having an extra person around and available isn’t viable, so something like the Pivo Pod becomes an excellent alternative.
Auto tracking and face tracking accessories like the Pivo camera tracker remove the restriction of needing to stand directly in front of the camera or phone to film yourself.
Now, you can move freely in any direction (even a 360-degree rotation around the tripod), at whatever speed you desire, and a Pivo smartphone mount option works exactly for what you want to do.
This means more possibilities of creating content, which means shooting more video ideas can come to life with the ability to move.
The 2 Pivo Pods are constructed similarly and generally look the same (one thing to mention, the Pivo Pod Lite comes in several color options, while the Active is black only).
The Pivo Pod comes with a remote control, which I will explain briefly.
The Pivo Pod Silver was the original action tracking Pivo camera. The Pod Silver was discontinued and updated to the new Pivo Pod Active.
I specifically chose the Pivo Pod Active as it boasts an ability to do the auto tracking twice as fast as the Pivo Lite version, which makes the device a great option for faster movement, like horse riding or workouts.
Since filming workouts was my goal, the Pivo Pod Active was the best option for me.
My First Impressions Of The Pivo Pod Active (Silver)
I was excited to do this Pivo Pod review after watching other Pivo reviews on YouTube.
Straight out of the box, I noted that the gadget was relatively compact, nearly the same size as a baseball.
Even though the Pivo smartphone mount unit is relatively small, the device had some weight, making it feel like a quality device.
It’s certainly not a hollow or cheap plastic gadget as I half expected.
The Pivo Active has a slot on the top for your phone to sit in (Pivo supports iOS and Android phones, I use the iPhone), which tightens and loosens with the turn of a small knob.
The opening is wide enough to hold your phone in landscape or standard positions.
The bottom of the Pivo Pod Active had a standard ¼’ universal thread for tripod mounting (which is how I use it and recommend it). The product website has package deals that include a tripod if you need one.
The Pivo instruction booklet mentions that an app must be downloaded to the phone, as it will connect to and communicate with the Pivo Pod turning the power on and when filming.
I downloaded the Pivo app and went to work.
Does The Pivo Pod Really Work?
I was looking for cardio ideas to do that I could record for some Youtube video ideas I had. I decided to use the Pivo Active for a series of HIIT workouts I wanted to record, ten videos doing various exercises.
So I had an excellent opportunity to use the Pivo Pod Active in several situations and with multiple kinds of movement.
Here is where I should mention that the Pivo Active is the best for activity tracking because the device has four different tracking settings on the Pivo app for speed. Two higher speed settings can help the unit keep up with even the fastest movements.
I used the highest setting while shooting these videos, which probably wasn’t the way to go about it.
The Pivo Pod still tracked well, but I had some videos I was shooting in which I didn’t move a lot, but the Pivo, being on the highest sensitivity, made a lot of unnecessary zooms and slight adjustments.
Here is an example of that:
The Pivo Pod Active tracking still did an outstanding job of keeping me centered in the video section I wanted.
The Pivo Active lets you center yourself in the middle, left, or right of the frame, which is great for presentations where you want to add graphics or text on the screen).
The other thing I noticed after using the Pivo camera for this video was that, on the highest sensitivity, the auto tracker Pod would seem to lag behind my slight left to right movements.
That specific issue can be reduced by lowering the sensitivity for speed, but there is always some form in the videos.
I suppose it’s the tradeoff for not having a real-life cameraperson. Despite these few minor complaints, I loved using the Pivo Active.
Here is another example video with a different type of movement, much more side to side. You can see the same issue with the slight lag, which the lag could reduce by lowering the intensity.
That said, the Pivo Pod Active tracking kept me in the frame the entire time, which is what I want.
The Pivo uses facial, body, or horse tracking (yes, for horse riding, Active only) and auto-tracking.
You can select which you want it to use depending on your activity on the app.
One of the issues I found was that if I got too close to the phone, the face tracking was out of frame, or the body was too tight to be tracked, and the tracker would lose me until I corrected and came back into the frame.
Then it picked me back up (on this video around the 12:30 minute mark).
So yes, the Pivo Pod Active auto tracking does work. It will track you, even with faster movements. It’s not perfect, but it does get the job down.
Without it, I could not have done these types of videos. One of the keys to getting the top results from your Pivo Active is knowing each sensitivity and what will work best for what you have planned.
For example, I should have lowered the videos sensitivity for the exercises where I didn’t move side to side since the tracking speed didn’t need to be so high. Finding the proper speed will make for great videos.
A great feature of the Pivo Active is the auto-zoom.
For example, if you want to walk away from the camera, the Pivo does a great job of tracking, even as you move far away from the tracker. You can see that in my Pivo Pod Active video at the end of this article.
A Few Other Highlights Of The Pivo Pod Active
The Pivo Pod app is straightforward to use, and is available on both iOS and Android.
When first turning the Pivo tripod mount on, it looks to see if the app is open on your phone. Once the Pivo and the app are connected, you can change the Pivo Pod Active (Pivo Pod Silver) settings via the app on your phone.
As mentioned above, sensitivity is changed on the app, but the app also has 12+ quick create modes which might be your thing if you are more creative than just recording regular video.
The app is where all the Pivo changes are made, and it also has all the fun features and effects that might be fun to use for some.
The ability to rotate in a complete 360 degree made it easy to do various movements and workouts without worrying about going out of the camera’s frame.
I haven’t needed to use it, but there is the ability to do hands-free calling or live stream, similar to Facetime, while connected to the Pivo Pod Active.
The remote control that comes with the Pivo mount is used for those who prefer to manually turn off the auto-tracking and control the Pivo Pod Active motion tracking.
This defeats the purpose of why I got the Pivo Pod Active to start with, but for others, such as makeup tutorials, presenters, etc., this might be a handy option.
What About The Pivo Pod Lite Or Pivo Pod Red?
The Pivo Pod Lite is a great tool, but it’s not intended for fast-motion activities. The primary user of the Pivo Pod Lite would be anyone who wants some tracking but for less overall movement. Presentations, makeup tutorials, and dance videos would be great fits for the Lite.
Final Thoughts On The Pivo Pod Active (Pivo Pod Silver)
Is the Pivo Pod Active auto tracking perfect? No.
Does it work? Yes, it does.
And because of that, I think it’s an excellent tool for anyone doing self-recording.
For the active-minded that need something that can move quickly with them, the Pivo Pod Active is the best choice.
You will find that having something handy like the Pivo Pod at your disposal, you will be able to come up with and create more videos than you would have been able to do without it.
You will make more content. You will make better content. You will have more content ideas.
The Pivo Pod doesn’t just allow you to track videos with full 360 degree motion tracking. The Pivo gives you a chance to make more videos.
It’s not a real-life cameraperson, but it’s the next top thing.
My Pivo Pod Silver (Pivo Pod Active) Video Review
Thanks for reading this Pivo Pod Active Review. If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy:
Rob is a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For the past 10 years, Rob has been navigating the health and fitness landscape in a quest to better himself and those around him focusing on tools such as calorie and macro counting, intermittent fasting, and HIIT training techniques.