In traditional Anker fashion, the selfie stick arrives in a friendly blue-and-white box. There's no excess packaging material to dig through, and no horrible plastic blister packs to struggle with and ultimately cut yourself on (thanks Anker!). Inside I found the selfie stick itself, a short micro-USB charging cable, a welcome guide, and a product feedback card.
Pairing the Anker Bluetooth Selfie Stick with your phone is a simple and straightforward process. To turn it on, simply press and hold the shutter button until its LED indicator starts to blink. Then search for the "Anker selfie stick" device from your phone's Bluetooth menu. Tap to connect... and that's it. To turn off the selfie stick, just press and hold the button again. The selfie stick will quickly and automatically reconnect to the last paired phone each time it gets powered on. To pair to a new phone, just repeat the same process.
Once paired, open your favorite camera app and start shooting! Pressing the shutter button emulates a volume key press, so if you don't have a camera app open you may get some unexpected results. I did note that some third-party camera apps (like FreeDCam) required me to set the proper external trigger within the app's settings, but it worked out of the box with the stock camera apps on my Nexus 6P and Honor 5X. The remote shutter is nearly instantaneous so you don't need to worry about missing the shot, and it even works with some other shooting modes like videos and panoramas (though won't work with any burst shooting modes which require a long-press of the shutter button).
The internal battery claims to provide 20 hours of service on a single charge, and after a week and a half of playing with the device (on the original charge) I have no reason to doubt this claim. Charging it, when needed, is easy using the provided USB cable.
So how does the Anker Bluetooth Selfie Stick do for my somewhat unusual usage? Quite well, actually! When used as a monopod, the selfie stick provides a bit of extra stability for close-up and/or low light photographs. It obviously won't be quite as good as a proper self-supporting tripod, but makes a great compromise between utility and portability. I was able to get some pretty decent low-light shots that would have been impossible to pull off without some added support.
For the price, (currently $8.99 with free 2-day Prime shipping) the Anker Bluetooth Selfie Stick would make a solid addition to your mobile photography kit.
Just don't use it to actually take selfies. You're not THAT attractive.
Note: Anker provided me with this product for testing and evaluation in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.