Over the past 10 years, mobile cameras have really jumped forward and the quality of modern smartphones are pretty amazing. This also goes for video too. Many people are no longer buying cameras, they’re just sticking with their mobile devices for taking pictures and recording videos.
No matter what kind of video you’re going to shoot. If you choose quality over quantity that’s the choice. No more shaking hands or unwanted vibrations.
What should be considered when choosing the best gimbal smartphone stabilizer? Most of all the materials, durability, ergonomics and price. Let’s look closer, we’re bringing you some of the best stabilizers on nowadays market.
Best Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizers 2017
Surely, some of the stabilizer carries a higher price tag while others playing in a cheaper league. We’ve made a top-10 list to cover all today’s best, alongside with reviews and features explanation.
|Model||Weight||GoPro Mount||USB Charger|
|DJI Osmo Mobile|
|Zhiyun Smooth-II||1.9 pounds||No||Yes|
|LanParte HHG-01||2 pounds||Yes||No|
|Feiyu GM-G4-P||1.6 pounds||Yes||Yes|
|AIbird Uoplay2S||0.84 pounds||Yes||Yes|
|Ikan FLY-X3-PLUS||2.5 pounds||Yes||No|
|Movo Handheld||1 pound||Yes||No|
|EVO SP||1.3 pounds||Yes||Yes|
|Roxant PRO||1.8 pounds||Yes||No|
|RetiCAM HG30||0.35 pounds||Yes||No|
1. DJI OSMO Mobile – Rock-Solid Gimbal Handheld Stabilizer from Famous Drone Maker DJI
Let’s start with what’s in the box. DJI packaging is always classy and elegant and all these little details are really great. There’s a quick start guide, wrist strap, main unit, battery charger, power cable, microfiber cloth, sd card and a carry case. The battery is 980mAh Li-Ion and full charge time is about between 2-3 hours and the run time on a full charge in about 4 hours.
Setup and Controls
Setup and balancing quick and easy. You slide a new device tightening the locking cap and balance horizontally the arm by sliding left and right, then untight it down once it level.
All controls are intuitive as well. Slide a power-on and it will start to balance, there is a joystick to control vertical and horizontal movements or just freely move to any direction. There’s shutter and record video button in front. Hold the backside trigger to lock the camera on current position regardless of hand movement and release the button to return to smooth tracking. Quick double-tap to center the camera and tripple-tap to enter selfie mode with front cam. There are four different operation modes: standard, underslung, portrait and flashlight.
Active Track. You can set if by front and rear cams. Just drag a frame or highlight an object you want to track and the camera will keep that object centered in a frame. This actually worked amazing. Plus it has that rock-solid smooth movement.
Timelapse. Really cool just to choose point A, then point B (or add more points of you like) and camera will move automatically from one point to another compiling timelapse video for you.
Accessories. Another major bonus to that platform is an OSMO accessories. Lots of tripods, extenders, OSMO charging dock to easily switch batteries, locking arms etc. to improve your creative shots and efficiency.
2. Zhiyun Smooth 3 – Best 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Smartphone Stabilizer for iPhone 7 and all smartphones up to 7″ Screens of 2017
The Smooth 3 came out pretty quickly after the release of the Smooth-2. So, a lot of people were confused as to what’s the difference? I think most of it will come down to build quality. Although there are a few small features that will differ from one to the other.
Build Quality and Controls
The build quality on this is really solid. It’s made from metal although it’s not heavy and feels very rugged. The buttons on this may differ from the Smooth II. Well, we have a number of buttons right on the bottom including a wheel, and a button to change settings on your smartphone just from the handle. You can start and stop recording right from the handle. You have a joystick as well as a button to change the modes, the start and stop record button. The power button, just hold it down for a few seconds to turn the power on or to turn the power off.
Cool Features with a Few Drawbacks
Everything seems to work smoothly and my one complaint is that there is no home position button or mode that returns the home position easily. There’s a little workaround for that. The battery is also removable but doesn’t need to be removed. You can charge it right in the handle with the USB cable that is provided. There is also another USB connector to connect your phone and charge your phone while you’re using it, but the cable is not provided. There’s also a screw on the bottom if you want to put on a tripod for time-lapse mode or anything else. There’s one knob to adjust the balance and there’s one knob to adjust from horizontal to vertical shooting mode.
Smooth 3 comes in a nice case which is kind of like a mini violin case. Not completely hard but it is pretty rigid, so it will keep this safe. This is built really strong anyway, so you won’t have any problems with the case.
Stabilization works very well as long as you have your phone balanced before you turn the power on. It just works incredibly smoothly. You can definitely get more smooth and stabilized video with Smooth3 than from any handheld gimbal. Also, it’s rugged build, it is very lightweight so it’s no problem at all carrying it for a long period of time and the battery life will definitely last you long enough. Your phone battery will probably die way before the battery of the gimbal will die. To prevent that you can also charge your phone directly from the gimbal. It’s a great product, one of the best on today’s market.
3. Zhiyun Smooth-II – One of the Best All-Around 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Smartphone Stabilizer
What actually gimbal does? It stabilizes your video footage and if you have worked with video you know that nobody likes shaky pictures. Zhiyun Smooth-2 is a 3-axis gimbal so whenever you move around it counteracts and makes your video footage very stable. There is a joystick that controls rotation (unlimited 360°) and a button for switching modes. If your phone supports slow-motion video shooting, then you’ll get the best from this. Gimbal gives very professional dramatic effect when filming in such a way. While the model is not cheap, it’s a reliable and creative hardware for enthusiasts.
Captured by iPhone 6s+, Moondog Labs Anamorphic Lens, Zhiyun Smooth II Gimbal, FilmicPro App and Catalyst Housing.
4. LanParte HHG-01 – 3-Axis Motorized Handheld Gimbal Active Stabilizer for GoPro iPhone 6S Plus Smartphones
LanParte HHG 01 supplied with a hard shell carry case incorporating a tough case with shoulder strap buckles. The content kept organized and safe tanks to the various cavities found within. Constructed of durable plastic with a rubberized coating for that added grip ability the handle is comfortable to hold even for longer shooting sessions. Integrated into the top is the first of three motors and coupled with the remaining two working unison to provide stabilization across pan, tilt and roll axis. The arms holding each of the motors are constructed from a tough aluminum and feel both strong as well as light.
Build quality and setup
Nevertheless, the metallic green stripes are a pleasing visual aspect. The main clamp which grips onto your smartphone. Bear in mind two screws can be released to remove the clamp to an additional clamp which is supplied with the bolts for smaller smartphones, such as iPhone4 or 5. Clamps will also fit all bigger models like iPhone6 plus or galaxy S7.
When it comes to real world usage the unit will stabilize movement in almost all directions. It can’t completely stabilize up and down movement similar to professional units. Still, you’ll get that up and down bobbing as you walk just like most of the others three axes gimbals. Bearing this in mind with a little practice you will generally be able to reduce that motion with a slight weakening your walking style while using a gimbal. Battery life is rather good and quoted for 80 minutes of usage.
5. Feiyu GM-G4-P – Tech 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal for Smartphone and iPhone + 2* Carbon Fiber Extension Bar
First of all let’s mention that the packaging box is quite nice and the construction itself made of aircraft glade aluminum. Which makes it very rugged. At a first glance the g4 look almost identical to other Feiyu models with the same light high-strength anodized aluminum construction along with a typical 3x-axis with no exposed wiring whatsoever.
Several important enhancements included batteries that can be inserted into the handle, which is then secured to the gimbal unit and integration of a rubberized handle. Textured finish is still present and provides decent comfort.
The power button has been incorporated into a single button on the entire device. There are three different modes. The first one holds the heading so no matter where you twist it, it stays in place and balanced. The second mode, if you press the control button twiсe, will hand very smooth pan and tilt. And the third one, if you press the control button three times, turns all construction upside down. The other interesting thing is if you hold the phone camera for half a second into any position, it will hold that position.
6. KumbaCam 3-Axis – Smartphone Stabilizer / Gimbal – Suitable for Phones Up To 7″ Such as iPhone 7 or 6s Plus and Galaxy S7 / Note 5
KumbaCam is a huge opportunity to bring pro level gear to a mobile device. The 3-Axis stabilizers are made almost exclusively from metal. Only plastic you’ll find here is from phone holder and the buttons. It’s black and silver and honestly not super attractive, but it’s not obtrusive either.
It ends up looking like an extension of your hand, which is actually the goal. Without phone installed it already has some weight to it. It feels built well and the metal construction makes it feel sturdy. KumbaCam comes with two batteries and a charger.
How does it work?
The manufacturer states that it should last around four hours depending on camera or phone weight. We tried using it off and on for about five days and not sure how many hour we had with it, but the battery life is as advertised. It’s a real stabilizer so it has motors in it. These motors are uses to counteract your movement to give you stable video. So it’s not a selfie stick. It’s much much more. It requires a lot of computer processing to make something like this work.
Captured by iPhone 6S+ with KumbaCam 3rd Gen Smartphone Stabilizer
At the price of around three hundred dollars, it’s hard to tell who this is really for. We can’t recommend this to a teenager who wants to take really nice selfies, but maybe that mom that has a kid that plays soccer or that dad wants to watch the kids play baseball and record them playing it. For those types of people this one is really good and also that first-time filmmaker that may not have an expensive camera and they want to use their cell phone. This is a great way for them to get stable and smooth footage.
7. AIbird Uoplay2S – 3-Axis Handheld Universal Smartphone Steady Gimbal Stabilizer for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus and GoPro
Here it’s – AIbird Uoplay2S. It’s a stabilizer gimbal for your modern smartphone. The stabilizer itself looks and feels excellentю The rubber handle is grippy and the metal construction has some nice weight. So it makes it feel like a solid overall product. Everything works really well except one design issue – when you put the weight on, it tends to sometimes bang into heads base when the system if off. So be careful and just hold it down a bit while turning off.
How does it work?
Setup and Modes
The batteries last about two or three hours total. Thankfully you get two sets, so you can charge one set and use one set to shoot videos. The stabilizer has many modes for many uses. The first mode is quite standard and works how many other stabilizers do. It just keeps the phone centered and stable. To pan it up and down you can use a joystick and left and right buttons to tilt it. The second mode is activating by double-clicking the record button. Now when you tilt up and down the head moves with you bringing the phone up and down. The third mode keeps the head completely still and use a joystick for full control of movement. Mode four activated by triple clicking the button makes your phone vertical. But if you have a weight it’s a bit strange to work with.
8. Ikan FLY-X3-PLUS – 3-Axis Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer Includes GoPro, Small and Larger Gimbal Cradles
This stabilizer is primarily made for the iPhone or Android smartphones. The device comes with the beautiful case with a strap, battery, stabilizer, counterbalance weight and a plug for foreign countries inside. Battery lasts around 3 hours. If you use bigger smartphones like iPhone 6+ don’t forget to attach counterweight.
If you don’t balance it absolutely perfect, the unit will constantly make some scratchy sounds. In that case, motors will be constantly working and drawing the battery down. If you feel a little buzz in your hands don’t it that way (it won’t last long). 3-Axis brush-less motor gyro system doing its job right, so no worries about picture quality here.
Captured by OnePlus One and the Ikan FLY-X3 PLUS
9. Movo Handheld – Video Stabilizer System for GoPro, Apple and Android Smartphones
First of all it’s not a gimbal stabilizer. But could be considered as a cheaper alternative. Movo stabilizer uses counterbalanced weights under tripod as you walk trying to reduce unwanted shaking. No motors, smart electronics etc. It has a lightweight construction until you add some weight to counterbalance, so the final weight could be a little higher than expected.
Overall build quality is good and there is no much talk about. Standard packaging includes adapters for smartphone and GoPro cameras as well.
10. EVO SP – 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal for Smartphones up to 6.5″, Works with iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7
EVO SP constructed out of CNC allow which is really nice, overall build quality is an absolutely top notch for the price. EVO SP does a really good job at stabilizing. Two Li-Ion batteries with a charger come with the initial package giving it about two days of operation. There is also a separate charger is you buy more batteries.
Controls are standard for this class with FOUR dynamic modes. For bigger smartphones like iPhone 6 Plus you have to attach counterweight which is included. Panning and tilting on here are really awesome and the other thing that kind of actually worth to mention is how quiet the motors were working.
11. Roxant PRO – camera stabilizer for GoPro, Smartphone, Canon, Nikon or any camera up to 2.1 lbs
A stabilizer that saves budget. Supports cameras up to 2.1 pounds which include most of the popular DSLR models, GoPro or smartphones. Construction is pretty lightweight and simple. Below where you mount your camera you have five different optional holes where you can place handle. This matter for the weight of the camera and where you displace it. In the front the metal curves over and attaches to a bottom piece. Bottom piece can be attached to four different spots by using a screw. Also, there’s a grippy rubber on it, so tightening the locks down really securely is not a big deal.
The very bottom we find the place where to put counterweights. It comes with three different weights so you can match it to your type of camera of the smartphone. All three weights would be handy to use with DSLR and one for most of the phones. After assembled try move in some direction to feel the way how you like it.
12. MyCell – 3 Axis Gimbal Smartphone Stabilizer for GoPro and Smartphones
Device is coming with a nice case that provides good protection. A nice looking overall design feels firmly in hand with rugged holder. There is a battery life indicator on the bottom. Also, no exposed wires or tough installations, you put batteries, balance counterweight for your phone, turn it on and start filming. Simple as that.
Build quality is very solid. With no exceptions it’s a quality product. Stabilization is fine compared to other similar products, but not an exceptional.
13. RetiCAM HG30 – All Metal Heavy-Duty Hand Held Stabilizer and Tripod Mount for SmartPhones and Cameras
RetiCAM HD30 is basically all metal construction with of course the exceptions like rubber handle. While it’s not a gimbal device it has a real good solid feel. When you grab this thing you’d only grip in all needed directions. There is also a strap on the bottom for an extra safety. In top of that a standard 1/4 20 screw mount holder which you screw into with your camera or mobile.
It’s solid made and it locks phone firmly. Also Reticam feels really great, not like plastic stuff that could brake you iPhone or Camera one day.
Smartphone Stabilizer Buyer’s Guide
Benefits of a non-motorized stabilizer
The main benefit of a non-motorized stabilizer is the amount of control that you have over your shots when using one. If you want to have the ability to control your camera in a dynamic way while still maintaining stability, this is the route for you. The main drawback of a non-motorized stabilizer is the fact that it does have a much steeper learning curve than that of a motorized stabilizer. You will get the most out of your non-motorized stabilizer once you have spent time using it and have learned how to manipulate it to achieve exactly what you want.
Avantages of a gimbal stabilizer
The main advantage of a motorized stabilizer is that they are much easier to simply pick up and use right out of the box. When starting out with a motorized stabilizer (more about gyro technology), you simply need to balance it, based on the weight of the camera that you’re using, and you are good to go. Some motorized stabilizers allow you to set the tilt of the camera if you want to get a high angle or low angle shot. Motorized stabilizers also do not have to be held by a person. Due to their auto-correcting capabilities, they can be fixed to a dolly and can replace shots that may have required rails before. The last thing to take into consideration is the weight of a motorized stabilizer. A long day of shooting with a heavy stabilizer can be tiring.
When you choose between motorized and non-motorized stabilizers, be sure to know what you want to get out of them. With a non-motorized stabilizer, you can achieve more control and finesse with practice, it weighs less than a typical motorized model, and the average cost is less than that of comparable motorized stabilizers. With a motorized stabilizer, you will be able to take it out of the box, balance it, and you good to go. You also have the option to set up a motorized stabilizer on a cart for shots that would normally require rails. As long as you keep these advantages in mind, you will be able to select a stabilizer that meets or exceeds all of your expectations.