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 2018
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||Battery Life||USB Charger|
|Zhiyun Smooth 4|
|1.9 pounds||No||12 hours||Yes|
|LanParte HHG-01||2 pounds||Yes||4 Hours||No|
|Feiyu G5 V2 Updated||2.67 pounds||Yes||8 Hours||Yes|
|1.9 pounds||No||8 Hours||Yes|
|Uoplay2S||2.12 pounds||Yes||4-5 hours||Yes|
|Ikan FLY-X3-PLUS||2.5 pounds||Yes||8 hours||No|
|Zhiyun Smooth-Q||2.78 pounds||Yes||12 hours||Yes|
|EVO SHIFT 3||2.35 pounds||No||10 hours||Yes|
|Movo Handheld||1 pound||Yes||No battery||No|
|Roxant PRO||1.8 pounds||Yes||No battery||No|
|RetiCAM HG30||0.35 pounds||Yes||No battery||No|
1. Zhiyun Smooth 4 – Best 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Smartphone Stabilizer for iPhone 8 and all smartphones up to 7″ Screens of 2018
The Smooth 4 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 4 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 Smooth 4 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.
2. 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.
3. Feiyu G5 V2 Updated – Best Waterproof Smartphone/GoPro Stabilizer
FeiyuTech may be a bit of an upstart to the video recording accessory market, but it is definitely a company that understands what it intends to do. Specifically, FeiyuTech has only been in existence for about a year, but they specialize explicitly not only in smartphone stabilizers but in any video recording stabilizer that requires servo motors to control a 3-axis mount. That said, there is already a fairly crowded market with the explosion of YouTube, so FeiyuTech had to do something else to stand out. To that end, FeiyuTech made it a point to provide a smartphone stabilizer that could handle more extreme situations than most of their other competitors.
Outside of the being able to stand up to water, the Feiyu G5 V2 smartphone stabilizer also provides plenty of advantage in its general build quality. For instance, the body of the Feiyu G5 V2 smartphone stabilizer is made out of an aluminum alloy which provides for plenty of durability without imposing too much weight. On top of that, the aluminum alloy is naturally resistant to water, so you do not really need to worry much about rust or corrosion either. As an added bonus, the FFeiyu G5 V2 smartphone stabilizer even comes with a tripod that is built into the body of the smartphone stabilizer and can be easily retracted or stored.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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
7. EVO SHIFT – Best Performing Smartphone Stabilizer
Though EVO may be somewhat similar to some of the other companies on our list in that it is a fairly new company, it is definitely one of the best companies that we saw. This is in a large part due to the fact that the company specializes exclusively in video recording stabilization products–though EVO Gimbals does not specialize in smartphone stabilizers exclusively. That said, this is one of the few video recording stabilization companies that approach the issue of video recording stabilization from a computing standpoint as opposed to a mechanical one.
On top of that, this is the only smartphone stabilizer that we saw which is actually able to charge your phone while in use – though this is likely intended more for studio work but can serve as a short alternative if your phone is about to do and you are in a pinch.
As alluded to earlier, the EVO SHIFT smartphone stabilizer’s engineers understood that the issue with most gimbals was not necessarily mechanical in nature–it was not that the motors could not perform the movements required. Instead, the biggest hurdle for consumer-grade gimbals is that the devices do not have enough processing power or firmware for the gimbal to perform as desired. Thankfully, the EVO SHIFT smartphone stabilizer ensures this is not an issue with its X3 CoreMark MCU which runs as 4Khz and the EVO Remote app which allows you control a wide variety of professional functions on your smartphone.
8. Zhiyun Smooth-Q – Best Price Budget Smartphone Stabilizer
Sometimes, you are simply not too terribly concerned about anything but the cost of the smartphone stabilizer. Perhaps you are running late for a project and are already over budget requiring simply a solid smartphone stabilizer that can get the job done. Regardless your reason, if you need the best price budget smartphone stabilizer, then we recommend the Zhiyun Smooth-Q. We have actually seen this smartphone stabilizer before with some of the additional accessories that can become part of a complete video recording kit. However, in this instance, we simply see the stripped down smartphone stabilizer.
As the best price budget smartphone stabilizer, it only makes sense that the Zhiyun Smooth-Q smartphone stabilizer is the least expensive smartphone stabilizer that we reviewed. That said, this does not mean that you should expect to have to give a basic level of quality, and the Zhiyun Smooth-Q smartphone stabilizer agrees with you wholeheartedly. For instance, this smartphone stabilizer is actually tied on our list with the other model for providing the longest lifespan out of any other product on our list. On top of that, it comes with the expected remote controls and 4-way joystick to make using it a breeze.
Regardless, for smartphones that are appropriately sized and weighted, the 5th Gen motor provides plenty of torque to quickly track your shot.
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. 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.
11. 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.