Smartphones have become very good at stabilizing video with OIS (optical image stabilization) and EIS (electronic image stabilization), but they can’t beat the efficiency and control of a mobile gimbal. Directly holding your phone while recording can lead to unexpected movements, jumps, and trips. Add shaky hands to the equation, and any smartphone will need some help keeping footage steady.
Those looking for the best phone gimbal will soon realize there are many options available out there. Finding the right smartphone gimbal can be a daunting task, so we have curated a list of the best handset stabilizers available.
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best smartphone gimbals regularly, as new ones launch and older ones are phased out.
Buying the right phone gimbal for your needs
There are several things you need to consider when picking out a phone gimbal. The obvious factors to consider are price, size, weight, battery life, and build quality. Of course, mobile gimbals have other more complex features to keep in perspective. An essential one is the stabilization technology in use. Are you working with a 3-axis or a 2-axis stabilizer? 2-axis stabilizers smooth out tilt and roll, which means movements going up/down or from side to side. The third axis steadies panning.
It’s also important to consider device compatibility. If the gimbal doesn’t fit or the hardware isn’t made for your handset, you will need to look elsewhere. The software will make a huge difference in your experience too. Be sure to look at how many features the app has (if there is one).
The best overall: Zhiyun Smooth 4
Zhiyun may not have the same premium name recognition afforded by DJI, but don’t let that fool you. The Smooth 4 comes in and takes our title as the best overall phone gimbal to buy. It comes in just short of $100 and provides an experience that few other gimbals can match.
From build-quality to battery life, there's a lot to love about the Zhiyun Smooth 4.
Zhiyun’s Smooth 4 sports impressive build quality, and it offers one of the more stable tripods on the market. It measures 123 x 105 x 328mm and weighs 547g before adding your smartphone of choice. The Smooth 4 packs a 2,000mAh cell, which should keep you rolling for up to 10 hours on a single charge.
We can appreciate the impressive selection of buttons and knobs that Zhiyun equipped its Smooth 4 with. However, the sheer variety results in a steep learning curve, so you may have to do a few practice runs before getting the hang of things. We’re not entirely sold on Zhiyun’s app, either, but the Smooth 4 combines enough quality and value to command our best gimbal slot.
- Impressive selection of buttons and knobs
- Solid build quality, especially for the price
- Impressive stabilization and very stable tripod
- Steep learning curve
- No object tracking
- Not the best for large or heavy phones
Check out our full review to learn more about the Zhiyun Smooth 4.
Other products worth considering
While the Zhiyun Smooth 4 is the best choice for most users, there are a few other products worth considering. Below you’ll find a quick breakdown, followed by a deeper dive into each alternative further down in the article.
- DJI Osmo Mobile 3: The Osmo Mobile 3 is our top pick for a folding gimbal. It’s lightweight thanks to the plastic design, and it’s an overall perfect companion for videographers on the go.
- Zhiyun Smooth Q2: If you plan to use your camera for hours on end, the Smooth Q2 is a great buy. It packs a massive 4,500mAh battery and lightweight aluminum construction.
- Zhiyun Smooth XS: It’s light in your pocket and light on your wallet, but you get what you pay for. You can keep the weight down, but you may find yourself wanting more power.
- Hohem iSteady Multi: Smartphone gimbals are great, but many of us have multiple cameras. This stabilizer can be used with a smartphone, as well as a GoPro or a Sony RX100.
- Moza Mini-S Essential: With a carrying capacity of 260g, the Mini-S Essential is a great pick if you prefer a larger phone. It’s plastic, but it offers plenty of features and a comfortable ergonomic grip.
- Feiyutech Vimble 2S: The low weight limit of 150g makes the Vimble 2S a great pick for small phone lovers. Its extendable arm is an excellent addition, and it opens up plenty of new angles.
DJI Osmo Mobile 3: The best folding gimbal
DJI’s Osmo Mobile 3 just barely missed out on our top spot, largely because it is getting on in age. While there is a newer Osmo Mobile 4, it does little to improve the experience from the OM3 and isn’t nearly as good of a value. The OM3 features a folding design that earns top marks for portability and sets it apart from most other gimbals on the market. DJI also brought the gimbal trigger back for the third generation, as well as automatic orientation switching.
The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 is entirely made of plastic, which helps to save it a few grams. It comes in at 406 grams right out of the box, and measures 285 x 125 x 103mm when completely unfolded. The gimbal packs a 2,450mAh battery, which is very generous. Our largest issue with the Osmo Mobile 3 is what you don’t get in the basic package. You’ll have to pony up some extra cash for the combo version, which adds a hardshell case and the tripod you see above. We also miss the flashlight mode feature, though there are ways around it if you try hard enough.
- Excellent folding design
- Convenient USB-C charging
- Tripod stand and case cost extra
- Flawed companion app
- No rear camera flashlight mode
Check out our full review to learn more about the DJI Osmo Mobile 3.
Zhiyun Smooth Q2: Big battery, small frame
As you might have guessed, our favorite gimbals often bounce between DJI and Zhiyun. Although Zhiyun’s Smooth Q2 doesn’t fold quite as small as the DJI Osmo Mobile 3, it’s by far the smaller unfolded gimbal. It measures just 204 x 102 x 41.4mm unfolded, yet it can support devices as heavy as 260 grams. The Smooth Q2 is also crafted from aluminum and packs a simple button array that’s easy to pick up and use.
Their onboard batteries often hinder gimbals, but the Smooth Q2 has a secret weapon. This smartphone gimbal can double as a serious power bank thanks to its huge 4,500mAh cell and handle-mounted USB-C port. We did run into some trouble trying to use the Zhiyun Smooth Q2 for vertical video, and unfortunately, you will see the roll motor in your frame if you use a wide-angle lens.
There’s a newer version, the Zhiyun Smooth Q3, but we don’t think it’s really better than the Q2. It has a much smaller battery, the construction isn’t as good, and the motor stability is inferior.
- Huge 4,500mAh battery
- Very small when unfolded
- Simple button options
- Wide-angle lens issues
- Portrait video can be tough to figure our
- Same Zhiyun app as above
Check out our full review to learn more about the Zhiyun Smooth Q2.
Zhiyun Smooth XS: A small and light gimbal
If you’re hoping to save some money on your smartphone gimbal, Zhiyun’s Smooth XS might be right up your alley. It ditches the aluminum construction of previous options for a lighter plastic frame, and with it comes a much lighter price. As the name suggests, the XS is all about size — it weighs just 250g, and the gimbal is 267 x 69 x 56mm when unfolded. The Zhiyun Smooth XS will only set you back $74.99, which is a huge bargain.
Unfortunately, the XS name applies to the battery, too. You’re only looking at a 1,000mAh cell, and the included USB-C cable is just one foot long. The lightweight plastic design may not feel as premium in your hand, but it’s convenient for carrying in a pocket. Zhiyun chose to skip the three-axis stabilizer, but we still managed to achieve some decent results.
- Lightweight folding design
- Wallet-friendly price
- Extending gimbal arm
- Feels less premium
- Small battery
- No three-axis stabilizer
Check out our full review to learn more about the Zhiyun Smooth XS.
Hohem iSteady Multi: The best for using with all cameras
Smartphone gimbals are great, but it’s definitely better to have some versatility. The Hohem iSteady Multi features more compatibility with other cameras, including GoPro shooters and Sony RX100 cams. And while the included cable is only for Sony cameras, the gimbal can handle other cameras, too, as long as they don’t weigh over 400g.
The gimbal only weighs one pound, and it features plenty of mobility. It can pan 600 degrees, tilt 320 degrees, and roll 320 degrees. Another great thing about the Hohem iSteady Multi is its app’s features, including really unique ones like “Inception Mode.”
- Can handle smartphones, action cameras, and regular cameras.
- Great weight limit
- Amazing panning and movement
- Simple controls
- Build quality is lacking
- Underwhelming app
Moza Mini-S Essential: Balanced between price and power
The Moza Mini-S Essential is another smartphone gimbal that positions itself in the middle of the road on pricing. It’ll only cost you $89, but it far outperforms its price tag. The Mini-S Essential offers three-axis stabilization, which is not always guaranteed on budget gimbals. It does weigh more than most on the list at 498g, but it supports up to 260g to give you impressive freedom to choose your device.
Moza also achieved solid battery life with its gimbal, even if it isn’t top of the class. The 2,200mAh cell is rated for eight hours, and our testing generally achieved the same results. It features a unique, off-centered design that lends well to the ergonomic grip but still folds nicely for traveling. Moza’s build quality isn’t perfect, but it easily tops the Smooth XS for a very similar price.
- Simple to operate
- High weight limit
- Fun effects and shooting modes
- Confusing app
- Build quality could be better
- Limited freedom of movement
Check out our full review to learn more about the Moza Mini S Essential.
Feiyutech Vimble 2S: The best for selfie-takers
Feiyutech’s Vimble 2S is an impressive smartphone gimbal for tracking and stabilization, but phablet users beware. This option supports one of the lowest weight limits on our entire list at just 150g. It will work well if you carry something like a Pixel 4a, but the Vimble 2S will struggle with the Galaxy S21 family. Despite its weight limitation, the Vimble’s extendable arm is a game-changer. It opens up an entirely new list of angles to capture.
The Feiyutech Vimble 2S will cost you around the same as the Moza Mini-S, and offers the same three-axis stabilization. It packs a significantly smaller 1,300mAh battery, though it should last you in the neighborhood of 12 hours. The Vimble 2S is about 70g lighter than Moza’s competitor, mainly due to the lightweight plastic design.
- Convenient extendable arm
- Solid stabilization and range of movement
- Great battery life
- Low weight limit
- Expensive for its features
- Poor video quality in the companion app
Check out our full review to learn more about the Feiyutech Vimble 2S.
That’s it for our list of the best smartphone gimbals you can buy, but it’s only a fraction of what’s out there. We also want to give an honorable mention to the following products:
- DJI Osmo Mobile 4: DJI’s latest Osmo Mobile ditches the classic clamp design for a powerful magnet attachment. It packs everything we loved about the OM 3, with a few extra tricks up its sleeve like SpinShot mode and panoramas. Unfortunately, the OM3 is a better value. Still, if you want the very best and don’t mind paying extra, it’s still worth considering. You can read our full review here.
- Evo Pro: The Evo Pro is one of the more expensive gimbals on the list, but it offers plenty of flexibility with a wide assortment of buttons and knobs. You can also use the Pro to recharge your phone in the middle of filmmaking using the built-in USB-C port.
- FreeVision Vilta-M: The Vilta is one of the most comfortable gimbals to hold with its highly ergonomic grip, and it packs three-axis stabilization. If you have a long day of shooting ahead of you, FreeVision boasts a remarkable 17 hours of battery life.