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 the best smartphone gimbals have to offer. Hand-holding a device while recording can come with 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 mobile gimbal stabilizers 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.
The best smartphone gimbals:
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best smartphone gimbals regularly as new devices launch.
What makes a good smartphone gimbal?
First, you must learn to identify what makes the best smartphone gimbals actually good and if you care enough about certain features to spend more money on them. The obvious factors to consider are price, size, weight, battery life, and build quality.
Phone gimbals have other more complex features to keep in perspective. A very important 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.
Also important to consider is compatibility. The gimbal needs to hold and support your device. If it doesn’t fit or the hardware isn’t made for your handset, you will need to look elsewhere. Software will make a huge difference in your experience too. Look at how many features the app has (if there is one).
1. DJI Osmo Mobile 4
The DJI Osmo Mobile 4 has all the things that made the Osmo Mobile 3 great. It is smaller and lighter, yet supports slightly heavier phones. This is surprising given that the phone is mounted magnetically, which is DJI’s biggest upgrade with its latest OM iteration.
A magnetic mounting system makes it much faster and comfortable to get your phone ready for a stable time. This nifty feature will cost you, though. MSRP stands at $149. You might also want to consider going for the DJI Osmo Mobile 3, which will save you about $30. They are nearly identical, save for the magnetic part. This is still one of the best smartphone gimbals, though.
2. Zhiyun Smooth Q2
The Zhiyun Smooth Q2 is another of the best smartphone gimbals, and it’s for those looking to find a balance between price and quality. It has a great aluminum build, a long 17-hour battery life, 3-axis stabilization, a lightweight body, and plenty of shooting modes. It’s a great buy, even though it has a few quirks, which we talk about in detail in our full review.
3. Zhiyun Smooth XS
The Zhiyun Smooth Q2 isn’t too expensive, but it is on the higher-end of the company’s spectrum. If you want something more affordable and pocketable the Zhiyun Smooth XS is one of the best smartphone gimbals at a lower price. The only real sacrifice is that it has 2-axis stabilization, as opposed to 3-axis.
The device otherwise works great. It is well built, and even doubles as a selfie stick, as it can be extended. You also get access to the app, which allows object/face tracking, gesture control, and a variety of shooting modes.
If this smartphone gimbal looks familiar it’s because it is nearly identical to the older Zhiyun Smooth X. The only improvements are a better folding/sliding mechanism and more lively color options. If you want to save yourself even more cash and don’t care for the couple upgrades, the Zhiyun Smooth X is a great alternative.
4. Hohem Isteady Mobile Plus
The Hohem Isteady Mobile Plus comes with 3-axis stabilization, a 12-hour battery life, and weighs only around 200g. Its upgraded sport mode offers improved performance. And the app features multiple modes, including various timelapse styles, slow motion, and beauty retouching. As you can see, these features are designed to please casual users, and the device’s affordable price tag reflects that. It may come from a more obscure brand, but is still one of the best smartphone gimbals.
5. Moza Mini-S smartphone gimbal
The Moza Mini-S may be the most affordable units on this list, but you shouldn’t confuse it with a cheap product. It is still one of the best smartphone gimbals you can get, featuring 3-axis stabilization, a design that folds very tightly, manual controls, and a very unique slanted design.
Battery life takes a hit, but five hours is still enough to get great footage. Shooting modes include timelapse, vertigo, portrait mode, hyperlapse, slow-motion, and more.