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DJI Osmo Mobile 6
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DJI Osmo Mobile 6
Every year, DJI launches a new iteration of its smartphone gimbal. In 2022, that device is the DJI Osmo Mobile 6. If you’re a DJI fan, you’re not seeing things: the company has gone back to the full “Osmo Mobile” branding rather than the abbreviated “OM” branding we saw on the last few gimbals.
DJI is pulling out all the stops this time around. Not only is it offering all the features of last year’s DJI OM 5, but it’s also bringing in new hardware and software features. But is it all worth the very high price — and should Android users even bother? Find out in the Android Authority DJI Osmo Mobile 6 review.
What you need to know about the DJI Osmo Mobile 6
- DJI Osmo Mobile 6: $159 / £145 / €169
The Osmo Mobile 6 launched on September 22, 2022. It is the follow-up to 2021’s DJI OM 5. The Osmo Mobile 6 is a smartphone gimbal, which uses a three-axis motor to allow for incredibly stable smartphone video footage. It is compatible with both Android phones and iPhones, although the latter get preferential treatment as certain features are iPhone-exclusive.
Inside the box, you’ll find the gimbal itself along with a magnetic smartphone clamp, a mini-tripod, a USB-C to USB-A charging cable, a soft carrying pouch, and various bits of paperwork. The tripod mount on the bottom of the gimbal is the standard 0.25in size, so you can also mount it on tripods you already own.
The DJI Osmo Mobile 6 has all the hardware and software features of the OM 5 but throws in a few more for good measure.
To use the gimbal, you snap the included magnetic clamp onto your phone. The magnet on the back of the clamp then connects to the gimbal arm. The gimbal then auto-adjusts to the size and weight of your phone. You only need to set the gimbal in this fashion once per session, though, because the magnetic clamp allows you to connect and remove your phone as much as you like without needing to reset the gimbal.
DJI carries a ton of accessories that work well with the Osmo Mobile 6. The most notable is the Fill Light Phone Clamp, which is sold separately for $59. This replaces the included magnetic clamp and comes with a fill light built in. The light has multiple tones and brightness settings and charges with an included USB-C cable. Additionally, DJI offers an Osmo Mobile 6 Vlog Combo which includes the standard gimbal package along with a wireless microphone kit. Using all these tools together could enable you to have an extremely portable professional vlogging kit.
The easiest way to get all these products is from DJI.com, but they are also available at third-party retailers such as Amazon and Best Buy.
DJI Osmo Mobile 6 vs OM 5: What’s the difference?
DJI always offers something new with its latest gimbal, but this year, it pulled out all the stops.
- Side Wheel: On the left side of the gimbal, you’ll find the new Side Wheel. Although the very first DJI Osmo Mobile came with a scroll wheel (which DJI removed from all future models), this is different. It allows you to control focus and zoom manually on supported phones.
- Display: For the first time in the line, the Osmo Mobile 6 has a display. It is very small and works only to give you quick visual cues for important information, including battery life, your camera mode, and more.
- Folding arm tweaks: The DJI OM 5 had a tricky-to-unfold arm. The Osmo Mobile 6 has a similarly designed arm, but it is much easier to unfold.
- New software tricks: DJI has updated its Active Track system to 5.0, which allows for more efficient object tracking as well as the use of the front-facing camera. It also has a new iPhone-only feature called Quick Launch.
- Connectivity: The Osmo Mobile 6 connects to your phone with Bluetooth 5.1. This is a minor upgrade over the two previous models, which are stuck on Bluetooth 5.0. You won’t notice a difference in use, but it’s somewhat better for future-proofing.
- Design: The DJI Osmo Mobile 6 is slightly larger and heavier than the 2021 model. It also comes in just one color this year: Slate Gray. This replaces the lighter Athens Gray from last year, and Sunrise White is no longer available.
How is the new DJI Osmo Mobile 6 design?
As with every DJI gimbal, the Osmo Mobile 6 feels like a premium product. It’s been years since DJI offered a gimbal that wasn’t made entirely of plastic, but the build quality of the Osmo Mobile 6 is especially good. Although it is small, it does not feel like a toy.
Speaking of its size, the Osmo Mobile 6 is slightly larger and heavier than the OM 5. It’s not by much: the 2022 model is 309g in weight as compared to the 2021 model’s 292g. It is considerably taller when folded up, measuring 189 x 84.5 x 44mm as compared to the OM 5, which clocked in at 174.7 x 74.6 x 37mm. So portability is definitely knocked down a peg this year. However, the gimbal still feels incredibly portable to me, and I suspect only folks very used to the size and weight of the OM 5 will have any complaints.
The Osmo Mobile 6 is slightly larger and heavier than the 2021 model.
As with the OM 5, the Osmo Mobile 6 has a built-in extension rod. It’s the same length as before (215mm or ~8.5in), feels stable, and is a useful feature for vloggers or people who take a lot of selfies.
One of the biggest differences with the design, however, is the new Side Wheel. The Side Wheel allows you to control zoom and focus, with zoom the default. Turning the wheel either zooms in or out. Pressing the wheel swaps modes, and turns of the wheel control focus instead. The wheel feels great. It is very grippy on your fingertips and the turns are smooth.
Obviously, the amount and quality of your zoom will depend on your smartphone. For my Galaxy S21 Ultra, I could zoom out to 0.6x or zoom in up to 8x. There is a noticeable jolt on the display when you shift from the ultrawide lens to the primary lens or from the primary lens to the telephoto, so filmmakers would need to be mindful of that. However, once you’ve swapped lenses, zoom moves smoothly through various magnification levels.
Focus is just as simple. Just press the Side Wheel and then turn the wheel to get a crisp look at your subject.
Another big addition this year is the display. It has a few indicator lights to quickly get you info during your shoot. On the left of the display, you have a battery level indicator and a connection indicator. Next to that, you have four mode indicators: Follow mode (general stabilization), Tilt Locked mode (keeps the camera horizontal as much as possible), FPV mode (all three axes follow the movement of the camera), and Spin Shot mode (pushing the joystick controls the rotation of the camera). You can toggle through the modes linearly using the multi-function button (indicated by an M on the front panel).
DJI has nailed the interface on the Osmo Mobile 6.
All the other buttons on the DJI Osmo Mobile 6 are the same as previous models: a record/shutter button, a button to swap from portrait mode to landscape mode, a joystick for controlling movement, and a trigger for locking movement or activating Active Track.
Overall, DJI has once again nailed the interface here. Everything is easy enough to understand that a novice filmmaker could pick up an Osmo Mobile 6 and get right to filming, while pros will appreciate the various levels of control they have over the camera’s movement and stabilization.
What are the new DJI Mimo software features?
To use the DJI Osmo Mobile 6, you’ll need to have the DJI Mimo app on your phone. This allows you to control the settings and functions of the gimbal itself. It also acts as a camera app which you’ll use to capture video and photo content. It is not recommended to use other camera apps with the gimbal since you’ll lose a ton of functionality, although you can if you like.
For iPhone users, getting the app is simple: just head to the Apple App Store and install it. It’s a bit more complicated for Android users. Despite launching on the platform back in 2018, the DJI Mimo app no longer appears on the Google Play Store, so you’ll need to get it through one of two avenues. If you own a Samsung phone, you can find Mimo on the Galaxy Store. If you don’t own a Samsung phone, you’ll need to sideload the app from DJI.
Android users will need to either use the Galaxy Store or sideload an app to use the Osmo Mobile 6.
Obviously, this is a huge inconvenience for Android users. I asked DJI for a formal explanation as to why the app no longer appears on the Play Store, but it declined to specify. Historically, Apple’s App Store has more strict guidelines for the security of its apps, so it’s not likely the app was removed from the Play Store because it’s insecure. Without a statement from DJI, though, we won’t know for sure.
Regardless of how you get the Mimo app, the Osmo Mobile 6 supports all the video features of previous models. That includes:
- Timelapse: Your phone sits in a stationary position and records footage for a set period of time. When finished, the software speeds up the footage to create a fast-paced edit.
- Hyperlapse: A timelapse shot that adds extra flair by moving the camera from one point to another very slowly while recording.
- Panorama: The camera takes photos while it moves from one point to another automatically and then pieces the photos together to make one extra-wide photo. A “Clone Me” option within this feature also allows you to digitally add yourself to various spots within the final photo.
- Story Mode: The software instructs you on how to record three or four different shots. You shoot those shots, and then the app edits them all together into a professional-looking video complete with music and even title cards. This is an easy way for anyone to create stunning social media videos without any video editing expertise.
- Dyna-Zoom: While you physically move backward, the zoom on your camera zooms in at a similar pace. This creates a slightly disorienting shot that is used for dramatic effect in TV, movies, and commercials. It’s especially helpful for product reviews and food videos.
- Shot Guides: Introduced last year with the OM 5, this feature is sort of like a more advanced version of Story Mode. Rather than create the edits for you, Shot Guides gives you an example shot (using AI to determine your environment) so you can then try to mimic it.
Along with these returning features, there is a brand new iPhone-only feature as well as the yearly upgrade for DJI’s Active Track.
Unfortunately, the newest software feature for the Osmo Mobile 6 is iPhone only.
The iPhone-only feature is called Quick Launch. When you snap your clamped iPhone onto the gimbal’s arm, it will automatically launch the Mimo app. This eliminates an extra step from getting ready to start your shoot, which could be the difference between capturing a moment or missing it. DJI has no plans to bring this feature to Android devices, unfortunately.
DJI is also rolling out Active Track 5.0 with the Osmo Mobile 6. Active Track is a software feature that locks the camera onto a subject and keeps it centered no matter where you or the subject moves to. With version 5.0, Active Track is better than ever, working more efficiently on smaller and faster-moving subjects. It also now works on the front-facing camera, so you can use it for selfie videos. It’s still not perfect (and likely never will be), but it continues to get better and better every year. Active Track 5.0 is exclusive to the Osmo Mobile 6 and will not come to previous DJI gimbals.
- Spot check: The display will show a green light when your phone is magnetically attached to the arm properly. However, if it detects it is slightly off, the light will turn red, giving the user an easy-to-understand system of knowing whether or not the phone is ready to shoot. This is a brand new feature for the Osmo Mobile line.
- A strong hold: The magnetic force that holds your smartphone to the arm is 47.5 Newtons. This is approximately strong enough to hold two 2-liter soda bottles. In other words, your phone isn’t going to fall off the arm, no matter how heavy it might be.
- Power: The battery inside the Osmo Mobile 6 is the same as the one that appeared in the OM 5. It has a capacity of 1,000mAh and can net you over six hours of gimbal usage under ideal conditions. It charges at up to 10W, which can get you from zero to 100% in just under 90 minutes. Keep in mind that you cannot leech power from the gimbal to charge your phone. This was a feature the DJI OM 4 supported but DJI eliminated with subsequent models.
- Compatibility: DJI has a very helpful PDF chart showing all the phones compatible with the Osmo Mobile 6 and what camera features they support. Some notables are all flagship Pixel phones from the Pixel 4 forward, all OnePlus flagships from the OnePlus 8 forward, and all Samsung flagships from the Galaxy S10 forward.
DJI Osmo Mobile 6 review: The verdict
For the past few years, DJI has held a vice-like grip on the consumer smartphone gimbal market. While there are certainly other notable companies out there, no one offers the hardware quality and, most importantly, the software quality of DJI. My time with the DJI Osmo Mobile 6 indicates that its lead over the competition isn’t weakening at all. If anything, it’s going to be stronger than ever.
Flat out, the Osmo Mobile 6 offers everything we saw with the terrific OM 5 and then throws in a bunch of new features. The Side Wheel adds a new layer of usefulness and professional air to the gimbal, while the display makes operating the device easier than ever. Active Track continues to get more powerful and DJI’s reliable stable of shooting modes outpaces the competition by leaps and bounds.
Really, the only major thing that’s disappointing about the Osmo Mobile 6 is how it indicates that DJI doesn’t really care much about Android users. The Quick Launch feature being iPhone-only is a bummer and the fact that most Android users will need to sideload the Mimo app is terribly inconvenient. Hopefully, this isn’t a sign that DJI is just going to give up on Android support altogether someday.
There’s also the question of the price. It’s commendable that DJI didn’t raise the price this year — the Osmo Mobile 6 is launching at the same $159 price we saw with the OM 5. However, that’s still really expensive for a smartphone gimbal. With gimbals, though, you tend to get what you pay for, and DJI’s ownership of the market allows it to command that price.
The Osmo Mobile 6 is probably the best smartphone gimbal out there for iPhone users, but Android users need to know what they're in for.
If that’s too expensive for you, the DJI OM 5 ($129) has now permanently dropped in price. You’ll save $30 but miss out on all the new features the Osmo Mobile 6 offers. This might be ideal, though, if portability is of utmost importance since the OM 5 is smaller and lighter than the Osmo Mobile 6.
Outside of DJI, Zhiyun is probably your next-best bet. The most comparable product to the Osmo Mobile 6, though, is the Smooth 5 ($169), which is actually more expensive and less compact. Going with the Smooth 4 ($99) instead would save you a bunch of cash, but you’re getting a much less powerful product.
The bottom line here is iPhone users shouldn’t even look at the competition: the DJI Osmo Mobile 6 is the best smartphone gimbal out there. Android users need to understand what they’re getting themselves into, but even then, you probably won’t find another comparable product that works better than this. The question now becomes: how will DJI top itself next year?