Moving even a little while shooting video with your phone can lead to shaky, unusable footage that no amount of optical image stabilization can correct. As a photographer, I don't get paid unless my images and videos are crystal clear on every take. I don't skimp on the gear that goes in my bag, and that's why I carry the Zhiyun Smooth 4. I love the Zhiyun for its reliable and rock-solid 3 axis stabilization that stands up to high winds, walking and running, and even shooting from a moving vehicle. This isn't the only winning gimbal I keep on-hand. These are the best phone gimbals for your money today.
Zhiyun Smooth 4
Beloved by professional videographers, vloggers, and enthusiasts, the Zhiyun Smooth 4 is a must-have piece of photo gear in my bag. The Smooth runs for 12 solid hours per charge and outputs rock-steady footage no matter the weather or your movements. Sliders on the side of the handle operate as a control panel, allowing you to switch between gimbal modes, flip on a fill light, record, pause, and more.
If I have to nitpick, it's that this gimbal balances most accurately without a phone case. Since the Zhiyun's grips firmly hold your pricey phone in place, this isn't an issue but for the inconvenience of having to pull your case off to shoot and replace it again when you've finished.
Features worth bragging about include object tracking, focus and zoom capability, a shutter trigger and advanced shooting techniques like time-lapse, hyper-lapse, motion lapse, slow-mo, and more. Whether you're an advanced filmmaker or just learning the ropes, this is the phone gimbal that gives you smooth video in every situation.
Hohem Isteady Mobile Plus
The Hohem Isteady Mobile Plus is an affordable phone gimbal with advanced features you'll adore! Included with this model is a newly released 3D inception mode that lets you vertically rotate your phone 360 degrees while filming. Fun to use! A sports mode kicks 3-axis stabilization into overdrive, ensuring movies are never shaky, even when you're running down the stairs or biking over rugged terrain.
Battery life on the ISteady Mobile Plus is an admirable 12 hours, and the unit can charge your phone if necessary. This model has four panning modes, various time-lapse features, and can do minor retouching during post-processing with the included app.
My only gripe is with the software. Both iPhone and Android apps are clunky, at best, challenging to navigate, and hard to learn. The app is continually being updated and gets better with each release. But those feeling overwhelmed may want to stick with their phone's video and camera software to start. All in all, this is a pro-grade gimbal at a bargain price.
DJI Osmo Mobile 2
You don't want to run dry in the battery department while filming! The DJI Osmo Mobile 2 is a handheld smartphone gimbal that boasts 15 hours of battery life. And if your phone battery starts petering out, this gimbal has you covered there too. In addition to having enough juice to power through even your most extended projects, this device can also charge your smartphone.
The Osmo Mobile 2 excels at filming on the go. Built-in ActiveTrack uses sensors to actively track subjects while brushless internal motors guarantee stability. Everything from small vibrations to more intense movements is smoothed out with this model. Handle controls make it possible to perform advanced visual effects like dolly zoom, time-lapse recordings, and panoramas.
The only con here is that if you shoot with attached phone lenses, the gimbal sometimes cannot incorporate the added weight to balance the shot. You can get around this by purchasing weights or making your own (by using standard washers). This is a minor inconvenience that won't apply to most. For amateurs and professionals alike, the Osmo Mobile 2 is the gimbal you'll take with you everywhere.
Best Robotic Stabilizer
FeiyuTech Vimble 2
When it comes to playing favorites, the hardest working tool in my bag is the Zhiyun Smooth 4. I love the easy-to-hold handle that functions as a control panel and lets me adjust settings and change focus on the fly via a handwheel. Object tracking is dead-on accurate, and footage is stable and in focus whether I'm climbing the side of a mountain, running on a trail, or shooting from a car.
The Zhiyun's only fault is that it operates best when your phone case is stripped off. Leaving it on works, but it never seems to balance correctly, and operation is clunky. So, be forewarned, to get the most out of the Smooth, it's case off when working!
No matter what your skill level, you'll be impressed with the 3-axis stabilization and tilt, roll, and pan rotation options on this smartphone gimbal. The Smooth is a standout product that's sure to keep your creative juices flowing.