The best smartphone gimbals provide all the stabilization to create professional videos. This is the perfect equipment for those who love recording while walking or running. Gimbals rely on the counterweight and integrated axes to balance your phone, but how do you know which one is right for the content you’re creating? We’ve reviewed dozens of the best models on the market to bring you our favorites for any situation.
Here are the best smartphone gimbals in 2023
- Best Overall: DJI OM 6
- Best Runner-up: Zhiyun Smooth 5
- Best for Budget: Obudyard Cloud Shadow 4
- Best for Portability: DJI Pocket 2
- Best for GoPros: FeiyuTech G6 Max
Best Smartphone Gimbals: Side-by-Side Comparison
|DJI OM 6||Zhiyun Smooth 5||Obudyard Cloud Shadow 4||DJI Pocket 2||FeiyuTech G6 Max|
|Size||8.1 x 7.7 x 2.8in||12.2 x 6.6 x 2.0in||8.1 x 2.5 x 1.6in||4.9 x 1.5 x 1.2in||10.6 x 4.7 x 3.1in|
|Compatibility||Cellphones up to 3.2in wide||Cellphones up to 3.1in wide||Cellphones up to 3.1in wide||N/A||GoPro Hero 8/7/6/5/4 Sony RX0, etc.|
Best Overall: DJI OM 6
- 3-axis stabilization for cinematic smoothness
- ActiveTrack 5.0 to tracks your subject
- Lightweight and compact design
- Extendable rod for creative angles & shots
- Use LightCut and edit on the go
If you’re looking for the smoothest video footage, the DJI OM 6 tops the list of best smartphone gimbals on the market.
The newest model from the leading stabilization company in the industry features a lightweight design that packs in balance at any angle. The OM 6 takes its features to the next level with active subject tracking, one-tap editing, and beginner guides. Even more impressive? It’s the only gimbal on the market that supports the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The latest stabilizing tool of 2023 is easy to set up, with quick launch features as soon as it unfolds. The OM 6 has a built-in extension rod that reaches up to 215mm, allowing it to double as a selfie stick. And with all of its capabilities, its surprisingly small battery is still capable of over six hours of power. This gimbal is unmatched thanks to its reliability, portability, stabilization, and features.
Check out the DJI OM 6 on Amazon.
Best Runner-up: Zhiyun Smooth 5
- 🏆🏆【Get Every Angle Covered】Shrinking 40% of the body, the 3-axis gimbal is a get-up-and-go gear. The motor is at the rear to prevent any blocking while filming, offering free movements from...
- 🏆🏆【Powerful Motor Performance】Professional magnetic steel motors with upgraded algorithm and wider phone clamp ensure safer and easier filmmaking experience. Strong compatibility allows...
- 🏆🏆【Steady As Rock】Put simply, gimbal is the king to make video stable and unjerky. With professional module, Smooth 5 delivers vibrant, true-to-life image quality with crisp details while...
- 🏆🏆【Shine In Every Angle】Attach the magnetic fill light for 360° all around lighting on both sides of the new phone clamp, you can enjoy outstanding lighting backed by the 5300K-5700K color...
- 🏆🏆【Newbie-friendly Control Panel】All your movements and operations are just within your fingertips. Round-cap joystick, optimized control panel and adjustment wheel provide a better...
While DJI is the undisputed leader in smartphone stabilization, Zhiyun claims the top spot with its Smooth 5 model.
This gimbal fits in gesture control, smart follow, and even AI editing while beefing up its design. Its durable frame makes it a perfect option for those that like to get down and dirty with their videos.
The Zhiyun Smooth 5 would overcome our best overall choice if not for a few minor drawbacks. While it features an easy-to-use control panel and some of the strongest motors in the industry, it runs through its 2,600mAh battery in just 4.5 hours. it weighs nearly twice as much as the next heaviest model on our list but doesn’t include an extension rod.
While we wait for Zhiyun to release its next flagship model, we’re still paying $170. Still, if you’re looking for a gimbal you can use in the roughest conditions, the Smooth 5 won’t let you down.
Check out the Zhiyun Smooth 5 on Amazon.
Best for Budget: Obudyard Cloud Shadow 4
- Single-axis motor with a high-precision motor that can maintain a horizontal state, super anti-shake
- Can take photos as you walk, automatically correct the shaking of your hand to prevent blurry shots, and can produce high-quality video and animation
- Built-in single-axis motor, 360-degree remote control, and automatic rotation
- Detachable remote make it possible to take all-in family photos for memorable events
- Works great for video conferences/interviews, travel, making videos, vlogging, YouTube, TikTok, live streaming, and more
- Open the handheld part of the stabilizer and place it on the desktop to become a mobile phone tripod
- Adjust the height of the four-section aluminum alloy rod to choose the right position for you
- Beauty retouching capable
- With multi-function Bluetooth wireless remote control
- Can shoot at a distance of about 10m
- The stabilizer can be rotated at 90 degrees, 360 degrees, and any angle
- Weighs about 227 grams and measures about 20 centimeters in length, making it easy to hold in your hand
- Put the smartphone gimbal in your pocket and bring it anywhere!
If you’d like to experience image stabilization but don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend, grab the Obudyard Cloud Shadow 4 with a single-axis gimbal.
What the Obudyard Cloud Shadow 4 lacks in adaptability, it makes for in the tripod. It also has a built-in selfie stick and intelligent leveling, making it easy for you to take balanced photos and videos. While it doesn’t include professional features such as subject focus or advanced controls, it works perfectly for the beginner ad a third of the price.
Check out the Obudyard Cloud Shadow 4 on Amazon.
Best for Portability: DJI Pocket 2
- Lightweight, pocketable camera
- 3-axis gimbal stabilization for smooth video
- Includes four microphones for recording stereo audio
- Face-tracking auto focus
For the easiest gimbal to take anywhere, DJI changes it up altogether; the DJI Pocket 2 isn’t so much a gimbal as a 4k camera with all the stabilizing features of a gimbal.
This is a creation all of its own, with massive 64MP image capability, four microphones, and a collection of built-in presets and filters for photo editing.
The Pocket 2 features a camera that sits in a 3-axis gimbal, giving it 360 degrees of range and focus. While the camera does its thing, you can monitor its view on the native display. You can store your files on an SD card or transfer them directly to your smartphone (requires iOS 11.0/Android 7.0 or higher).
Check out the DJI Pocket 2 on Amazon.
Best for GoPros: FeiyuTech G6 Max
- 【WIFI & BLUETOOTH DUAL WORKING MODE】: With Connecting GoPro HERO 8/7/6/5/ RX0's WIFI, G6 Can Control the Camera to Take Video / Photo and Set the Working Modes. Meanwhile, All the Specifications Can Be Set in New Feiyu On App Once it Connects via Bluetooth.
- 【NEW Feiyu On APP】: More Smoothly, Low Power Consumption, Bigger Motor Torque, Higher Anti-Shake Performance. Remote Control, Automatic Calibration, Firmware Upgrade, and the Setting of Multi-Motion Parameter Can Be Done On APP.
- 【BUILD-IN OLED SCREEN】: Feiyu G6 Supports to Charge the Camera. The Screen Shows Specifications of Gimbal and Camera, Working modes, Battery Life, Bluetooth Connection etc.
- 【12 HOURS RUNTIME】: Enable to Shoot From Sunrise Till Sunset with 12 Hours Runtime Large Capacity Battery.
- 【TRAIL TIME-LAPSE PHOTOGRAPHY】: Feiyu G6 Shooting Modes Can Be Set at Random, Creating A Special Trail Time-Lapse Photography.
While most of the best smartphone gimbals are designed to capture smooth video on the go, most don’t support action cameras. FeiyuTech’s action camera model compromises compatibility for affordability. The G6 doesn’t support the Hero 11 or other state-of-the-art models. Still, it’s perfect for capturing the gnarliest footage. With regular software updates, this gimbal won’t become obsolete.
Check out the FeiyuTech G6 Max on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best Smartphone Gimbal
When choosing the right smartphone gimbal for your needs, there are four main considerations.
- Number of axes
Let’s review each one in more detail.
Number of Axes
The axis number on a gimbal determines the directions the device can stabilize your camera. Gimbals can range from one to three axes, similar to a plane’s movements.
Two-axis gimbals include pitch and roll (or lateral and longitudinal) axis, letting you tilt the device forward and back or side to side. Three-axis gimbals include the yaw (perpendicular) axis, stabilizing the camera when twisting the device. You can save money while still having good stabilization with two-axis models, but for the smoothest footage, three-axis models are superior.
Gimbals keep cameras steady using a counterweight; the heavier its counterweight, the quicker the camera offsets from bumps or shakes. However, there’s a delicate balance between having enough weight to balance the camera and comfortably carrying the gimbal while recording. If the equipment is too light, you might not get the smooth video you want. However, you might have difficulty keeping the camera focused on your subject if it’s too heavy.
While the functionality of gimbals is relatively simple, some models come with extra features. In particular, ergonomics is an important consideration. If you plan on filming often, you’ll want a gimbal that is comfortable to handle.
Additionally, you’ll want to take a look at mounting versatility. If you have multiple devices you plan on using, check to see if the gimbal can handle each of them. If not, you might have to look at mountain adaptors.
Finally, some electronic gimbals come with advanced controls. While stabilizing your camera, these gimbals can pan, spin or even lock onto subjects. Remember, these controls require extra power and can drain the equipment’s battery if frequently used.
Gimbals can range from under $50 to over $250, depending on the features above. You can generally expect to pay about $40 for each axis your equipment includes. Beyond that, gimbals increase in price for their versatility; gimbals that can support mirrorless or DLSR cameras also adapt from smartphones but can cost several hundred dollars. Additionally, you can expect to pay a little more for electric models when compared to mechanical ones. At the end of the day, any two-axis gimbal will provide you with noticeable stabilization.
What to Know Before Buying a Smartphone Gimbal
While looking at the best smartphone gimbals, it’s easy to fixate on electric models. However, knowing the implications of going electric versus mechanical is essential. While extra features such as pan subject lock are enticing, you’ll lose most of the gimbal’s functionality if the battery dies.
If you plan on using an electric gimbal, you’ll want to consider its battery life. You’ll want to keep your gimbal fully charged when preparing for long recording sessions. Portable battery banks can help offset your charge while out in the field. And as a last-ditch measure, consider a backup mechanical gimbal.
Using a Smartphone Gimbal: What It’s Like
If you’ve never used a gimbal, you’ll notice a distinct difference in the smoothness of your video. However, each model comes with its strengths and weaknesses. When testing the best smartphone gimbals, users first noticed the ease of setting it up. Most models come with a native app, which requires some setup before use. The DJI and Zhiyun models were straightforward, while the Obudyard Cloud Shadow 4 required minimal setup.
While it was easy to get started with, the Obudyard quickly fell short with its stabilization capabilities. There was a noticeable difference between the one-axis and the other models on our list. Especially after using the DJI OM6, users found it hard to transition to less mobility.
Future of Smartphone Gimbal: What to Expect
In the future, smartphone gimbals can expect several advancements:
- New Stabilization Algorithms: More effective stabilization algorithms using machine learning or other techniques to reduce shake and vibration.
- More Powerful Motors: Implementation of stronger motors to provide better stabilization, handling challenging conditions like walking or running.
- Smaller and Lighter Motors: Use of compact and lightweight motors to enhance portability and ease of use in tight spaces.
- Built-in Microphones: Integration of built-in microphones to improve audio quality in videos, catering to vloggers and content creators.
- Subject Tracking: Addition of subject tracking features for smooth footage of moving subjects, benefiting vloggers and those recording dynamic scenes.
Best Smartphone Gimbals: Further Reading
With social media content more practical than ever, using one of the best smartphone gimbals can elevate your video game. Electric gimbals are only one of the technical gadgets that make our lives easier. Check out the articles below for the latest technology you can purchase today.
- The 6 Best Portable Battery and Power Banks You Can Buy Today – If your gimbal dies while you’re out of the office, these portable batteries will help you out in a pinch.
- The 5 Best Waterproof Speakers of 2022 – Add music to your next trip with the best waterproof speakers on the market.
- The Best External Hard Drives for Photographers – If you like to take photos while on the trail, check out these external hard drives to protect your files.
The 5 Best Running Watches for Tracking Everything – Accurately monitor your vitals on your next hike with these newest running watches.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Creative Cat Studio/Shutterstock.com.