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8 Best Phone Gimbals in 2022 (For iPhone & Android!)

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The best phone gimbals are a godsend for making video footage look professional. And it all comes down to three-axis stabilization motors that combine to eliminate camera shake. The traditional gimbal market leaders are DJI and Zhiyun. But there are plenty of alternatives made by more unknown manufacturers, too.

Phone with light gimbal to keep camera steady for street photography

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What is a Gimbal?

A gimbal is a device with motors and sensors that allows your camera to rotate smoothly around an axis. It stabilizes your camera while you tilt, pan, and roll and helps you film fluid, steady footage while you’re on the move. It helps with shaky hands!

Best Phone Gimbals

All the smartphone gimbals on our list have three-axis stabilization to smooth out camera movements and buoy their electronic image stabilization. And they’re all compatible with iOS phones and Android devices. Just bear in mind these devices aren’t meant to hold action cameras, mirrorless cameras, or DSLRs!

8. PowerVision S1

  • Smartphone size: 2.6-3.3″ / 67-84mm wide (for Magnetic Phone Holder)
  • Extension: No
  • Weight: 298g
  • Dimensions (folded): 5.6×2.3×1.1″ / 141.5×58.4×27.9mm
  • Battery life (approx): 15hrs

The S1 has an ingenious, compact design. That means it’s very portable. It also offers most of the expected features of a smartphone gimbal, including three-axis stabilization, gesture control, “PowerFollow,” object tracking and reverse charging.

A number of introductory tutorial videos make it relatively easy to get started. And there are a number of different shooting modes, including time-lapse, slow-motion, video, photo, and panorama. There are also only a few, simple controls:

  • Capture button
  • Joystick
  • Power button
  • Zoom slider

But the panoramas show noticeable distortion, the built-in tripod is rickety, and the video is not well stabilized at full zoom. All of that doesn’t quite justify the relatively high price. You can read about our experiences with the PowerVision S1 gimbal in more detail in our review.

Pros:

  • Easy operation
  • Gesture control
  • Small and light—can be put in a jacket pocket or handbag
  • Introductory videos
  • Sample videos for editing

Cons:

  • Gimbal overbalances with a flimsy built-in tripod
  • The test sample didn’t work when switched on
  • Unpredictable battery life
  • Tardy customer service

PowerVision S1 smartphone gimbal

7. Gudsen Moza Mini-S

  • Smartphone size: 2.28-3.46″ / 60-88mm wide and 260g
  • Extension: Yes (4.7″ / 12cm)
  • Weight: 495g
  • Dimensions (folded): 2.7×5.1×7.7″ 68x130x195mm
  • Battery life (approx): 5-8hr

Even though this entry-level smartphone gimbal is made from plastic, it’s solid enough. And the ten-degree tilt in the handle makes it more comfortable to hold for long periods. Because it’s not made of metal, the price point is much lower than you might expect for something so feature-rich.

Its foldable design makes it very portable, and there’s a built-in extension arm. It’s also easy to set up and operate with various buttons and controls on the grip:

  • Front joystick, battery indicator, and operation, playback, and photo buttons
  • Sides focus controls, power button, gimbal lock, and charging port
  • Back multi-function trigger

It has all the usual features of a phone gimbal, including different shooting modes, subject tracking, and smart gesture control. The stabilization is very smooth—albeit with the occasional lurch!

The MOZA Genie app controls the gimbal and phone while offering the possibility of basic video editing. It includes features to cut, splice, and paste and add filters, effects, transitions, music, and subtitles.

Pros:

  • Small and portable—folds down to 5″ / 12.7cm
  • Effective subject tracking
  • Smart gesture control
  • One-button focus and zoom
  • Good stabilization
  • Magic mode offers Inception and Sport Gear mode, timelapse, object tracking, dolly zoom, etc.
  • Intuitive MOZA Genie app offers video editing

Cons:

  • You need to remove smartphone cases
  • Inconsistent battery life

Gudsen Moza Mini-S phone gimbal

6. FeiyuTech Vimble 2S Smartphone Gimbal

  • Smartphone Size: Up to 3.3″ / 85mm wide and 150g
  • Extension: Yes (7.2″ / 18.3cm)
  • Weight: 428g
  • Dimensions (folded): 4.4×4.6×12.7″ / 110.5x118x323mm
  • Battery Life (approx): 12hr

This phone gimbal is available in midnight black. And it only has a few controls—a joystick, a zoom rocker, a couple of shortcuts, and a trigger button. There’s a built-in extension rod. And there are many valuable features, including gesture controls, filters, HDR shooting, a timer, Beauty, Light Rail, and Panorama modes.

The Feiyu ON app automatically connects the gimbal to the phone, which is handy. And it’s possible to charge your phone from the gimbal via a cable using the built-in micro USB port.

When it comes to performance, the tracking and stabilization are excellent, and the gimbal offers 300° of rotation on all three axes. On the other hand, the video footage is jittery, the zoom feature is unreliable, and the maximum payload of 150g wouldn’t even be enough for an iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Pros:

  • Extendable for wide-angle captures and selfies
  • Convenient and easy-to-use controls
  • Good stabilization
  • Built tough
  • Reverse charging
  • Auto-connect app

Cons:

  • Poor payload

FeiyuTech Vimble 2S smartphone gimbal and accesories

5. Joby Smart Stabilizer

  • Smartphone Size: Up to 3.3″ / 84mm wide and 210g
  • Extension: Yes (7″ / 18cm)
  • Weight: 428g
  • Dimensions (folded): 7.7×5.1×2.7″ / 195x130x68mm
  • Battery life (approx): 10hr

Joby is perhaps better known for its Gorillapod flexible tripods. But they now produce this black plastic smartphone gimbal with a built-in selfie stick.

The buttons and grip controls are straightforward:

  • Front joystick, shutter button, on and off button
  • Side zoom slider
  • Back multi-function trigger

The joystick is for manually moving the angle of the phone’s camera. And you can press and hold the shutter button v to start a video instead of taking a photo.

Feiyu makes the Smart Stabilizer app, and there are a few advanced features such as dolly zoom, light trails, slo-mo, timelapse,  and Motion Control mode. Plus, there’s a helpful adjustment to level the horizon.

But the maximum payload won’t be enough if you have an oversized smartphone like the iPhone 13 Pro Max. And face-tracking doesn’t work if you move too quickly or let the subject leave the frame for more than a fraction of a second.

Pros:

  • Affordable gimbal
  • Built-in selfie stick
  • Tripod, zip-up case, USB-C, micro USB, and lightning cables included
  • In-app manual

Cons:

  • Poor face-tracking
  • Non-foldable
  • Not user-friendly
  • Confusing multi-function buttons have up to five functions
  • It can’t cope with heavier phones
  • Short battery life

Joby Smart Stabilizer phone gimbal

4. Zhiyun Smooth-Q3 Handheld Gimbal

  • Smartphone Size: 2.28-3.46″ / 60-88mm wide and 150-280g
  • Extension: Yes
  • Weight: 340g
  • Dimensions (folded): 1.8×6.1×7.1″ 45x154x180mm
  • Battery life (approx): 7-15 hours

The USP of the Zhiyun Smooth-Q3 is the built-in reversible fill light, which comes with three brightness levels and is very helpful if you want to vlog or take selfies in low light. There are also the usual controls on the grip:

  • Front indicator lights, mode button, capture button, and joystick
  • Side USB-C charging port and zoom rocker
  • Back trigger button and power button

The ZY Cami smartphone app offers live streaming. Plus, it provides creative shots with gesture control, instant dolly zoom, timelapse, and hyperlapse. The Smart Follow subject tracking and panoramic modes are particularly impressive. And there’s also a MagicClone pano that lets you appear several times in your shots!

The app lets you edit your video by adding music, subtitles, filters, and stickers. You can also change the playback speed, reverse the video, zoom, rotate, modify colors, etc. You can also buy a combo package including a storage bag, wrist strap, and ZY Cami’s one-year prime service card.

Pros:

  • Smart tracking and follow features
  • Fill light
  • Buttons work without the ZY app
  • Tripod included
  • App manual

Cons:

  • Flimsy, plastic feel
  • Multi-function buttons do different things when pressed once, twice, or three times
  • Some features are locked behind a paywall
  • Small handle
  • Variable battery life
  • No two-way charging
  • The app demands too many personal details
  • ZY Cami app needs work and is prone to crash or fail to work
  • No videos, tutorials, or proper English translations in the app

Picture of a Zhiyun Smooth-Q3 phone gimbal

3. Zhiyun Smooth 5

  • Smartphone Size: 2-3.5″ / 50-90mm wide and 150-300g
  • Extension: No
  • Weight: 615g
  • Dimensions (folded): 12.2×6.6×2″ 311x168x52mm
  • Battery life (approx): 4.5hr

The Zhiyuh Smooth 5 is an upgraded version of the Zhiyun Smooth 4. But it’s almost twice the price! It offers all the features of the Smooth-Q3 but with a stronger motor capable of handling larger, heavier smartphones like the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

The control and editing app is the same, but there are far more controls on the grip. That means this isn’t a good choice for the beginner!

  • Front mode indicator light, menu button, mode button, capture button, joystick, center-fill light button, an adjustment wheel for resolution/frame rate, ISO/exposure adjustment, display, and photo album
  • Side focus/zoom wheel and button, power button, customizable function button, and 1/4-inch threaded hole (for gimbal stabilizer or extension bar)
  • Back trigger button, roll axis lock, and USB-C port

The combo package includes a protective bag, fill light and four color filters, ZY Cami one-year prime service card, and a wrist strap. You can attach a maximum of two 300-lumen fill lights and various color filters for 360° illumination.

Note that some of the Smooth 5’s features aren’t available on Android phones. So it’s worth checking the compatibility with your phone before you make a purchase.

Pros:

  • More buttons allow faster changes to settings—particularly the zoom and focus wheel
  • Capable of holding larger phones
  • Solid construction
  • Tripod attachment included
  • Full-featured smartphone software

Cons:

  • Harder to use than the DJI OM 5 and not as portable
  • Fiddly, time-consuming setup
  • You must rebalance and rotate between landscape and portrait manually
  • You need the practice to master all 16 indicators, buttons, dials, and controls!
  • It doesn’t fold up like the Smooth-Q3
  • Hard to remove silicone USB-C port cover
  • Limited battery life
  • App prone to crash or fail to work
  • No videos, tutorials, or proper English translations in the app
  • Expensive

Zhiyun Smooth 5 smartphone gimbal

2. Hohem iSteady Mobile Plus

  • Smartphone Size: 2.3-3.5″ / 58-89mm wide and up to 280g
  • Extension: No
  • Weight: 489.7g
  • Dimensions: 12.1×4.5×4.3″ / 307×113.5×108.5mm
  • Battery life (approx): 12hr

The Hohem iSteady is a mid-range, black, metallic alloy phone gimbal. It was designed to compete with the FeiyuTech Vimble 2S and Moza Mini-S Essential. It’s an upgraded version with an adjustable roll arm and trigger button.

Here is the arrangement of the buttons and controls on the grip:

  • Front joystick, mode and power buttons, T/W switch (Telephoto/Wide-angle), and two LEDs (for Bluetooth connection and Mode)
  • Side LED indicators (four), microphone screw hole, micro USB charging port, and USB-A port
  • Back trigger button

It offers four shooting modes: Pan Follow (PF), Pan and Tilt Follow (PTF), All Lock mode (AL), and All Follow (AF). The Hohem Gimbal app—which can be temperamental—controls everything else.

There are six modes available—Standard, Slow Motion, Motionlapse, Timelapse, Long Exposure, and Light Trail. Stabilization is quick and smooth, and all the usual features are present, including panoramas.

It is also possible to customize all the most crucial exposure, camera, and gimbal settings, including EV, ISO, white balance, resolution, shutter sound, video stabilization, zoom speed, follow speed, and joystick speed.

Pros:

  • Simple button layout and operation
  • Excellent facial recognition and tracking
  • Clean footage
  • Exceptional panning (up to 600°)
  • Battery life
  • Tripod, case, and USB cable included

Cons:

  • Jittery and laggy zooming
  • Cheap construction, especially the flimsy tripod
  • No USB-C port
  • No locks for arms
  • The app is not user-friendly enough

Hohem iSteady Mobile Plus phone gimbal and accesories

1. DJI OM 5

  • Smartphone Size: 2.6-3.3″ / 67-84mm wide and 170-290g
  • Extension: Yes (8.5″ / 21.5 cm)
  • Weight: 292g (plus 34g for magnetic phone clamp)
  • Dimensions (folded): 6.9×2.9×1.5″ 174.7×74.6x37mm
  • Battery life (approx): 6.4hr

The DJI OM 5 is a two-in-one combination of a lightweight gimbal and selfie stick. It boasts all the usual gimbal features. But it has the added benefit of allowing you to shoot from a higher or lower angle or turn the camera around to create a better selfie.

The phone is attached to the gimbal using a Magnetic Phone Clamp in a unique magnetic mounting system. On the grip itself, there are a limited number of buttons and controls:

  • Front joystick, record and rotate buttons
  • Side zoom slider and power button
  • Back trigger and USB-C port

The DJI Mimo app controls the gimbal and gives you access to various features, including Active Track 4.0, CloneMe pano, and video modes, including story mode templates, dynamic zoom, timelapse, motion lapse, hyperlapse, panoramas, and a “SpinShot” gimbal movement.

The ShotGuides menu includes stylized clips designed to create a more cinematic feel without too much effort on your part. You can launch ShotGuides by tapping the icon in the DJI Mimo app. But the window also automatically appears if you’re in video mode and point the camera at your subject.

ShotGuides is divided into various sections, and each one contains several different options. The “Chilled” section, for instance, includes seven different scenarios like “Nostalgia” and “Summer Days.”

If you shoot six clips and tap the video generation icon, the app enables “Shot Reel” and creates a video for you. By attaching a fill light phone clamp, you can add fill lighting with multiple brightness options and color temperature levels. For more, you can also check out our DJI OM 5 review.

Pros:

  • Pocket-size and very portable
  • Solid build quality
  • Elegant design
  • Impressive tracking
  • Telescopic selfie stick
  • Extension-pole gives extra perspective
  • Pouch and mini-tripod included
  • Fast, simple pairing with user-friendly Mimo app

Cons:

  • Digital joystick
  • Joystick and T/W are not analog
  • Hinge on extension arm too easy to turn
  • The telescopic selfie stick is hard to extend
  • Hard to find the right angle when on a tripod
  • Fill light phone clamp not included
  • Need for a magnetic mount
  • No USB port to charge the phone
  • Shorter battery life
  • You can’t select different lenses in the MIMO app

DJI OM 5 as the best phone gimbal available

What to Look For In Smartphone Gimbals

If you want a gimbal for iPhone or Android, there are a few critical criteria to bear in mind:

  • Phone compatibility
  • Its size and weight
  • An easy setup and easy-to-use buttons
  • Warranty coverage
  • Good customer service—especially if made in China!

And here are a few other features to look for:

  • A three-axis gimbal
  • Ergonomic grip
  • Built-in selfie stick
  • Autonomous modes, e.g., face and object tracking
  • Long battery life (or reverse charging)
  • Accessories, e.g., case, tripod, and fill light
  • A user-friendly companion app

Woman holding a gimbal taking a selfie

Conclusion

A gimbal is essential if you want to improve the video quality of your smartphone footage. The DJI OM 5 is probably the best if you’re looking for a gimbal with a built-in extension rod. But other mobile gimbals are fine if that’s not important to you. All the best phone gimbals offer similar functionality. There are minor differences in price—with the odd exception, of course!

Try out our Urban Smartphone Minimalism e-book to create eye-catching shots on the go with your new gimbal!

DepositPhotos partly provided images in this article.

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