Best phone gimbal 2022: the best mobile stabilizers from DJI, Zhiyun and more
Welcome to our guide to the best phone gimbals you can buy in 2021, a regularly updated rundown of the finest stabilizers for shooting video and photos on your smartphone. We’ll add to and re-evaluate this guide as new mobile gimbals go through our in-depth testing and review process, so be sure to check back regularly for updates. (Looking for more general camera gimbal shopping advice? Check out our how to buy a gimbal guide).
For our money, the best phone gimbal in 2021 is the DJI OM 5. The latest entry in DJI’s long-running Osmo Mobile series, it’s a feature-packed flagship model with a full-on selfie stick built-in, excellent stabilization and object tracking and a clever magnetic clamp system that makes quickly mounting and removing your phone a painless process.+Excellent tracking feature+Compact, elegant design-Shorter battery life than OM 4-Not a 'traditional' gimbal
With its 21.5cm selfie stick-style extension rod, the DJI OM 5 might not be the most traditional of mobile gimbals. Some will appreciate the extra distance but it comes at a cost: the long battery life offered by the older OM 4 is drastically curtailed here, and the OM 5 can’t act as a power bank for your phone. Still, with DJI continuing to sell the OM 4 (via a modified “SE” edition, which we’ll review soon), consumers at least have a choice.
The OM 5 features a magnetic clamp that makes mounting and unmounting your phone a cinch and, while the gimbal itself is fairly small (100g lighter than the OM 4), its powerful motor does a great job stabilizing larger, heavier handsets. With the Mimo app offering superb, smooth object tracking, gesture controls and trick shot modes, it all adds up to an elegant premium option.
Weight (w/o phone): 422.6gFolded dimensions: 163 x 99.5 x 46.5mmUnfolded dimensions: 276 x 119.6 x 103.6mmBattery life: 15 hoursCompatible phone weight: 170-290g+Clever magnetic clamp+Great battery life-Doesn’t hold all phone cases tightly-Similar price to newer OM 5
While it’s no longer DJI’s latest or most advanced mobile gimbal, the OM 4 remains on sale at third-party retailers – and it’s still a fantastic three-axis stabilizer for your phone, thanks to strong motors and its pioneering magnetic clamp design, which allows you to attach and detach a phone swiftly and with minimal fuss – no need to struggle with a spring-loaded clamp. The magnet clamp doesn’t hold all cases equally tightly though, so be careful when submitting your precious smartphone to its mercies.
The OM 4 is a more conventional gimbal than its successor the OM 5 and offers more than double the battery life. While it’s not as compact or lightweight as the newer model, it uses the same Mimo app with its excellent object tracking and trick shot modes. Note than the OM 4 is not the same as the newer (and cheaper) OM 4 SE, which we’ll add to this guide as soon as we’ve reviewed it.
Weight (w/o phone): 340gFolded dimensions: 180 x 154 x 45mmUnfolded dimensions: 279 x 127 x 90mmBattery life: 15 hoursCompatible phone weight: 150-280g+Effective stabilization and tracking+Compact and well-built-Some features require subscription-Subpar ZY Cami app
Zhiyun might be the biggest name in camera gimbals besides DJI, and the Smooth Q3 is just one of several models for mobile it offers. With a compact sliding design and excellent build quality, it feels broadly on the same level as DJI’s offerings. Even if it doesn’t match DJI’s handy magnetic clamp design, it does come with a built-in swiveling fill light for keeping your subject (or yourself) illuminated, and its stabilization is broadly similar to the OM 4 and 5’s.
Unfortunately, Zhiyun’s ZY Cami app isn’t as intuitive or stable as the DJI Mimo app, feels slightly annoying to use and locks some features behind a “Prime” membership paywall. Thankfully you don’t need to use the app for general stabilized filming (your phone’s own camera app will work), but some of the special shooting modes like dolly zoom do require it, as do object tracking and gesture controls. With a better app, this might be a genuine equal to the OM 4.
Weight (w/o phone): 326gFolded dimensions: 174.7 x 74.6 x 37mmUnfolded dimensions: 264.5 x 111.1 x 92.3mmBattery life: 6.4 hoursCompatible phone weight: 170-290g+Truly tiny with excellent stabilization+Supports 4K video at 60fps-Sound quality isn’t great-Gets hot when shooting 4K
This successor to the original DJI Osmo Pocket is a fantastic three-axis gimbal-stabilized camera that really does fit in your pocket. Despite its candy bar-sized form, it’s capable of capturing good quality 4K, 2.7K and 1080p video, eye-catching slo-mo, time lapse and motion lapse sequences and 12MP still photos. Like most mobile gimbals, it also supports face tracking (albeit not when it’s recording at 4K/60fps quality), so it’s a good vlogging camera too.
The battery isn’t user replaceable and lasts about two hours when recording 1080p/30fps – and about one if you opt for 4K/60fps. So if you’re planning a longer shoot you’ll want to invest in a portable power bank to top it up on the go. Another slight issue is the lack of built-in wireless video transfer (you need to physically connect it, or buy an optional wireless module), although the improved four-mic audio setup is a bonus over its predecessor.