GoPro cameras are all the rage now, but not everybody has GoPros. Some people want to be able to take nice action shots, videos, or really nice cinematic photos with their smartphones. However, we all know that this can be problematic. It can be hard to focus a smartphone and be steady long enough to take a nice video or image.
Introducing the Zhiyun Smooth-Q Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer For Smartphone, a great stabilization device that will help you create really awesome photos and videos using nothing more that you phone.
See Also: Best GoPro Gimbal Review
Zhiyun Smooth-Q Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer Review
This particular stabilizer gimbal for your smartphone comes to us from avery well-known and reputable brand name. Now, the Zhiyun brand name has not been around for all that long, but buy do they every make some really useful products, ones like the Zhiyun Smooth-Q 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer for Smartphone. Let’s take a few minutes to do an in depth Zhiyun Smooth Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer For Smartphone review.
Just to be clear, this gimbal is specifically designed to be used with phones like the iPhone 7 Plus, the iPhone 6 Plus, and various Samsung Galaxy models including the Samsung Galaxy S8+, S8, S7, S6, and S5.
One of the best parts about the Zhiyun Smooth-Q is that it uses some really advanced stabilization technology. It works just like a gyroscope to always keep your phone stable and pointed in the right direction.
Even when it is windy, bumpy, or when you are on rough terrain, this particular gimbal for your smartphone will ensure that your smartphone always takes steady and level videos and pictures. This is very useful for people who are always on the go and still want to take great action shots.
The fact that the Smooth-Q stabilizer is designed with a high precision stabilizing algorithm is definitely a big deal. What is also pretty neat is that it has a response rate that is up to 40% faster than older models. It has a really fast response time when it comes to adjusting itself, which means that your pictures will always be steady, sharp, and level.
Another thing that really stands out about this gimbal for smartphones is that it uses a fantastic 26650 lithium-ion battery. This great battery allows for a runtime of 12 hours without pause. That is a really long battery life for any smartphone gimbal, and is in fact one of the best out there.
Moreover, the really neat part about the Zhiyun Smooth-Q Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer For Smartphone is that you can recharge it using the same power supply for your phone. You can charge it while on the go or while at home. Even better is that you can still connect the power supply to your smartphone while it is in use, thus allowing you to still charge your phone.
Yet another great aspect of this stabilizer is that it is made with a high molecular compound material. This means that this particular smartphone gimbal is extremely durable, one of the most durable ones out there at this time.
On that same note, this lightweight yet durable material only weighs 450 grams. It’s a really lightweight option to consider, one that will not cause cramps or fatigue from prolonged use. The fact that the Zhiyun Smooth-Q Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer For Smartphone is so versatile and user friendly is definitely a big deal for us.
On a related note, it can carry up to 220 grams at a time, which is pretty impressive considering how small and lightweight it is. This means that it can hold your phone with ease, plus you could even add on an extra lens if you so choose. Having a large payload is another big selling factor which sets this model apart from the rest of the pack.
We also like the fact that the Zhiyun Smooth-Q Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer For Smartphone has various buttons on it which allow you to zoom in and zoom out, transfer your smartphone to the rear camera selfie mode, and switch from taking pictures to taking videos.
It also comes with a fantastic updated play app which allows you to perform time lapse photography, it gives you different filter options, and it supports auto-tracking as well.
We do also like the Zhiyun Smooth-Q Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer For Smartphone because it can rotate a full 360 degrees, which is pretty cool if you ask us. Moreover, this gimbal is very durable temperature wise.
This thing will still function and rotate properly in temperatures as low as negative 15 degrees Celsius and as high as 45 degrees. In other words, whether you are in the desert or in a snow storm, it will continue working without question.
This model is actually splash proof too, so it can get a little wet without fear of breaking from water damage. Finally, to keep it well balanced, you can just use the easy adjustment knob to change the tilt. With this model you even get a screw hole in the bottom so you can attach a tripod.
- Great stabilization – quick reaction time
- Extremely durable
- Splash proof
- Resistant to heat and cold
- 360 degree rotational ability
- Smartphone app included for tracking and time lapse
- Very lightweight
- Ergonomically friendly
- Comes with a tripod
- Awesome battery life
- Getting it to balance can be tricky
- Not very portable once calibrated
- Firmware is not the greatest
The Zhiyun Smooth-Q Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer For Smartphone is one of the better gimbals for smartphones. There is no doubt about that. It may have a couple of minor drawbacks, but overall it is one of the best ones out there. It is very durable, it’s reliable, and fairly easy to use too.
If you want to be able to take really nice photos and videos with your smartphone, we would definitely recommend checking out this Stabilizer for your smartphone.
See Also: Best DSLR Gimbal Stabilizers
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The gimbal probably worked well for most people but I had a difficult time with an iPhone X. It was frustrating to open the app, connect via bluetooth, go to the camera part of app, switch to follow mode and then highlight the object you want to follow. The gimbal moved too slow to follow the highlighted object. The instruction lacked details and the online tutorial from the manufacturer website lacked details about it. It also lacked details about calibration. The Windows app sucked and couldn't connect to the gimbal to determine if there is a firmware upgrade.
I bought this to take better videos of our family outings and start vlogging our adventures. I tried vlogging with our Sony a6100 camera several times in the past but I hated the shakiness and how the close up the shots were. I would have too many things with me. My canon 70D, my cellphones, and my Sony and sometimes tripods depending on where I was going.
This eliminated all of those factors for me. Now we only need our phones and tripods aren't necessary. For pictures, we may bring the 70d, but rarely do.
We did purchase a sturdy heavy duty extendable selfie stick to attach to the bottom to add length for those low close to the action shots. It adds enough length without extending.
I couldn't be happier.
The battery lasts forever. When we took it out the box it was practically charged all the way, we have not had to charge it yet. It comes with a nice case for carrying around. It can also charge your cellphone if it runs low on battery.
Our footage from just our 6splus iPhones are amazing, clear, crisp and SMOOTH! I highly recommend if you want to upgrade the quality of phone videos you create. We can also attach our GoPro with a separate attachment.
Once we get the full hang of it, we will be purchasing the zhiyun gimbal for our camera.
P.S. For those who may not watch tons of YouTube review videos before purchasing. Make sure you stabilize your camera in the gimbal before you operate it. If not you will be putting stress on the motors and could potentially damage it. That goes for any gimbal, not just this one. Also never turn it on without your phone or GoPro already attached. Same deal.
this gimbal is EXCELLENT. During my first few hours messing around with the gimbal, it's proven itself to be capable of matching up to the more expensive GoPro/Smartphone gimbals. I've taken a few videos already using my iPhone and GoPro 4 and it has kept each video as stable as possible even while I was running and jumping around. I've even tried it in different angles including holding it such that the handle was above the smartphone for a low ground shot.
Like other reviews you will see online, the very first thing that you NEED to do upon putting your smartphone onto the gimbal is to balance. Balancing the smartphone is a must because leaving it unbalanced will put way too much strain on the motors and the last thing you need is to break the gimbal because you refused to balance it. Another thing that needs to be done is to update the Gimbal's firmware. There isn't much instruction on that part but a short youtube search "Smooth Q firmware update" will lead you to a short tutorial.
The Smooth-Q has 3 modes: Pan Following Mode, Locking Mode, and Following Mode. When you turn the gimbal on it'll automatically enter Pan Following Mode. To switch to Locking Mode, press the mode button ONCE. To switch to Following Mode, press mode TWICE. To go back to the PREVIOUS (the last mode you were in before switching), press the mode button ONCE. This whole mode switching thing was the most complicated thing about this gimbal. The Zhiyun App does tell you what mode the gimbal is in while you're switching but when you're using it with a GoPro it just gets a little confusing.
Zhiyun has two different apps - Zhiyun Assistant and Zhiyun Play. They both do the same thing but I believe Play is the more recent app and Play's tracking feature works better. Be warned, the apps do need work but everything you need is in there like adjusting the speed of the gimbal's movements.
For anyone wondering how you can use a GoPro with this, you can buy an adapter that will let you mount the GoPro like a smartphone. I didn't get one of those but instead I kept the gimbal's smartphone mount on horizontal, took the GoPro out of its housing placed it onto the mount facing me. There was a gap from the top of the GoPro to the upper bracket and in that gap I wedged a pentel eraser which made the GoPro fit perfectly. Of course I had to move the GoPro slightly to the left such that half the GoPro was not on the mount, it's also a way of balancing it without having to move the gimbal bracket around too much. Now, the problem is that the GoPro will be facing you so the simple solution is to press the "mode" button 3-times to put the gimbal in selfie mode.
To conclude this long sort-of review, if you're looking for a cheap, quality gimbal that will get you that stable shot then Smooth-Q is definitely the way to go. However, be warned that it does take some getting used to especially the Pan Follow mode. You will certainly have to adjust the speed settings (how fast it pans, rolls, and tilts) of the gimbal in the Zhiyun app to where you like it. But after setting it all up and getting everything together, it works how it's supposed to and it'll get you the smooth shots that you've been looking for.