If you like filming a video with your smartphone and are comfortable spending a little more than $100 to achieve more professional-looking results, a smartphone gimbal might be right for you. A gimbal is a handheld mechanical stabilizer that can help you shoot smooth, cinematic footage without the need for a larger tripod or an expensive dolly. After spending 30 hours researching and testing top-rated gimbals for smartphones, we found that the Zhiyun Smooth 4 is the best at reliably stabilizing video. It’s also simple to set up and use, and it’s equipped with the best apps of any gimbal we tested.
The Zhiyun Smooth 4 offsets shaky hands and jerky movements, which comes in handy when you’re snowboarding, vacationing, or shooting a video for a social media post. The compatible apps offer more fine-tuning of settings, such as aperture and filters than the competition. The apps also integrate smoothly with the handle’s buttons (which are more numerous and configurable than those of DJI’s OM 4) if you don’t want to touch your phone’s screen as often.
DJI’s customer service responded to our requests within seconds, so we think that anyone who values technical help over app design and button layout on their gimbal should buy the DJI OM 4. It stabilizes video just as well as the Zhiyun Smooth 4 and is similarly able to track a subject of your choice or to handle cinematic shots such as hyper lapses and dolly zooms. The few buttons on its comfortable handle are simple to learn, and its app is clearly designed. We enjoyed using Zhiyun’s gimbal more because of how well its buttons integrated with its apps, but DJI’s customer service was easily the most helpful of any of the gimbal companies we contacted. Note that the DJI app is optimized for iPhones: While the gimbal is limited to shooting 4K video at 30 fps on Android devices, it can film at 60 fps when paired with iOS devices.