Big on filming cinematic shots from your smartphone? Add stability and pro angles to your videos with a smartphone gimbal, whether it’s for reels, TikTok clips or a YouTube summer vlog.
Mount your phone into the clasp and set off on your adventure – jump, run and walk with the gimbal stabiliser in your hand to capture every moment in action, free from shaky shots. If you would rather save battery on your device, check out action cameras for equally stable outdoor videos.
We spoke with Virendra Saklani, chief visual journalist at Gulf News, who has about 25 years of experience in photography. He advised buying a gimbal if you primarily use your phone for photography: “Most mobile phones these days offer great video quality and stabilisation, but since more and more people are sharing their Reels and Stories on social media platforms, it’s a good idea to invest in a mobile gimbal.”
According to Saklani, smartphone gimbals offer a variety of functions. He said: “They help stabilise your footage using three-axis stabilisation, and give your video a smooth look, even if you are walking on the street. [Gimbals] can also work as tripods, which is useful if you are taking timelapse shots, family photos and video clips.”
What should I look for when buying a gimbal?
Saklani advised opting for a gimbal that is compact in size, with buttons and dials within easy reach - it enhances its portability, and makes it easier to work with. Additionally, consider how much stability it adds, along with the speed of its rotor. Saklani added: “It should have a good supporting app to work with.”
Some smart gimbals track moving objects, so that they’re never out of the frame. They’re even capable of performing a dolly zoom (or 'Vertigo' shot) for dramatic effect, where the backdrop shrinks while the subject remains stationary, as seen in the movie by English filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. The best part? Most have controls on the stick itself for faster and easier zooms, angle changes and more.
Get the most out of your smartphone camera with our picks of the best gimbals, based on our expert's recommendation and top-rated reviews, and receive your order the next day with an Amazon Prime membership.
1. Best Overall: DJI OM 4 SE Handheld Stabiliser
- Foldable for easy storage
- Gesture to remotely click selfies
- Tracks objects
- 15-hour battery life
- Tripod included
- Multiple filming features, from dolly zoom and slow motion to time-lapse and panoramic shots
- Better optimised for iPhones, according to reviews
For the most stable results, videographers often opt for a three-axis gimbal, says Saklani. This mechanism almost freezes your smartphone in the air, even if you’re moving back and forth (roll), up and down (tilt) or side to side (pan). The DJI OM 4 SE employs a three-axis stabilisation, and clamps onto the smartphone using a quick-release magnet, meaning your phone comes right off for calls. Filming cute videos of your pet can be quite the impossible task, especially if they’re hyperactive. This gimbal uses the ActiveTrack 3.0 feature to always keep the subject of your camera within the frame. Other cool features include the famous dolly zoom, gesture-controlled remote selfies, hyper-, motion- and time-lapse with a tripod, and much more. According to the brand’s website, the OM 4 SE is compatible with most Android smartphones and iPhones; however, users of the latter have had better luck with the iOS version of the app.
2. Best for Advanced Videographers: Zhiyun Smooth 5 Mobile Gimbal Stabiliser
- Includes magnetic fill light
- Tracks objects
- 12-hour battery life
- Easy-to-reach hot-key buttons
- Requires a learning curve
With a host of controls on the stick, the Zhiyun Smooth 5 mobile gimbal is ideal for single-handed operation. It's only 60 per cent the size of its previous version, so it's compact and portable. Don’t fuss with the screen when you can switch between rear and front cameras, access the camera roll, control exposure levels and take pictures and videos, all from the control panel. It doesn’t end there – you can zoom in and out instantly by turning the wheel back and forth on the side. The same knob gives you control over your phone camera’s focus, once you trigger its dedicated button on the panel. Like the DJI OM 4 SE, this is a three-axis gimbal that lets you track moving objects through its SmartFollow 4.0 technology, but with added control. Reviewers also love its magnetic fill light, which provides 360° lighting on both sides of the phone clamp - they can even change the colour, using light filters.
3. Best Budget: Hohem iSteady Q
- Detachable remote control
- Remotely control selfies, videos, camera angle, zoom and more
- A selfie stick and tripod in one
- Collapsible design
- Value for money
- Doesn’t stabilise pan and tilt axes
If this is your first foray into gimbals, pick up Hohem’s budget-friendly iSteady Q. This is a simple single-axis gadget, which means it gets rid of shakes in roll movements, but not when you’re moving the camera from side to side or up and down. It’s a mini transformer that extends into a selfie stick, turns into a steady tripod and shoots easily in portrait mode, too. As you vlog on a tripod, it swivels 360 degrees horizontally to keep you in the frame, making panoramic photos possible, too. But, its best feature is the detachable control panel that becomes a remote control the second it comes off. This tiny device is perfect for remote group selfies, rotating your phone, zooming and switching between landscape and portrait modes. Clip the remote back onto the gimbal after you’re done, so there’s no fear of misplacing it.
4. Best for Casual Use: FUNSNAP Capture 2S Smartphone Gimbal Combo
- Wide compatibility
- Features Bluetooth connectivity for remote access
- Multiple filming modes
- Tracks subjects
- Comes with a travel pouch
- Initial calibration is time consuming, some reviewers say
- Tripod cannot be extended
Ideal for travel or casual shoots, FUNSNAP’s gimbal uses three-axis stabilization and face tracking to create smooth, clear videos. You can pick from six stabilisation modes; for instance, Sports Mode allows you to capture fast-moving action seamlessly. In terms of filming too, the device offers a wide variety of customizations - you can switch from 180-degree panorama footage to omni-directional or super-large perspectives with the click of a button. Reviewers have used the gimbal for hours of filming, with no issues, but some do say initial set-up requires a bit of time and effort.
Bonus: If you’re a Prime member, you can redeem Dh30 by applying the code ‘PRIMEX20’.
5. Best Lightweight Gimbal: Hohem iSteady XE
- Tripod included
- Multiple operation modes – sports, pan and tilt, follow and more
- Lightweight at 259 grams
- Comes with a travel pouch
- Battery life could be better, say reviewers
Another option for someone who’s buying their first stabiliser and looking for value for money, is the Hohem iSteady XE. It’s lightweight, at just 259g, and foldable - happy reviewers note that despite its weight, it offers excellent performance on windy days. The XE’s stabiliser has amped up its motor torque by 30 per cent, which means it offers great stabilisation and support for a maximum payload of 281g. It’s also easy to install and use. With this version, expect stable, smooth shots when you pan, tilt or roll your smartphone. Enjoy gesture-control selfies, object tracking, dolly zoom and time-lapse shooting on the tripod (included), with an eight-hour battery life.
Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay D43.83 for 12 months with select banks. If you are a Prime member, you can save Dh30 by applying the promo code ‘PRIMEX20’ at checkout.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.