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Best Smartphone Stabilizer

A smartphone stabilizer is the difference between a shaky amateur video and Oscar winning footage, e.g ‘Searching for Sugar Man’, and ‘Tangerine’ both Oscar winning films shot entirely on iPhones. And yes, they most certainly used the best smartphone stabilizer they could get their hands on.

But, even if you’re not trying for an Academy Award and just want great holiday videos, a smartphone gimbal stabilizer is easiest, most portable way to get professional-level video with the camera that is always with you – your phone. Sure, you could haul around a tripod, but you’d never get the smooth and sweeping footage that everyone craves to see.

So, in order to make videos that will rack up thousands of likes on social media, or simply just capture those all-important memories, look below for our top 10 smartphone gimbals; chosen for price, quality, stabilization, and public rating.

Best Smartphone Stabilizers On The Market

We’ve chosen stabilisers across the budget range to suit both budding amateurs to serious professionals. We’ve included a nice spread of pendulum-based stabilizers, known as Steadicams, and a few ‘active’ type stabilizers which are the hot new thing to hit the consumer videographer market. You’ll notice the weight changes a fair amount due to material and design, and that’s an important factor to consider.

Smartphone StabilizerWeightStabilizer Type
Feiyu G4 Plus 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal38gSteadicam / Pendulum
Polaroid Steady Video Stabilizer1140gMotorized gimbal
Movo Photo VS01-SP Handheld Video Stabilizer450gSteadicam / Pendulum
Zhiyun Z1-Smooth-C Multi-function 3 Axis Handheld Steady Gimbal861gMotorized gimbal
DJI Phone Camera Gimbal OSMO MOBILE490gMotorized gimbal
Ikan FLY-X3-PLUS 3-Axis Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer1130gMotorized gimbal
Fantaseal Ergonomic Smartphone Handheld Grip Stabilizer17gPistol grip
Neewer Video Camera Handheld Stabilizer Steady Aluminum Alloy1100gSteadicam / Pendulum
KumbaCam 3 Axis Smartphone Stabilizer / Gimbal860gMotorized gimbal
ChargerCity Multi-Use Handheld Stabilizer Pistol Grip100gPistol grip

Now, let’s take each of these products and review them individually to find out exactly which one is the best smartphone stabilizer for who. We’ll also reveal the best smartphone gimbal of 2017 at the end of the article.

1

Feiyu G4 Plus 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal – Best Stabilizer for iPhone 7 Plus

With a remote control and additional counterweights, the Feiya G4 Plus is perfect for the iPhone owner because it’s specifically this phone type that this beautiful piece of kit is designed for. Its more expensive rivals struggle sometimes with larger phones, yet this handles them gorgeously and keeps your footage as smooth as possible, no matter if you’re shooting with a monster iPhone 7 Plus or a tiny iPhone 6. Really, you can use the Feiyu with any phone type, but it especially shines for iPhones. See further down for our pic of the best smartphone stabilizer for android phones below.

The 2-3 hour battery life is also a great amount of time, though it may feel not enough if you plan to use it plenty across the day. Still, rivals offer similar battery time. Of course you could always go for a pendulum stabilizer which uses no batteries at all but you’re losing the incredible convenience rather than simply investing in more batteries or an external power source. Sure, a common complaint is the lack of control through buttons on the actual device, yet it includes a remote control more than makes up for it in our opinion, turning the whole thing into a two-handed experience.

So we’re not sure why people regard that as a downside. We can only imagine that some people want to keep it all one handed like traditional stabilisers, and we get that. It’s just an extra remote is really damn useful. Another complaint, and one we actually agree with this time, is the noise.

That might not seem like much of a problem, but if you’re relying solely on the camera’s inbuilt microphone then you’ll get some unwanted noise when the gyro is working hard. Our recommendations are to not to push the stabilizer too much when you want to record sound, or you can just leave the sound and add music over the footage later like the pros do.

PROS
  • Fits 'plus' sized phone models
  • Includes remote control
  • Aluminium construction
CONS
  • Single button
  • Not the quietist on the market
2

Polaroid Steady Video Stabilizer – Best Budget Gimbal Stabilizer

Polaroid are becoming less and less known for their cameras and known more and more, instead, as the camera gadget makers. So, they don’t disappoint with this low budget pendulum stabilizer that we’ve included as a competitor to the Neewer stabilizer on this list.

The grip is far less comfortable than the Neewer and it doesn’t look nearly as cool (which we always say DOES matter), but what you gain in return is an actual gimble rather than the mere balljoint on the Neewer one. That make a huge difference in terms of stabilizing your cell phone video.

What we would like is a combination of the two in a single form; but, unfortunately, you have to choose between those two bargain buys. Other notable things to consider are the inclusion of both a smartphone holder as well as both GoPro mount and good old standard DSLR mount.

Meaning, if you had, or had wanted to own, a DSLR, then you could just remove the adapter and slap a professional body (pro term for camera) on there and then proceed to bang out a trilogy of Oscar-winning movies in a fortnight.

The world is your oyster now, and travelling the globe is far easier since this Polaroid stabilizer is also incredibly portable and compact. The shape of itself lends itself well to stuffing into any type of storage for travel or for tidying.

PROS
  • Great budget choice
  • Aluminium construction
  • Compact design
CONS
  • Can loosen over time, needing constant maintenance
  • Not as great as more expensive options
3

Movo Photo VS01-SP Handheld Video Stabilizer – Best Stabilizer if You Also Own a GoPro

The problem with getting into filmmaking, especially when you’re the sort of person that likes to do a job well, is that you’re always going to want to be pushing yourself and expanding your gear. You have an eye for upgrading but you like to get value for your money too. So, when you upgrade to a better camera, you’d prefer that all of your old gadgets would be compatible.

The best thing about the Movo Photo VS01-SP is that it also works with a GoPro, meaning it’s a great investment for filmmakers who either already own a GoPro or for those who will likely be eyeing up a GoPro as a future buy for even more options for video capture. Since it already comes with adaptors, it’s as easy as swapping them over on the move. Besides that, it’s a great entry into the world of stabilization with a price that’s no too high and a design that’s quick compact.

The only downsides are the rather lacklustre instructions, so expect to be on YouTube for a little while in order to get the most from your stabilizer. We typically recommend you do that with any new tool though; these things can really be tricky to pick up and people end up blaming the product rather than a lack of practice.

The Movo is a great starting point though and will certainly be a nice pick to dip your toe in with.

PROS
  • Comes with multiple adapters
  • Amazingly cheap
  • Very portable
CONS
  • Very basic stabilization
  • Uninformative instructions
4

Zhiyun Z1-Smooth-C Multi-function 3 Axis Handheld Steady Gimbal – Best Budget Active Stabilizer

The prices of those active stabilizers are enough to widen the eyes of professionals looking to stay ahead of the game, so the average holidaymaker who just wants great video memories might think that smart gimbals are out of their reach. Well, the Zhiyun Z1-Smooth C is a third of the price as the industry leaders yet offers an incredible amount of stabilization for your phone.

It’s very highly rated and, in our opinion, it looks a lot better than the far more expensive options.

You may not think that very important, but if you’re carrying it around in front of you face at really beautiful locations, then you want it to look great too.  Though, speaking of carrying it around, a commonly noted thing about the Zhiyun is the weight. We personally think that a good amount of weight is nice, especially when it comes to stabilizing larger phones, but the downside is that your arm might be a bit weak at the end of the day.

If you want to dip your toe into the 3-axis gimbal to see what all the fuss is about, then the Zhiyun will certainly blow you away while keeping your bank account intact.

PROS
  • Excellent price for a motorized gimbal
  • Performs as well as more expensive options
  • Holds even larger phones
CONS
  • Rather heavy
  • Included bag is a bit useless
5

DJI Phone Camera Gimbal OSMO MOBILE – Best Stabilizer for Timelapses

Available in both white and black to match the most common phone colors of the day, DJI’s offering is an incredibly development in smartphone stabilization, because they were the first. DJI was the first company to release this sort of technology to the masses in the form of the grip and gimbal design that has started to become the new must-have piece of camera tech. As such, it’s hard to go wrong with choosing the DJI OSMO mobile as your new travel buddy. Smooth-as-butter stabilization in a compact form with a great battery life demands a premium, yet it’s worth every penny – and not even the most expensive.

Plenty of third party providers, most of them on this list, have quickly experimented with the DJI design, which in some ways means they are better in some areas, but DJI is the piece of kit that sets the standards by which all competitors are judged by. However, we’ve chosen it as our key pick for a certain use for stabilizers, and that’s timelapses. A timelapse is when a lengthy period of time is recorded and then sped up in order to capture 20 minutes of change in a few seconds.

Common uses of this technique include capturing the awe of sunsets, weather patterns, but also the actions of people, e.g showing a sped up version of someone graffiti-ing a wall while the videographer moves around them resulting in a really cool ‘motion timelapse’. The possibilities are literally endless so it’s up to you to look for those perfect moments. You need to have the OSMO to be able to capture those moments though. Luckily it’s very portable and the price really is worth it, despite seeming like a large initial investment. It’s your important memories we’re talking about here, though, which are priceless in themselves.

And, further things you can do with the OSMO are long-exposure photography to capture really dark scenes as if they were far, far brighter. Helpful for those family portraits in a darkened restaurant, or for making creative works of art using light painting. The only real downside, when it really comes down to looking for things to criticise, is that the included software is still in its early days.

You have to use the included software to capture your video on your phone, because the software will also use your phone’s built-in gyroscope to really calculate the best possible stabilization for you. While that software may be a bit awkward at times, it’s definitely something that is updated very regularly and will only get better with time.

The main appeal of the DJI OSMO mobile is that it uses a joystick to independently control the camera, meaning that you can stay still and pan around without a single twinge of movement. It really turns you into a one-man film crew with results that wow.

PROS
  • Industry and market leader
  • Joystick control
  • Absolutely incredible stabilizer
CONS
  • Premium price
  • Brand name demands a brand price
  • Software could be better (but likely will be)
6

Ikan FLY-X3-PLUS 3-Axis Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer – Best Smartphone Stabilizer for Large Android Phones

This active phone stabilizer has a huge cult following behind it and is a beloved option for perfectly smooth smartphone stabilization. It’s roughly the same price as the DJI OSMO mobile version, yet reports from Android users claim that the Ikan FLY-X3-PLUS works far better for their larger phones.

It has plenty of frustrated reviews across the internet from users who just couldn’t get the balance correctly but it’s just that the Ikan needs a real careful touch when it comes to balancing its gyros. Rushing or not knowing what you’re doing will quickly throw the stabilizer off and lead to quick disappointment, but if you stick with it and really pay attention, then the Ikan Fly-X3-PLUS could be the perfect choice for you. It also comes with plenty of useful accessories for attaching things like a GoPro very easily.

PROS
  • Loads of accessories
  • Excellent customer support
  • Stabilization rivals DJI
CONS
  • Bulkier than similair options
  • Uninformative instructions
  • Balancing can take a while initially
7

Fantaseal Ergonomic Smartphone Handheld Pistol Grip Stabilizer – Best Budget Pistol Grip Stabilizer

Notice something different? No moving parts. Because, well, if you’re reading this list with a bit of a sceptical mind at all these premium prices, counterweight pendulums, and complicated stabilizer terminology, then you might be interested in this cheap piece of kit. In the same way that a trained marksman uses the moulded grip of a pistol, you can use the pistol grip to help you keep your smartphone stabilized.

You can keep a glass of water from spilling over while you carry it, so surely the pistol grip helps you tap in to perfect this pistol grip with a smartphone holder is the absolute cheapest way to steady your video footage by approaching one of the most fundamental problems that a smartphone videographer comes up against: holding the phone. Simply holding your smartphone while recording video can be an awkward affair – where do you put those fingers!?

The Fantaseal Ergonomic Smartphone Pistol Grip is a super simple solution to a very overlooked problem. Personally, we think smartphone’s should just come with a pistol grip because they make so much sense. It’s also far better for carrying your phone around without worrying about it falling out of your hands – especially useful when near water or deep falls.

This is less a recommendation and more a public service announcement, really. So, even if you buy one or a couple of the options on this list, be sure to grab the Fantaseal pistol-grip while you’re at it to make your life that much easier. Another awesome little feature is that the phone clamp has a tripod screw slot which means you can mount your phone to any tripod (because they’re all standardised sizes). Nice! That screw size also includes your selfie sticks for a cheap way to get high-up shots using your smartphone.

PROS
  • You can't get cheaper
  • Super portable
  • Looks fantastic
CONS
  • No pendulum or gimbal
  • We wouldn't take it through airport security...
8

Neewer Video Camera Handheld Stabilizer Steady Aluminium Alloy – Best Budget Pendulum Based Stabilizer

If you’re a veteran of camera gadgets then you’ve heard of Neewer. They’re your typical ‘let’s do it ourselves for cheaper’ gadget company and they consistently provide fantastic budget-friendly options of your favorite tech gadgets for a far lower price. They are rarely as good as the real thing, but often times they are certainly all you need.

Their popularity speaks for itself as their pendulum-type offering made it into our list and many other reviewers’ list as well. 

You need not look very closely to see the far lower quality approach than pricer alternatives, because Neewer rely entirely on a very flimsy ball-joint to provide stabilization, but the level of stabilization you get is pleasantly surprising. If you’re investing in a good pendulum stabilizer and would like you get your kids involved, the Neewer is cheap enough to grab and give to the younger ones so they can join in with their own movie-making. We’re also fans of the red metallic finish, and wish more on this list would embrace such a style.

PROS
  • Aluminium construction
  • Well-known budget brand
  • Very attractive red metallic finish
CONS
  • Ball joint is limited
  • Stabilizer is stretching the term a bit, but it's better than nothing
9

KumbaCam 3 Axis Smartphone Stabilizer / Gimbal – Best Premium Active Smartphone Stabilizer

*Tripod accessory not included (but is available)

When you build on the success of the people who invented the very design that you’re heavily taking inspiration from, and then you slap a higher price tag on it, then you better be able to provide results.

KumbaCam does just that. It will easily support your larger and heavier phones in a tight grip, and the in-built gyroscopic stabilizer gives you silky smooth footage straight out of the box. Is it better than DJI? Many would say so, and that’s exactly what you’re paying for. It offers the same joystick control that turns you into a one man cinema crew, and it has support for all manner of accessories such a miniature (or full size) tripod, and it has 3 shooting modes such as pan follow mode, lock mode, pan/tilt follow mode, as well as a portrait shoot capability.

The main appeal of the KumbaCam is their rate of development far exceeds that of competition, as this is their 3rd generation model. That means that this beauty has had 3 generations of improvement, while many others on this list are still in their first generation. In short, don’t let the price put you off. Whereas with DJI you can play the ‘you’re paying for the brand’ card, KumbaCam is all about what you get for your money, and you certainly get everything you could want.

It’s a shame the battery life isn’t longer however, reportedly half an hour to an hour, and while that might threaten to be a deal-breaker for many, it comes with multiple batteries. Plus, serious users will invest in more batteries or a portable power source anyway.

PROS
  • A league above DJI's offering?
  • Full joystick control
  • Fantastic stabilization
CONS
  • More expensive than DJI's OSMO Mobile
  • Low battery life
  • Not ideal for much larger phones
10

ChargerCity Multi-Use Handheld Stabilizer Pistol Grip – Best Multi Use Smartphone Stabilizer Gadget

ChargerCity’s Multi-Use Handheld Stabilizer Pistol Grip is the Optimus Prime of phone stabilizers. It offers no active stabilization, or indeed pendulum stabilization, but it does give you a far more comfortable way of holding your phone with a moulded pistol grip and smartphone holder which lets you rely on your own muscles and balance to stabilize the phone.

With a bit of practice and consideration of the ground beneath your feet, you might find that that’s all you need for smooth smartphone footage.

The magic is that the whole thing transforms into a compact yet stable tripod for you to set down. And, when it comes down to it, 3 plastic legs offer the same amount of stabilization as the most expensive stabilizer on this list. Sure, you can’t move it around, but you also pay almost nothing for it. It’s also not limited to smartphones thanks to its removable smartphone gripper, so you can attach it to any number of cameras from a GoPro to a proper videocamera or a DSLR. Entirely future proof and extremely portable.

PROS
  • Pistol grip and mini-tripod in one
  • Super compact
  • Cheap
CONS
  • No stabilizer design
  • Split grip may feel odd
  • Bit cheap looking

Best Smartphone Stabilizer - Buyer's Guide

As you can see there’s a lot of variation in weight, material, design, and function where smartphone stabilizers are concerned. And that’s because confidently ignoring the laws of physics, in order to achieve better homemade videos of your dog doing something funny, takes a lot of smart design behind it. Namely, counterweight. What we’re on about, is that keeping your smartphone perfectly balanced while you run over unsteady ground is no easy feat. Your body is always in a state of motion and we are very rarely actually as still as we think we’re being. Add the element of unstable and un-level ground, plus windy weather, and you’re looking at some extremely shaky footage. Even if you’re just taking photos, having better stabilization will lead to much sharper shots and lets you capture dark scenes far better. Luckily, even a cheap phone stabilizer can give you vastly superior results over just holding your phone with your hands. We know you want to make the best decision possible because they all cost money and some of them cost a lot of it. So read on to find out how to avoid a shaky disaster.

Gimbal vs Steadicam/Pendulum Stabilization

Gosh. This is a tricky question. And there is no clear winner here. If you’re Mister Moneybags then a motorized gimbal is an excellent way to instantly achieve the best results. However, with a bit of practice a Steadicam can provide you with the exact same results for a fraction of the cost. The amount of practice needed is going to depend entirely on the quality of your Steadicam, though, with cheaper models probably requiring a good few hours of use before you really get the hang of it. Steadicam operators are an in-demand profession in the world of Hollywood. But let’s cover the difference between the two. Steadicams, or pendulum-type stabilizers, use dangling counterweights to keep the camera level even while you, or the ground beneath you, doesn’t. The grip part is attached in such a way that allows the whole thing to move around so that as little motion as possible is transferred to the camera. All very simple, all very clever. Motorized gimbals, meanwhile, use electronics to monitor the movement being applied to the camera and actively counter this motion with mechanically controlled counter-movements. Not very simple, but extremely clever. For the average consumer, the 3 main differences are ease-of-use, portability, and price. Electronic gimbals will give you pro results out of the box and are extremely portable, but cost a huge amount. Pendulum-based stabilizers are the exact opposite. But, in the end, both do the same job.

Weight         

Phones are lightweight, that’s the convenience of them. Portability plays a major role in how much you’re going to be using your smartphone stabilizer, especially if you plan to take it on holiday with you, or on a hiking trip. Another reason you need to consider the weight is because, typically, smartphone stabilizers are operated using one hand. If you’re a muscly person then no problem, but the less physically capable among you might struggle over long periods of time. None of our chosen products are too heavy, since this is a smartphone gimbal review, but it’s something to consider.

Size

Size considerations follow all the same logic as weight considerations. Your phone is compact and portable, so it’s unlikely you want to ruin that convenience with a huge piece of kit. That said, the larger the stabilizer for a phone camera, the better balance it’s going to have.

Price

There’s an enormous difference in price between a pendulum-based stabilizer and an active gimbal, but there’s also a big difference in price between an aluminium Steadicam and a plastic version. It’s all about weight and strength, which leads us finally to…

Material

All of the previous considerations: weight, size, and price, are heavily affected by the material that your stabilizer is made from. Your options are typically plastic, steel, and aluminium; likely a combination of all 3. So if you’re wondering why a certain pendulum based stabilizer is more expensive than a gimbal, take a look at the materials and you’ll understand why.

Compatible Devices

Most phones will be fine, but if you’re the proud owner of an iPhone plus model then just check to see if the phone will fit the stabilizer. Some models may require you to purchase a slightly different model, or, at the very least, buy an adapter.

Extras (Remote, Adaptors, etc.)

Since it’s difficult to use the buttons on your camera with messing with the balance, especially on the move, it’s handy if your stabilizer also comes with a way to start and pause the recording on your smartphone. This is more for the convenience, as you can always just edit the moments before and after your smooth recording to cut out the bits where you’re starting and stopping the footage. The more expensive active gimbals will very likely have built-in buttons on the handle, because that’s the nature of their design.

Conclusion


So, there you go, a solid list of the best smartphone stabilizers on the market. Plus, a very detailed buying guide to explain not only why we chose the products we did, but how you can make your own assumptions and buy the best smartphone stabilizer for you.

For our pick of the best, we’ve chosen DJI’s offering, the DJI Phone Camera Gimbal OSMO. It’s an obvious winner, considering they were one of – if not the first – to bring active gimbal stabilization in the form of a portable stick to the consumer market. Every other motorized smartphone gimbal stabilizer you can buy is modelled after their highly successful design. It’s certainly a premium price, but it’s clearly the best of the best and worth every penny. It’ll provide you with Hollywood-level stabilization straight out of the box, even if put in the hands of a young child.