In this article we look at every single smartphone gimbal currently available on the market today to see which is the best for smart phone film making.
Thats a total of 15 smartphone 3-axis gimbals that are compared, side by side, to find the best for you and your needs.
This guide is for everybody, those that have never seen or even used a smartphone gimbal before, to those looking at new options that may want something different or are looking for a specific feature for your filming style and ideas.
If we don't quite answer a question you have about this technology and filming equipment, we highly recommend you take a look at our camera gimbal comparison tool, where you can use smart filters/sorting options and more to find the right gimbal for you, whether thats a smartphone gimbal or a cinema camera gimbal.
What Is A Smartphone Gimbal and Why Do You Need One
It is a piece of photography and video equipment that you clamp your smartphone to, so that when you are recording video footage, you can make that recording and video as smooth as possible, no matter what motions you may be making.
When holding your smartphone directly in your hand, without a gimbal, no matter how good the in built image stabilisation is on the camera of your phone, you'll end up getting the movements you make in your videos, no matter how smooth you are. Learning to be smooth without a stabiliser can take years and years of practice and we even struggle after doing photography and film making for over 14 years ourselves.
You'll also find that if you do have image stabilisation on your camera, the camera might not be very good at it or it might be limited to specific video resolutions and frame rates.
You might want to film in 4k at 60fps if your camera can do this, but you might not have image stabilisation for this video and frame rate pairing.
It doesn't matter what you're doing, whether you are running, walking, hiking, skiing or filming that days adventures, a smartphone gimbal will resolve many stabilisation issues and create far smooth footage than you can with just your camera in hand.
In other words, a smartphone gimbal is basically a stabiliser, but they can also be called 3-axis gimbals and motorised gimbals.
This is what they usually look like:
What Do Smartphone Gimbals Do
It has a handle, or grip, that you hold and you use to move the gimbal in the direction you want. There are a number of buttons and most usually have a joystick as well, which can be used to control the direction of the gimbal stabiliser in three dimensions.
They usually have three motors on them, hence the name, 3-axis gimbal, the pan motor, rolling and tilt motors.
The pan motor which turns from left to right and pans. Imagine standing on a beautiful vista with a landscape view, you look from left to right, that is panning.
They usually have two other motors as well, the rolling motor and the tilting motor, this makes them a 3-axis motorised gimbal stabiliser.
The roll axis will be sat behind the camera and smartphone and if you imagine a clock, that spins both clockwise and anti-clockwise, that is how roll works.
The final axis is the tilt axis, what this motor does is moves the smartphone from pointing down to the floor, to up to the sky, it tilts up or down, depending on what mode you are in and what you do with the joystick.
With these three axis you can point and direct the smartphone and it's camera in any direction you want.
And With A Sprinkle of Magic
Add to that, processors that work with the motors inside the gimbal, which in turn smooth out all of your movements, which is shown in this video below.
Here you can see a runner running with a gimbal in hand on rough terrain and visualise how smooth the footage is that it records.
Without the gimbal, even the best inbuilt image stabilisation in a camera would struggle with that running movement and would be jerking and bouncing all over the place.
What is the Best Smartphone Gimbal
You've come here to find the answer to the best smartphone gimbal, and we'll try to answer that question as thoroughly and precisely as we can.
There is only one way you can find the best smartphone gimbal stabiliser and that is by knowing every option you have.
That is why we compare over 15 different smartphone gimbals that are currently available on the market today in 2020.
But what makes a smart phone gimbal good? That question completely depends on how you'll use it.
Some may find that you'll be using yours outside, whilst others will be indoors, in studios. There are many different types of filming that you'll want to do.
From simple follow modes where a pan follow will suffice, to those needing vortex modes and the capability to hold different phones.
Below we'll look at the different features and specs of each smartphone gimbal to compare them and find the best for each feature.