Best Mobile Gimbals to Buy: DJI Osmo Mobile 3 vs Zhiyun Smooth-Q2

DJI Osmo Mobile 3 vs Zhiyun Smooth-Q2 Best Gimbals to buy in Nepal review

*flashback to 10 years ago*
“Hey, whaddya wanna be when you grow up?” “An astronaut!” “A scientist!” “A doctor!” “A chef!”

Videography really hadn’t caught up with the mainstream crowd back then. But now, borne by the overwhelming popularity of the internet, every kid on the block (figuratively of course) wants to be a YouTuber or a vlogger. No, I’m not complaining about that at all; do what makes you happy, more power to you! After all, I’m a fan of good cinematography myself. While a regular camera or a smartphone alone will do the trick for your basic video shooting purposes, you’ll need something more to get those cinematic shots. Something to hold your device in place so your footages don’t come out all shaky and nauseating like that of 2008’s Cloverfield.

Well, that’s what gimbals are for! It stabilizes your videos by electronically adjusting the 2 or 3-axis (depending upon the gimbal’s configuration), due to which the camera rotates about an axis only. But of course, not everyone has access to expensive professional camera setup and thus an equally expensive DSLR gimbal. Modern-day smartphones’ cameras have gotten crazy good these days and while you obviously can’t get a DSLR-level output, footages from a smartphone are commendable, to say the least. Therefore today, we are comparing two of the best mobile gimbals you can buy right now in Nepal – the DJI Osmo Mobile 3 and the Zhiyun Smooth-Q2. You can find the video samples of each gimbal in our review video down below, where most of the footages have been shot from the Huawei Nova 5T.

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DJI Osmo Mobile 3

We at GadgetByte have been using the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 as our go-to mobile gimbal for the past year and the newer Osmo Mobile 3 has been a welcome upgrade. This 3-axis gimbal comes on a lightweight and foldable design with some other interesting features. For a couple of thousand rupees more, you can get the DJI Osmo Mobile 3 Combo which includes a mini tripod (stand) and a carry case, which is the one we have.

DJI Osmo Mobile 3 Mobile Gimbal with phone

Specifications

  • Dimensions:
    • Unfolded: 11.22 x 4.92 x 4.06-inches
    • Folded: 6.18 x 5.12 x 1.81-inches
  • Weight: 405gm
  • Compatible Phones:
    • Weight: 200+/-30gm
    • Width: 2.44 – 3.46-inches
    • Thickness: ≤ 0.37 inch
  • Battery: 2450 mAh Li-Ion; 17.64Wh; 7.2V; Up to 15 hours*
  • Charging: Under 2.5 hours (via a 10W charger)
  • Gimbal Range: 
    • Pan: -162.5º to 170.3º
    • Roll: -85.1º to 252.2º
    • Tilt: -104.5º to 235.7º
  • Max Controllable Speed: 120º/s
  • Tracking: ActiveTrack 3.0
  • Slow-motion: Up to 1080p @240fps
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0, USB Type-C
  • Companion App: DJI Mimo [Google Play StoreApple App Store]
  • Price in Nepal: Rs. 18,900 (for DJI Osmo Mobile 3 Combo)

Build & Design

DJI Osmo Mobile 3 has everything going for it and what we liked the most about it is its design and build quality. The company is emphasizing on eased prolonged usage with its lightweight structure. Also, the rubber handle has a grippy and ergonomic design due to the 15º angled rubber handle. Moreover, the button placement is commendable as well.

DJI Osmo Mobile 3 Design - Buttons

You can easily reach out to any button with zero trouble. A little room for improvement that we found is that, though the trigger button on the back works fine, it isn’t clicky enough. The LED notification is just as good and doesn’t blare into your eyes either.

DJI Osmo Mobile 3 Trigger Button

Videography & Stabilization

Now let’s get to stabilization, which is unsurprisingly fantastic. The videos are smooth as they can get. The Osmo Mobile 3’s improved ActiveTrack 3.0 intelligently track’s human subject’s movements while keeping them in the center, which only works on “Follow” and “Tilt Locked” mode, and not on the “FPV” mode. This can be easily triggered by a single press of the trigger button on the back. Here, the “Sports Mode” helps capture stabilized footages even in high-speed scenarios. We tried it and the resulting videos were still solid as a rock.

The Hyperlapse and Timelapse videos come out great as well, with the ability to set interval, recording duration, and capture path. Additionally, the Gesture Control allows you to trigger the shutter remotely via the “Palm” or “V” gesture. Also, you can shoot 180º and 3 x 3 matrix style panoramas.

Furthermore, DJI has embedded the Osmo Mobile 3 with a bunch of video-presets using which you can generate cinematic footage with ease. Though the small 2450 mAh battery may be throwing you off, don’t worry. It lasts long enough and charges pretty quickly too. The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 gets you the smoothest videos, no surprise there. We tried shooting videos in almost every mode including Sport, and there were no jittery or unstable results. And since carrying around this gimbal is easy due to its light-weight and superb grip, we could easily shoot videos for hours.

App: DJI Mimo

Coming to the app, you can connect your smartphone and the gimbal via the DJI Mimo app. It has an easy-to-navigate interface with lots of features and the pairing is instantaneous. Through the app itself, you can edit and share your videos with the DJI community or other social networking sites. Through the app’s camera, you can meddle around various settings including that of the gimbal itself. Since you can’t change the Follow mode (Follow, Tilt-Locked, FPV) from the buttons on the stabilizer, you can only do that via the app.

DJI Osmo Mobile 3 Rating (1-10)

Specifications Score
Design 8.5
Features 9
Stabilization 9.5
Ease of use 9.5
App 8.5
Value for money 9
Overall 9

Zhiyun Smooth-Q2

Emphasizing on compactness and portability, the Zhiyun Smooth-Q2 is another great mobile gimbal. A cool feature that you get on the Q2 is the Vortex mode, which lets you take 360º barrel shots on the pan axis. Also, it has a big battery that lets you charge your smartphone via the stabilizer itself through its Micro USB port. However, there’s a strict warning to not use this port to charge the gimbal itself. Let’s find out more.

Zhiyun Smooth-Q2 Mobile Gimbal with phone

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 8.03 x 4.02 x 1.65-inches
  • Weight: 450gm
  • Compatible Phones:
    • Weight: 75 – 260gm
    • Width: 2.17 – 3.39-inches
  • Battery: 4500 mAh Li-Ion; 16.2Wh; 5V; Up to 17 hours*
  • Charging: Under 3 hours
  • Gimbal Range: 
    • Pan: 360º
    • Roll: 265º
    • Tilt: 305º
  • Direct Control of Native Camera: Yes
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C
  • Companion App: ZY Play [Google Play Store | Apple App Store]
  • Price in Nepal: Rs. 18,900

Build & Design

While the Osmo 3 emphasized on its build quality and design, Zhiyun is taking a different route with its Smooth-Q2 gimbal – the portability. This thing is small, adequately small. Despite its size, the Q2 is heavy on the hands because of the aluminum build.

Zhiyun Smooth-Q2 Design with phone

If you’re using any gimbal for the first time, the Zhiyun Q2 might be a little challenging since it is comparatively a little difficult to get used to. Adding to the portability, the phone holder here is easily removable. While traveling, you can have the phone holder clamped into your phone, so you easily swap in the phone into the gimbal when necessary.

Zhiyun Smooth-Q2 with separate phone holder

Here, due to the compact form factor, the button placement is far from ideal. However, we didn’t encounter any difficulty operating them.

Videography & Stabilization

The video stabilization here is great. For optimal results, however, you’ll have to hold the gimbal like you would hold a remote – with a slight downward tilt. When holding it normally, the motor on the back is prone to appear in the footage, especially when shooting from a wide-angle lens.

Zhiyun Smooth-Q2 Button Controls

Even when shooting videos on a high-speed scenario, the gimbal does a great job of stabilizing the video. Moreover, the Zhiyun Smooth-Q2 has a feature called the “Vortex Mode”. With this, you can shoot cool 360º videos which you can’t with the DJI Osmo Mobile 3. Similarly, though the Q2 doesn’t come with a stand, its base is flat enough to place it in smooth-enough places.

Zhiyun Smooth-Q2 Mobile Gimbal unfolded

App: ZY Play

ZY Play” is the Zhiyun Q2’s companion app. The app is pretty simple but you’ll occasionally get an advertisement pop-up from Zhiyun itself, which is unskippable and lasts a couple of seconds. Now that’s poor UX right there. You are essentially restricting your users from quickly accessing your product. Besides this, there’s no other complaint from our end. Ultimately, there’s a minimal level of settings you can play around via the app since you can get to most of them via the stabilizer itself.

Zhiyun Smooth-Q2 Rating (1-10)

Specifications Score
Design 9
Features 9
Stabilization 9.5
Ease of use 8
App 7.5
Value for money 9
Overall 8.67

Conclusion

So, that was it for our comparison of the DJI Osmo Mobile 3 and the Zhiyun Smooth-Q2 mobile gimbal. Both devices offer excellent video stabilization, with plenty of features as well. The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 is very easy to use and offers a great number of functionalities, while the Zhiyun Smooth-Q2 adds portability on top of being an excellent standalone stabilizer. Both have their own perks and it may come to personal preference regarding which one is better of the two.