Best Gimbals for iPhone XS & XS Max – Reviews
If you’ve been considering getting a gimbal for video recording with your iPhone XS or XS Max, you’re probably wondering if they’re worth the money and investment.
As an avid freelance videographer with a bit of an obsession with gimbals, I have to say, definitely, yes.
They can make a huge difference in your video quality, stability, and will give you access to features that you simply can’t get in any other way.
The gimbal that you go with should fit your unique preferences and be ideal for your specific video needs. That being said, I can give you an idea of what some really great options are for your iPhone Xs or XS Max.
Below, I’ll go over some of my absolute favorite gimbals that work well for the iPhone XS or the XS Max and what their best features, drawbacks, and specifications are.
I will also try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions that I get about iPhone gimbals in general.
Let’s have a look!
DJI Osmo Mobile 3 – Handheld Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer
Okay so with the DJI Osmo Mobile 3, the gimbal itself is amazing.
I am not the biggest fan of the accessory package, but I wanted to include the link in case you could use it to save yourself some money.
Personally, since the Osmo already comes with a protective molded case, I don’t see the point of the added small bag that you get.
It seems like a way for you to bundle and spend, not bundle and save. Also, the tripod isn’t the best.
That being said, the Osmo is amazing. One of the absolute best smartphone gimbals out there.
It lets you tell your story more effectively by giving you the ability to capture cinematic motion. It’s also really durable. This is a good option for anyone who is shooting longboarding or skateboarding video footage.
I say this because that’s what I have used it for. It’s really lightweight and portable. It is no problem to store and carry around.
Since it cuts your gimbal weight to just 405g, it’s great to use all day. It also is good for live streaming. Since it charges your phone, it works great for all kinds of live footage.
I think you get around 15 hours maximum, though I have never personally tested the limitations of this. Here’s a video review of this particular gimbal.
Essentially, it’s good for cinematic motion and smooth video and is very lightweight. It’s also durable and the protective features are nice as well.
• Works with just about all smartphones
• Captures smooth footage
• Included DJI GO app
DJI Osmo Mobile 3 Smartphone Gimbal – An amazing product.
Charging Cable – It’s fine.
Carrying Case – Somewhat useless and ill-fitting.
12″ Flex Tripod – Great for desk stuff.
The base for the DJI Osmo Mobile 3 – Decent enough quality.
Cleaning Cloth – Nice for wiping, not worth purchasing, in my opinion.
Pros & Cons
What I Like:
• Durable design – The durable and protective design makes it great for skateboarding shoots and other heavy-duty outside work.
• Lightweight – You can easily use this gimbal all day.
• good battery – For live streaming, this is a pretty great option.
What I Don’t Like:
• Carrying case – The case with the accessory package is useless.
• WILL NOT work with a Samsung Galaxy – I found this out when I loaned it to a buddy- they had to drive all the way back to trade me out gimbals.
Verdict: The DJI Osmo 3 is the best gimbal for iphone xs max or xs, in my opinion. It isn’t a perfect product but it’s pretty close. This one is used by a lot of youtubers, amateur videographers and smartphone movie makers for a reason.
Zhiyun Smooth 4 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer – Inexpensive Focus Pull & Zoom Option
The Zhiyun smooth 4 gimbal a cheaper option that works well for some applications but has some major flaws.
I am mostly including this one because of its price and quality. Let’s start with the little flaw: the ZY Play software.
The software is “buggy”. What I mean is that there are many little annoying glitches that can make the entire thing annoying to deal with.
I’ve heard that Zhiyun is planning on integrating their hardware with Filmic Pro, which is supposed to be very helpful, but since I don’t know for sure, I will leave that for you to research.
Keep in mind that I am saying this from the perspective of an iPhone user, so if you have a device working off of an Android platform, maybe you’ll have better luck than I did with iOS.
It’s less expensive than many other choices that are available for smartphones and really does have a quality exterior.
It’s built with good materials and has the potential to be part of an amazing system. I can see that a lot of thought and real-life user experience has gone into this product.
However, it is not the easiest stabilizer to balance. If you are looking for something for photography or for occasional desk use, this is a good way to save money.
Other than that you’d likely be better off paying for something better.
• Operation Voltage Standard： 7.4 v
• Product Net Weight(g): 547
• Output Voltage Standard： 5 v
• Operation Temperature: Max： 45 °C, Standard： 25 °C, Min： -10 °C
• Battery Runtime Standard： 12 h(Laboratory Data)
• Charging Time Standard： 3 h
• Tilt Mechanical Range：240 °
• Roll Mechanical Range：240 °
• Valid Payload：Max： 210g, Min： 75g
1x Zhiyun Smooth 4 Gimbal
1x Type-C USB Cable
1x Storage Box
1x User Manual
1x Cleaning Cloth
Pros & Cons
What I Like:
• Good material construction – Nice materials, solid construction.
• Has potential – this could be part of an amazing system.
• Great for photos – You could use this gimbal for photos easily.
What I Don’t Like:
• It doesn’t balance – The counterweight system does not work well for an iPhone XS Max.
• Software bugs – There are some very frustrating software issues.
• Overheats – I noticed that this thing heats up very quickly at random.
• No case use – You can’t use it with most phone cases.
This is one of the best gimbals for iphone xs, it has been constructed out of quality materials and you can tell that a lot of thought went into its design.
I will tell you what I do like. It has real potential. I can see this gimbal becoming part of a really nice setup, but the balance issues must first be addressed. it would really only work well for still photos and desk work.
Feiyu Vimble 2 Smartphones Gimbal Stabilizer – 3-Axis Handheld Smartphone Gimbal
I say this because if you use video through the included smartphone app, you’ll get a watermark on it.
I wish they wouldn’t have done this because you’re paying for the product already. Why make you advertise their brand? Also, the application has lots of glitches and is slow. With that out of the way, I will go over the features. Let’s start with balance.
This gimbal is somewhat hard to balance with an iPhone XS, but it will balance out after you fiddle with it for a bit.
It also doesn’t have the greatest battery life out there. I have gotten from 3 to 6 hours on average. However, it does have an extension, which is a feature that can be hard to find.
Also, it comes at a comparatively low price. That’s a big thing for lots of people who are only using their gimbal from time to time. I would recommend this gimbal for anyone who doesn’t use a gimbal a lot, but needs on occasionally.
It comes at a pretty good price and the construction quality pretty good as well. It also has a really strong clamp; your phone won’t be falling out of it for any reason.
The extendable charging capability is another great feature. You might want to watch this video about it to see more of its features in-depth.
All in all, for the price, it’s a pretty good option that has some helpful features that can let you get better videos that you’d ever be able to get by just holding your phone in your hands.
• Extension Freely for Fantastic Filming
• 5 Hours Running Time
• Face Tracking
• Object Tracking
• One Key Photo
• Various Time-lapse Photography
1 x Stabilized Handheld Gimbal
1 x Micro USB Cable
1 x Anti-lost Rope
1 x FY Universal Small Tripod
1 x Portable Bag
1 x User Manual
Pros & Cons
What I Like:
• Lots of features – I like the added features, especially the tracking.
• Strong clamp – The clamp holds your phone in place well.
• Nice little tripod – The tripod is pretty stable.
What I Don’t Like:
• Application issues – The application includes a watermark on the video and many glitches.
• Hard to balance at first – until you get the hang of it, it’s hard to balance the iPhone XS.
If you need an inexpensive gimbal for shooting occasional video, this is a good option. It has lots of helpful features and comes at a comparatively low price.
However, the application is pretty annoying to use and it can be hard to learn to balance this gimbal. Still, for all of the features and accessories you get, it’s an alright option. It also is really durable, which I like. All in all, it is a good option for part-time users at a low price. It would be a great gimbal to have available as a backup.
Hohem Gimbal iSteady Mobile 3-Axis Handheld Stabilizer – Great For Getting Smooth Video and is Easy to Use
This gimbal supports many kinds of advanced shooting techniques with your iPhone. You will have access to Static Lapse, Motion Lapse, and Track Lapse features.
It also has good tilting angles, a decent battery runtime, and charges fairly quickly. You’ll be able to get great video technology as it can automatically track objects and faces.
It also has Bluetooth connectivity. It can connect to the Hohem Studio App and is good for social media sharing.
If you are shooting videos for Facebook, YouTube, Vemo or Instagram, this is a good choice to consider. It is also a pretty good option for sports shooting.
You can use it to follow and record athletic activities easily.
If you want a gimbal for hiking or traveling, this gimbal works well also. One of my favorite parts about this gimbal is its low price.
You get a lot for what you pay. All in all, if you want an inexpensive gimbal for a wide range of activities both indoors and outdoors, this is a solid option. I would not, however, recommend this for professional use.
If you are wanting something for professional social media videography, I would definitely go with something a bit more high-end.
• Brand: Hohem
• Mode: iSteady Mobile
• Support Models: iPhone X, iPhone XS MAX and many other smartphones
• Smooth video
• Face tracking
• Many useful features
• 4000mAH Build-in Battery
• Max. 12 hours Running Time
• 2 Way Charging (for additional power bank if you have one0
1 x USB Cable
1 x Manual
1 x Mini Tripod
1 x Handbag
Pros & Cons
What I Like:
• Good value – With the accessories and features, you get a lot.
• Stable footage – You get smooth and cinematic video footage for less.
• Nice battery life – I was surprised at how much battery life you get with this gimbal.
• Great for social media – This is a good option for most social media-related activities.
What I Don’t Like:
• Firmware app issues – The app, like many gimbal video apps, has some issues.
• Not pro-quality – This is not the best option for professional use.
• Feels cheap – The quality is somewhat mediocre.
If you are trying to get access to lots of fun features for a low price, this is a good gimbal to go with. It has face tracking, Bluetooth, stabilization, and more.
It works amazingly with iPhones XS and can help you get superior video footage.
However, if you are looking for a smartphone gimbal for professional use, this is not the fanciest option out there. It also has some serious firmware issues with the application. All in all, it is a good value for any kind of hobby videography on your smartphone.
Steadicam Volt – A different kind of gimbal
In my opinion, this is a pretty good buy. It could make a nice addition to anyone’s collection of videography gear. It isn’t a full replacement for a premium gimbal that has been designed for professional use but it’s still a really cool product.
It utilizes carbon fiber in its design and has a unique look that makes it feel very high-end. It doesn’t have time-lapse support or anything like that, but it’s still great for stabilization.
Actually, it stabilizes motion very well.
It requires a bit of patience to set up initially but once you get it going, it makes for a really useful tool. Since it has been designed to work with a wide range of different smart devices, you’re going to need to manually set up the counterweights.
You’ll also need to position the wheel which can take some skill. However, once you have it done right, this is a great option for getting silky smooth video footage in just about any situation.
Since you are stabilizing it yourself and the motors don’t have such a heavy load, you’ll find that the battery life is amazing with the Steadicam Volt.
The fluid motion is so gorgeous, it’s hard to deny that this is one of the most efficient and stable options for getting smartphone video footage.
Now for the downsides. Once again, this gimbal comes with an application that doesn’t perform well.
The smartphone app has a hard time keeping up with iPhone firmware. It crashes all of the time. Also, some people don’t like the carbon fiber feel.
I personally like it, because it makes it very lightweight and easy to hold for hours. However, if you are used to metal frames, it can feel very weird at first. All in all, a great stabilizer for outdoor footage, concerts, sports, and more. Here is a video review on YouTube.
• Compatible with the Tiffen Imagemaker iOS & Android
• Haptic control
• Lightweight folding design
1X Steadicam Volt Electronic Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer
1X Mount for Smartphones
See more here.
Pros & Cons
What I Like:
• Lightweight – The carbon fiber design makes this a super lightweight option.
• Stable – It really does have great stabilization.
• Battery life – Superior battery life when compared to many, more expensive, gimbal options.
What I Don’t Like:
• Not many features – This thing is really just for stabilization.
• Application issues – The associated mobile app is not great.
If you need a simple and lightweight manual gimbal with electronic stability for your iPhone, this is a great option.
It is very easy to use once you get it set up.
While it does take about 20 minutes to get set up and balanced manually, it’s totally worth it for the battery life and stability.
If you are looking for a very simple and stable gimbal that will last for a long time and isn’t overly complicated, this is a unique option that’s well worth considering.
EVO Shift 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal – Intelligent APP Controls for Auto Panoramas for iPhone & Android Smartphones
This is probably my second favorite gimbal in its respective category.
It really has everything you could want. It has record and zoom controls in the handle that let you pair it with your phone for so many possibilities.
You can fine-tune your camera shooting angle on-the-go for awesome video footage in any number of situations. It also has advanced stabilization technology meaning that you will finally have ultimate freedom of motion.
It’s perfect for panoramas, object tracking, and even time-lapse footage.
You can get up to 10-hours of superior stability with its impressive battery. The impressive built-in ¼-20 threaded handle allows you to comfortably and easily mount your Shift to pretty much any tripod. It also can work well with action cameras, a definite bonus.
Finally, this thing has great pan follow mode features and a full follow mode with its roll axis that locks easily.
Other great features include the built-in smartphone charger, the live stream capabilities, and the variable time lapse settings.
All in all, for the money, you really can’t go wrong.
This could be the ultimate value for amateurs looking to use a professionally styled gimbal with their smartphone or a great backup gimbal for professionals who need time-lapse features.
Either way, for the price, it’s a fantastic option that’s loaded with extra features, add ons, and user bonuses. On the downside, it can be confusing to use at first. Especially when it comes to switching between modes.
• Unlimited 360 Pan Footage
• Up To 10-Hours Of Run Time
• Compatible with most iOS smartphones
• Control Camera Zoom & Record from Handle
• Bi-Directional Mount
• Built-in Smartphone Charging
• Smart-Track Object Tracking
• Supports GoPro Action Cameras & 360 Cameras
1X EVO Shift Stabilizer
1X Micro USB Cable (for Charger & Software Update)
1X Storage Case
1X User Manual + War. Information (1 Year USA Parts & Labor)
Pros & Cons
What I Like:
• Many features – You get so many useful features with this gimbal.
• Great stability- You could use this in any situation and still get superior footage.
• Great value – For the price, you get so much, it’s uncanny.
What I Don’t Like:
• Hard to learn – For new users, the modes can be hard to learn at first.
If you have been looking for an amazing gimbal with many professional features for a low price, this is a great option.
You could use it for so many applications including wedding videography, sports footage, and much more.
It lets you have the ability to manually adjust settings such as ISO, Shutter Speed, WB, Exposure and even Focus.
It also lets you get great time-lapse footage. All in all, a great value and one of my absolute favorite gimbals for smartphones in its category.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gimbals for iPhones
Okay, so now that you’ve seen some of my favorite options, I will answer some really common questions about iPhone gimbals.
It’s important to note that with any iPhone product, you’ll have to think in that Apple product specific manner. What I mean is, Apple offers user-friendly products that are great for many applications but aren’t always cross-platform compatible.
Luckily, there are many gimbals that ARE cross-platform compatible, as well as a few that are specifically designed to work with Apple and iOS platform products.
Here are a few questions that I get asked a lot about specifically iPhone gimbals.
• Which iPhone gimbal has a mic input?
If you want to attach an external mic to your smartphone gimbal setup, you’ll have a few options.
For the most part, if you want better audio recording, you’ll need to get a separate attachment that can allow you to record audio as you get footage with your iPhone.
If you have a large high-quality mic, you may have to get a simple external mic that is easier to use with a smartphone setup.
This is in part, due to the fact that iPhones have different input jacks.
Also, your Mic can really suck up your battery life. You might be able to find an adaptor or mic adaptor kit for your iPhone, but this will depend on the kind of mic that you have.
A really good choice for an inexpensive adaptor is the HolaFoto Adapter.
I like it because it lets you charge your iPhone and attach a mic to your gimbal at the same time. It also is relatively cheap.
Without an adapter, it can be kind of frustrating to attach your mic to your gimbal. This is because not all quality mics are going to attach to your gimbal directly.
A really good way to attach a gimbal is by getting a separate clip-on mic for audio.
However, this can add a bit of unwanted weight to your setup. that’s a big problem when stability is essential to video quality.
I recommend watching this video for tips on attaching mics to your smartphone setup.
It really goes over the best way to use many different adaptors with your unit setup.
Ultimately, the way that you choose to record audio with your gimbal and smartphone setup will come down to your unique preferences and quality requirements.
• Which iPhone gimbal lets me add a led light for my video work?
When it comes to better lighting, finding a way to work good bright light into your smartphone gimbal setup can be challenging.
That’s why so many companies have designed attachment kits with lighting as their main priority.
Many gimbals that are used with smartphone videography have available kits that can be added on to add better lighting.
However, if you want an all-in-one kit that has everything, you might want to check out the Movo Smartphone Video Kit V1.
This kit is a complete bundle that is awesome for iPhones. It can be used with the iPhone XS and XS Max, as well as some other platforms like the Samsung Galaxy and the Note.
It’s basically a universal kit. If you use it for better lighting, keep in mind that the windscreen tends to block the lighting so make sure to adjust and keep them apart.
Other than that though, it’s a decent option when it comes to a fully-loaded smartphone gimbal kit.
You get a lot for the same price as a premium stability-focused gimbal. Really, if lighting is your main concern, this is a great option to consider.
• Is a stabilizer useful for iPhone photography?
The short answer to this question is, yes.
The long answer is definitely, absolutely, yes. All joking aside, a quality stabilizer can make photography so much easier, especially when you’re using a smartphone like an iPhone.
You probably will want to go with a tripod stabilizer if you’re doing a lot of photography on your iPhone. This is because lots of gimbals are designed for motion, but not as many focus on still shots. For photography focused activities, I highly recommend the Zhiyun Smooth 4 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer w/Focus Pull & Zoom.
It works amazingly with the iPhone XS and XS Max, as well as with a bunch of other large smartphones. It has a super stable and easy to use tripod design.
It is literally so versatile, and it is also pretty durable and easy to use. For the price, it’s hands down one of my favorite options.
• What video apps do you recommend for videography on an iPhone?
Many of these gimbals actually have applications that have been designed by the same companies who sell the gimbals.
That doesn’t always mean that these apps are the best options to use, however. As a designer and videographer, I am partial to pretty much anything in the Adobe Creative Suite.
Also, here is a quick list of my personal favorite video editing apps for the iPhone. Please keep in mind that many of these are simply on the list because they are Apple product specific.
I could launch into a rant about iPhone app limitations, but I will spare you. Essentially, with my iPhone XS Max, you get access to all of these handy user features but I will have some aggravating app limitations.
Sometimes it’s easier to export video and edit it professionally on a computer.
That being said, if you want to edit directly on your phone, you can purchase or install these apps:
- Adobe Premiere
- Video Crop
While I recommend externally exporting and editing videos on a computer equipped with the RAM that you need to handle large video and audio files, I can also totally see why editing quick videos on your phone is essential in today’s world.
Especially when it comes to social media sharing.
It just can’t be avoided in some situations. Make sure the app that you buy is a one-time purchase and not a monthly subscription unless you are aware of it.
You don’t want to have a bunch of recurring payments that you have to cancel later if the app turns out to be useless. My last word on the best smartphone video editing application debate?
Just bite the bullet and purchase a quality application that you really love. Those free applications can be really disappointing.
In my early days, I remember spending a good hour editing a video on a free application only to find out that the app didn’t allow users to export videos. What a waste of time!
You can download a lot of apps and get the “free” version to test them out at first, but unless you buy them, you probably won’t get the features you really need.
So, find an app you love, test it out, and buy it if you’re sure it will meet your needs.
I personally use three editing apps on my phone and then ProTools and Avidemux on my iMac.