The world leader of gimbal stabilizer, ZhiyunTech really never stops producing some very interesting new products in order to always be on top of the market. With the release of the subject of our Zhiyun Smooth Q review, it is really impressing many of us and offers some very good solutions for smartphones stabilization. Nowadays, it is really competing with the other big players such as Feiyu, DJI or EVO. We had the chance to try it to do this Zhiyun Smooth Q review and we have to say that our test was very positive. Let’s start this in-depth Zhiyun Smooth Q review in which we are going to focus on 6 specific criteria that really matter for us.
Zhiyun Smooth Q review : an insane battery life
Like in all our reviews, let’s start this Zhiyun Smooth Q review with its battery life. It is equipped with a 26650 Li-ion battery which is really awesome. Before we started our Zhiyun Smooth Q review, we really didn’t believe the 12 hours of running time boasted by the manufacturer. In the end of our test, we couldn’t criticize it at all.
Indeed, we managed to use it during 9 hours before the battery was empty. What is really interesting, in comparison with the DJI Osmo Mobile, for instance, is the fact that you’ll be able to recharge your smartphone directly while you are using the gimbal. This is something we really enjoyed during our Zhiyun Smooth Q review, and the same goes for the premium version, the “Smooth 3”. We always enjoy this function because, as you are well aware, smartphones nowadays don’t last 10 hours while recording videos.
Therefore, there would be absolutely no point in having such an awesome battery life for the gimbal if the smartphone gives up on us after 2 or 3 hours… Therefore, note that our 9 hours of battery life were obtained while recharging our smartphone, an Honor 8. This is very impressive and really mattered during our Zhiyun Smooth Q review. Yet, always keep in mind that, according to the moves you do and how sportive is your use, the running time may be different from what we got.
Without any doubt, we graded it with a 10/10 in this first section of our Zhiyun Smooth Q review. In fact, it is really one of the best battery life we have tried so far, be it for smartphone gimbals or Gopro gimbals, or any gimbals, for the time being… If you are looking for a smartphone gimbal stabilizer with an awesome battery life, you’ve got one in front of you. As you’ll see later in our in-depth Zhiyun Smooth Q review, this gimbal offers quite a few other assets. In the next section, we’ll look into the quality and reliability of this low-cost smartphone stabilizer.
The quality and reliability are a bit disappointing
The first thing that surprised us at the beginning of our Zhiyun Smooth 3 review was its grip. Indeed, this smartphone gimbal is fully made up of plastic and does not make you very confident about the quality of the product. This first impression did not vanished as our review went on. As a matter of fact, the motors met some issues during our Zhiyun Smooth 3 review and we were really surprised to see them react strangely quite a few times when we pushed it a bit hard…
For instance, it once totally lost its balance when we had it do a 180° to switch to selfie mode. This was something that only happened once during our Zhiyun Smooth Q review, this is nothing terrible, but we wanted to notice it in order for you to know what may happen. Well, that’s basically everything for the negative points on the quality and reliability of the subject of our Zhiyun Smooth Q review.
Despite all this, don’t think that because of its very low price, this gimbal is a toy. Indeed, if we don’t take into account the little bugs and the plastic grip we’ve just presented, this smartphone gimbal still offers very good performances ! The performances are even better when we keep in mind that it is only 139$. Our grade of 6.4/10 in this section of our Zhiyun Smooth Q review may be a bit severe but we have to compare with the other competitors. Indeed, as you’ll see, it will have plenty of time during this review to catch up with its delay in this section.
In the end, no matter what kind of bugs you may meet while using it, you’ll be able to exchange it for free thanks to its warranty. At only 139$, you definitely don’t take a huge risk anyway… In the next section of our in-depth Zhiyun Smooth Q review, we’ll look into the quality of the stabilization, a very interesting point.
The quality of the stabilization
Third criterion of our Zhiyun Smooth Q review, the quality of the stabilization. As far as this is concerned, we were pretty convinced during our test. In fact, if we compare it directly with the number 1 of our ranking, the DJI Osmo Mobile, the difference between the two is not so significant. Of course, the DJI Osmo Mobile is better, but not as much as what we were expecting. Our videos shot during our Zhiyun Smooth 3 review were really good, smooth and stabilized and there were almost no vibration. When we have checked the outcome on our computer, we were really pleased !
Between a video shot with and without this smartphone gimbal, there is such a huge gap. Therefore, we were forced to put things into perspective for our grade in this section of our Zhiyun Smooth Q review. We gave it a 7.3/10 which is still quite good, even though, it’s obviously not the best. Note that, for the time being, the best stabilization we got was with the Zhiyun Smooth 3, the premium version of the smartphone gimbal.
Yet, the latter is way more expensive, and the same goes for the DJI Osmo Mobile. Indeed, they are twice the price of the subject of our Zhiyun Smooth Q review. Therefore, for people who have a limited budget, this one will perfectly do the job.
Note that, even though we were a bit severe with this gimbal in our quality and reliability section, it will perfectly hold your phone, you really have no reason to be worry as far as this is regarded. In fact, the support is really good and trustworthy. In the next section of our Zhiyun Smooth Q review, we’ll look into the numerous very interesting functions.
An impressive number of functions
We honestly don’t know where to start this section of our Zhiyun Smooth Q review. Indeed, there are so many functions for this smartphone gimbal. As a matter of fact, it will really be able to answer to many different situations. Note that it is perfectly compatible with large size smartphones such as the iPhone 7 Plus or the Honor 8 that we used for this Zhiyun Smooth Q review.
The first function that we really enjoyed during our Zhiyun Smooth Q review was the tracking mode. Indeed, like what the DJI Osmo Mobile or the Feiyu SPG Live offer, this will enable you to follow someone by drawing around him on your mobile thanks to the mobile application. Your gimbal will then follow all the moves your target will do. The only condition for it to work is that you should not move too fast. Indeed, we tried to test the limits of the Tracking mode during our Zhiyun Smooth Q review and we noticed that it will lose you if you move too swiftly.
As far as the mobile application is concerned, we were a bit reserved during our Zhiyun Smooth Q review. Indeed, even though there are some frequent updates, it is still not as good as what we would expect from ZhiyunTech. Therefore, you still can’t fully enjoy the many functions because the mobile application is not perfectly working. We truly hope that this will be fixed soon ! Yet, you’ll be able to use the modes anyway, such as, the Time Lapse (like for the DJI Osmo Mobile) that we really enjoyed during our Zhiyun Smooth Q review.
The only thing is that it is not that easy to use because the application is not optimized. Also note that, for the time being, you’ll always have to reconnect your gimbal to your smartphone each time you’ll use it. Indeed, the connection isn’t automatic…for now ! This is something that disappointed us a little during our Zhiyun Smooth Q review.
What we really enjoyed during our Zhiyun Smooth Q review was the fact that we can shoot videos horizontally and vertically, though ! To switch from one angle to the other is really simple and you’ll only have to unscrew the wheel in the back of your gimbal and to turn it 90°. This is really easy, trust us ! This function really pleased us during our Zhiyun Smooth Q review even though this is not the only gimbal that offers this solution (Feiyu SPG, DJI Osmo Mobile, Zhiyun Smooth 3…). Anyway, this is very helpful when you want to do a Skype or a FaceTime with friends for instance.
In order to show you how it works, we invite you to watch this short video :
What is also very pleasant with this smartphone gimbal is the fact that it can work with an action camera such as a Gopro. You’ll have to add a little extension and then, everything will work well. Even though this is very interesting, this is, by far, not as good as a real Gopro Gimbal such as the Removu S1, the Gopro Karma Grip or the Feiyu G4S,…
As if all these functions were not enough, we also wanted to talk about the zoom that you’ll be able to control directly from the grip. This very interesting function will enable you to use the zoom of your smartphone without ever touching your screen. Yet, we can criticize the fact that the zoom is a bit jerky. We were a bit disappointed during our Zhiyun Smooth Q review as it could have been really great if it had been smooth. Hopefully, an update of the firmware or of the mobile application could certainly fix it ! For now, our impression for our Zhiyun Smooth Q review is still a bit negative regarding the zoom.
Furthermore, we really enjoyed the fact that this smartphone gimbal stabilizer is able to turn 360° on the Pan axis. This will enable you to do insane panoramic shots that we could only enjoy during our Zhiyun Smooth Q review. The tilt axis is also very generous with a 320° rotation. Definitely, and without any surprise, the roll axis is very limited but this is not a problem. Anyway, the rotation is better than the DJI Osmo Mobile, and this is very appreciable.
In the end, this very comprehensive section of our in-depth Zhiyun Smooth Q review got a 8.5/10. Indeed, even though it is very comprehensive, the quality of the functions is not as good as the DJI Osmo Mobile’s or the Smooth 3’s. We can take for instance the speed and quality of the tracking mode or the mobile application… In the next category of our Zhiyun Smooth Q review, we’ll look into the taking in hand and controlling.
The taking in hand and controlling
Let’s start this part of our Zhiyun Smooth Q review with the thing that really disappointed us. Indeed, as we already mentioned earlier, this gimbal’s grip is really bad. It is both too short and slippery so you don’t have a good taking in hand with it. At least, this is the impression we had. It could have been ok, maybe, if it had a specific shape, like the DJI Osmo Mobile, but no. It is straight and you don’t feel like you hold it strongly enough… Well, this is the negative part of this section of our Zhiyun Smooth Q review.
Indeed, as far as the controlling is concerned, we have been really pleased during our Zhiyun Smooth Q review. Indeed, fixing your smartphone on this gimbal is really simple and will only take a few seconds. Then, when it comes to controlling to its first sense, you’ll find a button “mode” to switch from one mode to the other, an other to start/stop videos and a joystick. Therefore, you’ll easily manage to control your smartphone gimbal directly from the grip. We remind you, that, as we said earlier in this Zhiyun Smooth Q review, you can zoom directly with the grip ! This is something we honestly really enjoyed, even though it doesn’t work perfectly.
As far as the modes are concerned, this is something really similar to what we have been used to. Indeed, when you switch your gimbal on, the default mode is the Pan and follow mode which will keep the horizon steady. This is not the one we used the most during our Zhiyun Smooth Q review but it can be very helpful in many a situation. The second mode is the “rock mode” or “lock mode” and will keep your target in sight. No matter the moves you’ll do, the 3 brushless motors will compensate in order to move your camera to the requested direction. Finally, the third mode is the basic “follow mode” which will basically follow every single moves you’ll do. This is the one we liked best during our Zhiyun Smooth Q review. To access it, you’ll just have to hit twice the “mode” button.
In the end, our grade for this section of our in-depth Zhiyun Smooth Q review is 8.1/10. Indeed, even though the controlling is very good, the taking in hand is not. Yet, the balance is still oriented toward the very easy controlling that really mattered a lot for us. The next section of our Zhiyun Smooth Q review will be the conclusion about the price of this smartphone gimbal.
Conclusion of our Zhiyun Smooth Q review : the price
Our Zhiyun Smooth Q review is now ending with its price. As we have already said during this review, it is really really cheap, and this is what makes its main strength. Indeed, this is only 139$ for the time being. This is definitely the cheapest 3-axis handheld smartphone gimbal you can find for now. Definitely, it is not perfect, but who would expect a perfect stabilizer for such a low price ? Without any doubt, we graded it with a 10/10 in this section of our Zhiyun Smooth Q review.
If we compare if with the DJI Osmo Mobile or the Smooth 3, which are both 300$, this is really good a solution. People with limited budgets will definitely like it as it will stabilize their videos very well. Yet, of course, if you can put 300$ for the 2 best smartphone gimbals, this is of course a better solution. Just below, discover a little summary of the strengths and weaknesses we put forward during this in-depth Zhiyun Smooth Q review.
- Pros : The price, the battery life, the tracking mode, the 360° on the Pan axis, the mobile application.
- Cons : The quality and reliability, the slippery grip, and the motors which do not always work as expected.