DJI Osmo Mobile 2 vs Zhiyun Smooth 4 smartphone gimbals

27 Feb 2019

Let’s answer the question on everyone’s mind: Is a smartphone gimbal really worth it? Yes, it is!

A gimbal is the rare phone camera accessory that you really need to step up your videography. It beautifully smoothes out shaky video allowing you to shoot cinematic videos anytime, anywhere.

Best smartphone gimbals for 2019

Undoubtedly the Zhiyun Smooth 4 and DJI Osmo Mobile 2: Both have strong electronic motors that comfortably handle the weight of most iPhone and Android devices available today. They’re similarly priced and support high-quality portrait or vertical footage with premium features.

Handling: The Osmo Mobile 2 has an ergonomic design with a rounded handle that sits more comfortably in your hand compared to Smooth 4’s flat rectangular-shaped handle, yet the Smooth 4’s build quality just feels more solid.

Size: The though Osmo Mobile 2 is slightly lighter (485g vs 547g) and shorter (295 × 113 × 72mm vs 328 x 123 x 105mm) than the Smooth 4.

DJI Osmo Gimbal for Smartphones by Joey Huang

Buttons & Control: If you’re considering getting yourself one of these gimbals, the decision will ultimately depend on your preference – which gimbal’s buttons are better suited to your shooting style?

Both have shortcut buttons to start and stop recording, auto tracking, shutter, time-lapse and more, but the Osmo Mobile 2 has a more simplistic layout with a joystick and a few buttons, whereas the Smooth 4 has many shortcut buttons and a focus/zoom wheel for greater control, which prevents the need for using a touchscreen while shooting.

Even though both gimbals have Pan, Follow and Lock shooting modes, the Smooth 4’s trigger button (located on the back of the handle) lets you easily switch between different gimbal modes (up and down) perfect for fast-paced shooting, whereas the Osmo Mobile 2 locks in one direction or position, or in Pan Follow mode.

The Osmo Mobile 2 has a joystick (that lets you record or take photos), which is something that the Smooth 4 doesn’t have.

The Smooth 4 allows you to pause recording without switching off the gimbal. Simply fold your phone into place and pull it back again without waiting for it to power up.

Object Tracking: A feature for both, yet the Smooth’s 4’s object/face tracking has been reported to lose track of the selected object.

Zhiyun Smooth 4 Gimbal for Smartphones by William Bayreuther

Battery & Charging: Each gimbal has its own battery to keep charged and supports phone charging (while recording). They boast long shooting times lasting 12 hours (Smooth 4) and up to 15 hours (Osmo Mobile 2). The Osmo Mobile 2 uses a micro-USB/USB-A, whereas the Smooth 4 uses USB-C.

App, Setup & Connectivity: The setup is similar – download the app and connect it up with your smartphone to access premium features such as timelapse, hyperlapse and face tracking. Each operates with Bluetooth.

Available for download on the App Store for iOS, and Google Play for Android, both apps perform equally well; however, it has been reported that the Smooth 4’s ZY Play app requires a firmware update for Android users. Here are the firmware updates for the Smooth 4 and Osmo Mobile 2.

Note: With the Smooth 4, install your smartphone on the gimbal and balance the gimbal before powering on the gimbal. If balanced, it will not drop to the left or right, backward or forward even when the gimbal is off.

Mounting: Both gimbals have universal ¼”-20 threads at the bottom for mounting to tripods or suction mounts, yet the Smooth 4 has a detachable base useful for shooting motion in time-lapse videos and the Osmo Mobile 2 comes with a mini tripod.

Osmo Mobile 2 is compatible with phones:

  • 75-240g in weight
  • 58.6-85mm wide
  • ≤8.9mm thick

iOS Version v3.1.46 requires iOS 10.0 or later: iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone X.

Android Version v3.1.43. requires Android 4.1.2 or later: LG G6, LG V20, VIVO X20 Plus, OPPO R9m, OPPO R11s, Google Pixel XL, Google Pixel XL2, Nexus 6P, HUAWEI P10+, HUAWEI P10, HUAWEI P9+, HUAWEI P9, HUAWEI Mate 10, HUAWEI Mate 9, Honor V10, HUAWEI Nova 2, HUAWEI Honor 10, HUAWEI Honor 9, Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S8+, Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy S9+, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Mi 6, Mi 5S, Mi Note 3, OnePlus 5T, and Smartisan Nut Pro 2.
*Support for additional Android devices available as testing and development continues.

https://www.dji.com/osmo-mobile-2/info 

Smooth 4 gimbal is compatible with phones:

  • 75-210g in weight
  • 62-85mm wide

ZY Play for IOS 2.6.4 requires iOS 9.0 or later: iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone SE, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6.

ZY Play for Android 1.13.6 requires Android 5.0 or later:

  • Google: Pixel XL, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 2, Pixel, Nexus 6P, Nexus 6, Nexus 5X
  • Samsung: Galaxy S9 Plus, Galaxy S9, Galaxy S8 Plus, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S6 Edge,
  • Galaxy S6, Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy Note 7
  • Huawei: P9, P20 Pro, P10 Plus, P10, Mate 9, Mate 8, Mate 10 Pro, Mate 10
  • Oneplus: 6, 5T, 5, 3T, 3
  • Xiaomi: Redmi Note 4X, Redmi Note 3, MI 6, MI 5s, MI 5, MI 4
  • Lge: G6, G5
  • Smartisan: U1 Pro, Nuts Pro 2
  • Oppo: R9s, Find X
  • Vivo: X7, NEX

*Support list of this device will be continuously updated, so be sure to follow the link below for accurate information.
**Functions not available on all devices.

https://www.zhiyun-tech.com/smooth4/en

About the Author:

Anna is a content strategist who enjoys pouring her creative juices into the Outdoorphoto Blog.

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