Get Them Here
There are a lot of smartphone gimbals out there… but the Zhiyun Smooth 4 and DJI Osmo Mobile 2 are arguably the two most talked about gimbals right now. They both cost the same, and they both do the same thing… but they each target a different demographic. If you’re trying to choose between these two gimbals, here are the main differences you should now.
Just so we’re clear, this isn’t a full review on either of these gimbals… im just trying to point out the most important differences between them so I can help you with your purchase decision. If you want to learn more about either of these gimbals then watch their full reviews. Both the DJI Osmo mobile 2 and Zhiyun Smooth 4 retail for $139, and they both come with very similar accessories. They both come in a hard styrofoam carrying case and they both come with a charging cable. But the smooth 4 also brings an included attachable base which is great if you’re going to be getting lots of motion time lapses. If you want to pick either of these gimbals up I’ll have links in the description below and if you use the links it really helps out the channel. I suggest you check them out cause you never know when these gimbals might go on sale.
First lets get some small but important details out of the way first. Both of these gimbals have a universal mount on the bottom so you can attach them to your tripod. Both of these gimbals aren’t 360 degree gimbals. And both of these gimbals charge via different USB ports. The Osmo Mobile 2 charges via a micro USB port, and I find it odd DJI didn’t use a USB C port cause thats what the Mavic Air uses. But the Osmo has a dedicated USB A port so you can charge your own phone. Where as the Smooth 4 does use a USB C port for charging, but unfortunately you cant use this USB C port to charge your own device. Instead you have to use the Micro USB port found on the tilt axis to charge your own phone. And personally I cant use this micro USB port, and I feel Zhiyun should have at least included a USB A out to charge other devices. Cause like I said in the full review, if you’re going to be filming with your phone you’re constantly going to need to recharge it especially if you’re filming in 4K.
Even though both of these gimbals do relatively the same thing there are 3 main differences I want to point out, and thats range of motion, physical controls, and software. With the Smooth 4 you’re able to move around much more with out the gimbal snagging and messing up your shot. Where as the Osmo 2 doesn’t have as much range of motion so if you hold the gimbal in a certain way or if you move in a certain direction it’ll might snag and get your phone off axis. You’re just able to get away with much more with the Smooth 4 where as the Osmo 2 really likes to be only held up right.
Obviously both of these gimbals are going to help smooth out your video, and for the most part they both do a good job. But neither of these gimbals are going to perfectly smooth out your video theres still some up and down undulation going on. But you can further smooth out your video by adjusting the way you walk. The motors on both of these gimbals are relatively silent, but I did find the Osmo might give off a slight whining sound if they are working hard to keep your shot level but I happens very rarely. But over heating hasn’t been an issue with either of these gimbals which is always a good thing to see.
But perhaps the biggest differences between these two gimbals are the physical controls and form factor. First up, plainly said… the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 handle is much smaller and much more ergonomic than the Smooth 4. Where as the Smooth 4’s handle is a rounded off rectangle that never really rests comfortably in the hand. But both of these handles are made out of plastic and are very slippery so I highly advise you attach a wrist strap. But the biggest feature the Smooth 4 has the offer are the physical control buttons and the Zoom wheel. With the physical control buttons you can quickly and easily adjust your capture settings without having to use the touch screen and with the zoom wheel you can precisely pull focus or zoom in on something. And thanks to these physical controls I really feel the Smooth 4 is the filmmaker’s gimbals. But unfortunately the Smooth 4 doesn’t have a joystick to control the pan and tilt action of your camera, you can only do it manually. The control buttons on the DI Osmo mobile 2 are very minimal and unlike the Smooth 4 there is a joystick so you can control your camera movements. Theres also a switch on the osmo 2 so you can adjust the zoom of the camera, but you don’t have as much control as you would with the Smooth 4’s zoom wheel.
But another big difference between these two gimbals are their apps. In order to get the most out of the Zhiyun Smooth 4 you’re better off using the ZY Play app so you can take full control of the physical buttons and quickly adjust your camera settings. Cause with out it you’re not going to be able to take full advantage of the zoom wheel…which is kind of the selling point of the Smooth 4. But I cant help but notice the image quality of the ZY play app isn’t as good as DJI’s app, or the iPhone’s native camera app. Its not as sharp and the image can get blown out at times. Zhiyun’s active tracking feature is also mostly useless, it losses its subjects very easily. But since this is software I do hope the ZY play app will improve over time. DJI’s active tracking on the other hand is far superior and I’ve found it very useful for when I want to keep a specific subject in frame but I still have to move around. DJI’s app also manages to capture image quality thats a little closer to real life than the ZY play app. DJI’s app is also much simpler to use, which some people will like and other wont. If you want to fine tune your shot you’re going to have to fiddle around with DJI’s app much longer than you would with Zhiyun’s app, and in the process of digging through the menus and using the touch screen you’re probably going to have to readjust your shot.
But with all of that being said since both of these gimbals cost the same I think it all comes down to your needs… I feel the Zhiyun Smooth 4 is better suited for filmmakers and the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 is better suited for Live streamers. The Smooth 4 manages to keep your shot steady at all costs while giving you quick and easy access to adjust your settings so you can get the best shot. The Osmo’s simple to use interface, light weight design, ergonomic handle, joystick and USB A port for charging your phone makes it perfect for people who want to go live for extended periods of time. I feel the Smooth 4 has the better hardware and the Osmo 2 has the better software. I feel DJI needs to improve the range of motion of its gimbal with the Osmo mobile 3 and feel Zhiyun needs to bring better software and a more ergonomic handle with the Smooth 5.