Cheap Handheld Gimbal: Zhiyun Smooth Q vs DJI Osmo Mobile

Why do you need a gimbal?

Because shaky videos drive your viewers away, and you don’t want that. Although an editing software has a video stabilization feature to easily fix shakiness, a “buttery smooth” footage from the get-go is the better deal.

Chinese brand DJI’s Osmo Mobile promises and delivers cinematic smartphone videos. People who’ve tried this gimbal have only positive things to say about it. But with its impressive features comes a hefty price tag, which budget-strap beginners may find quite steep.

Fortunately, there are cheap DJI Osmo Mobile alternatives, and one of them is the Smooth Q, a brainchild of another Chinese company called Zhiyun.

But here’s the thing. Sure, you can get a Smooth Q for half the price of the Osmo Mobile, but is it worth it? Or should you just wait a few months to save for an Osmo Mobile? In this Zhiyun Smooth Q vs DJI Osmo Mobile report, we give you the answers.

Zhiyun Smooth Q vs DJI Osmo Mobile: Key Differences

Does the Smooth Q gives the Osmo Mobile a run for its money? Let’s jumpstart this Zhiyun Smooth Q vs DJI Osmo Mobile comparison report by spotting some differences in these gimbals’ key features.

Panning, Tilting, and Rotating Capabilities

The Smooth Q can go much further than the Osmo Mobile. For instance, it’s capable of a 360-degree rotation, but the Osmo Mobile can only rotate up to 180 degrees.

In instances when you’re vlogging and you want to focus on yourself, the 360-degree rotating feature of the Smooth Q can come in really handy.

Can you manually pan or tilt your smartphone when they’re mounted on these gimbals?

You can with the Osmo Mobile, but you can’t with the Smooth Q.

Tracking Abilities

When set, both of these gimbals automatically tilt or pan following the direction of your subject. Their tracking abilities are guided by a tracking bracket, which remains visible during the entire recording process (or until you turn it off).

Comparing the size of the Osmo Mobile and Smooth Q tracking bracket, there is a clear and noticeable difference. Osmo Mobile has a smaller bracket compared to the Smooth Q.

What is the consequence of this?

The Osmo Mobile reacts faster as it follows the position of the subject. On the other hand, since the Smooth Q’s bracket has a wider coverage area, it tends to react slower.

There’s also a difference when it comes to activating the tracking feature. With the Smooth Q, you need a touch-and-drag mechanism. With the the Osmo Mobile, all you need to do is to touch the part of the screen that shows your subject.

Also read: Gorillapod vs Ultrapod II Portable Camera Tripod

Weight, Material, and Build

Smooth Q is mostly plastic, so while it seems durable, extra effort must be made to take care of it, lest it breaks. Osmo Mobile is made of magnesium alloy, a corrosion-proof material that is definitely stronger than plastic.

Which product is lighter?

According to online sources, the Smooth Q is lighter by a very small margin. It weighs 450 grams. In contrast, the DJI Osmo Mobile weighs 487 grams.

Mounting Your Phone

The Smooth Q has a spring-type mount, which can be quite difficult to operate. In comparison, the Osmo Mobile has a dial or knob that you can easily loose (or fasten) to secure (or release) your phone.

Mounting the Gimbal on a Tripod

If you want to extend the height of these gimbals, or if you want to ensure that they’re super stable, you’ll need a tripod to mount them onto.

The mount of the Smooth Q is located underneath the device, making the mounting process pretty straightforward and simple. On the other hand, the mount of the Osmo Mobile is located on the side, which can make the mounting process quite complicated. You’ll have to use either an Osmo Mobile base, or a special mounting arm that can connect to it.


In general, the Osmo Mobile has better ergonomics. Your hand fits perfectly on the handle, and you can comfortably use the controls. This is the opposite with the Smooth Q. Since it’s plastic, the surface can be slippery.

Battery Life

Zhiyun beats DJI on this one. The Smooth Q boasts 12 hours of battery life (26,650 mAh). This is more than 2 times that of the Osmo Mobile, which has a run time of only 4.5 hours (980 mAh).

Because the Smooth Q has a high-capacity battery, it can serve as a power bank. If your smartphone runs out of battery, you can always re-charge using this gimbal.

Also read: Redpepper Waterproof Case vs Lifeproof FRE, Which is Better?

Zooming Abilities

While both brands can zoom in and out, the quality of the zooms are way different. Osmo Mobile has a smoother zooming ability, and Smooth Q gives you a “jumpy” effect.


Both apps connect via bluetooth, but the Osmo Mobile’s have more options to offer than the Smooth Q. For instance, it allows you to create motion time-lapses. It also has a video editor. Plus, you can connect the Osmo Mobile app to work with another app such as the Filmic Pro.


You only have two options with the Osmo Mobile, black and silver. The Smooth Q has more. Choose among jet black, gold, rose gold, and space gray.


The Smooth Q comes with its own carrying case. With the Osmo Mobile, you’ll have to make a separate purchase.

Also read: Romoss Sense 6P vs 6 Plus: Which One to Get?

Zhiyun Smooth Q vs DJI Osmo Mobile: Our Recommendation

Without a doubt, DJI Osmo Mobile is still the gimbal to beat. It’s more durable, and its quality is unquestionable. But for a cheap Osmo Mobile alternative, the Smooth Q isn’t far behind. As we’ve reported, the Smooth Q has some amazing features that the Osmo Mobile doesn’t. For instance, when it comes to battery life, the Osmo Mobile needs to catch up.

So to end this Zhiyun Smooth Q vs DJI Osmo Mobile report, here’s our recommendation.

Wait until you have enough money to splurge on a DJI Osmo Mobile. It’s worth the wait.

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