Zhiyun Smooth-Q2 smartphone gimbal (review)

Smartphone manufacturers are constantly advancing the technology on their cameras, which in turn allows users to capture stunning photos and videos. With the capability of capturing 4K video right at your fingertips, pairing it with a gimbal can give your videos an added bit of style. Enter the Smooth-Q2, Zhiyun-Tech’s latest gimbal for smartphones that comes in lighter, smaller, and more compact than previous models, with the hopes that it will encourage more people to be filmmakers.

Build and Design

The Smooth-Q2 is built entirely from metal which does give the gimbal some weight, but at the same time acts as a counterbalance with your smartphone. It has a sturdy and solid feel to it, and once placed in your hands, you can really feel its ruggedness and reliability. The handle is rounded and lined with a silicone padding which will give you a more natural and comfortable grip.

Zhiyun approached the Smooth-Q2 to be compact and easy to carry, so when the gimbal is folded, it measures just around eight inches in height, which is about the size of an energy drink can. Its small size also makes it easy to store, whether that’s in your backpack, desk drawer, or even a jacket pocket. The gimbal also has a magnetic click when it’s folded, keeping it in a safe and secure position while in storage.

One drawback of using a smartphone to capture life’s precious moments are the unexpected calls and messages you can receive. That’s why Zhiyun incorporated two different ways to quickly access your phone when you need to. The phone clip seamlessly opens and retracts to fit even the biggest iPhone or Android devices, but also operates as a quick release plate that can be slipped on or off and locked into place without any hesitation.

Unfortunately, one flaw that the Smooth-Q2 has is that when using the gimbal, one of the motors can be seen in the camera of your smartphone. This motor will be highly visible if the smartphone uses a wide-angle lens. It’s not a major flaw in the design of the gimbal, as it can be easily remedied by panning or tilting the gimbal.

Performance

Three motors are included on the gimbal which is the pitch, yaw, and roll, all working in conjunction to keep your video stable. These three motors are very powerful, and you’ll be able to really feel them working when in operation. I found the Smooth-Q2 to work really well when I was capturing video while running. This is where I was able to get a good grasp of the motors working at their hardest to make sure my video was stable. Granted, a steady hand does help maximize the steadiness of your video, but you’ll be comfortable knowing that the Smooth-Q2 will do 90% of the work for you.

A handful of features will expand your creativity when shooting video, which can be controlled with a single button. This keeps the Smooth-Q2 simplified and easy to operate so that you can focus more on capturing video. Modes that are pre-built into the gimbal include “Pan Follow,” “Log,” “Follow,” and “POV,” with a hidden feature that will let replicate the famous “Spinning” shot from the movie “Inception.” Switching between the modes simply requires a single click on the joystick button, whereas a double-click will revert back to the previous mode.

The Smooth-Q2 can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth which will allow you to easily record video by hitting the button on the gimbal. This works with your native camera app as well as third-party camera apps such as “Moment Pro Camera,” “Open Camera,” and “Cinema FV-5.” Battery life is outstanding on the Smooth-Q2. With a 4,500mAh removable battery, you can expect to get around 16 hours of usage time before having to recharge, which is enough for practically a full day of filming.

Final Reaction

We often don’t think about using a gimbal when shooting a video with our smartphones. But if you’ve ever considered giving your videos a level of finesse and flair, then the Smooth-Q2 is almost a near-perfect gimbal to get you exploring the possibilities of shooting creative videos. It’s well built, structurally firm, and very durable. Best of all it’s lightweight, compact, and a perfect traveling companion. The three powerful motors work their hardest to make sure that the Smooth-Q2 can handle any condition you throw at it, while the different filmmaking modes unleash your full imagination. 

Score 4.5/5 Atoms

*The Smooth-Q2 was provided by Zhiyun-Tech for review purposes

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Arvin Santiago
Arvin Santiago 337 posts

Photo/Video Enthusiast and Escape Room "Semi-Professional"