Zhiyun Smooth X is an innovative 2-axis smartphone gimbal with unique advantages that outperform its competition in this market. Its small size is a particular highlight. It folds up to be the smallest smartphone gimbal I have seen and can easily fit into a pocket. You can also use the built-in selfie stick to capture more of the scene when you travel or vlog.
In this blog, we will talk about the features that make the Smooth X a great buy.
Table of Contents
Zhiyun Smooth X Reviews
- Monopods can sometimes be very helpful
- 2-axes stabilization
- Battery life is average
- Handgrips for small hands
Building And Handling
Simple is the best when it comes to smartphone filmmaking. The Zhiyun Smooth X is lightweight at 246g and provides surprisingly stable footage when paired to your smartphone. Zhiyun gimbals have been a favorite of mine for some time now. I have had the Zhiyun smooth Q with me for many years. The Smooth Q was compact, and I loved it. But the Smooth X is even more compact.
While compactness is great, stability is what a gimbal must provide. The stabilization of the Smooth X is sufficient for general use. However, it does not have tilt motors and has pan and roll motors. It has 4-axis stabilization, which gives users plenty of stability to experiment with. The Smooth X is a great selfie stick but not a full-blown gimbal.
The Zhiyun Smooth-X includes a protective case that protects the gimbal from damage when on the move. It has a hard outer to protect it and a wrist strap to prevent accidental drops and knocks. You can use the tripod feet on the main stick to place your phone in place. Or, you can set it up on a stable surface for creating time-lapses or filming.
It is essential to install the ZY Cami App and connect the Zhiyun to it when you turn it on for the first time. After I made the connection and stabilized the gimbal, I decided to use my Huawei P30 Lite inbuilt camera app. I don’t know how the ZYCami performs in the field, so I won’t be able to comment further.
The Smooth X, like most gimbals, has three modes. These are Pan-Follow Lock Roll-Pan Follow and Lock. They all work well. You can switch between the modes by pressing the buttons at the stick’s front, where your thumb is naturally located while you grip it.
This was actually the part that I forgot to include when I ordered the Smooth X. We all take 3-axes gimbals as a given these days. I assumed that the gimbal stabilizes in all three of them.
The Smooth X, however, is not a three axes gimbal. It’s a 2-axis gimbal.
Smooth X stabilizes only in the roll (tilting in the horizontal plane) and pan (left-to-right) axes. However, it does not stabilize the jitter in the tilt axis (up or down).
Some might not consider this a problem, but it is true that some vertical movement can be acceptable. It’s easier to avoid undesirable up or down tilting than to avoid unwanted pan/roll movement.
Overall, it’s disappointing. The beauty of a good Gimbal is that you get smooth footage regardless of how reckless or careful you are.
Use The Zhiyun Smooth X
Three basic shooting modes are available on the Zhiyun Smooth X:
- Pan-follow is the default mode of shooting for the gimbal. This mode smoothes out panning motions and locks the roll direction, so the footage will always be level.
- Locked: The gimbal locks the roll and pan axes in this mode. This mode locks the orientation of your camera and will not allow you to make any movements.
- Following: The gimbal will track your movements. The gimbal will smoothen the movements and eliminate jitter.
The control scheme is very simple, with only three buttons. Although electronic adjustments can be made with a joystick, it is better to move your arm and hands physically.
Smooth X also allows you to control the zoom and start/stop recording (over Bluetooth).
The Smooth X’s stabilization performance is excellent, but it’s only a 2-axis gimbal. It has a limit to what you can expect, but it will deliver satisfactory results for casual filming.
My iPhone XS Max weighed 235g. The gimbal motors were able to withstand the weight. It is compatible with the iPhone 11 Pro Max, which weighs in at 0.5 pounds and has a max supported payload weight of 235g.
The battery life is perhaps the most problematic aspect. It only lasts about 3-4 hours on one charge. It’s not a major issue as you won’t be shooting for more than four hours straight. The Osmo Mobile 3 lasts 10+ hours, but I found myself reaching more often for the USB-C cables.
ZY Cami App
You can get the best out of your gimbal by using ZYCami, the companion app.
This unlocks many features such as motion time-lapse panoramas, object tracking, and object tracking.
These functions are standard in all gimbal companion apps, but ZYCami’s has an extra trick: gesture controls. Gesture control allows you to start the camera timer simply by waving your hands in front of it.
You can also use the app to beautify and video-edit your videos. However, many people will prefer to use third-party apps.
This app has many interesting features. However, some bugs in iOS and Android are still frustrating.
Setup the Smooth-X
Although it took me a while to get the Smooth-X setup and unpacked, once I did it, it was easy and intuitive. First, turn the handle 90 degrees to unlock it. Next, bend the handle a little. Once you have that angle, the handle will rotate past the clip on the phone and lock in place.
Once you have the handle installed, mount your phone in the holder. Simply use your hand to remove the spring-loaded grips and place your phone in between them. I tried to position the phone so that it was in the middle of the screen without using any buttons.
Smooth-X is so easy to use that you don’t even need to calibrate it. After mounting the phone, you can turn it off to enjoy the smooth video.
Smooth-X: Simple and Intuitive
The Smooth-X app and gimbal are already set up, so it is easy to use. Although you can only move the gimbal in one direction, it will still keep its orientation regardless of whether you hold it up or down. It is easy to position the gimbal at the desired angle by folding it and repositioning it.
You can enable gesture tracking in ZY Cami to give you more control. Simply make a V gesture to activate this feature. The phone will begin recording a video and a track to keep your eyes on the screen. This is an excellent feature for creators who aren’t always able to have help shooting.
You can expect to run for 3-4 hours with the internal battery or USB-C charging port. The Smooth-X will then need more juice.
Here are the full reviews of Smooth X. If you are interested in knowing more about other reviews, check out here to learn more before buying a great gimbal:
- Zhiyun Crane M2 Review 2023: Best Choice For You
- Zhiyun Smooth 4 Review 2023: Best Choice For You
- Zhiyun Crane V2 Review 2023: Best Choice For You
The Zhiyun Smooth X offers a great kit in a small and lightweight package. Although it is made of plastic, this smartphone gimbal is a great choice for anyone who wants to improve their smartphone videography and vlogging. This gimbal is a must-have tool for any vlogger. It can be swiveled into portrait orientation.
You can buy the Smooth X at a good price on Black Friday if you want to save your money. Please share this post if you found it helpful so that others might see its contents as well! Thank you for reading!