Zhiyun Smooth X – Compact iPhone / Smartphone Gimbal with Selfie Pole! : REVIEW
The Zeon smooth X Zion are no new players to the gimble seen with various other units in their portfolio. Although the smooth x is their most portable unit yet and promotes a whole host of extra features when paired alongside its companion app and that portability comes thanks to a folding design, while this isn’t the first phone gimbal with a folding design, it’s relatively simple to unfold, Once you get, the hang of it Zions take is to rotate the grip, pull the handle forward a little before swinging the handle around and finally, unlocking the phone clamp. I found the process a little long, winded, though, and generally just ended up swinging the handle around most of the time, which seemed to work equally as well, albeit quicker when folded down, though it really is rather portable, around the same size as the largest sized smartphone. Although obviously thicker, I wouldn’t, say it’s portable enough to fit into your jeans pocket not comfortably at least but certainly easy enough to throw into a small bag or backpack there’s, even a rubberized surface, on one side for securely placing the unit down without it rolling around. Particularly useful when charging nevertheless upon initial inspection weighing in at just under 250 grams, the quality is actually really good with a gray overall finish, it looks sleek and stylish, yet with a professional touch with the main gimbal motors up top, we have a smartphone clamp, complete With a rubberized finish to grip and protect an inserted handset with even the plus sized handsets being catered for along with this long neck, which looks a little odd at first.
Although comes into play, when rotating the handset into a portrait orientation for those Instagram and social media type shots on the sides, we have a power button along with battery status, LEDs, which seems a little odd placed up here when I would expect to be by the Main gimbal controls, but nevertheless, on the opposite side, we find a single USB type c charging port used with the included cable to charge the units built in battery with a three hour charge providing around four to five hours of runtime. The handgrip itself is shorter than most others I’ve come across and although it lacks any economic design, it’s still rather comfortable in the hand, and certainly adds to overall portability of the unit with some branding to one side, we find the main controls that are conveniently placed By the users thumb, these consist of their typical thumb: stick for making gimbal adjustments along with mode and shutter buttons and a sliding zoom toggle on one side. Otherwise, at the bottom we find a gap for attaching a wrist strap which isn’t included in the package. Alongside a standard quarter, inch 20 tripod thread for attaching to tripods or other accessories, so all in all, it looks like a decent overall unit, although what this unit is lacking and it’s. An important point to note here is that there is no third gimbal access. We have a standard roll motor at the very top and a pan motor at the top of the hand, grip that’s, it there’s no tilt axis.
Instead, we have a manual tilt control with a built in hinge, design, that’s connected to the end of an incorporated selfie extension pole, providing an extra 260 millimeters overall extension. Personally, I would have preferred a third axis, although it seems I on are targeting the selfie market. More with this unit, then for pure filmmaking. So if you interposing selfie shots on social media, this could be right up your street using the gimbal is an easy task. A three second press of the power button and it’s instantly ready for you stabilizing across both axis. No problems there at all the motors feel silky smooth, and I practically silent in operation too. From here we can use the thumb, stick control both axis, whether it’s the roll or more useful for panning, as well as DoubleTap, the mode button to switch between landscape and portrait orientations, again very handy for those social media junkies with a single tap quickly. Re centering. The gimbal to get the best out of the gimbal, though you’ll, want to install the accompanying app and with a quick and easy Bluetooth connection which takes seconds we’re ready to shoot from. Here. We can use the slider to control the camera zoom, as well as the shutter button on the gimbal itself, without having to touch the smartphone screen even more useful when the unit is in its extended form. That itself is also very easy to use allowing some gimbal adjustments via various settings, all very basic and easy to do as well as providing some more advanced level.
Shooting thanks to various built in modes and can even be used to edit and create video afterwards ready for uploading to your social media. Nevertheless, when it comes to performance throughout use, I experienced no performance issues at all. It all works perfectly well, although, with the lack of that tilt axis I’ll personally wouldn’t be reaching for this unit when it comes to filmmaking it’s, more a glorified selfie, pole and honestly that’s exactly how it should be used as it stands. We have a nice gimbal here. It performs well it’s comfortable with good battery life, and the app connectivity performs perfectly well too no problems there at all. Although there are a couple of steps to unfold or store the device away and you can’t fold the device down with a smartphone still in place, either, which does somewhat hinder and otherwise great design with the lack of a third axis, though it’s kind of limited, the Target audience its competitively priced at the budget end of the market, though so, if you’re looking for a good selfie pole, but just want a little bit more in terms of functionality, then the smooth X would be ideal if you’re after a fully fledged device to steady. Your video projects, though, then you’ll, want to look at a three axis solution.