7 Best iPhone Stabilizers of 2019

Posted on

What is an iPhone stabilizer and why might you want one? Well, have you ever taken a video of someone, something, or someplace only to see it ruined by shaky footage? It’s a real disappointment when that happens. It’s especially annoying if you’d hoped to share whatever it was with others. A stabilizer for your iPhone helps to prevent—or vastly reduce—the dreaded camera shake.

My guide reviews stabilizers that work with iPhones but most devices are cross-compatible. All that means is that they can work with a variety of other smartphone brands. I include compatibility in each of the reviews. Please read this short intro first if you’re new to phone stabilizers

Budget
best-budget-iphone-stabilizer
RetiCAM HG30 Stabilizer
4.8/5.0
Runtime: Manual
Shooting Modes: Landscape
XL mount, conversion kit, works w/ tripod or Gorillapod, rubber protection pads.
Check Amazon
Best Value
best-value-iphone-stabilizer
Hohem iSteady Stabilizer
4.5/5.0
Runtime: 12 hours
Shooting Modes: Portrait/landscape
Easy to use, object/face tracking, comfortable, Hohem Studio App, carry case.
Check Amazon
Top Pick
top-value-iphone-stabilizer
Zhiyun Smooth 4 3-Axis Stabilizer
4.6/5.0
Runtime: 12 hours
Shooting Modes: Portrait/landscape
Easy to use, powerful motor, object tracking, time-lapse modes, 2-way charging.
Check Amazon

How Smartphone Stabilizers Work

A phone stabilizer is a handheld tool that lets the user focus on filming rather than a shaky hand. It has built-in gyroscopes and accelerometers. Think of a gyroscope as a moving part that uses the earth’s gravity to control orientation. And an accelerometer is used to measure the proper acceleration of a thing. Accelerometers are what set the vertical and horizontal position of a smartphone screen.

Some of the better phones have built-in gyros and accelerometers. Despite that, they still can’t provide the buttery smooth video people crave. That’s where an additional stabilizing device comes in. The job of a stabilizer is to steady your video whether you move up, down, side to side, or back and forth.

Not all iPhone Stabilizers Are Equal

iPhone stabilizers are no different to other accessories in terms of quality and performance. People also have different budgets, needs, and expectations. A casual user is more likely to want a smaller, lightweight device than say a professional YouTuber or vlogger. This guide reviews a variety of options so there should be something on the page to suit everyone.

Understanding 2 and 3-Axis

A 3-axis stabilizer—also gimbal stabilizer—stabilizes a phone’s pan, tilt, and roll. These are a set of specific movements. Understanding the 2 and 3-axis gimbal can help you to make better buying decisions. Below is a short explanation of the 3-axis model:

#1 Pan: When you follow the horizontal movement of an object you’re panning. It can be right to left and vice versa. Panning follows the moving object from a fixed position.

#2 Tilt: When you follow the vertical movement of an object you’re tilting. It can be upward and downward and vice versa. Bungee jumping and filming tall buildings are examples of tilting.

#3 Roll: This is the rotation around the back and forth or front to back axis.

2-Axis Vs. 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

A 2-axis stabilizer steadies your iPhone or another smartphone on the Tilt and Roll. A 3-axis device also stabilizes it on the Pan and is thus a better option though more expensive. Some gimbal stabilizers specify the maximum rotatable range of their products. That would look something like this:

Pan: 360°, Tilt: 360°, Roll: 320°.

Choosing an iPhone Stabilizer

Here are 7 things to consider before you choose an iPhone stabilizer:

  1. Maximum budget
  2. Axis stabilization: 2-axis or 3-axis (see above)
  3. Size & weight
  4. Software and app features
  5. Battery life
  6. Charging time
  7. Compatibility

Add anything else to the list that matters to you. Give special attention to point 7. The iPhone you have now may not be the model you have in 6 months or a year down the road. Compatibility is also vital if you have other devices you want to stabilize like Android phones, phablets, and tablets. Check the stabilizer’s apps as well as the size of the clamp.

About My ‘iPhone Stabilizer’ Guide

The 7 iPhone gimbal stabilizer reviews are the result of thorough research. I also took the opinions of industry experts and user feedback into consideration before finalizing this list. The first three are the Best Budget, Best Value, and the Top pick. The remainder is in price order, lowest to high. The table below shows the iPhone stabilizers as they appear on the page.

iPhone Stabilizers Comparison Table

Make and ModelRuntimeShooting ModesPrice
RetiCAM HG30 Handheld Stabilizer for iPhoneManualLandscapeCheck Price
Hohem Gimbal iSteady 3-Axis Stabilizer iPhone12 hoursPortrait/landscapeCheck Price
Zhiyun Smooth 4 3-Axis Stabilizer for iPhone12 hoursPortrait/landscapeCheck Price
ChargerCity Pistol Grip Stabilizer for iPhoneManualLandscapeCheck Price
Fantaseal Hand Stabilizer for iPhoneManualPortrait/landscapeCheck Price
Feiyu Vimble 2 iPhone 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer5 hoursPortrait/landscapeCheck Price
Steadicam Volt Electronic stabilizer for iPhone8 hoursLandscapeCheck Price

1. RetiCAM HG30 Handheld Stabilizer | Best Budget

RetiCAM HG30 Handheld StabilizerView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The RetiCAM Handheld Stabilizer makes my Best Budget pick. It sells well and rates high among users. RetiCAM has used high-quality materials and precision parts in the construction.

  • Best feature 1: Robust all metal construction
  • Best feature 2: Rust/scratch-resistant
  • Plus points: XL mount, conversion kit, works w/ tripod or Gorillapod, rubber protection pads
  • Minus points: No gimbal, landscape orientation only

RetiCAM Handheld Stabilizer compatibility: Apple iPhones 3/4/4S/5/5C/5S/6/6 Plus/7/7 Plus, Samsung Note, Samsung Galaxy, Google Nexus 4/5/6, Nokia Lumia, HTC, Motorola, LG, and more.

Reasons to Consider RetiCAM HG30

RetiCAM’s handheld smartphone device is not a stabilizer in the traditional sense. It does a great job at steadying video and photos, but it doesn’t have a gimbal. On a positive note, fewer moving parts means there’s less to go wrong. It’s a high-quality, all-metal product that’s resistant to scratches and corrosion. It’s also more versatile than a lot of gimbal stabilizers in its class.

The HG30 comes with an XL mount and conversion kit. It can house all iPhones and most other mobile phones and phablets that fit within 2.1” to 3.6” width. You can attach the grip to any tripod or Gorillapod if you need extra stability. RetiCAM’s HG30 uses rubber pads to protect the edges of your precious iPhone. It’s a well-thought-out device that should last for many years.

The Not So Good

The RetiCAM HG30 can’t offer the same stabilization as a device with a mechanical gimbal. You need to spend more if you want 2 or 3-axis stabilization. It’s much better than holding the camera by hand, though. The other gripe is that it’s a landscape (horizontal) only stabilizer. It’s possible to hold the HG30 sideways to get a portrait (vertical) shot, but it’s awkward.

amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 1.2”
Product Weight: 5.4 oz.
Axis Stabilization: None
Tilting Angle: 360° Pan 90° Tilt w/ Mini Ball Head tripod mount (not included)
Modes: Landscape
Battery: None (manual device)
Runtime: N/A
The Pros
Robust all-metal construction
Rust/scratch-resistant
XL mount
Conversion kit
Works w/ tripod or Gorillapod
Rubber protection pads
The Cons
No gimbal stabilization
Landscape only

2. Hohem iSteady Stabilizer for iPhone | Best Value

Hohem iSteady Stabilizer for iPhoneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

My Best Value iPhone stabilizer is quite different from the previous pick. The Hohem Gimbal iSteady device is a feature-packed product with a lot to offer. It also comes with a protective carry case.

  • Best feature 1: 3-axis phone stabilizer
  • Best feature 2: Full 90° rotation w/ 8 shifts
  • Plus points: Easy to use, object/face tracking, comfortable, Hohem Studio App, carry case
  • Minus points: Fiddly to set up for some, price

Hohem iSteady Stabilizer compatibility: iPhone Xs/XS MAX/XR/X/8/8P, for Galaxy S10, S9, Note 9/8.

Reasons to Consider Hohem iSteady Stabilizer

It’s a 3-axis handheld Bluetooth gimbal stabilizer that ensures buttery smooth vids and sharp photos. All controls are well-laid-out and give access to an array of intuitive built-in features. The 90° selfie mode rotation lets you switch quickly between portrait and landscape. Users can manually rotate the smartphone in 8 increments to produce creative shots at unusual angles.

The stabilizer is easy to use and comfortable to hold for long periods. And the Hohem Studio App works seamlessly with the gimbal and Bluetooth connectivity. The app also has some handy preset modes that novice filmmakers are sure to appreciate. One of the best features is the advanced visual auto tracking technology. It automatically tracks faces and moving objects to capture incredible footage.

The Not So Good

First-time users of electronic gimbals may find the initial set up fiddly. Allow some time for this step and be patient. Once paired with your iPhone—or another smart device—you’re good to go. It’s quite an expensive stabilizer at just under 100 dollars (at the time of writing). However, it’s excellent value if you intend to exploit most of what it has to offer.

amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions: 13.5 x 6 x 2.2”
Product Weight: 12.9 oz.
Axis Stabilization: 3-axis
Tilting Angle: Tilt/320° Rolling/320°, Panning/640°
Modes: Portrait/Landscape
Battery: 4000mAH Built-in
Runtime: 12 hours
App: Hohem Studio
The Pros
3-axis phone stabilizer
Full 90° rotation w/ 8 shifts
Advanced shooting techniques
Easy to use
Comfortable to hold
Hohem Studio App
Bluetooth connectivity
Long running time
Object/face tracking
Carrying case
The Cons
Fiddly to set up
Price tag

3. Zhiyun Smooth 4 Stabilizer for iPhone | Top Pick

Zhiyun Smooth 4 Stabilizer for iPhoneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The Zhiyun Smooth 4 Stabilizer for iPhone makes my Top Pick. It offers a lot to folks who want to impress others with high-quality video and tack-sharp photos.

  • Best feature 1: Intuitive integrated control panel
  • Best feature 2: Focus Pull & Zoom
  • Plus points: Easy to use, powerful motor, object tracking, time-lapse modes, 2-way charging
  • Minus points: No paper manual, carrying case not travel-friendly

Zhiyun Smooth 4 compatibility: Apple iPhone Xs Max Xr X 8 Plus 7 6 SE Android Smartphone Samsung Galaxy S9+ S9 S8+ S8 S7 S6 Q2, and others of comparable sizes.

Reasons to Consider the Zhiyun Smooth 4

Zhiyun Smooth 4’s price is fair considering what it offers. It has a high-quality build with a clean, sleek appeal. The integrated control panel looks a little busy at first but doesn’t take long to get familiar with. Shortlist this gimbal stabilizer if you plan to use your iPhone as a pro-level filmmaking camera. That includes budding Vloggers and YouTubers who need to stand out.

The stabilizer’s Focus Pull & Zoom provides seamless in-and-out zoom by pressing the FN button. They have configured the handwheel as a focus puller for high-precision adjustments. Everything about this gimbal is easy to use after an hour or two playing around. A powerful motor lets it work effortlessly with larger smartphones and phablets.

Standout Modes

There are a lot of standout features with the Zhiyun Smooth 4. Object Tracking can track human faces and other targets to capture ultra-smooth footage. The Time Lapse Expert is also worth mention. They include Timelapse, Freestyle time lapse, Motionlapse, Hyperlapse, and Slow-motion. That’s a neat feature for anyone who wants to record life using the art of time flow.

The PhoneGo Mode is perfect for capturing quick action in an instant. It responds to the most delicate movements without any delays which result in pro-quality video.

The Not So Good

There isn’t a manual in the box. All instructions are online in text and video tutorial format. That wouldn’t be an issue if everything were in one place, but it’s not. New owners must search YouTube for both the stabilizer and app guidance. It’s a minor frustration and unlikely to deter anyone from buying the Zhiyun Smooth 4. The carrying case is welcome but quite long and not that travel-friendly.

amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions: 4.8 x 4.1 x 12.9”
Product Weight: 19.2 oz.
Axis Stabilization: 3-axis
Tilting Angle: Tilt/240°, Rolling/240°, Panning/360°
Modes: Portrait/Landscape
Battery: Built-in 7.4V
Runtime: 12 hours
App: ZY play APP
The Pros
Intuitive integrated control panel
Focus Pull & Zoom
PhoneGo mode
Easy to use
Powerful motor
Object tracking
Time-lapse modes
2-way charging
Protective carry case
The Cons
No paper manual
Long carrying case

4. ChargerCity Pistol Grip Stabilizer for iPhone

ChargerCity Pistol Grip Stabilizer for iPhoneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

Fourth on the list is the ChargerCity Pistol Grip Stabilizer for iPhones and other brands. It’s also the least expensive device on this page. That makes it an excellent choice for folks on a tight budget.

  • Best feature 1: Quick & easy assembly (no tools)
  • Best feature 2: Fits smartphones up to 3.25″ wide
  • Plus points: Handheld or tripod, comfortable to hold, excellent value, MicroSD card reader
  • Minus points: No gimbal, landscape-only orientation

ChargerCity Pistol Grip Stabilizer compatibility: Apple iphone XR, XS, X8, Plus Samsung Galaxy S9, S10, Note smartphones (Max opening of 3.25”).

Reasons to Consider ChargerCity Stabilizer

ChargerCity’s Pistol Grip Stabilizer has a modular design which means it comes apart. It takes little time and no tools to assemble it. It’s a 2-in-1 device that you can use as a handheld stabilizer or as a mini tripod. The tabletop tripod configuration offers the best stabilization. Just find a steady surface to rest the legs and fire the shutter using a Bluetooth remote for tack-sharp, steady footage.

The stabilizer can accommodate smartphones and smaller cameras up to 3.25″ wide. The product’s finish is impressive for such a cheap stabilizer but the construction is so-so. Still, it’s hard to complain at this price. This little stabilizer serves as an excellent introduction for first-time users. Most go on to buy a gimbal product once they see how camera stabilization benefits their footage.

The Not So Good

This stabilizer doesn’t have a mechanical gimbal, electronics, Bluetooth, or any of those things. Nor does it offer portrait orientation. But it does promise to stabilize your iPhone footage way better than holding the phone without it.

amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions: 7 x 3.9 x 2.4”
Product Weight: 3.52 oz.
Axis Stabilization: None
Modes: Landscape
Battery: None (manual stabilizer)
Runtime: N/A
App: N/A
The Pros
Quick & easy assembly (no tools)
Fits smartphones up to 3.25″ wide
Handheld pistol grip
Tripod configuration
Comfortable to hold
Excellent value
MicroSD card reader
The Cons
No gimbal stabilization
Landscape-only orientation
So-so construction

5. Fantaseal Hand Stabilizer for iPhone

Fantaseal Hand Stabilizer for iPhoneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

Next up is the Hand Stabilizer by Fantaseal. It’s another budget-friendly product that works with a variety of smartphones. It’s a brilliant choice for any first-time stabilizer users.

  • Best feature 1: Excellent beginner stabilizer
  • Best feature 2: Super wide, heavy-duty clamp
  • Plus points: Budget-friendly, comfortable to hold, 2 tripod holes, extra hot shoe
  • Minus points: No gimbal, no instructions

Fantaseal Hand Stabilizer Holder compatibility: Apple iPhone Xs Max XR X 8+ 8 7+ 7 6S+ 6S 6+ 6 5 5SE Galaxy Note 9 S9, and others of comparable sizes.

Reasons to Consider Fantaseal Hand Stabilizer

People change their smartphones often. Some have more than one for personal and business uses. This compact, affordable stabilizer fits the bill. It has a super wide, heavy-duty clamp to house many phones and those with wider screens (see above). The non-slip clips hold an iPhone firmly in place with or without its defender case. The phone clip fits tripods, monopods, and selfie sticks.

The product has an ergonomic design and uses smooth ABS material for its build. Add to this the 7-ounce lightweight, and you can see why it’s comfortable to hold for long periods. There’s also an extra built-in Hot Shoe adapter where you can add an external mic or video light. The stabilizer offers 360° rotation so users can switch between portrait and landscape modes.

The Not So Good

This is a handheld stabilizer that doesn’t have a mechanical gimbal. It still guarantees steadier camera footage with it than without. Another gripe is that there aren’t any instructions in the box. Makers of stabilizers—for reasons known only to them—don’t seem to think users need guidance. Okay, so it’s not rocket science. Despite that, a manual of sorts is always welcome with any new product.

amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions: 9.8 x 2 x 1.2”
Product Weight: 7 oz.
Axis Stabilization: None
Tilting Angle: rotation/360°, tilt/90°
Modes: Portrait/Landscape
Battery: None (manual stabilizer)
Runtime: N/A
App: N/A
The Pros
Compact & lightweight design
Excellent beginner stabilizer
Super wide, heavy-duty clamp
Budget-friendly
Comfortable to hold
Non-slip clip
2 tripod holes (standard and pro)
Extra accessory hot shoe
The Cons
No gimbal, stabilization
No instructions

6. Feiyu Vimble 2 iPhone 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

Feiyu Vimble 2 iPhone 3-Axis Gimbal StabilizerView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

The Feiyu Vimble 2 is a 3-axis stabilizer for iPhone and other popular brands. It provides a plethora of user-friendly features including a vertical & horizontal mounting clamp.

  • Best feature 1: Portrait and Landscape shooting
  • Best feature 2: Face & object tracking
  • Plus points: Easy to use, trigger button, extension bar, 320° rotation, Zoom Slider, time-lapse
  • Minus points: Buggy app

Feiyu Vimble 2 compatibility: Apple iPhone Xs Max Xr X 8 Plus 7 6 SE Android Smartphone, Samsung Galaxy S9+ S9 S8+ S8 S7 S, and others of comparable sizes.

Reasons to Consider Feiyu Vimble 2

There are two features that most iPhone stabilizer users appreciate more than any others. One is the option to shoot in both portrait (vertical) and landscape (horizontal) positions. The other is object tracking. The Feiyu Vimble 2 features both and a whole lot more besides. Tracking is a simple case of using your finger to select whatever person or thing you want to track. The stabilizer does the rest.

Multiple Mode Appeal

It’s an easy-to-use gimbal stabilizer despite all the bells and whistles. The Trigger button is foolproof and activates a temporary lock; a follow mode, or panning. The Vimble has 320° rotation with its pan, roll, and tilt axes. That flexibility gives users more variety with shooting angles and creative perspectives. The 18cm extension bar adds further to the stabilizer’s photo and filming potential.

The handle has a built-in Zoom Slider. What that does is make zooming quick and easy and results in the more professional looking video. Time-lapse is another welcome feature for creative types. It includes trail, quiescent state, and time-lapse in auto-rotation mode.

The Not So Good

There’s one problem with this iPhone stabilizer—at the time of writing—that annoys many users. It relates to the FeiyuTech Vimble 2 Vicool APP. Common gripes are that it stops recording, or won’t always start, and doesn’t save to SD cards. These are serious complaints considering the exceptional hardware. At least software is updateable. Hopefully, these issues are short-lived or already fixed.

amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions: 12 x 4.8 x 4”
Product Weight: 15.04 oz.
Axis Stabilization: 3-axis
Tilting Angle: Tilting Angle: Tilt/320°, Rolling/320°, Panning/320°
Modes: Portrait/Landscape
Battery: Built-in Lithium Polymer
Runtime: 5 hours
App: Vicool
The Pros
Portrait and Landscape shooting
Face & object tracking
Easy to use; comfortable to hold
Trigger button
18cm extension bar
320° rotation
Zoom Slider
Various time-lapse modes
The Cons
Buggy app needs work

7. Steadicam Volt Electronic stabilizer for iPhone

Steadicam Volt Electronic stabilizer for iPhoneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

The Steadicam Volt Electronic handheld stabilizer is another product for perfectionist iPhone users. It has a 3-axis gyroscopic stabilizer that does a superb job at steadying footage.

  • Best feature 1: Lightweight, foldable, travel-friendly design
  • Best feature 2: 3-axis gyro stabilizer
  • Plus points: Dual operating modes, manual mode, low mode, fast panning
  • Minus points: Fiddly to set up, clamp issues, plastic, no portrait mode

Steadicam Volt compatibility: All iPhone XS, XS Max & XR, all Samsung S9/S9+ & GoPro HERO.

Reasons to Consider Steadicam Volt stabilizer

This is an award-winning stabilizer, bestowed as an Honoree at the CES Innovation Awards in 2017. These awards recognize consumer products for outstanding engineering and design. That gives the Steadicam Volt Electronic stabilizer here a head start from its rivals. It’s a pro-level product that’s lightweight and foldable. These are welcome features for those who travel and film often.

It’s all about the Modes

Another interesting feature is the dual operating modes built into the software. Steadicam developed one mode for the beginner and another for more experienced users. That’s not a typical feature of smartphone stabilizers, but it’s welcome. Steadicam fans also appreciate the Manual Mode. If the battery dies, the stabilizer goes into manual mode so that users can continue to work.

Low Mode is another exciting feature that kicks in when the Steadicam Volt is upside down. That’s useful for filming action sports when the focus is on skates or wheels, as two examples. Low mode is also handy for capturing precious memories of babies and toddlers below the waist. The quick panning ability also makes this a perfect stabilizer for filming fast-paced activities.

This iPhone stabilizer is ideal if it has all you need and accommodates your phone. It’s not perfect, though, despite the award. There are a few issues that are sure to put some off (see next).

The Not So Good

The setting up can prove fiddly, especially for first-time gimbal users. It’s not a problem unique to the Steadicam Volt, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. Prepare to be patient. The clamp holds phones steady but it’s tight and awkward to use for some. It also interferes with certain smartphones that have buttons down the side. Be sure to check model/brand compatibility if you opt for this device.

There’s not a portrait (vertical) mode which is a surprise for such a costly product. Finally, the construction is plastic, and there are cheaper stabilizers out there that use mostly metal parts. Plastic is perfect for keeping the weight down, but it’s not as bash-resistant as metal.

amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions: 7.5 x 2.7 x 13.5”
Product Weight: 16 oz.
Axis Stabilization: 3-axis
Modes: Landscape
Battery: Built-in Lithium Ion
Runtime: 8 hours
App: Tiffen Imagemaker
The Pros
Lightweight, travel-friendly foldable design
3-axis gyro stabilizer
Works with GoPro action cameras
Dual operating modes
Manual mode
Low mode
Fast panning ability
The Cons
Fiddly to set up
Clamp issues
Plastic build
No portrait mode
0/50 ratings