Zhiyun Smooth Q is not only a very affordable gimbal, it is also versatile. You can use it with your smartphone and your action camera from several brands. As you know, when reading my blog, gimbals are my favorite camera accessories as they add a professional touch to your videos. They are the best tool to avoid shaky footage.

Zhiyun Smooth-Q with iPhone and GoPro

Zhiyun Smooth-Q works with Smartphones and Action Cameras

 

Demo & Review

here’s my comparison with the similar priced Feiyu Vimble C

 

Zhiyun Smooth Q Specs

Battery
Zhiyun Smooth Q holds a built-in 26650 Li-ion battery which allows 12 hours of working time. A USB port at the bottom of the grip supports 5V/2A power output, so you can charge your phone (or camera) while shooting. But you could also use it to power a LED panel to light up your surroundings. On the side of the gimbal you’ll find a microUSB port to charge Smooth Q or power it with an external power source, like a power bank.

Weight & Payload
Smooth Q itself weights 450g totally and can hold a max. payload of 220g.

Pan / Tilt / Roll – Angle
Pan axis allows 360° unlimited rotation, tilt axis moves -135° to +185° and roll axis allows +/-30° movement.

Body & Buttons
Smooth-Q is splash proof and works under extreme temperatures (up to 45℃ and -15℃). The control panel provides a flat joystick to control the head, a camera photo/video mode switch, video Rec/Stop button and zoom controls. As already mentioned Zhiyun features 2 USB ports, one for charging the gimbal and a second one at the bottom to power other devices like camera or phone. The bottom also holds a 1/4″ standard photo thread to mount it on an e.g. tripod.

Zhiyun Smooth Q - Body, Buttons & Ports

Zhiyun Smooth Q – Body, Buttons & Ports

 

Shooting modes
You can use Smooth Q to stabilize your phone horizontally or vertically – in landscape or portrait mode. Simply release the knob at the back of the clamp, turn it and tighten it again. To balance your phone for better results and relieving the motor, there’s a second knob ring at the cross arm. When you release it you can slide the arm in and out to pre-balance your phone.

It offers several operation modes indicated by the LED light and are selected by the mode button on the grip. In panning mode the gimbal follows pan movements while roll and tilt axes are locked. In following mode the tilt axis follows your up/down movements as well. In locking mode the orientation of your smartphone is locked while you move the gimbal.

Zhiyun Smooth Q works for landscape and portrait mode

Zhiyun Smooth Q works for landscape and portrait mode

 

Colors
Zhiyun Smooth Q is available in black, grey, gold and rose.

Zhiyun Smooth Q - available in black, grey, gold and rose

Zhiyun Smooth Q – available in black, grey, gold and rose

 

Packaging
Zhiyun Smooth Q comes with a carrying case, USB-microUSB cable and english user manual.

Zhiyun Smooth Q comes with carrying case

Zhiyun Smooth Q comes with carrying case

 

Smooth Q Compatible Phones

Zhiyun Smooth Q is compatible with a huge variety of smartphones including Apple iPhone (up to iPhone 8 including Plus versions), Samsung, Huawei, Sony,… There is no specific list from Zhiyun which phones are compatible, I was told up to 6 inch screen size and max. 220g in weight.

Special Features

When using Zhiyun App on your Smartphone you can enable some special features like object tracking or face tracking. Select an object on your screen, which will be tracked during a movement and the gimbal’s head will follow automatically.

On a side note: If you use a larger Zhiyun gimbal like Crane with your DSLR, you can put your phone on top of the camera, use Zhiyun App to select object tracking and Crane (incl. DSLR) will follow the object.

 

 

Action Camera

You can mount your action camera without any accessories, simply change the clamp to portrait mode (clamp is sideways) and it will hold your camera. This is big plus compared to Feiyu SPG, which requires two foam pieces and therefore the shutter buttons covered. With Zhiyun’s clamp on the side, the buttons / ports on the side are covered but not the shutter on top. An because the clamp is mounted on the side you can even use an Action Camera with underwater case (Smooth Q is splash proof).
Both Smooth Q and SPG allow 360° rotation therefore it’s no problem to use the gimbal while the camera is facing forward. Keep that in mind with gimbals that don’t allow 360° rotation as most of them are limited to +/- 160°!
The screen on the backside is not fully visible on all of them. Another option is an optional adapter. This way all buttons and ports of your action camera are accessible and the screen is fully visible.

Zhiyun Smooth Q with Xiaomi Mijia 4K Action Camera

Zhiyun Smooth Q with Xiaomi Mijia 4K Action Camera

Zhiyun Smooth Q with YI 4K+ in underwater case

Zhiyun Smooth Q with YI 4K+ in underwater case

 

Conclusion

Feiyu SPG is probably the closest gimbal to Zhiyun Smooth Q. I think it’s a tough call which is the better gimbal. In terms of stabilization both work very well, it’s a matter of handling. And therefore it depends on  your type of usage. Will you use it more often with action cam or Smartphone? Zhiyun doesn’t need accessories to mount an action cam and you can use it with underwater case. Feiyu SPG gives you at least a little view of the screen and has exchangeable batteries. So here are my pros & cons and below you will find a spec comparison:

Versatile – for Smartphones and Action Cameras

Low Price

360° rotation on pan axis

 action cam can be mounted without further accessories

Access & visibility of action cam touchscreen is blocked

 

Competition

If you want to use your gimbal with Smartphone & Action Camera, compare it to Feiyu SPG. If you plan to use it only for your phone, take a look at Feiyu Vimble 2 or Zhiyun Smooth 4.

Feiyu Vimble CFeiyu Vimble 2Zhiyun Smooth QFeiyu SPG CFeiyu SPG (new version)DJI Osmo 2Zhiyun Smooth 3
Feiyu Vimble C - GimbalFeiyu Vimble 2Zhiyun Smooth Q GimbalFeiyu-SPG-symbolFeiyu-SPG-symbolDJI Osmo 2Zhiyun-Smooth-3-symbol
Body: PlasticBody: Plastic & includes selfie stickBody: PlasticBody: MetalBody: MetalBody: PlasticBody: Metal
Battery:
5 hr working time
Battery:
7-10 hr working time
Battery:
12 hr working time
Battery:
7 hr working time
Battery:
8 hr working time
Battery:
15 hr working time
2600 mAh
Battery:
14 hr working time
Battery Type:
built-in
Battery Type:
built-in
Battery Type:
built-in
Battery Type:
exchangeable
Battery Type:
exchangeable
Battery Type:
built-in
Battery Type:
exchangeable
can be powered with power bankcan be powered with power bankcan be powered with power bankcan be powered with power bankcan be powered with power bankcan be powered with power bankcan be powered with power bank
n/acan power phone / cameracan power phone / cameran/an/acan power phone / cameracan power phone / camera
200g Payload210g Payload200g Payload?g Payload?g Payload?g Payload260g Payload
Pan / Tilt / Roll
320° / 320° / 320° rotation
Pan / Tilt / Roll
320° / 320° / 320° rotation
Pan / Tilt / Roll
360° / 320° / 60° rotation
Pan / Tilt / Roll
360° / 320° / 320° rotation
Pan / Tilt / Roll
360° / 320° / 320° rotation
Pan / Tilt / Roll
320° / 310° / 140° rotation
Pan / Tilt / Roll
360° / 320° / 320° rotation
not Splash-proofnot Splash-proofSplash-proofnot Splash-proofSplash-proofnot Splash-proofnot Splash-proof
Controls:
Joystick, Zoom, Mode Switch, Shutter
Controls:
Joystick, Zoom, Mode Switch, Shutter
Controls:
Joystick, Zoom, Mode Switch, Shutter
Controls:
Joystick, Mode Switch, Shutter, Zoom
Controls:
Joystick, Mode Switch, Shutter
Controls:
Joystick, Zoom, Mode Switch, Shutter
Controls:
Joystick, Mode Switch, Camera Settings, Shutter
Face TrackingFace TrackingObject & Face TrackingObject & Face TrackingObject & Face TrackingObject & Face TrackingObject & Face Tracking
BluetoothBluetoothBluetoothBluetoothBluetoothBluetoothBluetooth
-comes with carrying bagcomes with carrying bagcomes with carrying bagcomes with carrying bag-comes with carrying bag
1/4" thread on bottom1/4" thread on bottom1/4" thread on bottom1/4" thread on bottom1/4" thread on bottom &
1/4" thread on grip
1/4" thread on bottom1/4" thread on bottom
Price: 115 USD126.99 USDPrice 99 USDPrice: 109 USDPrice: 126 USD129 USDPrice: 299 USD
ReviewReviewReviewReviewReview-

 

Retailer / Price:




 

Action Camera Adapter

I bought this adapter for 17 USD at Aliexpress. They are also some available on Amazon. I’ll let you know which one works best:




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