Zhiyun is one of the most popular gimbal brand. Recently I had the opportunity to try my hands on the Smooth 3 smartphone gimbal. It is the latest and most high-end smartphone stabilizer from Zhiyun. It was also nominated for CES 2018 Innovation Awards.

In this article, I am going to share my hands-on experience and a detailed review of Zhiyun Smooth 3 smartphone gimbal covering all of its features, pros and cons.

Zhiyun Smooth 3 Smartphone Gimbal : Detailed Hands-on Review


Retail Box and Unboxing


Zhiyun Smooth 3 comes in a nice white box showing off few of its heighted features. Inside the box, you will find the Smooth 3 gimbal, a carrying case, USB cable to charge the gimbal and some user manuals.

 Zhiyun Smooth 3 Smartphone Gimbal : Detailed Hands-on Review

There is a strap provided too that you can attach to the case and then carry the case on your shoulder. You will also find a sachet of silicon gel crystal to avoid any moisture in the box.

You can watch our unboxing of Zhiyun Smooth 3 in the review video shared below.

Design


The design of Zhiyun Smooth 3 is really nice. It is a very premium looking gimbal. Aviation-grade aluminum material is used to build the body of Smooth 3 and the high-precision CNC cutting is impressive. The matte finish feels so good in hand and gives a smooth feeling.

The red accent on the black matte body looks very beautiful. There is nice textured grip provided to hold the gimbal. There are two separate LEDs – one for charging notification and other shows the battery status. All controls are well placed and within the reach of user’s thumb to easily access them while using the gimbal.

Smooth 3 can be used in both horizontal and vertical mode. There is also a scale provided that can be used to easily and quickly adjust the gravity center of your smartphones by remembering the mark on the scale.

 Zhiyun Smooth 3 Smartphone Gimbal : Detailed Hands-on Review

There are two USB ports provided on Zhiyun Smooth 3 – one for charging the gimbal and other to charge your smartphone. This is a very useful feature and helps to use smartphone for longer duration with the gimbal without worrying about to charge the phone battery. Also it comes with standard screw that let you connect tripod, extension rod etc. to it.

Overall the design of Zhiyun Smooth 3 is nice and also innovative. It is beautiful, comes with additional features and is easy to handle.

Features


Zhiyun Smooth 3 comes with lots of nice and additional features. There are three operating modes provided that can be easily switched by using the dedicated Mode button. There is a joystick you will find next to the grip that can be used to manually move the camera on various axis even while using a particular mode.

There is also a handwheel provided that can be set to perform change in settings manually using it. All you need is the ZY Play app for that and then you can assign exposure level, white balance, shutter speed, ISO or the manual focus to the handwheel and then can control it to change camera settings without touching your phone.

Zhiyun Smooth 3 Smartphone Gimbal : Detailed Hands-on Review

Zhiyun Smooth 3 can support up to 260 grams weight. This is basically should be covered in the design part but why I am mentioning it here is because it let user add accessories like external lens, smartphone mic etc. to the smartphone to make great professional quality videos.

As mentioned earlier, Smooth 3 comes with an additional USB port and acts as a power bank. It provides 5V/1000mA power output, so a smartphone can be charged too while using the Zhiyun Smooth 3 for longer sessions without worrying about the battery charging.

In terms of features, Zhiyun Smooth 3 is one of the most advanced and feature-rich smartphone gimbal currently available.

Performance


The performance of Smooth 3 is impressive and perfect. It easy to handle and stabilizes the video a lot in every situation. I tried Smooth 3 while walking, going down the stairs, changing camera angles quickly and in every situation, Smooth 3 was able to eliminate the jerks and shakes perfectly and smoothen the video quality.



Even with just one hand, you will not find any shaky moment in your recorded videos using the Smooth 3. The battery performance is great and can easily survive for more than 12 hours of usage in one full charge.

As a smartphone gimbal, Smooth 3 works perfectly in every way. The basic purpose of a gimbal is to remove the shakes and smoothen the video and Smooth 3 does this job brilliantly.

ZY Play Smartphone App


The best part of Zhiyun Smooth 3 is the ZY Play app. It is available on Android and iOS devices and brings lots of nice and interesting features, improving the performance of the gimbal. You can record pro-level video using the ZY smartphone app and Smooth 3.

The UI of ZY Play camera app comes with manual camera settings and mechanical controls of gimbal. You can control and edit the exposure compensation, ISO, white balance and apply filters right from the ZY app. There are also time lapse, long exposure imaging, slow motion video, panoramic imaging etc. provided. My personal favorite is the Moving Time Lapse that creates pro-quality panoramic time lapse videos easily.

You can customize and assign the physical movement you do usually to use the gimbal for better video recording. You can even calibrate the motor of gimbal right from the ZY Play app.

ZY Play app enhances the performance of Smooth 3 gimbal a lot and makes it unique than other smartphone gimbals currently available in the market. You can watch all features of ZY Play app in the above video.

Conclusion


Zhiyun Smooth 3 is one of the best smartphone gimbal and comes with many nice features. The design of the gimbal and the material used is of top quality. The overall performance of it as a gimbal is perfect. It comes with great battery life and also works as a power bank to the smartphone connected.

There are some additional features provided. The ZY Play app brings lots of nice camera features to Smooth 3 and let user record pro-level videos easily.

If you are looking for a nice smartphone gimbal then, Zhiyun Smooth 3 is one of the best option for you.

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