DJI’s new Osmo Mobile is cheaper, better

by Haadi Bakar
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How do you top the Osmo Mobile? Make a cheaper version!

That was the only issue I had with DJI’s marvelous handheld smartphone stabiliser. I loved the damn thing, but it was just too expensive. I got mine in Singapore for around S$420 back in October 2016. Meanwhile the competition, like the Zhiyun smooth Q, went for less than S$300.

Well it seems that DJI has finally listened, though they decided to do more than just lowering the price of its electronic gimbal. The drone company made a cheaper, better Osmo Mobile.

Today, DJI announced the Osmo Mobile 2, priced at US$129 (around B$171, though expect it to be sold in this region for about a hundred more). The previous model retailed for US$299, so that’s a huge drop!

And for that sweet low price, you get so much more than what the previous version offered. One of the most noticable new features is the ability to stabilise your phone in full portrait mode without having to tilt the grip at a 90-degree angle this time. Cinematic Instagram stories anyone?

This is┬ásomething that I’ve been wanting in a while because lately I’ve been producing a lot of mobile content in portrait orientation. The last Osmo Mobile did support Portait Mode but it required me to hold the device in an awkward orientation and does not give me the full gimbal experience that you would when shooting horizontally.

Another big improvement is on the battery. DJI has opted for a built-in rechargeable battery this time so its no longer swappable, but it makes up for that with longer battery life. We’re talking 15 hours – that’s three times longer than the one it’s replacing!

The buttons layout on the Osmo Mobile has been simplfied, and there’s one minor fix that will please Osmo Mobile fans: DJI has moved the accessory mount to the bottom of the grip so you can finally mount it on a tripod. The last one had the accessory mount on the side and was only usable with DJI’s proprietary stand which was quite a nuisance.

The Osmo Mobile 2 is also much lighter now as the device uses a different material which DJI describes as “high performance nylon”. The previous Osmo Mobile used a mixture of nylon and magnesium alloy.

All the software goodness that makes the original Osmo Mobile so great are still here, like autotracking, programmed shots and direct camera controls.

With all that battery packed in, the new Osmo Mobile 2 also doubles as a power bank for your phone.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, handheld stabilisers like the Osmo are essentially robotic handheld three-axis gimbals designed to prevent your phones from shaking when taking videos. These devices allow you to take buttery smooth videos, like those cinematic pans and zooms you see in movies.

There are other brands out there like the Zhiyun and the KumbaCam, and they work just as good as the Osmo and are competitively priced. The Osmo name however is more popular among consumers due to their aggressive marketing and DJI’s strong branding thanks to its dominance in the consumer drones market.

I mean c’mon, it’s the same guys that made the Spark and Mavic Pro!

The Osmo Mobile 2 will be available in February.

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