March 02, 2018
DJI Osmo Mobile Review
Last week we ordered the DJI Osmo Mobile with the intention of using it for our first of our product reviews. We picked up the refurbished model on Amazon for $169.99 with free shipping. Aside from the sticker on the box, nothing else indicated to us that it was refurbished. After having had some time to see what it’s capable, we wanted to share our experience with everyone.
Included in the box is a zipper carrying case as well as the USB charger, which charges via a 3.5mm jack on the rear of the device. This port is also where you can plug in an external mic, which we haven’t had the opportunity to test yet. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a tripod mount, but we picked up one for $13.99 with free shipping from iKNOWTECH on Amazon.
Our first impression once we had the Osmo Mobile in hand was how firm it felt. At seventeen ounces, it feels perfect, as it’s sufficiently durable while not being overly heavy. The setup was relatively easy, as we were able to download the DJI Go app and have it synced via Bluetooth within about two minutes. We didn’t have any issues during our testing with the Bluetooth connection.
The phone is secured via a metal clamp that locks in place. This is one of the products real strong points, as it is exceptionally firm. During our testing we drove around with the Osmo Mobile out the window and at no point was I concerned that my phone would come loose.
Once we had the Osmo Mobile setup, we wanted to try each of the Osmo’s four modes. The first and most straightforward is landscape mode, which we used for most of our testing, as we felt it had the greatest variety of uses. Underslung, which we tried next, works well at grabbing low angles. We didn’t use this mode quite as much as its uses felt more specialized. Flashlight mode, which was my personal favorite, as it relies on the handle being held perpendicular to the ground. This way, the center of gravity is neither above or below the phone. I felt like in this mode I was able to achieve the greatest stability. The final mode is portrait, which I found perfect for shooting quick and easy Instagram stories. Again, this mode is more specialized, so we didn’t test it as extensively.
The Osmo’s button layout was another area in which it excels. The power slider is on the right side, and there is a Bluetooth indicator light that is opposite it on the left. The joystick provides the ability to pan in all directions. When you rotate the Osmo Mobile 90 degrees, the joystick responds accordingly, so what was up or down before can then become left or right. There is also a shutter button for still photos as well as a record button for video.
Overall, we were really impressed with the performance of the product. The light weight makes this easy to pack into a backpack and take with you. I couldn’t imagine going out to shoot without it after having had it for a week. Going off of that, the battery life was also more than sufficient for what we were using it for. Also, for $169, we felt like we got value for our money. That being said, we’re excited to compare its value against other phone stabilizers in the future.
It wouldn’t be an honest review if we didn’t also include any criticisms we may have. The first one was that after using the Osmo Mobile for 20-30 minutes, the metal on the clamp where the phone sits became hot to the touch, much like a Macbook Pro battery. Not anything too concerning but certainly something worth paying attention to. Our other only criticism was that at certain points the gimbal would go limp, although this may be that we were reaching the edge of the gimbal’s pivot radius, and thus it may have powered off thinking that it had been put down. If you place the Osmo Mobile on a flat surface, it turns off automatically as it senses it’s not in use. That being said, neither of these criticisms could dissuade us from recommending this product.