Take Better Smartphone Movies, with the FeiyuTech Vimble2 Gimbal
The Vimble 2 is a competent little gimbal. It's affordable, easy to use, and comes in a variety of colors. What more do you need from a smartphone gimbal?
Gimbals are everywhere now. They used to be big heavy devices limited to the domain of professional filmmakers, but heavy competition has driven prices down and made smooth videography accessible to all. FeiyuTech is no stranger to the gimbal market, and the Vimble 2 represents a culmination of years of design and development. Retailing for $89, is this smartphone gimbal a hidden gem, or should you look elsewhere? Here’s what we think.
Don’t forget to enter our giveaway contest at the end of this review, where we have a Vimble 2 you could win to make smooth smartphone videos of your own.
The Vimble 2 features:
- 7oz (200g) maximum payload
- Measures 4.64 x 4.35 x 12.71 inches (118 x 110.5 x 323mm)
- Weighs 15oz (428g)
- 5 hour battery life (9.62 Wh)/2 hour charging time
- Automatic balancing
Vimble 2 Design and Style
The Vimble 2 is a 3-axis stabilized handheld gimbal for smartphones. It’s not pocket-sized, but it will fit into a small bag without much trouble. On the surface, the Vimble 2 looks like any other gimbal. It features an adjustable clamp to hold your phone, a handle to grab on to, and a smattering of electronic controls. On the front, you’ll find a joystick for positioning the motors, along with a power button, shutter button (to start or stop recordings), and a lens zoom control.
The Micro-USB charging port is on the left of this main control panel, and it’s possible to operate this gimbal while it is charging if you use a portable power bank. Finally, the rear of the main handle contains a trigger, which you can hold to change the operation of the gimbal. The bottom houses a standard 1/4-20 tripod mount—just like you’ll find on any camera.
The phone holder is able to accommodate phones as large as the Huawei P9 or Google Pixel 3 XL, providing you remain within the weight limit. This spring-loaded clamp grips your phone, ensuring a stable grip in all but the harshest of movements. It can rotate and “lock” through 90 degrees, enabling you to shoot photos and videos in either portrait or landscape mode. The motors are angled in such a way that you can see the screen at all times, and use either the front or rear cameras.
If you’re after a gimbal to match your outfit, then the Vimble 2 is exactly what you need. It comes in a choice of four colors, including Space Gray, Sakura Pink, Snow White, and Dark Black. If that’s not enough, it comes with a semi-rigid foam case, a mini tripod that attaches to the bottom, and a wrist strap. No mains charger is included, however.
The Vimble 2 is hiding a special party trick. Inside this ordinary looking gimbal is a selfie stick of sorts. By pulling the motors and phone mount away from the main controller, you expose the telescopic extension. This extends the gimbal an extra 7 inches (180mm). This lets you get the perfect angle for selfies, low-angle videos, or cinematic shots peering over walls. iPhone 11 Slothie anyone?
The best feature of the Vimble 2 is balancing—you don’t need to do it! Gimbals operate through a balancing act between camera/smartphone, and the electrical trickery provided by the accelerometer and the brushless motors. Gimbals designed for cinema cameras, DSLRs, or even mirrorless cameras need perfect precision with your camera placement, and the slightest change such as removing the lens cap is often enough to upset the delicate balance.
This gimbal is so easy to use because you don’t have to think about the balance. Providing you don’t mount your smartphone at an extreme angle, the motors are powerful enough to handle any phone you can fit on it. This makes setting up and using the gimbal so much more enjoyable than other gimbals and means you are more likely to use it. We wish all gimbals had this feature.
Using the Vimble 2
Once you’ve installed your mobile phone and fired up your camera app of choice, you’re ready to get started. Vimble 2 is very simple to use. Simply by pointing at things you want to film produces smooth results. Far smoother than those possible by holding your phone yourself. This lightweight gimbal is perfect for vlogging (when paired with a suitable microphone). Gone are the days of shaky video, and this affordable device won’t leave you tired after a day of filming.
While pointing a camera at stuff can produce good results, you can get some excellent footage by planning your shots first, and by taking advantage of the unparalleled freedom of movement offered by this wonder-contraption. By moving around subjects in the foreground, or angling the camera ultra-low to get an interesting perspective, you can begin to elevate your videos from good to great. When combined with these cinematic camera tricks, a gimbal can make your videos shine.
By using the joystick on the front you can manipulate the angle of the motors, but I wouldn’t recommend this. These forced motor movements are are rarely smooth. It takes great skill to ramp up to speed and then back down. If you’re not careful, the movement starts and then stops, in a very mechanical and forced looking way. This isn’t the Vimble’s fault. While this problem is less visible on higher-end models ($500+), it still plagues most gimbals. It looks and feels unnatural, and should be avoided at all costs.
The strategically positioned trigger lets you lock one axis. This is perfect for moving the camera vertically or horizontally while restricting movement on one axis. Triggers are making their way into many gimbals now such as the Moza Air 2. To find a trigger on a sub-$100 gimbal is impressive.
Moving on to the telescopic selfie bar, you may be disappointed. It’s not terrible, but it introduces an extra wobble which is not present normally. The flexibility offered for group selfies, extra-low videos or spying over fences may be worth it to you. Due to the slimline nature of the telescopic parts, it’s more unstable than the rest of the product. Still, it’s a nice feature to have.
Should You Buy the FeiyuTech Vimble 2?
The Vimble 2 is one capable little gimbal. While the extension bar is little more than a gimmick, it’s very affordable, and instantly improves your video quality, no matter how modern your camera is, or how experienced you are. It does not need balancing, has a good battery life, and is well made. There is very little to dislike about the Vimble 2. We recommend this to anyone looking to buy a gimbal for the first time.
If you’d like to win a Vimble 2, then all you have to do is enter our giveaway contest below. Make sure you read all the rules for the chance to enter more than once, and good luck!