Mobile phones have become more advanced and are capable of capturing high-quality video footage, and with that mobile phone gimbals have also become increasingly popular and are a game changer for content creators, vloggers, and anyone who wants to capture professional quality footage.
These small handheld devices can save you a fortune compared to camera gimbals and still provide the quality footage you are seeking. One such company, Hohem, has been producing stabilization systems for smartphones, action cameras, and DSLR and mirrorless cameras since its inception in 2014. Building on their experience they have now released the iSteady M6 kit a new stabilizer that's ideal for the aforementioned vloggers, content creators, and anyone who wants to create smooth video footage. The gimbal also includes a load of features that I didn't expect. So, is it worth the price? We review it to find out.
This looks like and, in my opinion, is a premium product. It's of course for mobile phones so doesn't need the build quality of camera gimbals but this has a premium build quality. Its constructed with high-performance composites and weighs in at 551g including the battery. With a 2600mAh battery contained within the handle, which can last up to 18 hours with the gimbal fully balanced or 6-8 hours using AI tracking and the fill light at maximum brightness. It can be used for a day of filming with only a 3hr charging time and has a working temperature range of -10 to 45 degrees Celsius.
Setting up the balance for your phone was a simple task of releasing the lever on the roll-axis arm and adjusting till my phone was level with the ground; this took seconds, so no awkward to-ing and fro-ing as with my other gimbal.
The handle is comfortable in your hand and has good friction on the grip thanks to the indents. The ergonomics of the unit's design allow you to work the gimbal's controls without any awkward stretching of your fingers and the minimal weight meant of the entire product meant that I could use it for extended periods of time without any strain.
Being righthanded the gimbal suited me perfectly in terms of usage. So I tried it left-handed to see if there were any out-of-reach areas in terms of buttons and any awkwardness when using them, and there were none. So I am quite happy to report that the gimbal can be used in any hand without any problems.
The OLED display is clean and sharp and easily readable. Once you power up the device it appears and indicates your modes and anything you have forgotten to unlock, which in my case was the gimbal arm on a few occasions.
All are stored within a very slimline and protective case which is internally molded to ensure the protection of the gimbal without any movement when carrying. The slimline nature of the case allowed me to store it in my camera bag without any added bulk or rearranging.
All the controls are housed at the top of the handle and all within easy reach for one-handed use. It has a pan of 360 degrees with infinite rotation, a roll axis of 335 degrees, and a tilt axis of the same giving you plenty of scope for creative videos. The gimbal can be used simply as a gimbal for videos but pair the device via Bluetooth, download the App and you get so much more.
There is a multitude of controls just at your fingertips which include:
- Manual button - switch between gimbal modes
- Joystick - Tilt and Pan controls
- Zoom lever - requires app to be used
- Shutter button - video and photo mode when used with Bluetooth pairing.
- Multifunctional control wheel - focus and roll control - when using the app. Press and hold and it activates the color temperature modes and the brightness of the RGB light.
- OLED display - indicates modes, locks, battery level, pairing, and firmware updates.
Mounted magnetically on the gimbal is an AI tracking sensor which is gesture controlled and follows you smoothly anywhere keeping you in the frame. The sensor also includes a small RGB led light for illumination which is controllable and adjustable via the control wheel. The Ai tracking is also conveniently gesture controlled and works exactly as expected without any delay. A red and green indicator lamp informs you when gesture control is activated and then locked.
Hohem Joy App
The gimbal can be used with or without the app as long as you have a Bluetooth connection however the app provides you with a few extra features that you may want to try your hand at. I did lose connection with the app on one occasion but I think that was down to my error when I powered off the device and didn't turn off the app. I can only presume that it went to sleep and didn't reconnect when I powered back on the gimbal. I just rescanned for Bluetooth devices and it reconnected quickly.
There's actually so much that this gimbal does if I write any more it would read like a user's manual so the video next will show you some of the controls in action. As I would very rarely video on even ground or in towns I thought it would be best to video in some of the areas I would normally go to photograph. Dogs in tow we headed out and filmed for over an hour to see if the battery would indeed last and if there would be any issues. You'll notice in the video a color temperature change in some of the scenes as I had forgotten to set the white balance.
iSTEADY M6.mp4 from Gary McIntyre Photographer on Vimeo.
What I Liked
- The protective case.
- The gimbal itself as it balanced so quickly.
- A multitude of control features.
- Timelapse feature.
- Ease of use.
- AI tracking.
- Gesture controls.
- Easy-to-use App.
- Ergonomics when used for extended periods of time.
What Could Be Improved
Personally, I couldn't think of anything that would or could improve the functionality of the gimbal as it does everything I think you would need from this type of unit.
So, am I easily pleased? Yes, I would say so, but I am also critical if something doesn't do what it states or promises to do, and would be one of the first to say so. The Hohem iSteady M6 gimbal really surprised me however considering the relatively low cost of the unit. It's a solid premium product with an array of features that I didn't expect for this price.
A handheld phone gimbal is a must-have accessory for anyone who wants to capture smooth and stable footage with their mobile phone. With the quality of the footage, you can now get with mobile phones you need something that can aid with the actual filmmaking side, with a range of features including stabilization, panning, and titling. This gimbal does that and more in such an efficient manner that you can just concentrate on the filmmaking and in my opinion, would make a great investment for anyone who loves to create content with their phone.
You can find out more about the iSteady M6 kit here.
Very solid review. It's crazy how good these things are getting.
It's a world away from the one I purchased a few years back in terms of advancements in technology and ease of use. Thanks for reading
Does it work OK with iPhone 13/14 Max? I'd like to find one gimbal that's "comfortable" with these bigger phones and not just barely able to work with them. Thx.
I've been using this with the Pixel Pro 6 which has a screen size of 170mm and have had no issues with weight or size. Hope that helps.
Great review. I use phone gimbals and currently use a Zhiyun Smooth 5. Good product but the screen looks much easier to read on the M6. I shoot with a 13 Pro Max in 13mm wide using the Filmic Pro app. Does the native app support the wide lens and does it support the Filmic app? Those are important questions for me. Thanks
Hi Mark, I'm unsure if the native app supports filmic pro but I'll give it a try and get back to you.