The Moza Mini Mi is a smartphone gimbal with wireless charging, and some very smooth movement. Find out the good and the bad in my Moza Mini Mi Review.
When Gudsen Moza reached out to me to test the Moza Mini Mi smartphone gimbal, I was hesitant at first. I had the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 already, and to be honest I wasn’t using it very much. I also knew I would have my hands on a Zhiyun Smooth 4 soon. I didn’t see much need for another gimbal, and I don’t like the idea of taking offers of equipment from companies that I may not actually use, in exchange for a blindly positive review that means nothing.
So, at first I declined the offer.
Then I began to ask myself the reasons why I didn’t use my DJI Osmo Mobile 2 more. My shooting style favors locked off camera positions. I have no issues with a slow pan or a tilt when following action, building or revealing visual context of a scene slowly, and I like sliders, but I’ve never really shot long continuous fluid camera movement with a gimbal. I suppose I’m more of a traditionalist when it comes to camera movement.
I’m certainly interested in adding this to my toolkit, but maybe the reason I avoid it is to do specifically with the Osmo, rather than gimbals in general. It’s also to do with the fact that it’s hard to pull off well, and you’ll see that in my video samples shot with the Moza Mini Mi.
With an upcoming trip to Istanbul, I decided to give the Moza Mini Mi a try.
The Moza Mini Mi
I will start by saying the Moza Mini Mi has changed my perspective on using a gimbal. The gimbal’s response to movement is very different from the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 and now I realise why I didn’t like using the Osmo. The Osmo may be a great gimbal, but I find it significantly harder to achieve the same shot with it compared to using the Moza Mini-Mi. The Osmo requires more nuanced control from the user, the Moza Mini Mi does more by itself.
So much of the smartphone gimbal work I see online is very badly executed, and mine at this stage is certainly not very good either, but I don’t think it’s all the fault of the user. Some of it comes down to how the gimbal responds to the movement of the user.
If I’m going to move the camera, that movement needs to be perfect, and it needs to serve a purpose. If I’m going to use a gimbal, I expect it to make smooth movement possible without a slider, dolly or track, but effectively achieve the same result.
Moza Mini Mi Design
The Moza Mini Mi is not very different from any other smartphone gimbal in basic design, however it does provide wireless charging if you are using a phone that supports it. The Mini Mi also features continuous 360 degree rotation of the pan motor, which becomes a roll motor when the gimbal is held in flashlight orientation. This is one of the Mini Mi’s unique abilities, which is called “Inception Mode”.
The Moza Mini Mi is made from plastic, like every other similar smartphone gimbal, which is fine, but there are different qualities of plastic, and you can feel the low price when you handle it. I haven’t broken mine, but I can imagine it could happen quite easily.
The same can be said of the controls, they feel cheap, and I’m not sure how long the gimbal will really last if put up to constant use, packing, unpacking, and travelling.
However, it is easier to get great looking shots with the Mini Mi than with the Osmo Mobile 2.
Setup & Balancing
The Moza Mini Mi is easy to set up and balance, as long as you are just using a phone by itself or have lightweight accessories that don’t put too much mass to the top or bottom of the Phone’s overall centre of gravity.
I wasn’t able to balance the tilt axis with my Moondog Labs Anamorphic Lens on the iPhone 7 Plus, although adding a counterweight on the roll arm does allow the roll axis to balance. I can however achieve a good balance when using my PolarPro Iris ND Filters.
This means that I do use more than one gimbal. If I want to shoot anamorphic and need stabilised movement, I’ll still use the DJI Osmo Mobile 2, as I can balance it with the Moondog Labs Anamorphic Lens, but if I am not shooting anamorphic, I much prefer the usability and smooth movement of the Moza Mini Mi.
Using the Moza Mini Mi
The Moza Mini Mi has a number of interesting features, some of which have become standard across most smartphone gimbals now, and while I can mention them here, I have to also be transparent that I haven’t used them yet.
Primarily I am interested in basic smooth stabilization and movement of handheld pans, tilts, follow shots and walking shots rather than the additional creative modes.
The Moza Mini Mi includes a comprehensive toolset for specialised shots, with modes for Fast Tracking, Slow-Motion, Timelapse, Hyperlapse, a “Vertigo Shot” and Inception Mode. I need more time and a good reason to explore these modes.
I used FiLMiC Pro to record video, not the dedicated Moza app.
One of the most powerful features of the Mini Mi is the flexibility of the control system. The Mini-Mi features independent control for Roll, Yaw, and Pitch axis, and it’s easy to set using the controls on the gimbal handle.
- Pitch axis follow / lock
- Yaw axis follow / lock
- Roll axis follow / lock
All or any of the individual axis can be set to follow or lock with a few presses of the control dial. Two presses on the left side of the dial will lock/unlock the yaw axis. Three presses on the left side of the dial will lock/unlock the yaw axis, and a long press will lock/unlock the roll axis.
Axis Parameter Settings
The Moza Genie app gives you access to Axis Parameter Settings, where you can adjust motor power, control smoothness, follow smoothness, blind angle (dead zone). However, I have not found a setting to control the speed of each axis.
There is a sport mode however, which provides faster reaction for use with high speed action.
Moza Mini Mi Pros and Cons
The Moza Mini Mi is not perfect, it has advantages and disadvantages that are important to consider when deciding whether or not it’s the gimbal for you.
- Easy to balance
- Easy to use
- Quick and easy calibration
- Fast locking and unlocking of axis with only a few finger clicks
- Wireless charging
- Battery life (although I was not charging the phone)
- Simple iOS and Android app
- Simple firmware update procedure
- Excellent stabilization
- Very smooth movement
- 360 degree yaw motor (Inception Mode)
- Cheap materials and build quality
- Sometimes behaves erratically
- Cannot balance heavier accessories
The Moza Mini Mi has convinced me to use smartphone gimbals more. So that’s saying something. I don’t care about all the bells and whistles and gimmicky modes, I care about smooth motion and excellent stabilization, and the Moza Mini Mi does just that.
I just wish it was built more solidly, out of better quality materials, with better components. It’s a good enough gimbal that a higher price would be justified if the materials and build were improved.
Find out more about the Moza Mini Mi on the Gudsen Moza website here.