While I am a reluctant gimbal user, I do see the value in having a good gimbal in my kit. However, the likes of the DJI Osmo Mobile 2, the Zhiyun Smooth 4 and Moza Mini Mi are relatively large devices. These popular hand held smartphone gimbals take up quite a bit of space to carry. I often like to venture out with minimal gear in a small bag. The Moza Mini-S is perfect for this.
The Moza Mini-S Folding Gimbal
The Gudsen Moza Mini-S is a smartphone gimbal that folds neatly in half when not in use, making it extremely compact. I have seen a few other folding smartphone gimbals pop up in the past few months, indicating this is both a trend, and a good idea.
In fact I like the Moza Mini-S so much that I’ve sold the other gimbals. It’s now a permanent part of my all-purpose kit.
At the opposite extreme, the much larger Feiyu Tech AK4500 accommodates my iPhone 11 Pro Max when completely rigged up in the Helium Core cage, along with Moondog Labs Anamorphic Adapter, ND filters and I can even motorize a Variable ND filter using the follow focus motor (I’m using the PolarPro Peter McKinnon Edition variable ND filters).
Anyway, back to the Moza Mini-S. Let’s look at a few of the reasons I like it.
Strong Motors, Easy to Balance
The Moza Mini-S features motors with impressive torque for a gimbal of this size. It handled my iPhone XS Max, XR and 11 Pro Max with ease. One of the best things about this gimbal is that it’s possible to balance even a large phone with a ND filter or lens attached without using a separate counterbalance. The phone can simply be shifted sideways until it balances correctly. This is an excellent design feature and a big plus point over all the larger smartphone gimbals I have. None of which can balance an external lens or filter without a separate counterbalance.
The Moza Mini-S is the fastest and easiest gimbal to balance that I’ve ever used. Anyone will be able to balance a phone on it easily by making slight adjustments to the position until it no longer wants to fall over. The motors have sufficient power to hold a slight imbalance, and a self calibrating algorithm easily automates motor settings internally without any user input.
All in all, the Moza Mini-S can be set up, and ready to use in 30 seconds.
Simple, No Nonsense Stabilization
I didn’t expect any specialized modes or gimmicks on a gimbal like the Moza Mini-S. I was glad to see they’ve added some useful extras like timelapse, object tracking and inception mode. However, some of these functions require using the Moza Genie App, so won’t be possible when shooting with a different app, such as FiLMiC Pro. As a result, I won’t be using these extra functions but it’s great that they are there.
All I really want from a gimbal like this is simple, smooth, reliable stabilization and the ability to change the follow mode for each, or all axis. This can all be done directly from the handle of the Moza Mini-S. The joystick also allows the camera to be positioned as needed.
One Final Criticism
Unfortunately, I can’t overlook one design limitation of the Moza Mini-S. The phone does hit the arm of the gimbal if you dip too low when using it in flashlight mode. I like to have the option of attaching the gimbal to a monopod for jib shots, but this physical limitation makes it impossible to achieve a jib movement starting from a position below horizontal. It is possible to shift the phone higher in the holder to avoid the collision, but then it may no longer be balanced.
Moza Mini-S Pros and Cons
- Extremely compact and lightweight
- Fast setup and balancing
- Self calibrating
- Strong and responsive motors
- Feature rich
- Good battery life
- Excellent value for money
- Smartphone may hit the gimbal when shooting flashlight mode or below horizontal
The Moza Mini-S is better than most other smartphone gimbals I’ve tried. What stands out to me is just how fast and easy it is to set up and balance, and the strength of the motors. In my opinion this is certainly the best smartphone gimbal for under $100. I have a feeling it will stay in my kit for quite some time.
Find out more about the Moza Mini-S on the Gudsen Moza website.