Hohem iSteady X 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for Smartphone Review
Unlike some other handheld gimbals I’ve used, I like that the Hohem iSteady X folds up into a very portable design. The moving parts can be locked into place so that it is less likely to break while flopping around in your backpack. It weighs just over half of a pound, so it’s easy to carry and use.
Placing your phone into the gimbal is fairly straightforward. First, you want to make sure the phone holder is facing upright and that the “hohem” logo is not upside down. Clamp your phone so it is centered in the holder and is sitting back against the clamp.
Then, power on the unit and open the Hohem app on your phone. The Hohem app walks you through the setup process, which involves an internet connection to “activate” the unit. You will not be able to use the gimbal without first creating a username and password in the Hohem app, which is a bit of an inconvenience, but seems to be the norm nowadays.
My gimbal remained “limp” until I finished the registration process, then it beeped and sprung to life, turning my phone around and balancing it.
The gimbal does a great job of smoothing out pans left and right and up and down. You can use the joystick control on the gimbal to adjust the angle that it holds your phone, and the speed that the motor moves can also be adjusted if you find that it move too fast. It would be ideal for capturing the kid’s sporting events or backyard antics.
The iSteady X won’t completely remove the up and down jitters that occur when walking, but it greatly reduces them so your viewers will not get seasick while watching your videos.
It’s also ideal for using during Facetime and video calls when you’re the go and need to walk and talk (in a safe environment, of course) at the same time.
The gimbal can be used upside down for capturing scenes close to the ground.
- Portrait mode: My other gimbal would only hold the phone horizontally, but with the Hohem iSteady, you can single tap the power button and it will turn your phone vertical. This is ideal for recording Instagram stories and Snaps.
- Face tracking: The Hohem app includes a face-tracking mode that does fairly well, but if you move out of frame, it can have difficulties finding your face again. So it’s fine for subtle movements (such as swaying back and forth), but not for fast action.
- Detachable tripod: A small tripod is included that easily screws onto the bottom of the gimbal and allows you to take time-lapsed panoramics or to simply use the self-timer to ensure that you are in the shot.
- Hand-strap: I like that a hand-strap is included with the gimbal, giving me a little extra assurance that I won’t lose the gimbal (and my phone)!
- Moments: The Hohem app features several options for stylized “moments” to create time lapses and smooth panoramics, for example.
The battery can last up to 8 hours and is easily recharged with a standard USB-C cable.
The Hohem iSteady X performs great and has a compact design that makes it easy for travel. However, setup requires creating an account and activating the gimbal, which is a (one-time) hassle.
- Smooth performance
- Long battery life
- Built-in effects like Dolly-Zoom
- Registration and activation process