There are many stabilizers available for smart phones. Frankly, most aren’t great and some are nearly worthless.
We’ve been testing a few of these devices while on a road trip and the 3XS 3-Axis Gimbal from Benro has quickly risen to the top of our favorites list.
Amongst the things we like are a smart, foldable design that makes this gimbal much easier to transport than most of the competitors. It has a better app than the DJI gimbal and is easier to set up, but the directions could be a bit more clear. Watching the videos helped us get clarity here.
It’s designed to work in conjunction with an app on iPhone or Android. Once the device is activated you can use the gimbal without the app, although we don’t know why you’d want to do that.
In addition to coming with all the cables you need to connect microphones, you can also use any mic with a 3.5″ mini plug to affix to the unit. (We like the Comica CVM-VS08 Professional Cardioid Condenser Directional Mini Shotgun Microphone for this purpose.)
In every test we performed, the gimbal was properly oriented and smooth as butter. It comes with a stand or you could also mount it to a tripod if you want to use the time-lapse or pano features with absolute stability.
The only complaint we have about the Benro 3XS is that we have to take our test phone (an iPhone 11 Pro Max) out of its case in order to securely fit it into the gimbal. It’s too thick otherwise. Any smaller phone should be fine. We’ll be testing some thinner cases with the hope that we can find one that fits the phone and the gimbal.
OTHER 3XS FEATURES
LONG BATTERY LIFE
The 3XS will last for 24 hours on a single charge.
AUDIO PASS THROUGH
Plug a TRRS microphone into the handle of the 3XS Lite and record high quality audio directly to your smartphone when shooting video or using audio recording apps.
AUTOMATIC ORIENTATION CHANGE
The 3XS will go from horizontal to vertical and vice-versa with the single push of a button. No adjustment or rebalancing needed.
Use the included USB-C to either USB-C or Lightning cables that are included to charge your smartphone.
The 3XS supports Qi wireless charging on smartphones that support it.
At around $100, the Benro 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal is a bargain. It is feature-rich, but yet relatively easy to install and easy to use. While we haven’t tested EVERY such product on the market, we can say that so far, this is our favorite.