While gimbals used to be an expensive piece of equipment to have, thanks to 4K capable smartphones being so common, lighter, smaller gimbals have been developed which are much cheaper.
Another thing that really helps is the fact that so many Chinese manufacturers are making gimbals now, and that has really driven the price down.
The Zhiyun Smooth 4 and the Smove Movile are both good gimbals in their own respects, but the Mini Mi actually jumps out ahead of those two and the DJI Osmo Mobile 2. Plus, it actually costs less!
So in this review, let’s see what is so special about the Mini MI and if it is worth your hard earned money or not.
Hands on with the Mini Mi
Many features are pretty standard on these budget smartphone gimbals. Even if you did not know the brand name, you can probably expect to find a plastic body in a rubber/plastic case, along with a usb cable and sometimes a small tripod that screws into the bottom of the handle.
Tripods are really useful because they let you balance the gimbal anywhere. I once used it to shoot a timelapse of my toddler and the results were adorable!
Since this is a budget gimbal, the overall build quality does not seem as solid as say the Osmo Mobile, but it kind of makes up for that with the other innovative features it has.
Namely, there are 3 quarter-inch threads all over the gimbal. This is quite interesting as it allows for a lot of expansion options, like screwing in a tripod at a different angle, or adding a microphone.
The microphone option is really cool because smartphone mics are usually terrible for audio quality and having a proper mic makes a huge difference in sound quality.
Interestingly enough, the gimbal weighs quite a bit more than other similar models. It’s around 50 grams heavier than most other smartphone gimbals. 50 grams may not seem like much but if you’re used to holding the other ones then this one may take a short time to get used to.
It’s kind of like the joke Jim from The Office played on Dwight where he slowly filled his phone with coins to make it heavier and suddenly removed them once he was used to the heavier weight!
Which phones will the Mini Mi work with?
There is a spring-loaded clamp that you can adjust to slide your phone in, and the friction will hold it in place. This is pretty standard across all gimbals.
In our earlier reviews of the Zhiyun Smooth 4 and the Smove Mobile, we noted that the maximum weight capacity was around 210 grams. This meant that large phones like the iPhone XS Max(which comes in at 208) grams would really tax the gimbal motors.
The Moza Mini Mi has a capacity of 300 grams, so as of today(and presumably well into the future), I don’t think there will be any phones that the motors of the Mini Mi won’t be able to handle. The clamp also expands from 61 to 92 mm, which is super wide and can accommodate even the widest phone.
What sets the Moza Mini Mi apart from other gimbals
At the start of the review, I mentioned that the Mini Mi packs features that are not found on more expensive gimbals. The most important of those features in my opinion is wireless charging.
The Mini Mi supports the standard Qi charging protocol, so many modern smartphones will support it.
Most gimbals do function as power banks where you can connect your phone using USB, it adds to the bulk of a dangling wire and needing a wire with you at all times.
In the Mini Mi, just placing your phone in the gimbal will start charging it wirelessly be default. So as long as your phone is in the clamp, it will charge, keeping your phone juiced up for the whole day!
Note: Of course, this will drain your gimbal battery too, considering there is a 2100 mah battery in it.
Most gimbals have three standard shooting modes:
- locked, where all axes are stabilized
- pan-follow, where roll and tilt are locked but the phone will pan with your hand movements
- follow, where only roll is locked and yaw and pan will follow your hand movements
The Mini Mi has these three modes, as well as the ability to lock each axis on command, resulting in 8 possible combinations.
For most everyday users, the 8 combinations may seem overwhelming and they’ll be happy with the three default modes, but the extra combinations do allow for some creative shooting when you want to experiment.
If you use the app, there are some extra modes you can take advantage of:
- Sports mode, in which the motors will speed up to keep up with fast, jerky movements
- Selfie mode, where the phone will flip 180 degrees to take a quick selfie
- Inception mode, where the phone will do a barrel roll and give a funky, trippy shot
How does the Moza Mini Mi perform?
A gimbal can have all the features in the world, but ultimately, the results need to do the talking.
So how does it stack up?
The stabilization is good, but just about as good as other budget gimbals you’ll find. It’s not quite as good as the DJI Osmo Mobile or the Zhiyun Smooth. But then again, it’s also not as expensive as those!
Who should buy the Moza Mini Mi?
For the price, there is no doubt that the Moza Mini Mi is possibly the best value your money can buy. While the performance is that of a budget gimbal, the extra features give it a huge boost over other similarly priced gimbals.
If you have a bigger phone like the iPhone XS Max or the Galaxy Note, this gimbal will give you the best performance since the other higher end gimbals just are not able to handle them.