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DJI Osmo Mobile 3 Review: Hands-on

DJI Osmo Mobile 3
(Image credit: Future)

DJI's latest handheld gimbal for smartphones, the Osmo Mobile 3, isn't a huge departure from the previous two versions, but includes a few improvements that should please video bloggers and others who use their smartphones to shoot videos.

Available today for $119, we went hands-on with the Osmo Mobile 3, and it looks like a nice iteration on a proven design.

The Osmo Mobile 3 looks just like the previous version; it's made out of a gray plastic, with an arm at the top that holds your smartphone in an adjustable cradle. However, the arm can now fold against the Mobile 3's handgrip, which makes the whole thing more compact--helpful for when you have to cram all your gear into a backpack.

DJI Osmo Mobile 3

(Image credit: Future)

On the handle, where your thumb rests, is a small button that rotates your phone vertically and horizontally. To the right are two more buttons: the top button starts and stops recording, while the lower button lets you switch between photo and video modes. If you press this button twice, the Mobile 3 will automatically reorient your phone from landscape to portrait mode—for those who absolutely insist on vertical video. On the Osmo Mobile 2, you had to manually turn your phone in the cradle.

I also liked the trigger on the front of the grip, which can be used in conjunction with the Osmo's ActiveTrack, so you can keep a person or object centered in the frame. Other improvements in the Osmo Mimo app include some features brought over from its drone app. Story Mode combines your clips and still photos into a single video, complete with soundtrack; and Gesture Control will snap a photo if you wave at the camera to take a picture.

As before, there's a slider on the left side that lets you zoom in and out, and four LEDs display the Mobile 3's battery life; DJI says it should last up to 15 hours. 

At $119 for the Osmo Mobile 3 (and $139 for the Mobile 3, which includes a tripod and carrying case), it's $20 less than the previous version, and a pretty good deal for those who are looking to shoot better video with their smartphones. 

Michael A. Prospero is the deputy editor at Tom’s Guide. He oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories, but also tests out the latest standing desks, webcams, drones, and electric scooters. He has worked at Tom's Guide for many a year; before that, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight or chagrin of his family.