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January 7, 2018

DJI’s second smartphone gimbal gets improved controls and a lower price

by John_A

DJI’s Osmo Mobile set the standard for shooting stabilized smartphone videos, and now the time is right for a follow-up. The company officially revealed the new DJI Osmo Mobile 2, a redesigned sequel meant to make mobile videography more accessible to the masses. And the best part? It’ll only set you back $129.

The new Osmo uses the same three-axis gimbal for stabilization that the originals did, but DJI gave the rest of the body a substantial redesign. In a bid to keep costs down — and make the whole package less pricey — the new Osmo is made of “high-strength modified nylon” instead of metal. We’ve only spent a few moments with a non-final Osmo Mobile 2, but we’re cautiously optimistic about the change: it feels more than sturdy enough, especially considering it’s slated to sell for much less than the original. Also new is a 1/4-inch mount on the bottom of the Osmo for sticking it onto a tripod for more complex or prolonged shoots.

What else? Well, a modified clamp that swivels to accommodate landscape AND portrait shooting, a must for folks looking to capture super-smooth Instagram stories without having to tilt their hands. More potentially concerning is the switch from removable batteries to a sealed cell since you’ll lose the option to swap batteries while out in the field, but the company says the new Osmo will last around 15 hours on a single charge.

Beyond those design changes, DJI also tried to simplify the controls users would have to grapple with. The trademark trigger is gone, the power switch has been replaced with a mode button on the front of the grip and the shutter and record buttons have been combined into a single key. The addition of a zoom slider also means you can get in nice and tight on a subject without having to use your other hand. Some of these changes don’t exactly sound game-changing, sure, but they do serve to make the gimbal just a little more intuitive for people who have never picked one up before.

You won’t have to wait too long to pick up a second-generation Osmo Mobile, but there’s a catch: it’ll debut as an Apple Store exclusive on January 23 before going on sale on through DJI and its retail partners in early February.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2018.

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