REVIEW – It’s been said that the best camera is the one that you have with you. And since our smartphones are usually within arms reach then this may end up being true. However, it doesn’t hurt to have a little help to make your smartphone camera better, especially if you are shooting video with your smartphone camera. And by better, I mean capturing shake-free, steady video footage.
With the VLOG Pocket 2 Smartphone Gimbal from FeiyuTech, capturing smooth and stabilized video on your smartphone is now possible. The Pocket 2 not only allows you to capture stabilized video on your smartphone and but when you use the Pocket 2 with the FeiyuTech On app, you can capture more interesting videos with the numerous creative features in the app.
What is it?
The VLOG Pocket 2 is the 2nd generation of FeiyuTech’s compact and foldable 3-axis smartphone gimbal, the VLOG Pocket. The VLOG Pocket 2 balances your smartphone with its electronic stabilization helping to eliminate the jitter and shakiness you would normally get from hand-holding your smartphone as you record video. The Pocket 2 gimbal helps you capture smooth, steady and flowing footage. Plus, the gimbal allows you to get extra creative when paired with your smartphone via the FeiyuTech On app. And with the addition of a third party mounting plate, you are able to use the Pocket 2 with an action camera like the Vantop Moment 6S, SJCAM SJ6 Legend, or GoPro cameras.
What’s in the box?
- VLOG Pocket 2 gimbal
- Mini tripod
- USB-C charging cable
- Drawstring bag
- Influencer Recruitment Info
Height: (Folded) 146.3mm (5.76 in.) x 94mm (3.70 in.) -(without mini tripod)
(Unfolded) 247.7mm (9.75 inches) x 111mm (4.4 in.) -(without mini tripod)
Weight: 272g (0.60 lbs) -(without mini tripod)
Maximum Payload: 250g (0.55lbs)
Material: High strength and high-temperature plastic
Temperature Range: -45º to 135º.
Battery: rechargeable 1300mAHh
Battery Life: 9 hours
Battery Charging Time: 90 minutes
Design and features
The FeiyuTech VLOG Pocket 2 is a great little gimbal that you mount your smartphone to when you’re shooting video with your smartphone and want to achieve smoother and cinematic shots. It’s constructed from lightweight plastic and feels notably sturdy considering all its folding, extending, spinning, and moving parts.. Unlike the previous VLOG Pocket, the Pocket 2 has a joystick which adds tilting and panning your smartphone with a push of your thumb. I really like using the joystick because it adds more versatility and control in shooting video or taking pictures with your smartphone.
Right next to the joystick is the Record video button, under that is the Photo button, and under that is the Function (M) button. To the left of the joystick, on the side of the handle, is the Zoom control. At the front of the handle is the Trigger button. And last but not least, next to the Trigger button, and opposite of the Zoom control, is where the Power button and USB-C charging port is located.
On a side note, I wasn’t too thrilled about the Zoom feature because the zooming was not smooth at all. It had a jerky motion like the zoom was moving in steps and not gradual. Don’t get me wrong, it is a nice feature to have so that you don’t have to use your free hand to zoom your phone’s camera when needed but a smoother zoom in and out looks better especially if you use it while you are recording video. It’s not such an issue when you are shooting still pictures.
The VLOG Pocket 2 has a vertical arm that folds down to help make it compact and ready for travel. Extend the vertical arm, twist the knob to lock it in place and you are ready to attach your smartphone to the smartphone holder. Keep in mind that I was not able to have my phone’s case on while using the Pocket 2 so I had to remove the case. Although the smartphone holder can accommodate today’s larger screen smartphones, the holder is just too shallow and only has enough room for a phone without a case. I found this rather inconvenient because any time I wanted to mount my smartphone to the Pocket 2 I would have to remove the phone’s case. So, now I am left with a phone case that I have to hold in my hand, stick in my pocket, or just set it down somewhere and hope I don’t forget it. It would have been nice for the smartphone mount to be just a little more accommodating to phones with their cases on. The phone I was using was a Samsung Note 10 Plus. I also tried the Pocket 2 with an LG V40 ThinQ smartphone. I had to take off the cases on both phones in order to use them with the Pocket 2.
When extended, the vertical arm is positioned as to not get in the way of the smartphone’s camera. I like using these electronic 3-axis gimbals because they really do a good job of stabilizing your smartphone with the gimbal’s brushless motors by balancing and counter-balancing the smartphone’s movements. This leads to steady and smooth video recordings that look amazing when you play them back.
The size of the Pocket 2 gimbal seems just about right since it is not too small of a device nor too large. Any larger and then it would feel like its too big to carry around. And any smaller would make it appear to be a glorified selfie stick of some sort. The Pocket 2 is a foldable gimbal that is small and compact, and doesn’t take up much room. You can stash it in your gear bag, luggage, backpack, or even a purse.
Although you can use the Pocket 2 without the included mini-tripod, I like to have the tripod attached. When the tripod is closed, it extends the handle a bit and I find it easier and more comfortable in my hand when I am operating the joystick. Plus, it is such a convenience to open the tripod legs and set the Pocket 2 down when you need to. Plus, the tripod is handy when you need to have your smartphone stationary while you use it. For example, you can set up the Pocket 2 on your desk while you are on a Zoom call or with FaceTime. Basically, use it like a typical tripod for your smartphone.
The Pocket 2 has several Modes that you can switch between depending on which one suits your shooting needs. By default, you have the Follow Mode- the roll direction is fixed, and the smartphone moves according to the left-right movements, up-down movements of the user’s hand. Next, you have the Pan Mode- the roll and tilt direction are fixed, and the smartphone moves according to the left-right movements of the user’s hand. Then, there is the Lock Mode- the orientation of the camera is fixed. And finally, there is the All Follow Mode- the camera moves according to the user’s hand. More features are accessible through the FeiyuTech On app such as Object Tracking, Gesture Control, Time-Lapse, Slow Motion, Wide Angle Panorama, and more.
Before powering on and operating the Pocket 2 gimbal, you have to extend the folding arm and lock it. Next, you insert your smartphone into smartphone holder. Your smartphone needs to be as centered as possible so it has an initial starting balance point. The phone holder had enough space around the edges so that the buttons on my phone did get pressed while in the holder. Next, you have to make sure the 3-axis pan and tilt areas are unlocked. Once they are unlocked, then you can power on the Pocket 2 gimbal.
Once you select the Mode that you want to shoot with, operating the Pocket 2 gimbal is fairly simple to use. And since it is lightweight, it is easy to maneuver and move about. The joystick is definitely a nice addition which the earlier version VLOG Pocket didn’t have. Having the joystick to control the tilt and pan allows more creativity when using the gimbal. When paired with your phone’s Bluetooth and the FeiyuTech On app, the joystick can be used to navigate through the settings and the Modes which you’ll be able to see on your phone. Keep in mind that you can operate the Pocket 2 without using the app which makes using the gimbal versatile. Even without the app, you are still able to change the Mode and settings on the gimbal by tapping the Function (M) button. However, when not connected to the FeiyuTech On app, I think it would it would have been nice to have a small LCD status screen handy even if it is just shows something as simple as what Mode you are in, battery level, etc.
The 3-axis stabilization does a great job of keeping your smartphone balanced and shake-free to record that smooth fluid motion. Basically, the Pocket 2 does exactly what it was designed to do and that is to keep your smartphone stabilized and steady.
To recap the gimbal’s Modes, in Pan Mode, The roll and tilt direction are fixed, and the smartphone moves according to the left-right movements of the user’s hand. In Lock Mode, the orientation of the camera is fixed. In All Follow Mode, the camera moves according to the user’s hand. And finally, Follow Mode, which is the default Mode of the Pocket 2, the roll direction is fixed, and the smartphone moves according to the left-right movements, up-down movements of the user’s hand. Besides keeping your smartphone smooth and steady, the Pocket 2 has plenty of extra handy features that you will have to try at least once.
When the Pocket 2 is used with the FeiyuTech On app, you have access to more creative features such as Object Tracking, Gesture Control, Timelapse, Panorama Mode, and more. The extra features are great to have on this small gimbal. Some of these features are offered on several of FeiyuTech’s bigger gimbals such as the AK2000C 3-Axis Stabilizer. One of the features that I like on the AK2000C is the Inception Mode. So, I was excited to see that the Pocket 2 has the Inception Mode as well. However, the Inception Mode on the Pocket 2 doesn’t operate the same as I thought it would. In the Inception Mode on the Pocket 2, it just tilts the smartphone left or right and not into full spinning 360° circles. I think this limitation is due to the phone’s camera will pass the gimbal’s vertical arm which would eventually get in your shot. So, when I set the Pocket 2 in Inception Mode, all I could get was the gimbal to tilt as far as left and right it could go to and not spin in a complete circle.
You have the option to shoot in Landscape Mode or Portrait Mode and can easily switch between them with just one hand. With a double click of the Function (M) button, the gimbal instantly switches between Landscape and Portrait mode and vice versa. Landscape Mode places your phone in the horizontal shooting position whereas, Portrait Mode positions your smartphone to shoot in a vertical position. Portrait Mode is great for recording video for social media applications such as Instagram, Snapchat, or TikTok. And speaking of recording, the Pocket 2 allows you to record for up to nine hours on a single charge which should be plenty to get in a good day of shooting.
What I like
- Compact and sturdy
- Can be used without FeiyuTech app
- Multiple features available when using the app
- Included mini tripod
- Long battery life
What I’d change
- Be able to use the phone with a case on.
- Add a small LCD to display gimbal modes
- Make a better Inception Mode
Whether you are a videomaker, content creator, or just want to capture some great travel, vacation or home video, the Pocket 2 has several features that many people will find useful. Not only can you get smooth steady footage with the help of the Pocket 2, but you can also capture some creative and interesting video footage with this gimbal when paired with the FeiyuTech On app. With the extra app features, you may find new ways to capture your videos that you may have never thought of before. However, even if you just end up skipping the cool features on the app and just use the Pocket 2 for the 3-axis gimbal alone (since you can use the Pocket 2 without opening the app), you will find the benefit of using a gimbal stabilizer when shooting video with your smartphone. Plus, with the correct adapter, you are able to use this compact gimbal for your action cameras as well. This way, you get a much better stabilized and flowing video footage than if you were just holding the action camera between your fingers.
So, if you are looking for a better way to record video on your smartphone, as well as give you plenty of creative and interesting options to shoot with your smartphone, then having a gimbal like the FeiyuTech VLOG Pocket 2 is a great option to have. It’s small and compact so it is perfect to take along with you when you travel. You can stash it in your gear bag, luggage, or purse and if any of your pockets have the room, you can carry it in your pocket so it is at your disposal right when you want it.