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Hands-on review: Zhiyun Smooth X VS Zhiyun Smooth Xs

12 Nov 2020

Photography today is one of the most critical aspects of mobile phones. Every smartphone company out there is competing to have the best cameras on their smartphone and the best software and machine learning to support those cameras. Often users do not take full advantage of what their phone cameras have to offer. This is exactly what Zhiyuns’s smooth X and smooth Xs accessories are for. 

What is in the box

The Smooth X and Smooth Xs smart gimbals are very very similar in concept. I would essentially describe the Smooth Xs, and the “pro” version of the Smooth X and this difference can be seen as soon as the box is opened. 

The Smooth X box comes with the Smooth X gimbal, A startup guide and the USB-C cable. That is all. On the other hand, the Smooth Xs box comes decked out with the gimbal itself, a startup guide, the USB-C cable, a safety hand strap, a storage bag and even a small tripod! These additional accessories, while not really necessary, make a lot of difference in the experience. 

Design

At first glance, you might think the two gimbals are the same, but in reality, Zhiyum made a couple of key improvements on the Xs. While the smooth X is available in white and gray, the Smooth Xs is actually available in ivory white, pearly pink, lemon yellow, and navy blue. 

While I still got the white one anyway, It is good to know that the colours are an option. The second major design change was the way the gimbal opens and closes. The Smooth X had to be twisted and then rotated at a weird angle before you can pop it open. While it is something I got used to after a while, I really appreciate that the Smooth Xs opens in a much smoother way. This also means that the Smooth Xs is easier to pack away than the Smooth X is. 

Zhiyun also made some serious changes to the grip. The Smooth X simply has a plastic grip where the buttons are. The Smooth Xs goes the extra mile and provides indentations and ridges that make holding the gimbal so much more natural. This helps a lot as when you have a heavy iPhone Pro max attached to it, you need all the support you can get. 

Both gimbals have the same exact button layout which works perfectly. And both the Smooth X and Xs house a selfie stick that can be extended to provide better shots. 

Features

Both the Smooth X and Smooth Xs have essentially the same features. To activate the features, you need to connect them to the phone application via Bluetooth. Through that application, users can access all the cool features that make the gimbals special.

The setup process was simple. The phone connects with both the Smooth X and X easily. I did have to create an account though, which I found to be a bit annoying. I do not see why one is needed. 

Once set up, the fun begins. The gimbals have cool features like face and object tracking. This means that if you move right and left, the gimbal will make sure that the phone smoothly follows you. I found this to be very useful in vlogging style videos, and when running after a pet that is jumping around. 

Another really cool feature is the fact that the Smooth X and Xs can be operated hands free. If you set them up on a tripod, you can use gesture controls to start and stop the recording and start the tracking. This makes it so much easier to film by yourself. 

Verdict

Both the Smooth X and the Smooth Xs are amazing products that will help anyone that wants to make the best out of their phone camera. For me, the Smooth Xs’s design, opening and closing mechanism and the extra accessories make it a better option.  While they are not necessary, these three differences made a huge impact on how “smooth” the experience was.