Each year more and more people are taking to their smartphones to capture high-quality video footage for their social media profiles and YouTube channels. This has resulted in a large number of people wanting to purchase a smartphone gimbal to help improve their image quality via the image stabilization that the gimbal uses. The smartphone gimbal stabilizer market has become a very competitive place due to this and more and more gimbals designed for use with the latest smartphones are being released all the time.
Now, in our opinion, the Zhiyun Smooth 4 is without a doubt the best smartphone gimbal available on the market at the time of writing. It has a massive share of the market while also having managed to earn one of the best reputations around so we doubt that its growth will slow or that it will be knocked off the top spot any time soon.
That said though, over the last few months we have noticed a steadily increasing number of people reaching out about a dedicated Freevision Vilta M review due to its recent price reduction from around $150 down to around $100 depending on the retailer you purchase it from. There is no doubt in our mind that the gimbal was massively overpriced at the $150 price point but its price reduction has definatley made it much more competitive.
Now, due to the Freevision Vilta M initially being overpriced when released onto the market, its initial growth was slow but a few popular YouTubers have made no secret of the fact that it is their go-to handheld gimbal of choice. This has helped the Vilta M take off in popularity and it has managed to earn itself a decent reputation within the community that is steadily growing.
After getting off to a rocky start, we definatley feel that the Vilta M does have potential but it is definatley going to be an uphill battle to try and expand its market share. Its slow growth on release essentially left its main competition to grow quickly due to being so much cheaper than the Vilta M while offering similar or better performance. Additionally, Freevision is a relatively new brand to the gimbal space going up against the giants in the space such as Zhiyun and DJI but in all fairness to them, we think they have made one of the best hybrid gimbals on the market for action cameras.
Performance And Functionality
The Vilta M has a maximum load capacity of 0.46 pounds meaning that it is able to support the vast majority of modern smartphones without issue when it comes to payload weight. Its main restriction is the 3.25-inch limitation on phone length but the majority of smartphones from brands like Apple, Samsung, and Huawei all fall within this length restriction with the newest iPhone just managing to get in the smartphone mount on the gimbal head.
This ensures that you are able to use the vast majority of modern smartphones on the market at the time of writing without issue. In addition to this, there is an included action camera mounting plate with the gimbal accessories that also allows you to mount a number of popular action cameras to the Freevision Vilta M too including the majority of the GoPro action camera range.
In our opinion, one of the main strengths of the Vilta M is its excellent maximum battery life of up to seventeen hours! At the time of writing, this absolutely blows the competing gimbals at this price point out of the water by having an additional seven hours over the Zhiyun Smooth 4. This ensures that you are able to go out for your day and capture all of the video footage that you require without running out of power between charging opportunities.
As most people who decide to invest in a gimbal for their smartphone are doing so to try an improve the image quality they can capture for social media or YouTube it is important to note that the super-smooth footage can really make you stand out. With it being so difficult to grow social media profiles or YouTube channels in this extremely competitive day and age, having the best possible footage can really help you stand out against your competition.
The Freevision Vilta M also has a number of advantages over many competing smartphone gimbals at this price point in the market due to its various supported gimbal modes. These help you to effortlessly improve the image quality of your video footage at the press of a button. The supported gimbal modes include smart follow, self graphing, auto timing, motion time-lapse, manual mode, and panoramic mode. Although the usefulness of these gimbal modes is going to depend on what you need the gimbal for, they can actually help improve the quality of your footage.
When it comes to performance and functionality, we feel that Freevision have done an excellent job with the Vilta M and it is just a shame that it was initially priced so highly making it fall behind the competition in regards to its market share. We are confident that the performance of the Vilta M will be able to meet the needs of most of our readers and ensure you are recording the best smartphone videos possible.
User Interface And Control System
The simplicity, ease of use, and efficiency of the system on the Freevision Vilta M ensure that even if this is your first gimbal and you have never used a gimbal before, you are able to get the most out of it with minimal time investment. We would be confident in saying that the vast majority of our readers will be able to take the Vilta M out of the box and work out the basics of the system within minutes and able to learn the rest while recording.
On the flip side of this though, if you know that you are going to be wanting to customize the gimbal settings a whole bunch then the Zhiyun Smooth 4 is probably the way forward for you. Its control interface offers much more customization than the Freevision Vilta M but the usefulness of this will depend on what you are actually planning to use your gimbal for.
On the flip side of this though, the app is free, offers some decent features like wireless remote control, gimbal settings customization, and a few other things. Now, chances are, you will never use the remote control anyway as your smartphone will likely be mounted to the gimbal anyway but the gimbal settings access panel can really save you a bunch of time rather than doing it via the control interface.
As we mentioned, Freevision has designed the Vilta M to be as simple and easy to use as possible due to many people in the target market for the gimbal being first-time gimbal owners. Thankfully, the balancing system on the unit is as simple as possible and allows you to quickly and easily balance the gimbal with minimal effort on your part.
Balancing the gimbal is usually the main worry people have when purchasing their first gimbal but there really is no need to worry when it comes to the Vilta M. As the gimbal is primarily designed for use with various smartphones that are very lightweight, even if you somehow don’t manage to balance the correctly, there is a solid chance that the Vilta M will still be able to provide you with the image stabilization that you need.
This is one of the main advantages of these smaller, lighter gimbals designed for use with such lightweight units. The expected payload is so light that it is able to work efficiently even if the gimbal is not balanced perfectly so there is no need to worry about the whole balancing process.
Build Quality And Design
The build quality of the Freevision Vilta M is where is it able to shine though. The gimbal has one of the best build quality of all the smartphone gimbals on the market right now and not only is it nice and robust allowing it to take a few bumps during use but it is also surprisingly lightweight too. This ensures that you are getting the best of both worlds and the small size of the gimbal coupled with its lightweight makes it the ideal smartphone travel stabilizer too.
One point where many gimbals fall short in this day and age is their handle. Depending on what you are planning to use your gimbal for you may be holding it for hours at a time. Thankfully, Freevision has planned ahead with the Vilta M and predicted this and ensured that the handle on the gimbal is as comfortable as possible.
It is rare that we see a gimbal with such a solid build quality these days from a brand other than DJI or Zhiyun but Freevision really has done a great job of putting the Vilta M togeather. Especially when you factor in its high capacity battery that can provide up to seventeen hours of battery life as high capacity batteries are usually extremely heavy.
That concludes our ultimate Freevision Vilta M review and although it is a solid little gimbal that has a number of independent reviews online that you can read from third-party users of the gimbal, we feel that the Zhiyun Smooth 4 is still the better option. Although the Vilta M has a much better maximum battery life, the Smooth 4 has slightly better image stabilization and general performance pushing it ahead.
Many people simply carry a power bank with them these days and top both their phone and gimbal up while out and about as required helping to extend the battery life of their devices. Due to this, we have to go with the best performing gimbal and we just feel that the Smooth 4 will make the better addition to your camera accessories at this point in time.