Freefly gained plenty of notoriety with the release of the Movi M10 back in 2013, which provided professional productions with a lighter and more compact alternative to Steadicam’s stabilization products. And they’ve moved on to become staples of films and TV shows since. This time around, the outfit wants to bring the same stabilization to smartphone filmmakers in the form of the Movi Smartphone Cinema Robot.
A camera stabilizer for iPhones, the handheld device allows you to shoot smooth and perfectly level videos using a nothing but a smartphone, all while adding a lot of cool cinematography tricks to your shooting arsenal. If you’re serious about getting the most of your iPhone’s camera, this thing can do the job like nothing else before it.
The Freefly Movi Smartphone Cinema Robot isn’t just an ordinary handheld gimbal like similar products in the market. Instead, they bill it as a “smart robot” that stabilizes your phone using three motors, each one controlling the tilt, pan, and roll motions, respectively. Yes, it uses motors that requires juice from a battery, so it’s another thing you’ll add to the list of gadgets you’ll need to charge regularly (and it maxes out at eight hours of operation on a single charge).
For the hassle, though, it truly gets you something that can raise your mobile filmmaking to a whole new level. During standard use (labeled as majestic mode in the app), all three motors work in tandem to keep the smartphone level and perfectly stable, canceling all your movements to create nothing but smooth footage. Using the app, you can program the motors to move your smartphone a specific way, which it will do repeatedly at the exact pace and duration you specify. This allows you to achieve moving shots in an automated manner, with your smartphone panning, tilting, and rolling all on its own.
The Freefly Movi Smartphone Cinema Robot also comes with an orbit mode that will keep a subject in frame the whole time while you move, automatically adjusting the smartphone’s position to ensure the lens is fixed on your subject. Seriously, imagine getting perfect wraparound footage without having to feel like you’re walking on egg shells the whole time. Of course, it also has a timelapse mode, as well as a “movilapse” mode, which is basically a timelapse while you’re moving and holding the stabilizer.
An L-shape form factor allows you to grip the stabilizer like any selfie stick, all while being compact enough to easily fit in most any bag. Physical buttons right on the grip can be programmed to trigger various actions on the app, so you can quickly start a shooting mode without having to access the menu on a touchscreen display. By default, the stabilizer is set to majestic mode, wherein all three motors are engaged to smoothen your shots, so you can dock any smartphone onto the clamp for perfectly stable video. If you want to access the other modes, however, you will need the app, which only works on iPhones, so you’ll only get the full functionality on an iOS device.