If you’re after a gimbal for your phone, DJI’s OSMO Mobile 3 and the newer OSMO Mobile 4 are two of the best in the business. But which is best?
DJI cut its teeth making some of the best drones money can buy. But a few years back, the company began broaching out into other areas – specifically phone accessories. And one its most popular was the ultra-popular OSMO Mobile 3, a gimbal that works with iPhone and Android phones.
The OSMO Mobile 3 was a significant release because it brought high-end gimbal features, usually very expensive, to the market for a much lower price – less than $120/£120.
And for a proper camera gimbal, that is incredible value for money.
However, the OSMO Mobile 3 has now been replaced by a new model, the OSMO Mobile 4. But what is the difference? How do the OSMO Mobile 3 and the OSMO Mobile 4 compare? What’s new? And which, from the perspective of 2021, should you buy? Let’s investigate…
OSMO Mobile 3 vs OSMO Mobile 4 – How They’re Different
For the most part, either option is going to be a great addition to your video-recording endeavours. But there are some choice differences between the OSMO Mobile 3 and the OSMO Mobile 4 that might sway you one way or another.
Me? I’d happily use the OSMO Mobile 3; it is cheaper ($119) and it works just as well as the OSMO Mobile 4. The OSMO Mobile 4 is just that little bit fancier with respect to how it is designed. But it is more expensive ($149)
Let’s look at each gimbal’s features first, then we can start getting a clearer picture of how they’re different.
OSMO Mobile 3 Features
- Locking Clamp System
- Loaded Weight – 200g
- Battery Life – 15 Hours
- DJI MIMO App
- 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilization
- ActiveTrack 3.0
- DJI MIMO App
OSMO Mobile 4 Features
- Magnetic Mounting System
- Loaded Weight – 230g
- Battery Life – 15 Hours
- DJI MIMO App
- Roll Axis – 50º More Than OSMO Mobile 3
- Clone Pan System Photo
- ActiveTrack 3.0
- 3×3 Pano
How They’re Similar
Both the OSMO Mobile 3 and the OSMO Mobile 4 look very similar, although the OSMO Mobile 4 is slight smaller. Its dimensions are as follows: 276 x 119.6 x 103.6mm whereas the OSMO Mobile 3’s are 285 x 125 x 103mm.
The difference is slight and, physically, the industrial design is more or less identical on both models. They both have the same battery life – 15 hours in ideal conditions – and the both run the same DJI MIMI app.
How The OSMO Mobile 4 is Different To OSMO Mobile 3
The first – and arguably the most significant – difference is that the OSMO Mobile 4 can handle bigger and heavier phones. The OSMO Mobile 4 can hold up to 230g in weight, whereas the OSMO Mobile 3 could only do 200g.
Why is this important?
Well, if you use Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro Max or the iPhone 12 Pro Max, the phone will not work with the OSMO Mobile 3 – it’ll be too heavy. The iPhone 11 Pro Max weighs 228g.
This means if you use a larger phone – like the iPhone 12 Pro Max or iPhone 11 Pro Max – you will need go with the OSMO Mobile 4, as it is designed to work with heavier, larger phones. And phones these days are all pretty heavy and large.
New Magnetic Clamp System on OSMO Mobile 4
With the OSMO Mobile 3, you attached your phone to the gimbal via a clamping system. It was fine and, providing your phone was under 200g, it worked great, holding your phone nice and secure.
The OSMO Mobile 4, however, does away with this clamp-style system in favor of a magnetic clamp system which makes attaching and removing your phone from the OSMO Mobile 4 a hell of a lot quicker – literally seconds versus the 30-60 seconds it takes on the OSMO Mobile 3.
You have to add the provided magnetic clasp you your phone before attaching it to the OSMO Mobile 4. But it is easy to remove when you’re not using the OSMO Mobile 4. Is this method better than the OSMO Mobile 3’s? I think so, yeah – it is quicker and it also allows for more axis roll.
You Get An Additional 50º Roll Axis
Thanks to its magnetic clamp system and some tweaks to the design, the OSMO Mobile 4 has a wider roll axis range than the OSMO Mobile 3. And it is a pretty significant difference; the OSMO Mobile 4 has 50º more roll than the OSMO Mobile 3.
Improved Intelligent Features
The OSMO Mobile 4 also features a bunch of new shooting modes that you do not get on the OSMO Mobile 3. Here’s a breakdown of what’s new with respect to intelligent shooting modes.
- CloneMe Pano – This feature is exclusive to the OSMO Mobile 4 and how it works is fairly simple. Using the system’s pano model, you can essentially take multiple shots of yourself in the same location, but in different places. Hence the name CloneMe Mode.
- Improved Time Lapse – With the OSMO Mobile 4, you get more time lapse features, including Timelapse, Motionlapse, and Hyperlapse. You can even create time lapse videos while moving with the OSMO Mobile 4 which makes it great for filming big runs, bike rides, and hikes.
- 3×3 Pano – The OSMO Mobile 4 will also combine 9 images into one super-wide-angle shot for you. And the best part? There’s no processing required – it is all handled by the OSMO Mobile 4 gimbal and the DJI MIMO app. If you like shooting BIG landscapes, this is a really cool feature.
- 240º Pano – The OSMO Mobile 4 now also supports 240º pano shots which, again, is great for capturing shots of huge, expansive landscapes and mountain ranges.
- Slow Motion Mode – The last but equally cool feature of the OSMO Mobile 4 is its ability to capture slow motion video. This can be used in a variety of settings from shooting wildlife to filming skateboarding. As with most things related to AV, you’re only limited by your imagination.
Is The OSMO Mobile 4 Worth It?
For an extra $30, I think the OSMO Mobile 4 is definitely worth it – view latest deals for it here. You get quite a few different shooting modes and features and, most importantly, support for larger, heavier phones.
This, for me, is the #1 reason why I’d be inclined to go with the OSMO Mobile 4 over the OSMO Mobile 3. Phones are not getting any lighter, so if you plan on using the OSMO Mobile 4 for a long time, you’ll want to future-proof it by ensuring it works with your next few phones.
Both the OSMO Mobile 4 and OSMO Mobile 3 serve up some really incredible value for money, however, and you’ll be able to shoot really amazing video and images using them. As I said, I’d happily recommend the cheaper OSMO Mobile 3 but you have to use a phone that weighs less than 200g.
And most modern phones do not – and this is definitely a problem.
Fortunately, when it comes to the difference in pricing for the OSMO Mobile 4 and the OSMO Mobile 3, you’re not looking at hundreds of dollars – it’s $30/£30 extra for the newer model.
My advice? Take the $30 hit and get the OSMO Mobile 4. It has more features, a better clamping system, and it supports heavier phones. In this respect, it’s a no brainer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is The DJI OSMO 4 Worth It?
If you use a larger phone and you want access to more shooting modes and intelligent features, the OSMO Mobile 4 is the one to go for. It has better support for heavier phones (230g versus 200g on the OSMO 3) and it has quite a few new intelligent shooting mode options that set it apart from its predecessor. And it only costs $30 extra.
Q: What App Does The DJI OSMO 4 Use?
Like OSMO Mobile 3, the newer OSMO Mobile 4 uses the same DJI MIMO App for creating and editing image and video captured using the gimbal.
Q: Is The DJI OSMO 3 Worth Buying?
The DJI OSMO 3 is still definitely worth buying. But there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind. The most important of which is the DJI OSMO 3’s weight restrictions: it can only handle phones that weigh up to 200g, so if you’re using a larger phone like the iPhone 11 Pro Max, you’ll need to go with the DJI OSMO 4 as the DJI OSMO 3 cannot hold its weight.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.