First-Look Review of the Flowmotion Smartphone Stabilizer

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Modern smartphones have put a Hollywood-grade camera in your pocket. Based on video quality alone, consumers should have no problem producing their professional video content without having to purchase thousands of dollars of equipment. Unfortunately, video quality isn’t the only thing that matters.

With the exception of the Blair Witch Project, video stability is a major part of every motion picture to grace the big screen. Built in optical stabilization definitely helps create smoother video, but there are serious limitations to this technology. It was never designed for people who use their phone while moving. Instead, it’s designed to allow longer shutter times while shooting at night.

A camera stabilization system is designed to help keep the camera steady, even when you are not. Most of them follow the same basic principal. The camera goes inside of a mount, which is allowed to move freely within a large enclosure. This enclosure is what you hold on to. As you move around, the camera is held in position to enable smooth, cinematic movements.

Early camera stabilizers used a special harness that was strapped to the operator. The camera was suspended, and used gyroscope technology to keep movements within a specific tolerance. These systems were large, expensive, and required advanced training to use. In spite of these problems, the technology changed Cinema as we know it. The Glidecam, released in 1991, was considered to be the pinnacle of technology. If you were to go back in time, Glidecam users likely wouldn’t believe how far this technology has come.

The Flowmotion is one competitor in a new batch of personal camera stabilization systems. The manufacturer has produced some pretty impressive looking video samples, demonstrating how a shaky mess can be turned into buttery smooth video without any effort. It looks to be a simple, affordable accessory that can completely change the way you shoot hand-held video. Is this the next revolution in consumer video gear? To find out, we decided to try it out for ourselves.

First Look

At first glance, it’s hard to see what’s so revolutionary about the Flowmotion. It looks like a hand-held tripod with a cellphone mount built right in. In reality, this is just a very compact version of the popular gimbal-style video stabilizer.

There are three separate components. On the bottom, you’ve got a standard handle. This handle can be removed, allowing you to mount the Flowmotion wherever you choose. On the other end you’ll find a clip-on smartphone mount. In the middle are three flat discs connected with L brackets. These discs are actually bearings that allow the camera to turn on two different axes. One tilts the camera up and down, the other pans left and right. In theory, you can move the handle around in any direction you choose. The two bearings can keep the camera pointed in the same direction, effectively cancelling out movement.

Flowmotion ONE


What stands out about the Flowmotion is it’s adaptability. By default, it looks like any other compact gimbal. However, all of the bearings can be collapsed to make an extremely compact mount. It folds up to about the size of a wallet, and can be kept in your back pocket.

Most users will use the attached handle while filming. However, this handle can be removed if you want to get more creative. The bolt that attaches the handle to the base is a standard tripod mount. This allows you to attach the gimbal to any other commercially available camera mount. You can attach it to your bike, a vehicle, or even your helmet.

The smartphone mount will take any standard smartphone up to the size of an iPhone 7 plus. Flowmotion also makes an optional Go Pro mount, so you can take your favorite action cam with you.

Flowmotion ONE

Operational Modes

Motion is a form of input. This input can be either intentional, or unintentional. You can move your hand slowly from left to right, panning the video across the landscape. Alternately, maybe you’re running while filming. The up and down movement of your legs causes the video to bounce around. To us, making this distinction is easy. But to a computer, it’s not as easy to separate these movements.

While filming a baseball game, you might jerk the camera to the left to capture a home run. How is the stabilizer to know if this was intentional, or just an accidental movement? Flowmotion’s solution is to provide you with three separate modes to choose from.

Lock mode is the most powerful option. Any motion, both horizontal and vertical, will be compensated for. Your smartphone remains in a fixed position, with all movement of the handle restricted as much as possible.

Flowmotion ONE

In Pan mode, the smartphones tilt is locked. You won’t be able to move it up or down. If you try, it will compensate to keep the video level. You can, however, turn it from left to right. This mode works very well while running. The up and down motion from your legs hitting the ground is cancelled out, but you can still turn the camera in either direction.

The most flexible mode to choose from is Pan & Tilt mode. In this mode, the Flowmotion isn’t considering the direction of movement, but rather the intensity. Smooth movement in any direction is allowed. But if movement is quick or jerky, the gimbal will compensate to keep the video looking smooth.

In our tests, we found all modes to work exactly as described. The Pan + Tilt mode is best used in a candid environment. You can respond to anything that happens, and your video won’t behave unpredictably. Lock mode is best when you’re shooting a fixed subject. You can move around the subject, and the video will stay smooth.

Pan mode is best used when you’re in the center of the action. You can move left to right, but your own personal movement is cancelled out.

Flowmotion ONE


The Flowmotion isn’t entirely stand-alone. By using the free Flowmotion app, it can sync up with your smartphone and utilize the accelerometers to improve accuracy. This software has the added benefit of acting as your video production suite, giving you more control over your work flow.

Flowmotion ONE

The most useful feature in the software is the ability to change the gimbal mode while shooting. You’re also able to change video settings like contrast, color balance, brightness, and clarity. These features are a little more advanced than the filters you get on Instagram, and give experienced users the ability to get the exact look you want.

Once you’ve got your video exactly the way you like, the Flowmotion app gives you a number of ways to store and share your video. You can broadcast it live to Facebook or YouTube with the touch of a button. If you’re saving the files for later use, you’re able to categorize and arrange them to make the editing process simpler. The app is an all-inclusive video editing suite, adding a ton of value to an already impressive package.

Flowmotion ONE


Because the Flowmotion uses your smartphone’s sensors to improve accuracy, the GoPro attachment doesn’t function as well as the standalone unit. For action cams, we recommend using a gimbal that has these advanced sensors built right in. This provides consistent performance across all devices, so all users can experience the full range of benefits. The downside is that these types of stabilizers tend to be much more expensive, so for now you’re best off using a smartphone.

Final Verdict

It amazes us how much better video can look when it’s stable. If you thought that optical image stabilization was impressive, this is the next level. When combined with a powerful smartphone, the video you produce is good enough to upload straight onto YouTube.

Flowmotion ONE

While this isn’t the only smartphone stabilizer on the market, there are a few key advantages to this model. For starters, it’s the most compact option we’ve come across. It only weighs 300 grams, and can fold up to fit right into your pocket. Even if you already use a high end stabilizer, the Flowmotion is a great addition to your portable rig.

For us, the icing on the cake is the digital video editing suite. Being able to set your video options directly from your phone can save you a ton of time in post processing. Once you save a video file, some data is lost. So tweaking your settings while shooting produces the best possible results and compensates for the limitations of the smartphone platform. This isn’t going to compete with a four-figure professional rig, but this is definitely as close as you’ll get.

17 thoughts on “First-Look Review of the Flowmotion Smartphone Stabilizer”

  1. Have there been side-by-side performance tests with other gimbals already on the market like the Dobot Rigiet or DJI Osmo? I’d be interested in the pros/cons comparisons.

  2. Warning: Think TWICE before buying this unit.

    This product was supposed to be delivered in April 2017. Almost a year later and not a SINGLE unit has been delivered to Kickstarter backers or pre-sale customers. The Flow Motion team will not commit to a delivery date when they will ship all 5508 Kickstarter backers will receive their units. They refuse to offer refunds.

    • THANKS! I nearly bought this, but checked their Kickstarter and Instagram. All the negative comments are worrying. On Facebook they haven’t posted since january, and people are saying they are deleting messages from people. Totally unprofessional.

    • Just got mine today, I think I was early in the queue. It is very nice. With this and the camera on the Pixel 2 I’m getting shots that compare respectably with the ones I get at work with a DJI Ronin and Canon 5D.

      It took way longer than the target delivery dates but from their updates and response to comments I always had the impression that they were working their asses off to get it right.

  3. Don’t buy this product.

    I am backer number 67 and was told the ONE would be shipped out end of last month. Since I didn’t get an update. I reached out to them on Monday and received an email a day later saying they are shipping the first 100 backers that EVENING and keep an eye for an email with the shipping information. No email was received so I emailed them again on Wednesday and received an email this morning saying they have an unexpected delay (as I have heard 324234234 times) and shipping won’t happen until April 9th. I have asked for my money back but they will not give me a refund saying that kickstarter funding is considered a reward and not a purchase. Absolute bullshit.

    To all the people currently backing this product or consider purchasing it. Don’t hold your breath and DO NOT BUY, they are not creating anything except empty promises. I will be contacting my credit card company and asking for a charge back. I urge you to do the same

  4. DO NOT BUY — I ordered this product in July 2017 with the promise it would be received in August 2017, then the excuses started. We’re shipping in September, then November, then January, then February, then March, then May, now July – a full year later.

    It is now May 2018. I just received another excuse:

    2018-05-02: “We’re happy to announce that we’ve shipped the first batch of orders this week to our Kickstarter Backers. Production will ramp up over the following weeks and we’ll soon be shipping over a thousand orders of FlowMotion ONE each week. There have been some kinks, but we’re excited to have production and assembly running smooth.

    While shipping has started, previous delays have put the production of your FlowMotion ONE behind schedule. Pre-orders will start shipping late June and we expect to ship all pre-orders by the end of July.

    We’ll ship ‘first come first served’ and notify you of exact shipping dates in good time before we ship your order.”

    We sincerely apologize for the delay. But we’re very excited to have a functional and sustainable production line and we’ll work hard to speed things up to get your order shipped as fast as possible.”

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH – Get your money back if you ordered this.

  5. Do any of these types of projects actually deliver scything?
    I note that the Plux PowerMat alternative is going the same way as this!

  6. Ordered mine back in April 2017 and finally got it last week. Well worth the wait. They did work their butts off to get a great product out.

  7. do not buy. i ordered in May 2018 and have received excuse after excuse as to why mine hasn’t shipped. it is now May 2019 and just got yet another email saying they won’t ship or offer refunds until August, as they have financial problems and need to raise more capital. run.

  8. I ordered in November of 2018. This is what I was emailed today.

    Today, with a heavy heart, we must announce that FlowMotion is shutting down and we are not able to pay out refunds or deliver the remaining FlowMotion ONE’s.

    Since the beginning, our mission has been to build the world’s best stabilizers, and enable people to create professional videos with their smartphones. The team has worked tirelessly, and successfully developed, produced, and shipped thousands of products all over the world.

    However, due to the complexity of the product, we had to overcome countless production problems that caused delays and extra costs. This put the company in a tough financial situation, despite always keeping salaries and administrative costs at an absolute minimum.

    In order to accommodate the extra costs, we have explored every possible fundraising option. Even with the future potential of FlowMotion, we could not secure the necessary investment. Without funding, and no money left in the company, it is impossible to move forward.

    Even though we are proud of the team and everything we accomplished, we are also disappointed and emotionally exhausted. We know this is extremely disappointing for you, and we want you to know that we did everything we could to save the company. We sincerely apologize that we were not able to deliver your order.

    – The FlowMotion Team


    What happens now?

    At the time of writing this email, all employees have been let go and a standard bankruptcy procedure has been initiated. However, we will try to be available online in the next couple of days and do our best to answer any questions you might have. You can reach us at


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