Moza Mini MX is a new smartphone gimbal from Gudsen. Gudsen sent AndroidHeadlines a review unit of the new Moza Mini MX.
First of all, the main purpose of a smartphone gimbal is to help you stabilize your smartphone camera while shooting videos. This is what the Moza Mini MX from Gudsen is designed primarily for. And Gudsen doesn’t just make smartphone gimbals. They also make gimbals for professional cameras. So does the Moza Mini stack up as a great smartphone gimbal? Before we dive into the review, let’s take a look at what’s inside the box.
Moza Mini MX Unboxing
The outer sleeve has a picture of the gimbal with a smartphone and one without on the back in stowaway condition. On the sides are QR codes the packing list. Once past the sleeve, you can see the full product in front of the box. Lifting the flap shows the Moza Mini MX in the middle with a USB-C cable and strap on the right-hand side. On the left is the user manual. At the bottom is the accessory box which contains a mini tripod and a carrying pouch. In addition, there are a couple of cards – the first one is for contacting Gudsen. The second card is for a movie-making app which unfortunately is only for iOS.
Moza Mini MX Hardware impressions
At first glance, the grey gimbal looks to be about the size of my palm. The grey plastic has a nice matte texture on all the surfaces. There are no sharp edges or any obvious pinch points. The grip area has an even more pronounced textured surface to allow for better grip during use.
To use the gimbal two 90 degree twists are necessary. The first twist and click is towards the user or clockwise followed by a second twist and click. If it feels a bit scary that you need to use a bit of force, don’t worry, it is perfectly okay.
The two rotation motions at the top of the main arm can lock (pictures) but the bottom of the main arm does not. So don’t use too much force to try and lock that axis. In addition, the tab at the base of the arm (picture) is probably the most non-rounded surface on the whole device so just be a bit careful when twisting the gimbal open for use.
On the back of the main arm are instructions to download the MOZA Genie app in order to activate the gimbal for first use. The front of the grip has the power button, joystick, and two additional buttons presumably to control zoom. There is a USB-C charging port to the right-hand side along with a window to see the battery charge for the gimbal.
The trigger allows to controls the axes and switch between modes while shooting. At the bottom of the main arm is a screw thread for attaching the tripod.
MOZA logo is on the top of the main arm and shows up in a few other locations as well. The phone holder has marking and other instructions on it. With an advertised maximum payload capacity of 280 grams or 9.9 oz, the gimbal should be able to handle pretty much any large screen smartphone on the market today.
As far as the range of motion is concerned the Moza Mini MX can go up to 340 degrees in pan mode. The roll angle range is 300 degrees. And a tilt angle range of movement is up to 140 degrees.
Overall the construction is sturdy and non-flashy. Moza Mini MX is also foldable and lightweight – weighing under a pound. In addition, the gimbal also seems to have good weight distribution. And along with the attached tripod, you can get a better grip with two hands as well.
Moza Mini MX is fairly easy to set up, from taking it out of the pouch to start shooting should take about a minute or less with either the Moza Genie app or your smartphone native camera app.
Regardless of the OS platform it is relatively simple to connect the gimbal via Bluetooth. For the review, I connected the Moza Mini MX to a Realme 7 and Poco M3 as far as Android devices go. Similarly, there were no issues when connecting the gimbal to my iPhone Xr.
But as far as switching devices go, it is best to turn off Bluetooth on the other phones and only keep BT on the phone you actually plan to use on the gimbal. Once the connection is established there are no issues using the native camera app or the Moza Genie App.
Just note that switching devices can be a potential exercise in frustration as I learned during my review. However, this isn’t a complaint unique to the Moza Mini MX.
Using the gimbal with the MOZA Genie Android App
In order to use the gimbal for the first time, you will need the MOZA Genie App from the Google Play Store. Search for the app by name or scan the QR code on the back of the main arm of the Mini MX.
I used the Realme 7 and Poco M3 with the Moza Mini MX and the Moza Genie app. The reason being that these smartphones do not have built-in optical image stabilization. Another reason is that Poco M3 native camera app is supported by the gimbal but Realme 7 is not and requires the use of the Moza Genie app.
Once the app is installed, open it. You need to select ‘Allow all’ for camera, microphone, and album permissions in order for the app to work well. Now there are two ways to shoot videos with the gimbal. In this section, we will focus on using the Moza Genie app, and subsequently, we will talk about using the phone’s native app.
First things first. To switch the orientation of the camera between landscape and portrait, triple-click the Fn or Power button on the gimbal. Double-clicking the button also switches between video and photo modes.
The Power button is also the record button. The + and – buttons allow the selection of shooting modes and zoom adjustment. Just note that zoom only works with certain smartphones which you need to check compatibility with, otherwise you will manually adjust zoom using onscreen controls.
Gesture control is an easy way to start and stop recording. V or peace sign starts recording and opening and closing the palm stops recording video.
Tracking area can be set to keep the subject in focus within the app. And it works with any object/subject that is moving so you can take a video of a person or a ball being hit by a person as well. Quite nifty in my opinion.
Then there is Pro Mode where you can manually control the exposure and white balance. Other mode options include Time Lapse, Trajectory delay (Motion lapse), and Slow Motion.
Two important advantages of the Moza Genie App are the variety of built-in creative shooting templates. All you do is select a style and then follow the on-screen prompts/tips to create a fairly decent looking video. Additionally, there are built-in editing tools as well to help fine-tune the videos. These include support for live streaming on Facebook.
Using the Moza Mini MX with the native camera app
Moza Mini MX will work with the native camera app with quite a few smartphones. Just connect via Bluetooth, but remember to always install the phone in the holder first.
All the controls on the front are simple and intuitive. The on-off button, which is also the record button, and then the plus and minus buttons for zoom and mode switching. And then there’s the joystick which controls up, down, left, right, and even diagonal motion.
Toggling the plus and minus button allows you to change the FM or follow mode which is the default mode. Single press of Zoom + button goes to pan-tilt-follow mode. While single press of Zoom – goes to FPV or first-person mode. Double-clicking either the + or – button leads to maximum zoom in or out. For finer zoom control you need to click and hold the + or – buttons.
For Inception mode, single-click Zoom – button to get to FPV mode and then push the joystick left or right to control the rotation direction.
Finally, let’s quickly talk about the Smart Trigger. Click and holding the trigger locks the direction of the phone and comes in handy when POV mode is important. A single click of the trigger will follow the center of the shot by itself and a double click will exit that mode. Triple-click allows switching between front and rear cameras.
Some additional use case observations including battery life
Using the Moza Mini MX is easy with or without the tripod. But once the tripod is attached and is in a closed position it allows using the gimbal with two hands.
Additionally, you can hold the gimbal straight up by holding the tripod or you can hold a gimbal at an angle by holding the main hand grip even better. Of course, being able to grip the gimbal via two hands is definitely advantageous and provides better control. Another great feature is by twisting the main grip 90 degrees allows you to control the gimbal horizontally as well.
The onboard battery is 2000 mAh and under a balanced load, the advertised battery life is 20 hours. During my review time in over a week, I wasn’t able to drain the battery down completely. This despite shooting multiple video clips on and off each day of the review. Charging time is around 2.5 hours which is normal for a device with any Quick Charge circuitry.
So what are some of the downsides of this gimbal? The first thing is I wish that there were an extender to be able to raise the camera higher for a wider POV in selfie cam mode. Secondly, for certain shots, the angles could be a bit wider than what is feasible with the Moza Mini MX.
Also while Time Lapse mode is available, Motion Time Lapse is labeled as 'Trajectory delay' and not clearly spelled out in the app. So if you watch tutorial videos on YouTube videos or on Moza website they may not relate well to how this works on the Mini MX with the Moza Genie Android app. I hope that this is something that gets fixed via the next app update.
And the last quirk is that unlike other gimbals the mini tripod cannot be attached to the bottom of the grip but only at the base of the main arm. This has the advantage of allowing two-handed grip but then provides for reduced camera height for a wider POV.
Should you buy the Moza Mini MX?
I really like the portability of the Moza Mini MX. It's a lightweight gadget that folds into a small size and sets up very quickly for shooting video on the go. On top of that, the Moza Genie App is fairly easy to use and offers a lot of really great features for nice looking video clips for sharing on social media.
For the money, you get a great 3-axis gimbal, an Android app that doesn't skimp too much on features, and great battery life. In addition, at least for Samsung and Xiaomi smartphones, you get native camera app compatibility on par with iPhones which is a great bonus.
If you are searching for a smartphone gimbal with good Android support, the Moza Mini MX is definitely worth considering.
For a limited time till December 31, 2020, use coupon code MR9IYBGA to get $20 off the Moza Mini MX. With this coupon code, the Moza Mini MX is a great buy for only $69.