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Insta360 Stream

9 min read


One of the best cell gimbal you should buy, due to excellent monitoring expertise and normal all-round person friendliness.


  • Greatest monitoring we’ve seen on a smartphone gimbal
  • Small, foldable design
  • Wonderful battery life
  • Characteristic-rich companion app


  • UKRRP: £145
  • USARRP: $159
  • EuropeRRP: €169
  • CanadaRRP: CA$215
  • AustraliaRRP: AU$239

  • Smartphone stabilisationEfficient stabilisation for any smartphone (inside sure measurement/weight parameters)

  • Deep Monitor 3.0AI-assisted topic monitoring with the flexibility to reacquire obscured topics

  • Excessive-capacity battery2900mAh battery with 12-hour life and energy financial institution characteristic


It’s a well-worn maxim amongst photographers: the most effective digital camera is the one you may have with you. If a state of affairs arises wherein you’re feeling compelled to take a photograph (or, maybe extra seemingly nowadays, report a video), any digital camera, regardless of how good or dangerous, is healthier than none in any respect. 

For many of us, this “any digital camera” means a smartphone, which is able to virtually all the time be in your pocket, primed for motion after we spot one thing that should be captured for posterity. So why not make that digital camera even higher by mounting it on one thing that retains it supremely secure, fantastically stage and in a position to observe transferring topics like a pocket-sized Steadicam.

That’s the thought behind cell gimbals just like the Insta360 Stream (and earlier than it, DJI’s Osmo Cellular vary). This can be a foldable 3-axis gimbal designed to make life simpler for smartphone vloggers and content material creators regardless of the place they’re – and regardless of being Insta360’s first foray into the gimbal market, it’s coming with a really stable characteristic and spec record, to not point out a worth that received’t scare your financial institution steadiness to dying (actually, at launch it prices precisely the identical because the DJI OM 6).

With all that thought of, might the Insta360 Stream be the most effective cell gimbal in the marketplace? We spent just a few days in its firm with a view to discover out.

The Insta360 Flow unfolded and in-use
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  • Foldable and moveable design
  • Magnet clamp makes mounting straightforward and fast
  • Constructed-in tripod and selfie stick

There’s no level in proudly owning a cell gimbal if it’s so cumbersome or annoying to deploy that you find yourself leaving it at residence. Insta360 understands this, and has clearly put lots of effort into the Stream’s design. For starters, it’s light-weight (below 400g in complete) and compact, folding right down to an eminently pocketable 79.6 x 162.1 x 36mm.

When it’s go time (or ought to that be Stream time?), you possibly can mount your cellphone in moments due to the magnetic clamp (extra on that beneath) and unfold the gimbal arm to its usable place in a single twist; it’ll even energy on routinely on the similar time. It’s a far cry from the convoluted and fiddly setup of older gimbals, and higher even than the DJI OM 5 and 6, which had been already fairly quick to deploy.

The magnetic clamp is an thought borrowed from latest fashions within the DJI OM sequence, and works in precisely the identical method: it’s a spring-loaded clamp that locks across the again and sides of your smartphone, and may snap into place on the highest of the gimbal by means of magnets. It’s safe sufficient to carry telephones as much as 300g in weight, between 6.9 and 10mm thick and 64 and 84mm large, and I by no means felt like my iPhone 8 was in any hazard of toppling off.

The deal with is small (actually I think customers with bigger palms will discover it just a little too small) however you possibly can pull out each a 215mm extending selfie stick and a mini tripod (the latter of which doubles as a helpful grip extender too – excellent news for these bigger handed customers). It additionally has area for an everyday tripod mount thread on the underside in addition to a chilly shoe for attaching a third-party exterior microphone.

The Insta360 Flow folded and not in use
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Construct high quality is great too: all the things feels sturdy sufficient for frequent use, each when folded and unfolded. The Stream is generally manufactured from exhausting plastic, however there’s a rubber sleeve on the deal with to assist grip, whereas the gimbal arm itself has a clear cowl exhibiting off the battery and a number of the circuitry – which is fairly engaging in my view, and aesthetically marks this gimbal out from its rivals.

Insta360 has tried to maintain bodily controls easy, integrating virtually all the things – energy button, report button, mode button, handbook motion thumb stick – right into a single round contact panel on the deal with; you possibly can swipe your finger across the fringe of the panel to change between the three gimbal modes, though I discovered this a bit fiddly and would have most popular a button. This panel can also be encircled by a wheel that may be jogged left or proper to have interaction your cellphone digital camera’s zoom perform. The one different management is a set off on the again of the deal with that works in the identical method because the OM sequence’ equal: maintain it to maintain the cellphone pointing in a single path; double-tap to re-centre the gimbal; triple-tap to flip the digital camera 180-degrees in order that it faces the other way.

It’s refreshingly straightforward to manage when you’ve had a couple of minutes to familiarise your self with it, and the remainder of the controls are all contained inside the Insta360 app.

App and monitoring

  • Works with Insta360 cell app
  • AI-assisted topic monitoring
  • Gesture controls for solo filming

The Stream works with the identical Insta360 smartphone app as the corporate’s motion cameras just like the Insta360 X3, Insta360 One RS and Insta360 Go 2, however even in the event you’re not conversant in these you’re unlikely to have many issues attending to grips with it. As soon as put in and paired along with your cellphone and Stream, it’ll helpfully drop a notification in your cellphone display each time the gimbal is switched on. Simply faucet it to instantly open the app and get began.

The Insta360 app used in conjunction with the Insta360 Flow
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The UI is just like that of most smartphone digital camera apps, with a big shutter button within the backside centre and beneath it an array of capturing modes that may be swiped by means of horizontally: Pano Photograph; Photograph; Video; Timelapse; TimeShift; Gradual Movement; Dolly Zoom; and Stay Mode. Most of those are self-explanatory: Pano Photograph is an routinely shot and stitched panorama, TimeShift is a pace ramped video sequence, Dolly Zoom helps you swiftly recreate the brilliantly jarring zoom impact pioneered by Alfred Hitchcock in Vertigo and Stay Mode is stay streaming video.

The app additionally options handbook and automated capturing modes, in addition to controls for a lot of the gimbal settings (though the bodily buttons on the gimbal itself are in all probability much less fiddly than this methodology) and Shot Genie – Insta360’s built-in tutorials for capturing various kinds of sequences. Shot Genie is just a little inflexible and didactic for my tastes, because it actually tells you the place to level to digital camera and in what order to take your photographs, however for novices searching for a stable grounding within the fundamentals of shot planning and execution for creating narrative sequences, it could possibly be fairly instructive and illuminating.

As is customary at present, the app additionally options built-in modifying and sharing performance, though there’s nothing to cease customers exporting their movies to a third-party editor and sharing stuff manually. The app’s AI-assisted Shot Lab and FlashCut modes are spectacular although: simply tag a few of your favorite photographs, enter some parameters and it’ll whip up a satisfactory edited sequence full with snazzy transitions and a backing observe, all in a matter of seconds.

The true meat of the Stream’s enchantment lies in its monitoring capabilities, and these are by a way the most effective I’ve seen on a cell gimbal. The DJI OM 6 does a superb job of monitoring topics however loses its lock-on as quickly as they exit of sight; if the topic reappears, the monitoring received’t resume. The Stream’s Deep Monitor 3.0 tech doesn’t have this downside, and can reacquire its topics virtually each time, leaving the person free to focus on necessary issues like not falling over. It’s very spectacular and marks the Stream out from its rivals.

The compact control wheel on the Insta360 Flow
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Stabilisation and efficiency

  • 12-hour battery life with energy financial institution perform
  • 4 gimbal motion modes
  • Wonderful 3-axis stabilisation

The opposite factor that marks the gadget out is its battery life. Regardless of its compact measurement, there’s a 2900mAh battery constructed into the Stream and it provides it an excellent 12-hours of battery life on a full cost – double what you get with the DJI OM 5 and OM 6. Maybe simply as spectacular is the truth that the Stream can be utilized as an influence financial institution: a USB-C port on the gimbal arm allows you to prime up your cellphone from the Stream’s battery – even when you’re utilizing the gimbal to seize images or video.

The gimbal itself works like a attraction: it’s sensible at maintaining your cellphone stage, secure and easy. It options 4 modes: Auto; Comply with; Pan Comply with; and FPV. Comply with responds shortly to your individual actions, Pan Comply with is designed for horizontal capturing and retains the cellphone extra stage, and FPV will tilt and pan aggressively virtually as in the event you’re flying a drone. Auto, in the meantime, analyses your actions and selects the most effective mode of the three accordingly; for essentially the most half it really works properly, however as you turn into extra conversant in methods to use the Stream, you’ll in all probability need to manually select your mode previous to filming.

Newest offers

Must you purchase it?

You need the most effective cell gimbal: The Stream’s AI-assisted monitoring expertise and lengthy battery life make it the most effective cell gimbal round.

You already personal a good cell gimbal: Don’t chuck out your DJI OM 5 or 6 for the Stream. Whereas it’s higher, the variations in all probability don’t warrant a serious money outlay.

Last Ideas

Provided that that is Insta360’s first ever smartphone gimbal, we had been anticipating to come across some teething points. We by no means did. The Stream is closely impressed by DJI’s OM vary, it’s true, however it manages to enhance upon it due to its excellent Deep Monitor 3.0 topic monitoring, battery life, energy financial institution perform and single-action unfolding – and all on the similar worth because the DJI OM 6. On the time of writing, we expect that is the most effective cell gimbal you should buy.

How we take a look at

We take a look at each gimbal for at the least every week earlier than delivering a last verdict. The place attainable, we are going to take a look at every gimbal with an iPhone and an Android cellphone.

Used for multiple week


Does the Insta360 Stream work with Android?

Sure, Insta360 Stream can pair with each iPhones and Android handsets.

Does the Insta360 Stream work with MagSafe?

Whereas the Insta360 Stream does use a magnetic clasp to carry your smartphone in place, it doesn’t use Apple’s MagSafe expertise.

Are you able to plug an exterior mic into the Insta360 Stream?

There’s a chilly shoe on the Insta360 Stream the place you possibly can mount an exterior mic, and a USB-C enter port to determine a wired connection.









Launch Date


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As a part of this mission, every time we assessment a product we ship the corporate a sequence of questions to assist us gauge and make clear the influence the gadget has on the surroundings.

You’ll be able to see an in depth breakdown of the questions we ask and why in our sustainability data web page.

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