I never thought in a million years that I’d be that girl walking around with a selfie stick.

Now I admire those girls. 

It takes a ton of confidence to walk around with one of those sticks talking to yourself. 

As a first-time selfie stick user, looking for a simple way to shoot content for my site and eventually for YouTube, I did a ton of research about which would be the perfect investment for me.

I ended up purchasing the Zhiyun Smooth XS because of its many unique features, like a two-axis gimbal and a stabilizing app. 

It intrigued me to see if it was as fabulous as a lot of the YouTube reviews led me to believe.

They all made using the Zhiyun Smooth XS look so effortless, but how easy would it be for a first-timer like me to use?

Here’s my Zhiyun Smooth XS review to give the techy and non-techy among you a look at just how easy this tricked out stabilized selfie stick is to use.

Overview of the Zhiyun Smooth XS

Zhiyun, founded in 2015, is a leading global manufacturer of gimbals and stabilizers for cell phones and cameras.

The brand bills their Smooth XS as the ultimate stabilized selfie stick that’s perfect for influencers and YouTubers, and anyone purchasing their first selfie stick. 

It’s a toned-down two-axis gimbal that’s a cheaper version of a typical three-axis smartphone stabilizer. 

With the two-axis stabilizer, you get the ability for rotational movement, and a balanced movement from left to right. The only loss is the ability for it to tilt up and down.

It also has built-in controls that allow you to control the motion of the camera, create stabilized videos, program tracking, and edit footage for social media.

This is a step above the basic selfie stick, and a step below some more expensive three-axis smartphone stabilizers.

At the time of writing, the Smooth XS comes in at about half the price of the popular handheld three-axis smartphone gimbal, the DJI OM 4, making it an interesting option for first-time gimbal users like myself.

Zhiyun Smooth XS Selfie Stick

The Zhiyun Smooth XS selfie stick is lightweight, easy to use, and best suited for beginner gimbal users. While its two-axis gimbal doesn't always lead to a stable shot, it's a step above a basic selfie stick at an attractive price point.

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Things to Consider Before Buying a Two-axis Gimbal

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I bet you’ve filmed a special moment or event on your phone, just to find out later that the video is shaky, uncentered, and at an awkward angle.

I’ve had that issue more times than I’d like to admit. I concluded that a selfie stick with a gimbal would help me solve those problems.

When buying a gimbal, you have to decide how many axes you want it to have. Most gimbals have three-axis that let the camera move up and down, side to side, and rotational. These gimbals are also considerably more pricey than a two-axis gimbal.

Two-axis gimbals are harder to find because less companies produce them. With a two-axis gimbal you lose the ability for the camera to tilt up and down, but you get the advantage of a cheaper price point.

It’s also important to choose a gimbal that doesn’t weigh a ton, otherwise your arm will tire quickly while trying to use it. 

Zhiyun Smooth XS Review & Unboxing


What’s in the Box?

  • Zhiyun Smooth XS
  • Soft carrying bag
  • Tripod stand
  • Removable wrist strap
  • Quick-start guide
  • USB-C to USB-A cable

It impressed me that the Zhiyun Smooth XS came with a soft carrying case and a removable wrist strap. They’re nice extras that other gimbal makers don’t often include.

The Smooth XS also comes with a charging cable that’s quite short at barely a foot. 

The device takes roughly three hours to fully charge, and has a battery life of about five hours. 

Zhiyun also includes a quick start guide that’s helpful for the initial setup process and explains how to use the features.

Hardware and Design Features


The Smooth XS is made entirely of plastic, but it feels quite sturdy. I just wish the little four-way joystick on the handle was better constructed—it’s the only part that I could see possibly snapping off with use. 

Besides the four-way joystick, there’s also a record button, mode button, and zoom button on the handle. The power button is on the arm of the device.

I got the Pearly Pink version, but don’t worry pink-haters, it comes in a variety of colors. You’ve got a choice of Ivory White, Pearly Pink, Navy Blue, and Lemon Yellow.

Overall, the product is lightweight and easy to balance in one hand. The built-in extension rod gives you the same ability any general selfie stick gives. 

Software: The ZY Cami App

To use all the functions of the selfie stick, you must download the ZY Cami App. 

The setup process is straightforward. It requires you to register under your name and email before it can complete the setup.

Once it’s downloaded, the app is fairly easy to figure out with some playing around.

The app has a built-in horizontal tracking feature, that’s useful for filming selfies or YouTube content, easily keeping your shots centered, and helps with panning around objects. 

I’ve never been great at keeping my iPhone steady enough to get a great panoramic shot, but now with just one click, the device can create a seven-shot panoramic image. 

The app also offers a variety of glamour filters and a gesture system that allows you to signal the camera to film by making a peace sign or waving your hand. 



Overall, I had a lot of fun walking around with the Smooth XS (once I got over my initial fear of people making fun of me). 

I even had another digital nomad film maker come up to me to ask about my “gimbal selfie stick.” He was way more techie than I am and liked the size of the device, saying Zhiyun is a brand he and his partner use often. 

I should note that I’m one of those non-techie people that never upgrades their phone and still uses an iPhone 6s. Because my phone’s older, using the Smooth XS with it drained the battery fast. I went from 100 percent to zero battery with about 45 minutes of use. 

I highly recommend you shoot with the tripod attached to the device, even when just holding it. It adds more length to the handle, which makes it easier to hold, especially if you have larger hands.

Typically, while walking and shooting normally on my phone, the video isn’t very smooth. I was excited to finally smoother footage after reading all about how stabilizing shooting through the app is.


Most of the footage I shot walking around the city was fairly unsturdy compared to what I expected. Though, I’d say it was still about 50% more stable than the footage would have been shooting freehand.

I also lost the Bluetooth connection twice, which caused the app to freeze up mid-shot. Honestly, I don’t know if that issue was the app’s fault or my phone’s fault. Though, I have read others have also had issues with the Bluetooth connection.

I do really love using it to film when it’s set up on the tripod shooting more stationary footage. My favorite feature is that you can program it to keep you in the center of the frame as you move around. 

I believe this is a great selfie stick for someone shooting less active shots either outside or in their homes.

It’s perfect for YouTubers and content creators who are just starting out and need something easy to shoot with.

Its size is also convenient, as it folds up and can easily fit in a purse or possibly a back pocket. 

Zhiyun Smooth XS Alternatives 


DJI OM 4 - 3-Axis Smartphone Gimbal

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This handheld three-axis smartphone gimbal by DJI comes in at about twice the price of the Smooth XS and is one of the most popular options among users purchasing three-axis gimbals.

Users rave about how smooth the footage is, but don’t love the magnetic phone clamp required to use it. 

FeiyuTech Vimbal

FeiyuTech Vimble 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer
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This mid-range three-axis gimbal cell phone selfie stick has great stabilization and a 10 hour battery life. The only possible downside for users is that it only works with iPhone 11 or higher, as well as Android IOS phones.

What I Like

  • The Smooth XS is small and easy to carry around. It’s perfect for anyone on the move with limited storage.

  • My favorite feature is the app’s built-in horizontal tracking feature. It’s useful for keeping your shot centered.

  • The app’s glamor filters and a gesture system are fun and unique features.

What I Don’t Like

  • The footage while I was walking wasn’t as smooth as I hoped for. I think if you’re planning on using it to shoot more active footage, that you’d be better off investing in one of the more expensive three-axis gimbals that provide more stability, like the DJI OM4 smartphone stabilizer.

  • The app quickly drained my phone battery (though this could be because of the age of my phone).

  • I wish the handle was longer, and I have dainty hands so I can only imagine what a hard time people with larger hands will have.

Who is the Zhiyun Smooth XS for?

The Smooth XS is a device that provides a two-axis gimbal, at an affordable price point, and a light weight. It’s ideal for beginners who are investing in their first gimbal selfie stick.

The Verdict

Compared to the higher cost of the 3-axis phone gimbals, the Smooth XS is affordable. It also has equally good overall reviews elsewhere online and weighs less than its competitors. 

I was afraid that I’d be embarrassed walking around trying to film myself with a selfie stick, but the Smooth XS made it easy. It was light to hold, folded up easily to fit in my purse, and held a charge for the entire afternoon that I was out filming with it. 

With this device, I feel more confident about filming myself out in public, while also having an easy tripod setup when filming content indoors.

Plus, with its stabilization app’s ability to center while filming, you won’t be struggling to get that perfect shot.

Overall, the Zhiyun Smooth XS is a great option for someone who is investing in their first gimbal selfie stick

Zhiyun Smooth XS Selfie Stick

The Zhiyun Smooth XS selfie stick is lightweight, easy to use, and best suited for beginner gimbal users. While its two-axis gimbal doesn't always lead to a stable shot, it's a step above a basic selfie stick at an attractive price point.

Check Best Price
If you click this link and make a purchase, I earn a commission at no additional cost to you.


Is the Zhiyun Smooth XS waterproof?

he product is not waterproof. The best waterproof gimbal is the FeiyuTech G6 which is made for waterproof cameras like the GoPro HERO5.

How much does the Zhiyun Smooth XS weigh?

The Smooth XS weighs 8.8 oz / 249 g. It’s light enough to carry easily in a purse or pocket. 

Does the Zhiyun Smooth XS work with Android?

Zhiyun’s Smooth XS is compatible with both Android and iOS. Though, some reviews claim the YZ Cami App is glitchy on Android.

What are the dimensions of the Zhiyun Smooth XS?

10.5 x 2.7 x 2.2″ / 267 x 69 x 56 mm 7.4 x 2.4 x 2.2″ / 188 x 61 x 56 mm (Folded)


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