Camera gimbals have been traditionally used by the pros and now the FeiyuTech SPG Plus brings stabilization to your smartphone. Don’t get me wrong, there are other smartphone gimbals on the market that do the same thing, but there are a few advantages to the FeiyuTech SPG Plus. I own a few gimbals and while many times the marketing is aimed at extreme sports or action videography, I found the FeiyuTech SPG Plus great for exactly what I use my other gimbals for, filming my kids in action. Read on for the full review of the FeiyuTech SPG Plus and see what our thoughts on this double-handed gimbal are.
The FeiyuTech SPG Plus has the following features and specifications:
- Dual handle system: A pioneering structure for doubled stability, enriched holding styles and reduced burden.
- Rich expandability: Five 1/4-inch screw ports for various accessories like flash, microphone, and tripod to expand application scenarios including dark environment, noisy places and more.
- Smart face tracking: Following target face and guiding gimbal movement accordingly powered by the evolving Feiyu ON app, also featuring dynamic panorama and auto-focus for extra creativeness.
- Precise balance adjustment: Slide bar balance system to adapt to phones and action cameras of various sizes and weight including iPhone 7 Plus, Samsung, HTC, HUAWEI with lens clips, and GoPro HERO series.
- Excellent craftsmanship: Enhanced finish with revolutionary unibody motor arm for sports camera and smartphone gimbals to ensure better anti-shake performance, built from solid aluminum alloy, super lightweight and comfortable by rubberized handle grip, up to 8 hours’ runtime from a single 22650 Li-ion battery.
- Tilting angle: 320°
- Rolling angle: 100°
- Panning angle: 360°
- Panning increments: 3°/s ~ 150°/s
- Weight: 518g （Not including battery and iPhone）
What’s in ihe Box
- FeiyuTech SPG Plus gimbal
- MicroUSB cable
- ICR 22560 Lithium-Ion battery
- Cold shoe mount
- Warranty card
- User manual
Let’s not mince words here. The FeiyuTech SPG Plus gimbal has a top notch design in terms of build quality and materials used, all the way to comfort with the dual handled system. The entirety of the SPG Plus is made of aluminum and feels very substantial. Even though the robust and quality build is really amazing, you still need to take care with gimbals so as not to damage the bits and pieces that make it a gimbal. The SPG Plus is very comfortable to hold and the two handles give you even more stability over any other single-handed gimbal out there.
The double-handed design also helps with fatigue. Many single-handled gimbals can get tiring after an extended amount of time leading to shaking and the SPG Plus really helps minimize that situation. The battery slips into the right handle which is where all the controls are located as well. The controls include a joystick for panning left and right as well as up and down, a power button, and the Bluetooth connection button.
The top cross bar has three 1/4″ mounting points for adding lights, mics, or whatever sorts of videography extras you might want to use with your smartphone video rig. These added mounts give the SPG Plus a lot of versatility and function. There are also two more 1/4″ mounting points on the bottom of each handle allowing you to mount tripods to them. The gimbal portion has adjustable weights so you can balance the smartphone and get the best balance possible. The whole rig is also pretty light-weight and the two-handled design reduces fatigue in your arms that a single handle gimbal often causes. Overall this is a nice design, the two handles, light weight, and 1/4″ mounts add a lot of value to this gimbal over a single handle gimbal.
Ease of Use
If you’ve never used a gimbal before, the most important — and hardest — first step is balancing it. The sliding/locking weight arms allow you to adjust the balance and after a few attempts, it really is simple afterward. Once you have the phone balanced and locked in place you can simply use your favorite video app or the included FeiyuGO app. Once you’re up and running with balance and app your next biggest challenge is mastering the movement of the gimbal.
Pan following is the default setting for the SPG Plus but a quick double tap of the function button moves it into Pan/Tilt following mode. Tapping three times turns the phone around with the camera facing the operator, which is great for vlogging or selfies. The joystick is usable in all modes and provides you the ability to pan and tilt on the fly but beware, it is touchy and takes some getting used to. FeiyuTech has an excellent tutorial video that shows all the functions of the SPG Plus.
Overall, if you’ve used a gimbal before this one is a piece of cake to operate. If you’ve never used a gimbal before then you’ll have a short learning curve to contend with but with a little trial and error, this is absolutely easy to get the hang of.
The included app has some useful functions like face-tracking, which works okay so long as your subject isn’t moving too fast. Face-tracking and follow mode are great but not always accurate so I wouldn’t completely rely on those functions if you’re shooting an important shot. There are other settings for motor and tracking speeds within the app but the app is basically identical to your iPhone camera app with a few added functions. You will need to pair your FeiyuTech SPG Plus to the app before you can explore the app. To do so, just find your device on the opening screen and tap and you’ll be paired in a matter of seconds.
The app also offers intelligent time-lapse functions which are great when you set the rig on a pair of tripods and just let this thing go on its own. Intelligent vertical mode is designed for vloggers or live reporting, which could be useful for YouTubers or Facebook Live.
You do not have to use the FeiyuTech GO app to use the SPG Plus, you can use the built-in camera app or something like FiLMiC Pro or any other camera app you wish. The included app is useful when you need face-tracking or follow mode, but I found the stock camera app worked for what I needed it for. Overall, the software has its uses and can most certainly be used but is not always 100% accurate — but it’s also not horrible. You can really go either way and I actually like that you’re not tied down to the GO app.
As a gimbal, this thing rocks in performance. I love the two-handle design as it helps combat arm fatigue that happens so often with single-handled gimbals. The design also gives you much more stability and helps eliminate some of the bounce you tend to get with a one-handed gimbal. With the right form, walk, and stance you will be getting great shots with this gimbal and they should be super smooth. You will need to practice with that joystick for a bit as it’s super sensitive. Take a look at some sample footage below. I tend to take a lot of video of my kids and that’s what I use my gimbals for, your use case may be different but the footage should give you an idea of how it works.
Gear used for this shoot:
- iPhone 7 Plus
- Stock camera app
- FeiyuTech SPG Plus
- Adobe Premiere Pro
FeiyuTech advertises 8-hour battery life and that’s just about right where I was able to get with it, just under by 20 minutes. Battery life will vary, though, depending on how much you use the joystick and are moving the rig.
I think the SPG Plus is fairly priced considering the double-handle design that gives you so much more stability as well as keeps you from getting tired quickly.
If you need a gimbal for your smartphone or action camera, the SPG Plus is a better choice over any of the single-handled gimbals out there.
*We were sent a sample of the FeiyuTech SPG Plus gimbal for the purposes of this review.
FeiyuTech SPG Plus$299 USD
- Great two handled design for extra stabilization
- Superior build quality
- Easy to use
- Battery life is great for a gimbal
- Pricey at $299USD
- Have to be gentle with sensitive gimbal parts
- Face-tracking isn't always on target