Many people have started to create content these days, seeing the popularity of short-form videos. And if you’ve scrolled Reels or YouTube Shorts you’ll quickly realise that most creators record on phones. While smartphone cameras are much better than professional cameras, the quality of smartphones is still not up to par with those used for video and vlogging. Gimbals are helping to close this gap. The Qubo Handheld Gimbal is one of the many options you have right now. Qubo is Hero Group’s consumer technology brand. It is available for purchase at Rs 7,490. This device has a number of unique features. I’ve been using it for a week now and here’s my review.
High quality design and building
Qubo Gimbal is made of plastic. Now I didn’t perform any drop tests but the Qubo looks like it can withstand some abuse. It’s got a superb finish and the plastic’s got an ever so slight rubbery feel to it which helps with grip. And the grip is something you’ll immediately realise is vital for extended recording sessions. The gimbal is compact at only 350 grams. It also includes a bag that makes portability easy.
I quite liked the gimbal’s control buttons, which come with a very tactile feel to them. The labels were well-designed and I was able quickly to identify their function without needing to consult the manual. The gimbal handled my relatively small Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE very well. But heavier smartphones shouldn’t face any problems either, thanks to the 280g weight limitation. The iPhone 14 Pro Max – one of the heaviest of its size – weighs 240g, so there really isn’t much to worry about here. Because the clamps have a very flexible design, it won’t be an issue.
Configuration and use
The gimbal’s setup process through the QuboPro app (available on Play Store and App Store) is supposed to be quick. It was difficult to get the app working to identify the gimbal to allow for pairing. It just wouldn’t show up even after dozens of tries. It was not the first person to experience the same problem. I did a Google search and found no related complaints. Then I tried reconnecting once more, which finally worked.
QuboPro packs all the necessary utilities you’d need for photography and videography. At the bottom you get options to switch between recording modes – All Follow (AF), Half Follow (HF), Lock Full (LF), and First-Person View (FPV). They are available alongside the ability to toggle between face and object tracking. You can adjust the speed of movement, tilt and PAN settings and also change video resolution up to 4K.
Once you’ve fitted your phone into the Qubo Gimbal, using it is a joy. To film anywhere, you can either use the handle or fit the tripod in the bottom. It is lightweight and portable, thanks to its folding design.
When set on a table using the tripod stand, I found the gimbal’s facial tracking feature highly accurate. The gimbal pans in accordance with your facial position so it stays within the frame. The only thing you’d have to keep in mind is the speed of your movements, as panning can sometimes be slow at keeping up.
Camera output and stability
Qubo gimbal did a fantastic job when it came to stabilisation. But don’t expect very professional or cinema-worthy shots with it. With its three-axis stabilisation, the gimbal is designed to provide horizontal stability. It also does a great job of taking smooth pan shots. There’s little Y-axis stabilisation though, so if you sprint with the phone in, the footage will still be jerky. If your phone has it, I recommend that you keep on EIS and/or OIS for optimal performance.
QuboPro is borderline average in terms of camera quality. The app can only capture photos at a maximum resolution of 0.9MP, which is a poor quality. Video recording can be set to 4K, although the footage doesn’t really feel that resolution at all. I wouldn’t blame Qubo for this, though, since poor camera quality through third-party camera apps is a well-known limitation of Android.
To workaround the problem on the OS, you’d want to switch to the default camera app, which works as it should for the most part — the shutter button and the zoom slider respond well, but you lose out on Face Tracking and Object Tracking. Qubo Gimbal runs on a non-removable 2,000mAh battery. Qubo claims that the gimbal can last up to 5 hours on a full charge but I found it closer to 4 — not bad at all.
A gimbal, even though your smartphone offers stabilisation, is essential for content creators. Videos are becoming more popular than ever, and stabilised videos can give you an edge in a competitive market. Qubo Gimbal can be a good choice. It is important to know what it will be used for before you purchase. You and your audience will love the results if it is a companion for your trips or you need to document your sitting position. Adventurers might consider something more expensive due to the absence of Y-axis stability.