DJI's second smartphone gimbal gets improved controls and a lower price

The $129 asking price seems reasonable.

DJI's Osmo Mobile set the standard for shooting stabilized smartphone videos, and now the time is right for a follow-up. At CES the company revealed the new DJI Osmo Mobile 2, a redesigned sequel meant to make mobile videography more accessible to the masses. The best part: It costs a reasonable $129.

The new Osmo uses the same three-axis gimbal for stabilization that the originals did, but DJI gave the rest of the body a substantial redesign. In a bid to keep costs down -- and make the final product less pricey -- the new Osmo is made of "high-strength modified nylon" instead of metal. We've only spent a few moments with a non-final Osmo Mobile 2, but we're cautiously optimistic about the change: It feels more than sturdy enough, especially considering it's slated to sell for much less than the original. Also new is a quarter-inch mount on the bottom of the Osmo for sticking it onto a tripod for more complex or prolonged shoots.

What else? There's a modified clamp that swivels to accommodate landscape and portrait shooting -- a must for folks looking to capture smooth Instagram Stories without having to tilt their hands. Potentially concerning, though, is the switch from removable batteries to a sealed cell, since you'll lose the option to swap batteries while out in the field. For what it's worth, the company says the new Osmo will last around 15 hours on a charge.

Beyond those design changes, DJI also tried to simplify the controls users would have to grapple with. The trademark trigger is gone, the power switch has been replaced with a mode button on the front of the grip, and the shutter and record buttons have been combined into a single key. The addition of a zoom slider also means you can get in nice and tight on a subject without having to use your other hand. Some of these changes don't exactly sound game-changing, but they serve to make the gimbal just a little more intuitive for people who have never used one before.

You won't have to wait too long to pick up a second-generation Osmo Mobile, but there's a catch: It'll debut as an Apple Store exclusive on January 23rd before going on sale through DJI and its retail partners in early February.

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