Sunday, June 22, 2014

IKAN FLY X3 Smartphone Gimbal Review

JB Quick Review: C+ = don't buy (see below)

After a very long wait, Ikan has finally released their new smartphone gimbal called "The Fly X3" smartphone gimbal.  This is a 3-axis brushless gimbal stabilizer that will turn your iPhone (or Android) into a steadi-device for micro productions.  I wanted to love this product.  I was very excited to use it, and have been waiting many moons for a product like this.

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to keep waiting. While this gimbal may be good for smaller productions, or stabilizing handheld interviews, it's not robust enough to be used (without frustration) in a professional setting.  Certainly not for the $299 price tag they lump on this paper weight.  Being the first to market is an exciting prospect for a fledgling monitor company like Ikan, but releasing a product that works out of the box is a priority to a consumer like me, over shipping speed.  You get one shot with me, otherwise I'll push my dollars elsewhere.  I'm a fan of Ikan.  I own one of their monitors that I really like, so I trusted the brand would perform.  That being said, it kinda worked.  After every 4-second calibration process, there was a slight sloping or leaning, down to the right.  I couldn't ever correctly calibrate the machine to fix this issue.  Sometimes it worked, but most of the time the Ikan Fly X3 did not perform as advertised.

I hate being so negative on a product.  But I was really wanting to love it, so it pained me to have so many issues.  The Fly X3's battery charged quickly (within and hour or so), but the two thin wires to plug in the battery are prone to destruction when I apply my ape-like hands.  Something more robust in the power cables would be an upgrade.  I liked the blue "power on" light, and it is very simple to calibrate.  The absolute best part of the gimbal is the phone holder.  It's very snug, safe and you can access your home screen.  I would consider the Ikan Fly X3 for half its current cost, but if you're looking for something more robust and reliable for professional video production, pass on this product in its current condition. I'm returning mine.

Ethics Statement: I own an Ikan 5" monitor, that I purchased in 2010.  I purchased the Ikan Fly X3 smartphone gimbal.  Ikan did not send me this product to review.  Ikan does not sponsor me in any way, nor does this site accept any sponsorships.

1 comment:

  1. I believe you should test the new production model and see how it works. Ive used it now for some days and havent had any problems. The only thing I could complain about is the ridiculous GoPro "frame" kit that looks cheap. But it does work and as Ive tested several other similar gimbals, this is by far the best Ive used so far.