The Chinese company Feiyu Tech, still relatively unknown in Germany, has offered us a practical test of its smartphone gimbal FeiyuTech SPG2.
Material, Workmanship and Scope of Delivery
The first impression of the FeiyuTech SPG2 is more than positive. Despite the still existing prejudices against Chinese companies, FeiyuTech can shine with this product with good materials and a high-quality workmanship, which is already noticeable in the packaging. The Gimbal is delivered in a box made of a kind of stable Styrofoam, which can also be used for storage and later transport without any problems.
The gimbal itself is mainly made of metal, the handle and the smartphone holder have a rubber cover that makes the device more handy and protects the smartphone from scratches. Components made of cheap plastic or other inferior materials as well as manufacturing defects are not found in this gimbal.
Compared to the DJI Osmo Mobile 2, which I happened to be able to try out at MediaMarkt, the FeiyuTech SPG2 Gimbal looks much better.
Included in the delivery are the high-quality packaging, the gimbal, an exchangeable battery and an extension of the holding arm, which can also be used as a tripod or stand when folded out. Also included is a MicroUSB cable to charge the gimbal.
Functions and modes
FeiyuTech has designed the SPG2 for all people who want to record videos with their smartphone without disturbing movements. Although the main target group are certainly Vloggers, the Gimbal still offers protection against splashing water, which makes it easy to use outdoors, for example when skiing. In the test the Gimbal could master its main purpose, namely the compensation of movements with bravura. However, the different modes allow much more than just recording stable videos.
In addition to the smartphone, the gimbal itself provides the user with information about the currently used mode, battery life and other things directly via the easy-to-read OLED display in the handle.
To increase the audio quality, an additional microphone can be connected to the gimbal via a jack plug in addition to the smartphone microphone. Additional accessories can also be mounted to the gimbal via two ¼ inch threads. During use, the gimbal is mainly controlled by the multi-function rotary control, which can be used to control the zoom, focus and movement of the three rotary axes. Thanks to the good positioning on the side of the handle, all important functions can be controlled with one hand during use.
The so-called Shadow Hunting mode reacts particularly quickly to user rotation without compensating for movement. This also allows fast objects to be recorded, but at the expense of quality.
Especially for friends of Instagram, Facebook and Co. the Vertical mode has been integrated, where the recording mode can be changed with only one click.
My personal highlight, however, was the Follow mode which, in combination with the Anti-Shake algorithm, makes it possible to focus an object and then film it in motion. The gimbal’s software then ensures that, for example, a previously focused house remains in the focus of the image while the carrier is running.
The 5,000 mAh rechargeable battery should provide a runtime of about 14 hours. Charging via USB takes about 2 hours. An all-day use is therefore possible without any problems. In addition, the battery can also be charged on the go via an optionally available power bank.
Also noteworthy is the relatively high weight, which, together with a smartphone, is around 700 g. Personally I did not find this disturbing because of the good grip, but some people will certainly prefer a lighter plastic gimbal.
Unfortunately the software is a clear point of criticism in comparison to the very good hardware. Unfortunately, I have to agree with the still mediocre judgments in the Google Play Store with 2.2 of a maximum of 5.0 points at 1,246 reviews given and in the Apple App Store with 1.4 of a maximum of 5.0 points at 74 reviews given.
When using the app for the first time, registration via e-mail is required. For data protection reasons, a non-existent e-mail address can also be used here, since no confirmation is required and the app can still be used. Also critical are the extensive permissions that the app requires during installation, including full access to the smartphone’s location data and managing phone calls that the app does not actually need to perform its functions.
Overall, the Android version of the software I used, although it is already available in version 3.0.19 and has been installed on more than 100,000 smartphones, makes a very unfinished impression. This is particularly noticeable with the Bluetooth connection, which could not be established at startup for reasons that could not be detected and which was often interrupted during operation.
The FeiyuTech SPG2 Gimbal is compatible with a range of smartphones. During my test I mainly used a Samsung Galaxy S8, which didn’t cause any problems. With an admittedly outdated Huawei P8 Lite, the gimbal could only be used to a very limited extent.
The manufacturer himself states that the gimbal is used with smartphones that weigh a maximum of 300 g and are between 57 and 95 mm wide.
The company has tested the following smartphones:
- iPhone 6, 6s, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, X
- Oppo R9S, R15
- Vivo X20 Plus, X21A, Y85A
- Huawei P9, Mate 10 Pro, P20
- Xiaomi Mi 8, MIX 2S
- Samsung Galaxy S8+, S9+
- OnePlus 5T
- LG V30+
- HTC U11+
Basically the Gimbal should be usable with practically every current middle or upper class smartphone, which fits into the holder, without any problems.
Conclusion on the FeiyuTech SPG2 Gimbal
The FeiyuTech SPG2 Gimbal leaves a split impression. Both the material and the workmanship of the hardware are of very good quality. Unfortunately, due to the many software bugs and the required permissions, which the app provides with numerous “espionage functions”, no unrestricted purchase recommendation can be given. Should Feiyu Tech be able to fix the software problems in the future, I would recommend the SPG2 Gimbal without hesitation. Currently, only users who can cope with occasional dropouts of the Bluetooth connection and other bugs should have access.