Last year, DJI took its smartphone stabilizer in a different direction and turned the Osmo Mobile 5 into a super-powered extending selfie stick. For the new Osmo Mobile 6, the company is sticking with that approach, with some refinements that include a new status display and a dedicated knob for zooms and focus pulls.
Like the OM 5, the new OM 6 features a design with extra articulation and hinges so that it’s lightweight—300 grams without a smartphone attached—and capable of folding small enough to slip into a pocket.
DJI’s definition of a pocket probably doesn’t take a pair of skinny jeans into account, but given the three electric motors hidden inside the OM 6's pivoting joints that allow it to cancel out unwanted movements, it’s probably about as small as a device like this can get while still having arms strong enough to support today’s oversized smartphones.
Part of the OM 6's folding prowess comes from the fact that its adjustable smartphone clamp, which can now spread even wider to accommodate phones in thick protective cases, is magnetically attached and can be left on the phone instead of on the end of the stabilized arm. DJI also promises that iPhone users can start shooting “three times quicker than previous models” with the OM 6, because attaching the clamp to its magnetic mount automatically triggers the DJI Mimo app to enter its camera mode.
The five-section telescoping arm that makes it easier to capture larger group shot selfie videos or film from higher or lower perspectives has apparently been a popular enough feature for it to stick around, but it still comes with a battery life trade-off. The non-telescoping OM 4 offered up to 15 hours of battery life, but like the OM 5, the new OM 6 maxes out at around six hours and 24 minutes--an oddly specific estimate that will certainly vary depending on how hard the stabilizing motors have to work.
Most of the OM 6's updates seem minimal and don’t quite justify the stabilizer’s $159 price tag, up from $139 for the previous model. But the inclusion of a small status panel display that indicates which of the four gimbal modes the stabilizer is in—Follow, Tilt Lock, FPV, or SpinShot—is a welcome upgrade, as it removes the guesswork about how the attached smartphone is going to react to movements. Creative types will also be happy to see the addition of the Osmo Mobile 6's Side Wheel, which can be used to quickly adjust focal length, smoothly zoom in and out in the DJI Mimo app, and even switch to a manual focus mode for dramatic Hollywood-style focus pulls and reveals.
The DJI Osmo Mobile 6 is available for pre-order now through DJI’s online store for $159, and includes the magnetic smartphone clamp, power cable, storage pouch, and a set of short tripod feet that can be attached to the bottom of the handle, allowing the stabilizer to be used hands-free.