The rate at which smartphone camera sensors are developing just keeps on increasing and increasing with the last few smartphone releases seeing huge leaps and bounds in the image quality that they are able to capture over the older units. Due to this, a small, easy to use smartphone that will often be in your pocket and with you throughout the day anyway can often provide you with a similar level of image quality as a dedicated point and shoot camera or even a low-end mirrorless camera.
Due to this, many vloggers and social media influencers have decided to switch over to using their smartphone for their content creation needs and people are making the switch at exponential rates right now. Due to this, we have seen a huge increase in the number of people who are reaching out for advice on various smartphone camera accessories to ensure that they are able to capture the absolute best image quality possible.
Although more common amongst the vlogging side of smartphone-based content creation, we have also noticed a number of social media influencers reaching out and asking for advice on a gimbal for their smartphone. Due to this, we have decided to publish our own dedicated Snoppa Atom vs Zhiyun Smooth 4 comparison article to help any of our readers who are considering purchasing either of these popular smartphone gimbal stabilizers.
Now, although we do see a large number of people reaching out each month and asking for a comparison between the Snoppa Atom and the Smooth 4, in reality, this is an unfair comparison in our opinion. The Zhiyun Smooth 4 has been available for a few years now and although it is an excellent little smartphone handheld gimbal stabilizer, it is definatley showing its age these days in our opinion. On the flip side of this, the Snoppa Atom as well as the DJI Osmo Mobile 3 are recent releases to the smartphone gimbal space and come with all of the latest technology.
As the Smooth 4 has had a few years head start over the Snoppa Atom is does have a much larger customer base and in all fairness to Zhiyun, it was probably the best smartphone gimbal on the market for around eighteen months. That said though, in our opinion, both the Atom and the Osmo Mobile 3 blow it out the water with ease while being at a very similar price point in the market.
If you are looking to add a solid little smartphone gimbal stabilizer to your collection of smartphone camera accessories then we would highly recommend that you go with either the Atom or the Osmo Mobile 3 over the Smooth 4. Although it is a close call, we feel that the Atom is slightly better than the DJI gimbal but due to having the DJI branding and marketing team behind it, the Osmo Mobile 3 has managed to quickly earn itself an outstanding reputation amongst the community since its release.
We have our comparison table between the Snoppa Atom and the Zhiyun Smooth 4 below where we have gone over some of the various features on both of the gimbals. Below that, we have our in-depth look at both of the gimbals to try and help any of our readers who want to know as much as possible about both stabilizers before making any potential purchase too.
Performance Of The Gimbal
As you can see from our comparison table above, the Snoppa Atom absolutely blows the Smooth 4 out the water when it comes to the maximum load capacities of the two gimbals with ease. Although both of the gimbals can easily support a large number of popular smartphones on the market at the time of writing, the Snoppa Atom has the advantage of allowing you to mount additional smartphone camera accessories to your set up as required.
For example, many vloggers and social media influencers who use their smartphone to capture their content like to also add a removable smartphone lens to help further improve the image quality that they are able to capture. On the vlogging side of things, many people also like to use a decent smartphone microphone to help improve the audio quality that they are able to capture too. Although both of these definatley help to ensure you are getting the best quality possible for your followers, they also increase the total payload weight of your smartphone camera setup.
This means that if you have a heavier smartphone then the Zhiyun Smooth 4 may struggle to stabilize your set up due to its lower load capacity of only 0.46 pounds. This helps the Snoppa Atom get a quick and easy win with its 0.68-pound maximum load capacity letting you mount pretty much any smartphone to it as well as a number of smartphone accessories with ease and still get excellent levels of image stabilization too.
When it comes to the maximum battery life of the gimbals, the Snoppa Atom blows the Smooth 4 out of the water again. The Atom is able to supply around twenty-four hours of power with each full charge of its battery whereas the Smooth 4 can only provide around twelve. Now, in all honesty, twelve hours will likley be plenty of battery for most of our readers but if you are a travel vlogger then the extra battery life can help if you are away from a charing point for days at a time.
Although both gimbals take around three hours to recharge back to full, you get around double the usable battery life per hour of charging from the Snoppa Atom due to it using a newer, next-generation battery cell. If you want to be able to top your gimbals power up while you are out and about then you can add a USB power bank to your smartphone camera accessories too and recharge your gimbal and smartphone as required while on the go.
When it comes to the actual detection and correction systems on both of the gimbals, both have some slight advantages over each other in different areas but again, the Snoppa Atom comes out on top in our opinion. In our opinion, the gimbal sensors on the Snoppa Atom are better than those on the Smooth 4 but this is simply due to the age of the Zhiyun gimbal and the technology they had available back when it was released.
Next up we have the balancing algorithms and in our opinion, then though it is older, the Zhiyun algorithm is ever so slightly better than the Snoppa algorithm helping to deliver slightly smoother image stabilization for lighter smartphone rigs. The final part of the detection and correction systems on the gimbals is the gimbal motors and again, simply due to the age of the Smooth 4, the Atom steams out ahead due to having smaller, lighter, higher torque gimbal motors that help provide it with its higher maximum load capacity and better image stabilization for heavier and larger smartphone rigs.
In reality though, both systems are solid and should easily be able to meet the requirements of most vloggers and social media influencers who capture their content with their smartphones. As we touched on earlier, the Snoppa Atom is still probably the better investment due to it being able to support larger and heavier smartphones with ease. As you grow your social media or YouTube channels you will want to take steps to improve your image quality and the higher load capacity of the Atom allows you to add detatchable lenses and other smartphone camera accessories to improve image quality.
On top of this, the Snoppa Atom can also support action cameras natively without having to purchase any third party mounting plates that the Smooth 4 requires. More and more vloggers in various niches are also starting to add action cameras to their collections too such as a GoPro. This allows you to still capture your content when close to waterfalls and other things like that where you don’t want to risk dropping an expensive smartphone into the water and damaging it. The native support and easy mounting system on the Snoppa Atom makes it the obvious option if you are planning to use an action cameras when needed too.
Both of the gimbals support various gimbal modes but we would imagine that outside of pan mode and manual mode, the majority of the supported modes will likley just be something to play around with and rarely used seriously. That said though, both gimbals offer solid manual mode control that helps to keep your video footage as smooth and natural-looking as possible too.
User Interface And Control System
When it comes to the actual control interface of the Snoppa Atom and the Zhiyun Smooth 4, there are actually a fair few similarities. Both of the handheld gimbals are based around the standard interface of using a joystick with an LCD panel alongside a few supporting buttons for optimal control. As smartphone content creators tend to be entry-level videographers, both brands have also ensured that the control interface for their gimbal stabilizer is as easy to learn as possible too. That said though, for a smartphone brand, both also offer a decent level of advanced functionality and customization too ensuring that they are solid options for an advanced videographer too.
In our opinion, the Snoppa Atom does come out slightly ahead when it comes to the control system as everything has been designed to be as ergonomic as possible. This helps you easily reach all of the control buttons without having to sacrifice the quality of your grip. On top of this, although both gimbals can easily be switched between landscape and portrait mode, the Atom does have the easier system to switch between the two.
In our opinion, the Snoppa Atom also takes the crown when it comes to the balancing procedure for the gimbals too. Although the balancing process for the Smooth 4 is simple enough, the higher power on the Atoms motors is much more forgiving for anyone who does not balance the gimbal correctly allowing it to self adjust and still provide you with some great image stabilization whereas the Smooth 4 really does need its balancing process nailed to perform optimally.
Build Quality And Design
Both of the gimbals follow the same standard 3 axis handheld gimbal designed but the Snoppa Atom does have a folding joint to allow to further reduce the size of the gimbal to make it even smaller and easier to store. As many vloggers and social media influencers do enjoy traveling around to capture their content, this can make your life so much easier due to the Atom being smaller and easier to pack when needed.
When it comes to the build quality of the gimbals, they are both very similar as in they are both compact, pretty lightweight for their size while also being very robust too. Although the Smooth 4 is definatley showing its age when it comes to performance and functionality, it still manages to hold its own when it comes to its build quality in our opinion. The tough nature of both of the featured gimbals ensures that they are also able to take a surprising amount of punishment considering their small size when in use or when packed away when traveling helping to keep the gimbals in full working order.
Unlike the larger mirrorless and DSLR camera gimbals on the market, these smartphone gimbals are extremely light in comparison and with your smartphone being lightweight too, it is very easy to hold them and support their weight for long periods of time without issue. On top of this, the Snoppa Atom has a gel based handle grip that is very easy to get a secure hold of while also being very comfortable to help prevent your hand cramping up too.
That brings our article going over our ultimate Snoppa Atom vs Zhiyun Smooth 4 comparison to a close. As you can probably tell, in our opinion, the Snoppa Atom definatley makes a better addition to your smartphone camera accessories than the Zhiyun Smooth 4 simply due to the age of the Smooth 4. The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 is also another very popular smartphone handheld gimbal stabilizer that can produce some excellent levels of image stabilization and is very user friendly to help ensure you capture the best image quality possible too.