Zhiyun Smooth 5S AI review: follow your every move

Get your smartphone to tilt, pan, crane, and glide with the AI-assisted Zhiyun Smooth 5S AI

Zhiyun Smooth 5S AI gimbal held in a hand outside in a green field
(Image: © George Cairns / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The compact Zhiyun Smooth 5S AI stabiliser fits easily into a camera backpack with the rest of your gear and it enhances a self-shooter’s video recordings thanks to the AI tracker that follows your every move. It’s also an effective stabilizer when used handheld so you can perform smooth tracks, pans, and tilts in any location (even on rocky terrain). It will take your smartphone videography to the next level (though you will need to record your audio on a separate device).


  • +

    Easy to balance

  • +

    AI tracker

  • +

    Use with native Camera app

  • +

    Built-in fill light


  • -

    Can’t attach mic to smartphone

  • -

    No carry case

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The Zhiyun Smooth 5S AI is a 3-axis gimbal (or stabilizer) that enables you to produce cinematic camera moves with your smartphone such as tilts, pans, and cranes (from low to high angles) as well as gliding sideways tracking shots and forward/backward dolly moves. It’s an updated version of the Zhiyun Smooth 5S that we reviewed back in 2022 - the main change being the addition of an AI sensor that enables the tripod-mounted gimbal to tilt and pan so that the attached smartphone follows your every move. AI sensors are becoming very prevalent in gimbals these days, especially with smartphone gimbals such as the Hohem iSteady M6 gimbal. 

Established in 2015, Zhiyun has a well-established reputation for designing a series of gimbals, from the smartphone-compatible Smooth series to the high-end Zhiyun Crane series for full-frame camera stabilization.

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Tilting Angle-140° to +209°
Rolling Angle-90° to +259°
Panning Angle360 °
Battery Life7 hours
Dimensions311 x 168 x 52 mm
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FeaturesZoom dial and joystick enable tactile control of hardware and software.★★★★☆
DesignMagnetic AI tracker follows our every move.★★★★☆
PerformanceKept the footage smooth and level at all times. ★★★★☆
ValueComparable price to similarly specced smartphone gimbals.★★★★☆
Hohem iSteady M6

Hohem iSteady M6
Costing around the same price as the Zhiyun Smooth 5S AI, the iSteady also uses a magnetic AI tracker to make the tripod-mounted gimbal follow your every move. It also uses an app to perform extra operations such as starting. and stopping the recording. As a bonus, it comes with a carry case (which the Smooth 5S AI doesn’t).

Feiyu Scorp 2 

Feiyu Scorp 2 
If you’re on a budget but need to maneuver a mirrorless camera (rather than a smartphone)  then the Feiyu Scorp 2  will do the job. I used it to carry a Sony A7 MkIII plus lens which weighed in at just under 1.5 Kg. Like the Zhiyun Smooth 5s AI, the Feiyu Scorp 2 also boasts an AI sensor that can tilt and pan your mirrorless camera to follow your every move.

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George Cairns

George has been freelancing as a photo fixing and creative tutorial writer since 2002, working for award winning titles such as Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N-Photo and Practical Photoshop. He's expert in communicating the ins and outs of Photoshop and Lightroom, as well as producing video production tutorials on Final Cut Pro and iMovie for magazines such as iCreate and Mac Format. He also produces regular and exclusive Photoshop CC tutorials for his YouTube channel.