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Verdict

The best mobile gimbal just got better – especially for iPhone users

Pros

  • Now supports subject tracking beyond the Insta360 app
  • Compact folding design
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Shorter battery life than original Insta360 Flow

Key Features

  • Apple DockKit compatibleThe handheld stabiliser that works with DockKit subject tracking for iPhone users
  • Smartphone stabilisationEffective stabilisation for any brand smartphone (within certain size/weight parameters)
  • Deep Track 3.0 and 360º trackingAI-assisted subject tracking with the ability to reacquire obscured subjects and pan through 360º of movement

Introduction

When I reviewed it in April of last year, I described the Insta360 Flow as “the best mobile gimbal you can buy”. Despite being Insta360’s first attempt at a smartphone stabiliser, the Flow’s combination of compact, portable design, superb subject tracking, effective 3-axis stabilisation and a reasonably low price put it right at the top of the gimbal tree.

Now, there’s a new and improved version. Dubbed the Insta360 Flow Pro, it builds upon the original Flow’s foundations with a raft of small but meaningful improvements. The biggest of these is compatibility with DockKit, the new Apple technology that allows third-party objects to track subjects via the iPhone’s native camera (and third-party camera apps).

It’s the first smartphone stabiliser to support DockKit, so does this upgrade make the best even better?

Design

  • Lightweight, compact and solidly built
  • Magnetic clamp for easy phone mounting
  • Built-in tripod, selfie stick and tripod mount

Like the Flow, to which it’s almost identical physically, the Flow Pro is lightweight (under 400g in total, including the magnetic clamp), compact and sturdily constructed from good solid plastic. It folds down to a compact, almost pocketable size and comes with a soft storage bag to keep it safe.

insta360 flow pro magsafe mount
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Thankfully it’s quick to deploy. The magnetic clamp grips securely onto the edge of a smartphone and snaps securely onto the gimbal arm with a satisfying ‘thunk’, holding the phone firmly in place. The arm is then twisted to unfold it, turning on the power at the same time. This setup is even faster if you buy the new Magsafe-compatible Magnetic Phone Mount accessory, which clicks securely to the back of Magsafe iPhone models and replaces the Magnetic Phone Clamp.

I should note here that while some of its headline features are reserved for iPhone users, the Flow Pro is compatible with Android smartphones too. As long as they fit inside the Magnetic Phone Clamp, they’re good to go.

insta360 flow pro magsafe iphone 13 mount
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

As with the Flow, the Flow Pro’s handle features a standard tripod thread mount on the bottom and contains two pull-out enhancements: a 215mm extendable selfie stick from the top, and a mini tripod from the bottom. The latter doubles as an extension of the grip – handy (no pun intended) as the grip is very small without it. A rubber sleeve (included in the box) can also be wrapped around the handle to increase grip, and there’s a cold shoe on the handle for mounting external mic receivers.

insta360 flow pro fully extended on tripod
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The gimbal’s control setup is simple and (from memory, at least) exactly the same as the original Flow. A single circular touch panel handles most of the controls. Swipe your finger clockwise and anticlockwise to switch between the three gimbal modes (and auto), rotate the jog wheel to use your phone camera’s zoom, use the analog stick to manually move the gimbal arm and press the dedicated buttons for power on/off, shutter and switching between front/rear cameras and changing the phone orientation.

insta360 flow pro controls in hand
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

There’s also a front trigger, which is used to reset the gimbal position, change the phone facing and turn subject tracking on and off. Overall, I found all the Flow Pro’s controls easy to master – even if I did occasionally forget whether it required a double or triple press of one button or another to do something.

App and tracking

  • Subject tracking now works with the iPhone camera app
  • You’ll still find better subject tracking via the Insta360 mobile app
  • NFC one-tap pairing for compatible iPhones

The Insta360 Flow Pro’s big advantage over its predecessor is DockKit compatibility. This means it’s already class-leading AI-assisted subject tracking now works with the native iPhone camera app (and, according to Insta360, a range of more than 200 third-party camera apps). A new light on the gimbal’s hand glows green when tracking is active, so even if you’re not using the front-facing camera you’ll instantly be able to tell if you’re locked in or not.

Interestingly, you have to use NFC pairing (at least in the first instance) to get this DockKit implementation working. The Flow Pro has an NFC logo on the gimbal handle; touching your iPhone onto it pairs the two devices in seconds.

insta360 flow pro selfie camera
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

When tracking, the gimbal will move the phone to keep the subject in frame at all times. It’s great for self-shot videos: you can just set up the Flow Pro on a tabletop and walk around, knowing that you’ll be kept nicely centred in the shot. I loved that I could even walk fully around the gimbal now, as the Flow Pro adds 360º pan tracking. The camera followed me in continuous circles without breaking a sweat.

In addition to people, the Flow Pro’s AI-assisted Deep Track 3.0 tracking tech can recognise animals (cats, dogs and horses to be precise), and I found it quite capable of quickly re-acquiring a subject on the occasions that it lost it – for example when you walk behind an object and block the camera’s line-of-sight.

insta360 flow pro tripod
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

One thing I did notice is that, despite the DockKit integration, the tracking was smoother, more responsive and better at keeping subjects centred when I was using the Insta360 app; at present, it also only works when iPhone camera apps are set to the standard video mode. Perhaps we’ll see improvements to the DockKit tracking in future firmware and iOS updates (it’s been confirmed that the iOS 18 update will allow DockKit tracking for photos, pano, cinematic and slo-mo shooting modes) but for now, I would stick with the Insta360 app for the best tracking experience, particularly when shooting faster moving subjects.

The Insta360 app is basically unchanged from previous versions, and you can read a more detailed description of it in our Flow review. It’s a well-featured camera app supporting a wide range of shooting modes and offering lots of control over the look of your videos and photos. That isn’t even to mention the surprisingly powerful built-in editing suite, tons of tutorials for shooting different kinds of content and plenty of ways to share your finished clips directly to social media.

Manually edited video

I used the app to create the two videos you see embedded here – one manually and one using the AI editor function, where you simply feed the editor some shots, pick a final video length and let it do its thing.

AI-edited video

The AI editor is fairly savvy when it comes to transitions and pacing but does occasionally make odd choices about which parts of a clip to use. You can see this in the video, where it spends several seconds lingering on a blue dumpster. Still, it’s a decent time-saver if you want to get a video out ASAP.

Stabilisation and performance

  • 10-hour battery life
  • Power bank function
  • Superb 3-axis stabilisation

The original Flow had superb battery life, with up to 12 hours of runtime on a full charge – roughly double what you’d see with rival stabilisers like the DJI OM 6.

Curiously, the Flow Pro takes a slight step backwards here. The battery life is now around 10 hours, which is still pretty impressive, I suppose. Thankfully the power bank function, which lets you use the Flow Pro’s battery to top up your smartphone via a second USB-C port, remains present.

insta360 flow pro folded on carry bag
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

I have no complaints whatsoever about the 3-axis stabilisation. Just like the original Flow, the Flow Pro keeps smartphones brilliantly levelled. There are the same four stabilisation modes here: Auto, Follow, Pan Follow and FPV.

Follow responds swiftly to the user’s movements; Pan Follow is for horizontal shooting, and therefore keeps the phone more level by responding less quickly to up/down motion; FPV is a fun mode that tilts and pans very nimbly in response to your motion – I found it handy for recreating fast-moving Evil Dead-style POV shots. Finally, Auto analyses your movements and selects the most appropriate motion mode accordingly.

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Should you buy it?

You should buy if you want the best mobile gimbal

Building on the Flow’s excellent foundations with new and improved features, the Flow Pro is our new favourite all-round smartphone stabiliser.

You should not buy if you already own the Flow

The improvements over the Flow, while notable, aren’t game-changers – even for iPhone users. If you own the Flow, stick with that for now.

Final Thoughts

Aside from the slight decrease in battery life, the Insta360 Flow Pro is a notable improvement on its 2023-released predecessor – particularly for users of recent iPhone models.

While DockKit functionality isn’t quite the game-changer I thought it might be (I’d rather use the Insta360 app, where the tracking works better) it’s definitely an enhancement, as are other additions like one-tap NFC pairing, 360º continuous panning and animal tracking.

The tracking and stabilisation also remain top-drawer, making this an even more desirable gimbal than the one I awarded five stars last year – especially at its relatively low price. If you still want to see what else is out there then do have a read through our best smartphone gimbal round-up.

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How we test

We test every gimbal for at least a week before delivering a final verdict. Where possible, we will test each gimbal with an iPhone and an Android phone.

Used for more than a week

FAQs

Does the Insta360 Flow Pro offer subject tracking?

Yes, the Insta360 Flow Pro supports AI-assisted subject tracking with Deep Track 3.0.

Is the Insta360 Flow Pro compatible with Android phones?

Yes, the gimbal is compatible with both iOS and Android phones, though some features are only supported on the former.

How much does the Insta360 Flow Pro weigh?

The Insta360 Flow Pro weighs 398g including the gimbal and phone clamp.

Full specs

USA RRP
Manufacturer
Weight
Release Date

Jargon buster

USB-C

The modern USB connector you’ll find on most Android phones, new laptops, cameras and games consoles. It’s reversible and used for charging along with data-transfer.

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