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Hands on: DJI Pocket 2 review

The super-smooth sequel to the pocketable Osmo gimbal

What is a hands on review?
DJI Pocket 2 review
(Image: © Future)

Early Verdict

DJI Pocket 2 is better than your smartphone camera when it comes to capturing smoothly stabilized 4K video. Pocket-sized gimbal packs in new features, including a larger sensor size, wide lens and better audio, all of which will make content creators happy.

For

  • Super smooth 4K video
  • Pocketable design
  • Easy Motion time lapses

Against

  • Accessories cost extra
  • HDR video isn't ready

The DJI Pocket 2 is ready to record smoothly stabilized 4K video at 60fps and, like the DJI Osmo Pocket from two years ago, it still fits in the palm of your hand.

New to this tiny 3-axis gimbal is a larger sensor that offers better video than any new smartphone camera, a much wider lens that will make vloggers happy, and 4x video / 8x photo zoom modes that gets you closer to subjects.

Attaching accessories to the DJI Pocket 2 is easier than ever thanks to its modular design, so you'll finally be able to attach a tripod or microphone to the base. There's even a creator's kit edition of the camera that comes with these accessories.

DJI has addressed other paint points of the original pocket-sized gimbal. There are now four microphones on the body, all strategically placed to avoid common hand holding spots, and directional audio to amp up where you're pointing the camera.

Motion time lapses, which usually require a lot of camera equipment, return and are a cinch with the Pocket 2. They're here alongside normal time lapse and hyperlapse modes, and you can now capture in RAW and use DJI's ActiveTrack 3.0 tracking.

The camera specs are what have impressed us the most about this gimbal: a 1/1.7-inch sensor size edges out the iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, while the 20mm f/1.8 lens is brighter and wider than the original Osmo Pocket.

Capturing 4K video – this stabilized, with this level of quality – in a pocketable form factor, makes the DJI Pocket 2 a one-of-a-kind gadget for creators. Best of all, it won't need the constant calibration of larger camera gimbals.

DJI Pocket 2 review

(Image credit: Future)

DJI Pocket 2 release date and price

You'll be able to order the DJI Pocket 2 from November 1 (or October 31 in Europe) in a couple of different bundles.

There's a basic bundle, costing $349 / £339 (around AU$623), which includes the Mini Control Stick and 1/4-inch tripod mount. But there's also a DJI Pocket 2 Creator Combo available for $499 / £469 (around AU$860), which includes the basic bundle's accessories plus a Wide-Angle Lens, Wireless Microphone and Windscreen, Do-It-All Handle, and Micro Tripod.

That's similar pricing to the original DJI Osmo Pocket, and overall we think that's decent value considering its upgrades. But whether you think it's worth shelling out that extra sum on top of your smartphone costs depends on how much you need the DJI Pocket 2's video features... 

DJI Pocket 2 review

(Image credit: Future)

Design and durability

The wand-shaped DJI Pocket 2 doesn't look too different from its predecessor, but that's a good thing for slipping this handheld camera stabilizer into your pocket.

Its 3-axis gimbal design has a tiny camera head on top, one that's free to cancel out your shaky hand movement, while you hold the base and reference the framing on the tiny one-inch screen. The entire thing is still extremely light at just 117g.

What's great about the Pocket 2 compared to the DJI OM 4 is that this setup won't hog your precious smartphone. The camera used here is built-in and only uses your phone when you want a larger viewfinder for more granular controls.

The mode and record buttons are under the square-shaped reference screen, and there's a new power button around the side. While you can still turn the gimbal on via the mode button, only the side-mounted power button can turn it off. That's handy to avoid accidental shut-offs when cycling through modes. 

There's a USB-C port on the bottom, but it's easier to connect the gimbal to a phone via universal port adapter that sits between the screen and buttons. Included in the Pocket 2 box are small Lightning and USB-C adapters that fit into this slot for easy phone attachment and video export. 

Having a physical connection means it's faster and more reliable when transferring 4K video versus having to do it wirelessly – like we experience on so many action cameras. However, the adapters are extremely easy to lose if you're fumbling with the on during outdoor adventure.

The case that comes with the DJI Pocket 2 is form fitting – so much so that we found it a tight squeeze this time. But that means it's not the usual bulky camera case you'll never actually use. This delicate gimbal and camera head actually demands it.

If there's one new design feature we like (and probably needed most last time), it's Drop Aware. This is DJI's preventative measure that senses a fall and locks up the gimbal to prevent damage. Even with this new perk, this is not the GoPro Hero 9, which also offers in-camera stabilized footage in a more durable package.

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DJI Pocket 2 review

(Image credit: Future)
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DJI Pocket 2 review

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DJI Pocket 2 review

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Video quality, audio and camera specs

The DJI Pocket 2 is like a miniaturized classic Hollywood crane that's able to capture smooth video – all in the palm of your hand. It's incredibly cinematic at 4K 60fps.

The best part is that you don't have to know what you're doing to record stabilized footage. The automatically panning and tilting camera head adjusts for your shaky hands and basically puts the entire process on rails. Editing can be done on your phone, too, and a new AI editor in the DJI Mimi app helps speed things along.

For the pros, the camera sports a 1/1.7-inch sensor and 20mm f/1.8 lens, offering a superb picture that's slightly better than the original. It still records 4K 60fps video at 100Mbps, and there's an HDR video mode on the way (it hasn't launched yet, sadly).

Pro controls are also fully accessible from the Pocket 2, so you can tinker with the shutter speed, EV, focus mode and ISO of 100 to 6400. New is the ability to adjust the follow focus speed and pause recordings, making this even more of a creator's one-stop-shop for video.

The zoom modes were a surprise we didn't see coming. They allow you to punch in 4x lossless at 16MP and 1080p; 3x on 2.7k video; and 2x on 4K video. There's also a 8x zoom on a special 64MP photo mode that doesn't get the same treatment from any video resolution (we'd imagine for good reason).

Even more useful than how close you can get to subjects, the wide 93 degree field of view will delight vloggers who want to capture more of what's behind them – and not cut off the tops of their heads. The original DJI Pocket was a very tight 80 degrees.

We'll be uploading more DJI Pocket footage when as we continue to test the gimbal on our way to a full review. Stay tuned for additional silky smooth video.

DJI Pocket 2 review

(Image credit: Future)

Battery life

This is what we need more time with than anything. DJI claims that the Pocket 2 has 140 minutes of battery, and that matches the original Pocket. But keep in mind, that was at the 1080p 30fps before, and we'd imagine it's similar here.

There's no user-replaceable battery, which some people argued for early on when the original Osmo Pocket came out. But so far, we've been fine with the Pocket 2, even when recording 4K at 60fps.

Like most people, we're primarily recording stabilized videos in spurts. However, long monologues to the camera do require external power, like a power bank.

DJI Pocket 2 review

(Image credit: Future)

Early verdict

The DJI Pocket 2 has a little bit of something for everyone is a little package. Creators are going to love to vlog with the wider lens and larger sensor size over the original Osmo Pocket. It's all contained in a tiny gimbal that's easy to slip into a pocket.

But the Pocket 2 price is right for people who are simply tired of shaky smartphone camera footage, or wan to tinker with a camera that offers pro-level video quality without having to learn new tricks. Even the latest phone cameras can't compete with the anti-shaky 4K video of the Pocket 2, and this gimbal is much harder to use than a smartphone.

Of course, the cost will add up if you spring for the creator's kit and splurge for the extra accessories that don't come in the box. It's very similar to the upsell on GoPro cameras. But, the starting price is a little more affordable for DJI's top-of-the-line pocket-sized gimbal and, so far, we're impressed with this super-smooth sequel.

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.