Since they first came on the scene, Insta360 has been all about 360-degree cameras, producing them in various models, each with specific use-cases in mind. While they definitely have their use, you have to admit, spherical video hasn’t really gone as mainstream as the outfit would have liked. While we don’t see them abandoning their core product anytime soon, the outfit is branching out this time around with the Insta360 Flow.
Instead of another 360-degree camera, the outfit is making a smartphone gimbal that you can use to shoot stabilized handheld videos using your phone. You know… just like DJI’s OM series. In this case, though, the outfit leverages all the AI features they’ve previously developed for their 360-degree cameras, employing them to help you track, stabilize, and edit your videos with the least amount of manual input.
The Insta360 Flow has a locking clamp mount that should allow it to fit most any size of smartphone, as well as an extendable arm that lets you hold the phone at a distance that’s comfortable enough for self-framed footage. It boasts three-axis gimbal stabilization that capably cancels out any shakes or jitters, ensuring you can get smooth footage with your smartphone camera without having to tiptoe around while performing slow, deliberate movements. There’s even built-in at the base of the grip, allowing you to set it down for hands-free filming.
It uses the outfit’s AI-powered tracking system to keep the subject in frame the entire time, which can work even when the subject is blocked in the frame. According to the outfit, it can re-identify the subject as soon as they pop up in the scene, then resume tracking them as before. It also has additional AI-based features, such as all-angle tracking, zoom tracking (for more cinematic shots), slow motion tracking, and even tracking during video calls.
The Insta360 Flow also has Shot Genie, which lets you choose from 80 example shooting scenarios, allowing the software to do most of the actual cinematography (you just hold it). Of course, you can also manually control everything via the SmartWheel control right on the grip. Sound great? Definitely. However, there’s a catch, as the software isn’t compatible yet with all phones. In fact, all features are only available for iPhone 11, 12, 13, and 14 right now, while various Android models having varying degrees of compatibility. It can shoot in 4K 60fps and 1080p 240fps, but only for the iPhone models above and the Google Pixel 6 (and 6 Pro), with other phones only shooting in 30fps max. So yeah… it’s only really a good deal for those with newer iPhones right now.
According to the outfit, the motor is powerful enough to handle phones up to 300 grams, so it should mount the biggest iPhone without any trouble. It’s powered by a 2,900 mAh battery, by the way, which holds enough juice to keep it shooting for up to 12 hours between charges, so you can go an entire half day of stabilized shooting with this thing.
The Insta360 Flow is available now.