The Insta360 Flow is an advanced AI-tracking smartphone stabiliser from Insta360, a manufacturer better known for its market-leading 360º cameras, such as the Insta360 One RS 1-Inch Edition. Powered on and the Flow instantly shows potential, with impressive tracking capabilities powered by Insa360’s proprietary Deep Track 3.0 tracking magic.
Beyond stabilisation, the Flow offers a range of shooting modes, including panorama, time-lapse, slow motion, and dolly zoom, allowing for creative and unique visual effects. The standout Hoop Mode tracks the movement of a basketball and hoop, automatically saving highlights for easy editing. Unfortunately, it won’t land that hoop for you.
With AI tracking, stabilisation, a built-in selfie stick, tripod, power bank and diverse shooting modes, the Insta360 Flow offers a comprehensive toolset to enable you to capture professional-grade video on your smartphone.
Advanced AI tracking
Some functions may have a learning curve
Limited vertical rotation (Up)
What is Insta360 Flow?
The Insta360 Flow is an advanced AI-tracking smartphone stabiliser designed to elevate your smartphone videos to a professional level. It combines the functions of a gimbal, selfie stick, tripod, and power bank into a single, all-in-one video and photo tool. There’s also the app that packs much of the power behind the AI functions and the features that make this gimbal stand out.
The design of the Flow is innovative, and it’s been tailored for use by content creators who use high-end smartphones and need an AI assistant to help capture videos, either for Live streaming or editing later.
The big ticket feature of the Insta360 Flow is that AI tracking technology that enables you to follow subjects with remarkable precision. This is all thanks to the mechanical 3-axis stabilisation. This mechanical rather than digital stabilisation, promises to offer ultra-smooth shots without needing to crop into valuable resolution. When coupled with the AI, it should help to ensure that your subject, be that human, animal or object stays in the frame.
With the intuitive design and smart AI features, the Insta360 Flow promises to enable you to capture cinematic-style footage or present effortlessly to the camera without needing an assistant. However you choose to use the Flow, it should enhance your video content creation.
Weight: Approx. 369g (13oz) for the gimbal, Approx. 32g (1.1oz) for the magnetic phone clamp
The build and handling of the Insta360 Flow demonstrates attention to detail from Insta360, with design elements such as the Cold shoe at the base of the vertical axis and the telescopic Selfie Stick. The gimbal is well-made and feels sturdy in hand with a good comfortable grip that provides a sense of reliability during use.
The Flow’s compact and foldable design makes it highly portable, allowing for easy transportation and storage, such as in a bag’s side pocket or jacket. The integrated mini tripod adds stability when setting up and versatility when presenting to camera, and the fact that the tripod packs into the base seamlessly shows a high level of design innovation.
The magnetic smartphone clamp is similar to those I’ve seen before and provides quick and secure attachment, ensuring the phone remains firmly in place during operation.
The controls on the gimbal are intuitively placed and easy to access, allowing for easy adjustments while shooting. The SmartWheel provides convenient control over various functions, giving you quick access to shooting modes and settings. There’s also a zoom ring that makes the most of any additional photo or video zoom features your phone’s camera might have.
When presenting to the camera the gesture control feature adds extra convenience, enabling hands-free operation with simple gestures to start and stop recording.
The Insta360 Flow has various features that elevate the smartphone shooting experience. The AI tracking technology, Deep Track 3.0, enables precise and reliable subject tracking, ensuring smooth and professional-looking footage. The 3-axis gimbal stabilisation further enhances stability, eliminating shakes and jitters from the footage.
The Flow offers versatile shooting modes, including Pano Photo, Photo, Video, Timelapse, Timeshift, Slow motion, Dolly Zoom, Widescreen mode, Live Mode, and Hoop Mode. Each mode provides you with unique creative possibilities and allows you to explore different shooting styles and techniques.
The integrated mini tripod and magnetic smartphone clamp add convenience and flexibility. The tripod extends from the gimbal’s base, allowing for easy setup as well as stable shots and creative angles helped by the ability to extend the inbuilt selfie stick. The magnetic clamp securely holds the smartphone, ensuring it stays firmly attached during operation.
The Insta360 app holds much of the secrets to the power of the Flow and offers a range of AI-powered shooting and editing tools, such as Shot Genie for composition suggestions and Hoop Mode for tracking basketball or Netball action. These features allow you to capture stunning cinematic footage and add a professional touch to videos.
The performance of the Insta360 Flow is a mixed bag, with notable strengths and areas for improvement.
One of the standout features is the AI tracking capability powered by Deep Track 3.0. It enables the gimbal to accurately follow subjects in real-time, delivering smooth and stable footage. The precision of the tracking is excellent, with features like Person Re-Identification and All-Angle Tracking ensuring consistent tracking even when the subject is momentarily obstructed. However, in use there is a bit of a learning curve involved in maximising the full potential of these advanced tracking features. For instance, keep your physical tracking natural and smooth and the Flow will usually do the rest.
The mechanical 3-axis gimbal stabilisation is highly effective at reducing shakes and vibrations and ultimately provides steady footage in various shooting scenarios. Still, one thing that I did find is that it’s important to note that there is some limit to the vertical rotation (upward movement) and when hand holding this can be restrictive in certain situations. However, if you extend the Selfie stick slightly you can then tilt the camera instantly fixing any issue, it’s a workaround rather than a neat solution.
The Insta360 Flow performs well on video quality through the app, especially with high-end smartphones. However, the ultimate video quality is still dependent on the capabilities of the smartphone’s camera, so don’t expect your older Smartphone to suddenly jump in the actual video quality. While the Flow enhances stability and mitigates shaking, the smartphone’s sensor, lens, and processing capabilities determine the overall image quality.
The Flow’s battery life is notable, lasting up to 12 hours, which is sufficient for a day’s shooting, through the test a couple of charges were sufficient to capture plenty of footage on multiple smartphones. However, it’s worth considering that the battery life can vary depending on factors like usage and settings.
One area that could be improved is the Apps user interface and controls. While the app provides a range of shooting modes and editing tools, you may initially find the interface slightly overwhelming. The limited vertical rotation is another point that may require additional effort to achieve desired framing and composition but is easily resolved with the tilt from the selfie stick.
The area where the Flow really stood out for me was when used to film yourself using the screen camera. Here the subject tracking was exceptional and using hand gestures to start and stop recording is a huge advantage when shooting footage yourself. My only issue is that while the start of the footage counts you into starting filming the final gesture to stop recording remains at the end of the video. I would have liked to have seen an auto-edit that cuts this final stop gesture from the final edit.
Ultimately the Insta360 Flow delivers solid performance regarding subject tracking, stabilisation, and battery life.
The Insta360 Flow offers advanced AI tracking and stabilisation capabilities, making it a versatile tool for smartphone videography. While it has its strengths, it’s important to consider whether it aligns with your specific needs and shooting style.
The Insta360 Flow is well-suited if you are a content creator who prioritises smooth and stable footage from your smartphone. Particularly if you engage in activities that require motion tracking or dynamic movements, such as sports, travel, vlogging, or action videography. The AI tracking feature and the 3-axis stabilisation ensure that your subject stays in frame and your footage remains steady even in challenging shooting conditions.
If you are a smartphone videographer seeking advanced tracking capabilities and smooth stabilisation, the Insta360 Flow can be a valuable addition to your gear. It enhances the quality of your videos by minimising shakes and delivering professional-looking results.
Overall, the Insta360 Flow is a superb smartphone stabiliser. The stabilisation abilities are fast and responsive and in the test, it was able to cope with the weight of a wide variety of phones. For general stabilisation the Flow was excellent but what elevates this is the App and all those additional AI features.
Most notable are the tracking features either when you film others or you’re presenting to camera the App enabled gimble enables you to track the motion with incredible precision. If used when presenting to camera then again it works with smoothness and speed that really does start to look like someone expert is doing the filming.
Ultimately once again Insta360 has shown that it is one of the leading imaging and stabilisation experts. If you need a smartphone stabiliser then there’s little to fault with the Insta360 Flow.
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