The Hohem XG1 is one of the lesser known action camera gimbals on the market and you don`t find many reviews on it online. Hohem released its first gimbal for GoPro cameras back in 2015 and it was a handheld gimbal called the HG1 Pro. It has evolved since and Hohem now has the HG5 out – they skipped HG2 and HG3.
But similar to other gimbal brands Hohem also has a wearable gimbal in the lineup called the Hohem XG1
Hohem XG1 overview.
Let`s start with the packaging and what’s included.
The Hohem XG1 comes in a nice small box that fits:
- Hohem XG1 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal
- Mini tripod
- 3 USB Cables
- Carry case + Shoulder strap
- T-Type connector
- User Manual
- Warranty Card
The mini tripod – great idea to include in the box. Some gimbals, like the Feiyu Tech WG2, has that optional, but it`s great that Hohem has included it in the packed as I assume it really doesn’t cost much to manufacture. It`s a great little addition for when you want to set the gimbal on an uneven surface for a timelapse or if you want to control the gimbal with your phone. You can also just screw it on to the bottom of the gimbal and turn the wearable gimbal into a handheld gimbal. I mean, you can hold the gimbal in your hand without it but the tripod makes it so much better.
Carry case – LOVE IT. Some gimbals do include it, like my two favorites Feiyu Tech G5 and WG2 but the cases are soft neoprene pouches. The case for the WG2 has paddings. The Hohem case is actually a case – not 100% hard case but it`s sort of semi-hard. (that`s what she said). It has the cutout contours for the gimbal to sit in and it will fit your gimbal WITH the camera attached. It also has a security velcro strap to make sure your gimbal doesn`t fall out accidentally. The case comes with an adjustable shoulder strap so you can sling it over your shoulder when not in use.
10 Points for Hohem for the carry case!
The screws – What the hell is up with the screws – they are long as f#¤k. I know this is a tiny thing at first glance but you will spend so much time fiddling with the tiny screws because they are really unnecessarily long and the clamp has grooves in it, so you need to constantly hold the clamp up to avoid the screws catching the threads of the clamp. Again coming back to Feiyu Tech who has solved this perfectly by making the holes of the clamp larger than the screw threads.
I asked Hohem representative why are they so freakishly long and as it turns out it`s to fit other cameras – Give me two sets of screws then because I`m going nuts over them!!!!
1 Point for Hohem for the screw situation.
Manual – Brief but comprehensive, it covers all the basics and if you ignore the awkward translation it does the job!
Hohem XG1 Features
- 3-Axis Pan / Tilt / Zoom Gimbal with 320 Degree Pan
- Universal 1/4″ thread in the bottom
- Plug and Play
- Compatible with Action Cameras GoPro HERO5, HERO4, Session, YI CAM, YI 4K, AEE, SJCam and cameras of a similar size.
- The maximum payload is 170g.
- App + Bluetooth Wireless Remote Control: 3 Axis Angle Parameter, 4 Direction Joystick, 3 Mode Change, Axis Follow Speed Change, Axis Angle Changed by 0.1°, Battery Level.
- 1.5 hours of battery life
- 12-Month Warranty service only for the item sold by Hohem. It’s important to calibrate the unit before use.
- Bluetooth: 4.0
- Built-in 900mAh lithium-ion battery.
- Working time: 1.5h
- Pitching Angle: 320°
- Rolling Angle: 320°
- Panning Angle: 320°
- Weight 233 g
The Hohem XG1 looks great and has a nice solid feel to it. It`s all aluminum except for the back of the gimbal where the controls are which seems to be plastic.There are two rubber pad at the bottom so if you set it on an uneven flat surface it will not slide. You can find the tripod screw at the bottom as usual plus you can attach the T-Type connector with two screws that are provided for a more secure connection to any GoPro mount.
You will find the ON/OFF switch, the Bluetooth indicator led and the status indicator led at the back of the gimbal, as well as the charging port and the reset button that you can reach with a pin.
If you have used a gimbal before then the controls are pretty simple and familiar.
- Long press to turn it on and off
- Single press: Pan mode
- Double press: Pan and Tilt mode
- Triple press: All lock mode
- Four presses: All following mode (tilt, roll, pan)
- Five presses: Calibration
The app is pretty solid and easy to operate. You have basically three things you can do with it: control the movements, change the follow speeds and calibrate the gimbal. The interface looks good and simple and i`ll give 5 out oI`llfor the app.
Hohem XG1 Field test
So not to the most important part of this review- how it actually performs.
I`m pretty impressed by the gimbals performance! Although the Hohem XG1 is a pretty unknown gimbal it`s a very good gimbal and should get some more recognition. The movements are smooth and there are no jitters that are visible at the edges of the frame (like the RedFox S1P). When comparing it to one of the best wearable gimbals in my mind – the Feiyu Tech WG2 – it stacks up really well and I kind of think the Hohem XG1 is even a bit smoother. The reaction to your movements by default is slower than WG2 so the camera catches up with your hand movements slower. This is more of a personal preference and the speed can be adjusted through the Hohem GimSet app.
While testing I had the gimbals or the GoPro without a gimbal on a solid rack side by side so there are no intentional jitters on neither of the case.
In terms of motor noise, it`s audible but manageable. If you listen carefully you can hear the motors working and with HERO5 and HERO6 it`s more pronounced because of the mic placements. Compared to WG2 – I would say they are on par in terms of motor noise.
Now the one issue where Feiyu Tech WG2 wins is the range of motion. WG2 has 360 range of motion in both tilt and roll angles whereas the XG1 has 32o in all angles. So you can`t turn it around completely for a selfie shot and you need to turn it at the base. The WG2 is of course also waterproof and has the cool time-lapse mode but that`s another category (also another price range) so I´ll not take this into consideration. So if the waterproof factor is important to you, you might want to look at the Feiyu Tech gimbals but if you don’t need to have a waterproof gimbal the Hohem XG1 is a great option.
It`s hard to otherwise fault the gimbal and priced at around 160USD it`s definitely one of the more affordable wearable gimbals on the market.
What I love about Hohem XG1
- Great build quality
- Easy controls
- Works perfectly
- Nice packaging
- Semi-hard splashproof carry pouch
- Mini tripod included
- Compatible with many action cameras
- Remote control from the app
- It only has 32o degree follow range in every direction
Things I don`t love
- I really fucking hate the long screws 😀 Might be a small thing but it really really annoys me because you can`t event close the carry pouch without screwing them halfway in
Hohem XG1 – Final Verdict
I Really really like it. When compared to my current favorite Feiyu Tech WG2 it performs even better. If it were waterproof i would declare it a winner but as long as Feiyu Tech has the advantage in that field it`s a close second. If you want an affordable gimbal to work with a wide range of action cameras the Hohem XG1 is a great choice. It works as a gimbal is supposed to work, the image is smooth and stable and the fact that you get a great carry bag is a huge plus in my eyes.