Chinese tech vloggers, so far at least, have had lots of nice things to say about the latest product of Shenzhen-based drone maker DJI, the Osmo Pocket.
One video review, which has racked up 41,000 views in under 20 hours, resembles a commercial, complete with scenes (shot on the Pocket, of course) of beaches and quaint seaside towns.
“It’s extremely convenient for women,” the reviewer concludes. “It’s small and light, it’s very simple to fold up, and I can fit it in my purse.”
It’s unclear whether the review is sponsored or not, but at least part of her assessment rings true. The Pocket’s tiny, extendable frame can be held in one hand, and its features are designed to be user-friendly.
Both Chinese and English-language tech sites are already abuzz with reviews, seeming to agree that the miniature handheld filmmaking tool would be a great tool for vloggers, if not necessarily more serious users.
In addition to the stabilizing gimbal and subject-tracking shared by other products in DJI’s Osmo line, the Pocket has a ‘selfie mode’ that keeps one’s face at the center of shots. An accompanying app provides preloaded templates for video-making and options to share straight to social media, both seemingly aimed at aspiring KOLs.
Priced at RMB 2,499 in mainland China ($349 in the US), however, it’s over double the cost of its direct predecessor, the Osmo Mobile 2 (RMB 899). In addition, although users can attach their smartphones, the limited screen space could be a turnoff for pro users.
DJI’s latest release might be seen as a direct competitor to GoPro’s Hero 7 Black ($399.99) which, based on its promotional video, is targeted at an audience of dirt bikers, winter sports enthusiasts, and similar. The Hero 7 Black is also smartphone-friendly and even more compact than the Osmo Pocket, although it lacks a selfie mode.
Although DJI made its name with high-quality drones, particularly its Phantom line, it’s since expanded its products to target more casual consumers. People who may not, say, want to put down RMB3,199 for a ‘starter’ drone like the Spark, or the numerous accessories that go with it.
With its latest entry into handheld photography, however, DJI is getting close to that baseline. It might be looking at the money being made by China’s growing body of professional livestreamers, who receive a cut of digital gifts given by their fans. Although of course, in today’s fast-paced media environment, you don’t have to be Chinese to appreciate the importance of looking good on camera.