The all new Gear 360 camera has been launched and it looks Samsung has come a long way since its last VR camera. But has it really? Let’s find out.
There’s no arguing that this week has been months in the planning for Samsung with the launch of four new devices, with two of them being the company’s much-awaited flagships, Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. Along with them, Samsung has put out to the world, their latest VR camera, the new Gear 360 which packs little improvement from their last VR camera.
The new Gear 360 can shoot videos in real 4K while Samsung’s 2016 VR camera managed to shoot videos at a resolution of 3,840 x 1,920, inches away from 4K. Spot much difference? Neither do we, although we hope we’re wrong. Also, as a turnabout from the 2016 model, the new Gear 360 supports iPhones that run iOS 10 or later which is to say iPhone 6s or later models, including the fun-size iPhone SE. And it’s a refreshing sight to see Samsung getting practical.
Compared to the last one, the new Gear VR camera can live-stream 360-degree videos at 2K resolutions which mean your YouTube Live videos will look more dapper and shooting the videos, all the more easy. While the camera showed issues of latency at the demos, with Engadget claiming it took a good 10 seconds for the changes to register on Samsung’s Galaxy S8, the live-stream feature did work.
The optics department is where Samsung brought in some real changes. The new Gear 360 replace the two 15 MP sensors on the 2016 model with two 8.4 MP sensors coupled with fish-eye lens. Both cameras, when used together, can click pictures at 15 MP. Although the fish-eye lens is much better for making 360-degree videos, it’s yet to be seen whether there will be any drop in the crispiness corresponding to the drop in the pixels.
A worthy successor?
While adding some appreciable changes, the new Gear 360 does leave lots of room for improvement. For one, the battery has been reduced to 1,160mAh as compared to the 1,350mAh on the 2016 Gear 360. However, the position of the battery has been shifted from the head of the camera to the body in what seems to be an attempt to make the camera less bulky. While the new Gear 360 is easier to be hand-held, the chunky tripod of the 2016 model had takers too.
Samsung’s new Gear 360 seems to be a fresh looking VR camera, and although it doesn’t pack many changes from its precursor, it comes with some friendly features and is the latest VR camera out there if you want to get your hands on one.