Samsung first showed off its VR camera – Gear 360 – at Mobile World Congress in February this year. The product is now being slowly shipped across the region and we received a test unit from Samsung for test run.
The moment you take a look at it, you realize it is aimed at all sorts of users. The overall design and build quality of the Samsung Gear 360 is quite good. While the Gear 360 is certainly not the first consumer 360-degree video camera it definitely is one of the most user-friendly.
Size-wise, the Samsung Gear 360 is small, easy to use (for capturing and editing), and the video quality is good. The tennis ball-sized Gear 360 is small and compact. It actually reminded us of the Logitech webcams from the yesteryears.
The Gear 360 is easily the slickest 360 camera with two lenses we’ve ever used. The plastic body is dust and water-resistant, which means it can survive a day at the beach or a light shower.
The Samsung Gear 360 comes with two 180-degree fisheye lenses on the opposite sides, with each packing in a 15-megapixel sensor. Inside the box, Samsung includes a drawstring pouch and microfiber cloth for storing and cleaning the two lenses.
The Gear 360 also comes with a mini three-legged tripod that collapses into a little handle. The device offers 4K recording and works with Samsung smartphones and the Gear VR. Though the Gear 360 does not have any storage of its own, it comes with a MicroSD card slot that is capable of handling memory cards up to 128GB of storage.
When it comes to performance, the Samsung Gear 360 uses both the 15MP cameras back-to-back for high resolution 360 video capture at a resolution of 3840-by-1920 pixels. The camera’s dual lens setup also captures still 30MP photos that create panoramic images at a resolution of 7776-by-3888 pixels.
In terms of quality of the output, we were impressed. Everything that came out in our tests was very good – the footage was properly lit and in focus. This is Samsung making use of its Bright Lens 2.0 aperture that’s always supposed to be ready for low-light conditions.
Of course, the device only connects to Samsung phones. You do not necessarily need to have the latest phones – it is backwards compatible with S6, S6 Edge and even Note 5. All of these phones can run the required Samsung Gear 360 Manager app, and there’s a PC software equivalent called the Gear 360 Action Director.
All said and done, the device’s price tag of AED 1399 is quite affordable. The Samsung Gear 360 is something budding VR photography and videography enthusiasts can look at before diving head first into the VR world.
[highlight color=”yellow”]Price: AED 1399[/highlight]