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If you are familiar with the action camera market, you have probably heard of Insta 360, it is a popular manufacturer action and 360 degree camera. Although not well known as GoPro in India, the company is now optimistic that it can change as it has an official presence in the country. Today we will test the Insta 360 Go 2, the second-generation model of the company’s smallest action camera.

The size reminds me a lot of the tiny action cameras in the now-closed GoPro Hero Session series. But the Go2 has some unique capabilities that make it rather special. It claims to be the smallest action camera in the world and it is not cheap. 400 rupees. At 34,999 in India, this is more than a GoPro Hero 8 Black and almost more than the Hero 9 Block. Is this a suitable option? Find out.

Insta 360 Go2 design

The Insta 360 Go2 has a tiny, pill-shaped body about the size of an AA battery. It is only available in white, which, in my opinion, is not a great choice considering its intended use. It weighs only 26.5g and the plastic body looks sturdy. There’s a single LED indicator just below the lens and there’s a contact pin on the back to charge, when you dock it to the case. The front panel just below the LED acts as a button to start and stop recording. I’m not a big fan of how it works, but we’ll get to that later. The lens cover is easily replaceable, if any of your existing uses are scratched or cracked.

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The Insta 360 Go2 is tiny and comes with a highly functional charging case

The charging case of the Insta 360 Go2 is just as important as the camera. For starters, the only way to charge the camera. The case is analogous to an AirPods Pro charging and has a USB Type-C port, a standard tripod mount and two connectable feet that allow you to shoot vertically. Inside, there is a hole in the top half for the camera while the bottom half has a backlit monochrome display and two reset buttons.

The display lets you cycle between different shooting modes, showing you the battery status of the case and the camera. The case even has Bluetooth so it can be used to remotely control the camera. The build quality of the case with the hinges is very good, but again I wish the color was anything but white but

You will find a bunch of nifty accessories in the box. Magnetic pendant is meant to be accessories as well, a pendant, and the camera can be mounted directly on it. There is a clip mount that can be attached to a bandana or cap and a magnetic stand that can be mounted on metal surfaces using a magnet. Insta 360 sells a mount adapter bundle that includes a mount for GoPro accessories.

insta360 go2 Review Mount EE

Unlike any GoPro, the Insta360 Go 2 comes bundled with some useful mounts in the box.

Insta 360 Go 2 Features and Applications

Insta 360 Go 2 boasts modest video recording capabilities. The 1 / 2.3-inch sensor can shoot up to 1440p (2560×1440) at 50fps, which isn’t bad, but I’d prefer the 4K video recording option, especially considering that the GoPro Hero5 session backed it back in 2016. The supported video modes are also preliminary. You get Standard, Provideo, HDR, Timeless, Timeshift and Slow Motion. The same goes for photo mode, which includes standard, interval, starless and night shots. Oddly enough, photos can be saved as either INSP or DNG, but not JPEG. You need to export the captured photos using your camera’s mobile or desktop application for sharing.

Insta 360 Go2 supports Bluetooth 5 and Wi-Fi. Unlike a GoPro camera, you’ll get 32GB of built-in memory which is great, but it’s not too much and there’s no microSD card slot so there’s no room for expansion. IPX8 waterproof for use up to 4 meters under 2 waters. But it’s just the camera that’s waterproof and not the case.

insta360 go2 review application ff

The Insta 360 app has a great design and offers plenty of options to twink your photos and videos before exporting.

The Insta 360 Go2 has a feature called Flowstate Stabilization (similar to GoPro’s Hypersmouth) which is available in Provideo and Time Shift modes. You have a range of options, such as UltraWide, ActionView, Linear, and Narrow. These options can be manipulated even after you have shot a video with the have app, which you can’t do with any GoPro.

The Insta 360 app for iOS and Android lets you remotely control the camera, update its firmware, and offload videos and photos to your phone. It even lets you edit videos and photos fairly before exporting them.

Insta 360 Go 2 performance and battery life

One of the main reasons why the Insta 360 Go2 is considered a GoPro over is because of the versatility and flexibility it offers in terms of mounting. The camera itself has a magnetic back so you can stick it directly on any metal surface without having to worry about mounts. Having said that, the magnets of the camera should have been stronger because if it had strong vibrations or any intense activity (which should be expected for any activity), it could easily fall from any surface. Still, the accessories included were quite high in my use. The charging case can be used to wake up the camera remotely and start recording, which I find very convenient at a time when I didn’t have my phone with me.

insta360 go2 review mount aywhere eee

The small size of the Insta 360 Go 2 and the magnetic back allow it to be easily placed anywhere

The video recorded in daylight was quite good. I usually get stuck in Provideo mode because it provides the best stability and features like Horizon Leveling. The quality of the video was comparable to that of a GoPro Hero8 Black, but during intense activity like running, the Insta 360’s flowstate stability was unable to hold GoPro’s hyper-smooth stability. Timelapse videos can also be shot at 1440p and the quality was great. HDR videos don’t seem to offer any significant benefits over standard videos, so I don’t use this option too much. Slow videos looked great but it was limited to 1080p at 120fps.

Still photos can look great depending on how you process. The app provides two useful post-processing presets called Pearshot and Color Plus. The former can work easily if you want to instantly cast shadows for better visibility, but it does highlight some highlights. Color Plus produces shots that look more dramatic by shattering contrast and highlights. The videos and photos shot at night look granular and the detail is weak. I noticed that applying an authentic shot filter to standard low-light photos creates a cleaner image than using night shots. When exporting video, there is a ‘remove grain’ option, which helps clear the sound, but takes longer to export.

Insta 360 color 2 plus photo sample with filter (tap to view full size)

2 low-light photo samples with Insta 360 night shot mode (tap to view full size)

The battery life of Insta 360 Go2 leaves a lot to be desired. While the stats show improvement compared to the first model, the Go2 can still record video for 3040 minutes in standard mode at 1440p before the battery runs out. In fact, in my experience it usually lasts less than 30 minutes as it stops recording the moment the battery level drops to 10 percent. You won’t be able to still shoot when the battery indicator is in red, forcing you to recharge the camera. When shooting 1440p video in Provideo mode, the length of the clip is limited to 10 minutes and everyone drops 30 percent better from the battery level. If you do not use it as a remote control, the case should be able to climb twice on the camera.

The more I like the size and versatility of the Insta 360 Go 2, the more experience I have. I hope the company would have worked differently to make things better, starting with the camera , Because it can prevent the numerous accidental stresses driven by me. This is followed by the LED indicator, which for some bizarre reason, flashes in white while the camera recording, which, in contrast to a white body, can be hard to see during the day. It flashes red when the battery is low, so why not use this universally accepted color for recording?

After a few minutes of shooting, the camera also became very hot. This is a bit normal for most action cameras, but with the Go 2, this camera randomly crashed and corrupted the file I recorded a few times in my experience. This makes it somewhat incredible when the weather is not very favorable. I also found the shooting modes for 2021 to be a bit too basic – even missing something like an explosion mode for photos.

insta360 go2 review style cat mm

Using Insta 360 Go 2 is incredibly fun, but it’s not without its share of issues.

The charging case is as simple as it can use a few designs of tweets. It should ideally have had some water and dust proofing, as the current lack of it limits where you can use it, such as on the beach or in a pool. Due to the poor battery life of the camera, you need the case around you wherever you go, so weatherproofing would be great. I hope the top half of the case could have tilted 180 degrees, which would have made it easier to shoot and monitor the display at the same time. It’s also a bit tricky when it comes to charging – it doesn’t charge from Type-C to Type-C only when connected to a MacBook Air (M1) or any high-wattage USB Type-C PD charger. The Insta 360 USB Type-A to Type-C cable is bundled as such, and recommends using a 10W power adapter to charge the case.

Judgment

The Insta 360 Go2 concept has a lot of potential but needs a lot more polish to make it work. There is definitely a place in the market for this kind of small action camera and the potential for creativity with this kind of equipment is virtually limitless. However, in order to save such cameras in the market, especially in India, the price needs to be more attractive up to Rs 2,000. The Insta 360 Go only costs 34,999 for the Go 2 offers and you can find it a little less online but it still costs more than the GoPro Hero 8 Black.

Pricing aside, there is a large list of changes that I hope to see in the next version of this camera. I want a kind of display on the camera itself and more functional shutter buttons and status indicators to show what mode I’m in. After that, I would gladly take away the removable storage on the built-in 32 GB, if that means less. Until the end, I want long-term records, a 4K option, better battery life and a weatherproof case.

Overall, the Insta 360 Go 2 is a fun small action camera that offers plenty of mounting flexibility, decent video performance, and useful accessories in the box. However, if your use cases do not take advantage of its small size, it is better to buy a GoPro Hero 8 Black or a better Hero 9 Black because you are more feature rich and reliable.

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