Insta360 released the much anticipated One X2 360 camera where it’s been, by and large, well-received. Featured on various tech blogs including The Verge and Android Authority. Unfortunately, the One X2 falls short of expectations. The software isn’t polished and there’s little real utility to the average consumer. If dramatized, it’s an impulse purchase with no real value other than the vanity of having one. It’s a device meant for early adopters and hobbyists.
Looking at the Construction
Don’t get the wrong idea. One X2 is a remarkable device overall. In comparison to a Galaxy Note 20 Ultra which measures 6.5 x 3 x 0.3(length, width, height) inches, the One X2 is 4.5 x 1.8 x 1.2 inches. 75% of its length, 60% of its width, and four times its height. It can easily fit into your pocket but it’s fairly obvious that you have something in your pocket.
Its also IPX8 Waterproof up to 10 meters (33ft) which means you can capture a wet environment without any accessories. They also have a Dive Case combined with an analogous “AquaVision” software enhancement if you want to take your 360 crusades into deeper depths.
Sporting two lenses with an F2.0 aperture capable of capturing video at 5.7K, the One X2 is incredibly powerful by today’s standards. It also offers a few great software enhancements that really raise the quality of editing. The problems arise with the limitations of these high-end specifications.
Analysis of Capabilities
Although the technology powering the One X2 is impressive by today’s standards, it’s just not good enough. The hardware isn’t capable of processing the image data. The demands are far too hefty making the entire process of reviewing your videos unpleasant. There are just not enough resources capable of handling that data-load.
I used the One X2 for three weeks and have only watched the videos as much as I needed for this review. The process was cumbersome and the footage that I salvaged wasn’t worth it.
The captured video just didn’t provide a good enough resolution. Although spec-wise 5.7K@30fps is impressive, the final product isn’t. It doesn’t match the quality offered by other action cams like the GoPro Hero 9.
Lack of Maturity of Ecosystem
You can’t capture a 360 video and use an Oculus Quest 2 to watch them. The entirety of the 360/VR ecosystem is lacking the maturity of its 2D counterparts. There aren’t any real integrations across systems and platforms. It’s a hodgepodge of a system that you have to navigate. It reminds me of Windows Phone; let’s hope it doesn’t suffer the same fate.
I’d like to see the ecosystem mature a few years unless I wanted to invest in its early contents. Tighter integration with virtual reality platforms would make the camera’s use more convenient. It would be great to capture your 360 videos and review them through an Oculus Quest 2. The ecosystem hasn’t quite matured to have any real utility at this point.
Useful Software Features
The One X2 comes with a handful of useful features that mitigate the annoyance of editing. Auto Reframe reframes 360 shots using artificial intelligence. They also feature “flow-state stabilization” an algorithm that reduces shaky footage. There are also some really cool ones like “Ghost Town” which can remove people from a timelapse. You’ll end up with a clean shot and it works surprisingly well.
There’s also a tracking feature that keeps the focus on a person or an object. It helps keep you focused on what’s going on rather than the non-action parts of your video. It also works well but it’s still hindered by how slow the process is as mentioned earlier.
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The invisible selfie stick disappears from your videos without editing. It’s supposed to look like you have a floating camera but from our tests, it distorted the image. There were hours of unusable footage because of lack of clear instructions. It would be useful to include a guide and tips on how to create workable footage on the first try. I’m sure this will get better with time and can be mitigated after you learn from your mistakes.
Despite its drawbacks, the Insta360 OneX2 is currently the best in its class. I’m excited for the ecosystem to mature and for the hardware to catch up. You’re going to need processors powerful enough to churn all that image data being captured, and you’ll still have to capture a lot more data.
As of right now, we’re only recommending investing in one of the One X2 to help mature the ecosystem, as a hobbyist, or producer. As a consumer, I’d wait for it to mature. In any case, if you’re interested, buy it through our affiliate link so we can continue to provide you honest reviews of the latest technology.
Direct to Manufacturer Link: insta360.com/sal/one_x2?insrc=INR65UA(opens in a new tab)