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[The Lab²] Insta360 GO 2 - Is The Tiny Mighty Action Cam a Go Go?

  1. obakesan
    The Lab² Reviewer - Insta360 GO 2 Oct 21, 2021

    obakesan , Oct 21, 2021 :
    Insta360 GO2 Review Banner.png

    Hey there! How are you doing? I trust you are well; now make sure you have a drink, are settled (not too much though ok) down in your favourite chair and prepare to be amazed by the brilliance of THE LAB!!!THE LAB!!!

    Oh, what was that? Who am I, you asked? Well, I’m @obakesan , the ghost with the most :) but seriously I’ve been a member on these forums since 2014, I feel like I’m part of the furniture. Many folks will recognise me here and there and everywhere and even in the real world. I get around so much they should put OnePlus Miles on my account!

    I’m writing this from London (UK ) with a pint of beer and an umbrella in hand cause it’s always raining and we be drinking! Believe it or not Mr Ripley! This is my first ever Lab review, honestly, and what an honour (thanks @Daniel D. ) to be selected as one of the founding reviewers to launch The Lab²! A word comes to mind:

    Supercalafajalistickespialadojus

    Hang on a sec, someone is whispering something into my ear, OHHH. Ah of course, scrap that, nope there is no Lab here, what you think we are scientists or something? Actually maybe we are mad scientists! There is something special here today, for it is the inaugural first reviews of (drum roll please)

    The Lab²

    Yes! You read that right, it’s The Lab you are already familiar with but so much more. What is it though you ask? Well, like The Lab; The Lab² is about reviewing products by the community for the community and putting a real user perspective behind it. Unlike The Lab where the products have been actual OnePlus products, the products in The Lab² are from other companies not affiliated with OnePlus that may be of interest to the community.

    We are kicking it into high gear; and I mean GEAR (like tech - get it)! Please join me and my fellow Labbers @anunayC & @BobbyV8_ for a OnePlus Community first; in an earth shattering and amazing look into the:

    Insta360 GO 2 - The Tiny Mighty Action Cam
    Chase Adventure

    This pint sized action camera is like the mini-me of the GoPro world. It’s small and portable size makes it ideal to take interesting photos and videos in places and locations you may not normally think possible - even underwater! Is this tiny powerhouse of photography a Go Go! Or is it simply a No No - let’s find out shall we…

    ... comfy? Fab, so let’s start the adventure with the Unboxing and let’s see how mighty this camera really is!



    Insta360 GO2 Unboxing Banner.png


    THE BOX

    We start with the box; I know what you are thinking, but this is actually not THE box but the box that contains the box. Confused? Well in a nice change the Insta360 GO 2 ships from the company in a branded shipping box. It’s a brown cardboard box which contains your order and has the logos and branding on it.

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    There isn't much to say about the box other than it is a sturdy box indeed. One touch which I thought was nice and reminded me of the OnePlus One is the inclusion of a pull tab to open the box. Pull and unzip the box to open the top easily and effortlessly; brings back great memories of opening up my OnePlus One. This is also a design you see on the Nothing Ear(1) box too. However, here it's just for the shipping box rather than the main box, still it was quite satisfying.

    IMG_20211011_104249-01.jpeg

    MORE BOXES

    Inside the shipping box we find the actual box of the Insta360 GO 2 plus a bonus accessory in the Invisible Selfie Stick. No, it's not actually invisible, and it can be seen, sorry Harry Potter fans, I'll explain more later. The box is standard fair, it's a rectangular box on the outside, with logos and a nice photo of a hand showing the size of the camera. Around the outside we have some scenic use case scenarios by professional Sport Models and the usual features and packing contents.

    Insta360-boxes.jpeg

    WHAT'S INSIDE?

    The main box is more or less like a mobile phone box in the size and weight of it; The box was quite stuck on so it took some time to pull it off the main inner box. Inside we are presented with a clean look that’s very Appley I’d describe it. It’s quite nice and as a change presents the main item; the camera, sticking out of the box on top like it’s just floating there for you to grab. In fact it truly is since it rests on the magnetic pendant which waits underneath and thus has a satisfying pop when you take it off.

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    Opening the inside flap we find the usual collection of pamphlets; pendant guide, quick start guide, declaration stuff and stickers!. Yes, a nice touch indeed are some stickers of the company's logo which you can add to your collection. It did remind me a lot of the OnePlus stickers you find when unboxing a OnePlus mobile phone. Honestly though, who reads all those pamphlets anyways! I tossed them to the side as I usually do only to have to refer to them later on! Doh. Where was that quick guide when I needed it! Curses!!!

    IMG20211017175702-01.jpeg

    Underneath all the documents that no one reads we find the rest of the accessories and they make for a nice package indeed:
    • Magnet Pendant
    • Pivot Mount
    • Storage / Charge / Tripod Case
    • QuickClip Mount
    • USB-C to USB-A cable
    On the left side of the box; under the flap that had the camera on it we find the Magnet Pendant. This is the mount the camera was attached to which makes it float on top of the box and keeps it secure. I had a brain freeze trying to get this out but once I realised the inner flap flipped open it was pretty easy. In the main compartment we have the rest of the accessories. Technically, there is a further accessory known as the Lens Guard which comes pre-applied to the camera itself. This aids in waterproofing the camera and protecting the lens.

    IMG20211017172036-01.jpeg

    Including the camera itself, that’s a whopping 6 items you are getting; 7 if you count the lens guard (preinstalled) that protects the camera in the water, etc. This package retails for approx £294.99 and is cheaper than competing products like a GoPro from what I can tell checking Amazon. It was a joy to unbox this item and even I was pleasantly surprised with the contents.

    There is enough to get you started filming some interesting photos and videos without having to buy anything else. However, if you want to go further, Insta360 does provide all sorts of additional mounts, etc, which won’t be covered here in this review.

    IMG20211017173431-01.jpeg

    INVISIBLE SELFIE STICK


    Lastly we finish off this unboxing with a look at The Invisible Selfie Stick. This doesn't come with the basic retail unit and is sold separately. You can buy it together as a kit which would cost £319 making this about £20 extra in the cost of the package.

    IMG20211018122802-01.jpeg

    Amazing how technology has progressed isn't it? Ok, ok, I'm just pulling your digital leg, there is actually no Selfie Stick in that photo! I couldn't resist, but I shall explain a bit more about this wonderous stick later. Getting back on track, the stick comes in a normal cardboard box like toothpaste, nothing special as such here, but it does come wrapped in some protective foam like paper.

    IMG20211019140458-01.jpeg

    This is the selfie stick Batman would use since it comes in black metal and rubber. It's all black aside from the white Insta360 logo on the side. I does have a standard threaded mount so you can use it with other equipment too.

    This concludes the unboxing part of the review; stay tuned next where I talk about the design of these items and go into a bit more detail into them before finishing up with my hands-on experience.

    Never Settle & Chase Adventure
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 5, 2021

    #1
  2. obakesan
    The Lab² Reviewer - Insta360 GO 2 Nov 5, 2021

    Stickied Post
    obakesan , Nov 5, 2021 :
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    Hey there, how's your week going? I trust you enjoyed your drink and had a chance to check out my unboxing of the Insta360 GO 2. What are your thoughts on this Tiny Mighty Action Camera? Let me know in the comments as it would be great to hear from you.

    Now you have an idea on what's in the box and a rough idea of the camera and it's accessories, let’s dive a bit deeper and look at the overall design? Well, grab your favorite snacks, sit back, and let's dive into the design part of the review.



    Insta360 GO 2

    Let's start with the camera itself which is the first item you notice when you unbox the product. The camera is indeed small; it's amazing how much technology has been squeezed into such a small thing. The camera is about as thick as a OnePlus Buds Pro earphone case and about as tall as a Lego minifigure. With a camera this small you can certainly put in places to capture some unique shots. Combined with the various mounts it opens up a new world of creativity for sure.

    IMG20211105110308-01_2.jpeg

    In terms of craftsmanship the camera is the most premium piece that’s in the box. It is constructed with a metal band that’s sandwiched between plastic top and bottom. Thanks to the metal here and the magnet inside which is used to clip to mounts the camera has a bit of weight to it. It feels rather solid in the hand like you are holding a stone washed up from the beach. This sets things off rather nicely it’s just a shame it then starts to collapse later on.

    On the top of the camera we find an activity LED light and a clickable button hiding under the Insta360 logo. The button is used to turn on / off the camera, snap a photo, start / stop and record a video and cycle shooting modes. It's nice to have on the camera to shoot quickly however it takes getting used to as a single button is used for several things. I kept taking random photos of my mug thinking I was powering off the thing!

    1710876-544404e279e6514488205fdab2de520c_2.jpeg

    On the bottom of the camera we find the charger connector; this is a proprietary design and while it works I don’t like it for a couple reasons I’ll go into later. The primary reason is due to it being the only way to charge the camera. Although the charge case itself does use USB-C (sort of ish?) you need to place the camera in the case to charge. Without that case you are screwed royally. I would have preferred a normal USB-C connector on the camera itself but guess this was an easier way to waterproof the camera.

    IMG20211105110338-01_2.jpeg

    Speaking of water; the camera is rated IPX8 and can be submerged for up to 4m in water. The lens comes with a guard skewed on which aids with protection and proofing here.A bonus is that Insta360 do sell different types of guards such as ND filter types and other filters, etc. This means the guard itself can be expanded to help with different types of shots which is nice.


    Charge Case
    Next up is the charge case which serves triple duty as it’s rather cleverly 3 accessories in 1; it’s like the designer was a Transformers fan and wanted to make a triple-changer! The fun doesn’t stop there as I discovered a 4th mode Easter Egg too!
    • Charger
    • Stand
    • Remote
    • Rabbit [Easter Egg]
    1710880-4081b3b046d8f779883086d211482cfd_2.jpeg
    This is where things get a tad cheaper in the construction and some of the design elements. The unit is primarily made of plastic aside from a bit around the hinge that is there to protect the cable connecting the charger point to the main body of the battery. I found the plastic to be cheaper than the stuff used on the camera itself. It’s hard to describe, it’s not super cheap mind you, but doesn’t feel like it’s worth the 300 GBP price point either. It reminded me of the stuff they make action figures and Transformers out of. Given the cost and my experience, I would have preferred something better here.


    Charger


    The charge case as its name implies is used to charge the camera. It functions much like a TWS earphone case. You can put the camera in the case where it will charge the camera up. The case itself in turn can be charged using the provided USB-C to USB-A cable. The camera on its own can run for about 30min on a single charge and while in the case can go up to 150min.

    IMG20211105144356-01.jpeg


    Stand

    The case also acts like a stand for the camera which can be used for v-logging, self taping, etc. There are two legs that open up and turn the case into a kickstand supporting it on a table. This is a nice touch and is great for recording on the go. The design of this is quite smart and is a great way to include a stand without having an extra accessory.

    1710882-6e2c311cd14bedd905e05366be90304f_2.jpeg

    I like it however again I feel the quality of the plastic and design build let’s it down. The leg hinges on my unity were not that tight and I imagine them getting loose and flopping about. The last thing you want is to put your camera down and for it to fall down and tumble down cause the legs give away! The legs attach to the body via some small pegs which have the potential to break too. If those pegs did break then the legs won’t lock into the body and then will flop around and may break more. I wish the hinge area was reinforced with a metal rod or something.


    Remote
    Lastly the charge case also functions as a remote control for the camera. It features a small LCD screen and two buttons on it. The "red" button is used for taking a photo or starting and stopping a video depending on the mode currently setup. The other button functions like an action button when navigating the various options in the menu. Combined the buttons can be used to navigate the settings and to adjust various shooting parameters, etc. I kinda found the remote to be a bit old fashioned here, it works and is functional but seems fiddly to navigate.I suspect most people would just use the mobile app connected to the camera and adjust there more easily.

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    I mean it does the job though and I appreciate the inclusion for the price, but for that price do I want a better product or more gimmicks and accessories? Mind you the remote probably uses less power to the camera as it connects via bluetooth rather than WiFi like the mobile app and it does have it’s uses.


    The plastic build continues here and I feel it let’s it down further especially when you factor the lack of waterproofing. No, no, no dear reader, I typed that correctly, the case is NOT waterproofed like the camera. Why, why, why they didn’t really boggles my mind. I find this totally baffling given they practically show amazing people doing amazing things IN WATER!.

    IMG20211105195413-01.jpeg
    You can pry off the section that houses the controls with your finger nail! There isn’t even a rubber seal ring around the controls. I mean you think they would do that at least, but no. Think about it, the camera is waterproof, you just put it in water and need charge, what do you do! You put it in the case to charge, BUT the case is not waterproof so you will damage it. To be fair there is a small warning to dry the camera, etc and the case is not waterproof but come on. I have more to say about all this but I'll save that for my review..

    Rabbit [Easter Egg]
    No, the camera doesn’t come with a rabbit or anything, but I did notice the case kinda looks like one when the case is closed and the legs are out. I don't know if this was by design or by accident or maybe the designer likes rabbits but I found it sorta cute and neat.

    1710884-aa59302a60c0d86ccb487ad4fc9c85e6_2.jpeg


    Charge Cable

    I don’t have much to say about the cable here, it is what it is, a black, rubbery USB-C to USB-A cable used for charging. We all have them probably, in a drawer, down the sofa, at Grandma’s house, etc.

    1710877-6e3b913336afd9dd5d0da4d1e032d7f1_2.jpeg
    Now one thing I found odd while trying to charge the camera is that although it has a USB-C connector for charging it won’t work with a USB-C to USB-C cable. Why? Who knows, cost again? 300 GBP remember, ya like that’s cheap. If you use the included cable or any other USB-C to USB-A cable then it charges fine. Let’s recap here:
    • USB-C to USB-A (included) - OK
    • USB-C to USB-A (Dash) - OK
    • USB-C to USB-C (Warp) - NOPE!
    • USB-C to USB-C (Mac) - NOPE!
    It’s a minor thing but it kinda limits what you can use to charge the darn thing and just seems a strange thing indeed. For more Stranger Things continue reading or check it out on Netflix ;)


    Easy Clip
    The Easy Clip is a clip that’s easy! Steady on peeps, this is a family review, remember! I mean it does what it’s designed to and works alright. It’s designed to clip onto something like a hat or maybe your pocket to provide a way of mounting the camera.


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    It has a magnet inside which holds the camera in place and seemed to hold up in my shake it test. The bottom has a bit of a rubber grip so it will stay in place and won’t scratch the clipped item. The clip also has ratchet joints allowing you to change the angle of the mount with a nice click-click-click sound.


    Plastic 3 - More Plastic - Yes, the same plastic is found here on the clip and I am ok with it here compared on the remote. The only thing that concerns me is those ratchet teeth because if they break or get worn then the camera will just be flopping around. Without the teeth in the joint it can’t keep it’s position. Hopefully it is fine but you don’t want to say ride a bike wearing a hat with the mount, then wipe out, go flying and break the mount.


    Pivot Mount
    I think Agent Smith has entered the forums and hacked my review and simply asked More More More plastic! Because the tradition continues with this mount as well. It’s literally the same plastic as the case again. The same concerns about breaking with the mount I have here like I did the Easy Clip. This thing can be stuck on your car as you drive down the autobahn! So you don’t want it to break do you?

    Regardless the mount is nice though and I like it and it serves two uses: as a handheld mount and as a suction mount. There is a lanyard you can use around your wrist so you don’t lose the camera which is nice. You can hold the mount in hand to get different shots or use it underwater while swimming for example.

    1710883-1bf05fe37e0529f8b6c17f6971637f24_2.jpeg

    The bottom has a slide out tray that covers the super suction area which can be used to mount the mount (lol) onto a car or some other surface for different shots. A nice touch here is that the cover slides back on and has some clearance so it can protect the sticky section and also help with drying.


    The mount itself is on a ball joint and gives you a full 360 degrees range of motion which makes this quite versatile indeed for different scenarios. For example, stick it on a shelf above you and pivot the camera down for an overhead angle perfect for your cooking videos.


    Magnet Pendant
    The last mount in the box is the magnet pendant and there is not much to say about these either. Again the plastic returns, I think there is a pattern here, or they got a bulk discount from the plastic-r-us store. Anyway, the mount has a small use case so here the plastic is fine. Essentially it’s a string, wrapped around a magnetic core, sandwiched between plastic! What could go wrong eh?

    1712848-85815148f4481415a8101c7515d63597_2.jpeg

    Basically it’s a circle disc with a magnet attached to a lanyard so you can wear the camera like a necklace. This allows for a different POV angle when filming and is useful for life-blogging and recording your days. Did you know that has been proven to help people with Alzheimer's remember? Microsoft along with Cambridge Research did such studies with their SenseCam years ago! It’s great to see some form of this research live on in another product so kudos there.

    You are meant to wear the pendant under your shirt and then attach the camera to the outside such that the pendant is hidden. When I was unboxing this and looking at it too, I had visions of the Medallion Man adverts from Grand Theft Auto San Andreas!

    If you haven’t played (who hasn’t?) and are not sure what I’m talking about check this:


    The lanyard of the pendant is kinda braided which I found nice and it has a nice rubber clasp which allows the size to be adjusted easily. Well, pulling the clasp apart is easy enough and it will resize for you, but it can be a bit tricky the other way.


    Invisible Selfie Stick

    Lastly we come to the invisible selfie stick! I joked there was nothing to see here cause you know it’s invisible but it actually does exist, no fooling, honest! This is a basic extendable selfie stick and I surprisingly find it to be one of the better things in the review package. It has a metal build construction with a rubber grip and feels good in the hand.

    1714809-0afd4c29bb9d1fa96dee40cc0aa0099b_2.jpeg
    There is a standard ¾ mount thread so you are not restricted to using this with only the Insta360 Go 2. You could happily use this to mount your OnePlus phone for example if you had a compatible mount. The stick is also extendable to about half a meter in length. There is also a reversed ¾ thread mount on the bottom of the stick making it extendable further. You could use 2 sticks for a longer reach or attach a tripod mount to use it to get a higher standing view.

    IMG_20211105_140523-01.jpeg

    Why’s it invisible though? From what I can tell; the idea is that you can post-process your shots using the Insta360 Go 2 app and magically remove the selfie stick. Thus your video or photo will look cool without that pesky stick being in the way. This is a nice idea but unfortunately isn’t supported on the Insta360 Go 2 itself. It seems it only works with dual lens type cameras like their ONE X2 for example.


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    Chase Adventure

    @Daniel D. @dsmonteiro may I get a sticky please ;) thanks
     

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