Technology

Samsung 2017 Gear 360 Camera Arrives May 25 And Costs $229

Samsung has a new offering for users who want to create 360-degree photos and videos. On Wednesday, the Korean firm revealed that the 2017 Gear 360 camera will be on sale starting Thursday and will cost $230, a price cut of more than $100 off the price of its predecessor.

Samsung, Gear 360, camera
Image Source: Samsung (screenshot)

Samsung tags it an “accessible price point”

Even at $229, the Gear 360 is more expensive than the $130 LG 360 CAM, which captures 5.1-channel surround sound but records 2K video. However, it is now cheaper than the $400 Nikon KeyMission 360 and the $327 Ricoh Theta S, notes The Verge.

“The new Gear 360 is priced at $229, representing a highly accessible price point for creating high quality, 360-degree photos and videos, or live broadcasting life’s moments in full 360 degrees,” Samsung says.

For interested buyers, there is one lucrative offer: you can get the Gear 360 for only $49, but you will also need to buy a Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus between May 25 and June 19. Samsung’s new camera will available in-store and online at Amazon.com, Best Buy, Samsung.com, and ShopSamsung app. Major carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and US Cellular, will also be selling the device, notes CNET.

Samsung’s Gear 360 camera was first announced at the Unpacked event in March along with the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus phones. Even though 360-degree cameras are still not much in use, the Korean firm aims to get ahead of its rivals with this new and updated model, which is more powerful than the 2016 Gear 360 camera.

Supporting more smartphones

This time the company has ensured broader handset support, including the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus and SE and MacOS desktop software, notes CNET.

“It is also compatible with many third-party accessories through the universal mount at the base of the device. The new Gear 360 offers expanded compatibility with iOS devices and Windows/Mac computers,” the Korean firm said.

The Gear 360 is compatible with Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy S6, and Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy S7 active, and the newly released Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.

How it compares with the 2016 Gear 360 camera

In terms of specs, the camera is not a big improvement over its predecessor. From “near-4K” earlier, it now supports “true 4K” video (2K while live-streaming) and has the same 15-megapixel resolution for still photos, notes TechCrunch. The change is more visible on the outside. The new 360-degree camera, which has more of a “pocketable design,” is no more spherical in shape, but it is now easier to handle and hold.

Samsung’s new camera will also allow you to share content live via Samsung VR, YouTube and Facebook. Despite the updates, the new camera has a few drawbacks.

Engadget found the camera’s base to be “less stable than the older one’s tripod legs,” and it has a smaller battery and thus, less battery life, than its older sibling.

To allow users to control the camera remotely, the Korean firm has already launched the companion Gear 360 app in the Google Play Store. The app, which will help users edit and share videos taken with the camera, supports only a few Samsung phones for now, notes Android Authority.