All eyes are on Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ smartphones, but the South Korean company also unveiled it’s new Gear 360 camera. Unlike last year’s model, the new Samsung Gear 360 is compatible with more devices including Apple’s iPhones.
The new Samsung Gear 360’s design doesn’t stray too far from its original iteration. It still has a globe-like body for the two cameras, albeit smaller, but the tripod portion has been replaced with small grip handle. The grip handle also houses the camera’s 1,160 mAh battery, the USB-C port at the bottom and the microSD card slot.
As for performance, the new Gear 360 is capable of recording videos in true 4K resolution (4,096 x 2,048) at 24 frames per second, according to PC Mag. Users will also be able to record 2K resolution videos for around two hours. Expect battery life to be shorter when recording in 4K.
Since Samsung is focusing more on videos this time around, the two image sensors on the two cameras are now 8.4MP each instead of 15MP. When taking a 360-degree photo, it will combine the two images and produce a 15MP photo.
Other features include 2.4/5GHz WiFi support and Bluetooth 4.1. Android Police pointed out that it’s kind of strange that the new Gear 360 only comes with Bluetooth 4.1 while Bluetooth 5 is now on the Galaxy S8. It’s possible Samsung passed on the newer technology for the sake of compatibility with other devices.
The software side of things is where it gets even more interesting. The original Gear 360 form last year officially only worked with Samsung’s newest Galaxy phones like the S7 and the S7 Edge. Now, the new model will also work on other Android smartphones as long as they’re running Android 5.0 Lollipop or newer, according to The Verge.
Another improvement in compatibility is that the new Samsung Gear 360 will also work on iOS devices. However, it will only work on newer iPhone models running iOS 10 or later. This also means that the new camera and its new editing suite will also work on Apple’s Mac computers as well.
Samsung is also making sure that the new Gear 360 will let users livestream in 360 degrees. However, users won’t actually be able to directly livestream to Facebook and YouTube. Users will have to use the Gear 360 companion app on their mobile devices to relay the broadcast. The 360-degree live broadcasts will be shown in 2K resolution.
Samsung hasn’t revealed the pricing for the new Gear 360 camera, but the company did say it will be more budget-friendly than last year’s $349 price tag. The company also hasn’t given an exact release date only stating that it will start shipping in “the spring.”