Samsung Gear 360 hands on

Create your own virtual reality footage with the Gear 360...
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Samsung Gear 360 hands on

Samsung’s dual lens 360-degree, 4K camera

We’ve finally got hold of the Samsung Gear 360, one of the first consumer-friendly 360-degree, 4K cameras. And it looks like something out of a science fiction movie.

What is it?

It’s spherical – a bit smaller than a tennis ball (though heavier), and has two large 180-degree lenses facing in opposite directions. It uses these lenses at the same time to film and take photos in 360-degrees. Perfect for documenting extreme sports for virtual reality, or for submitting photos to Google’s Street View, for example.

The Samsung Gear 360 has three buttons spaced between the lenses including Record/OK, Bluetooth/Menu, and Back/Power on. Although the buttons are all multi-functional, the camera isn’t confusing to use, and most of the controls work through your smartphone anyway. There's also a miniature display which gives you battery status and shooting infomation.

What do I need to make it go?

You’ll need a few bits and pieces to get the most out of your Gear 360. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Samsung Galaxy smartphone

The Gear 360 works with the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+, S7 and S7 edge.

  • microSD card

Filming stuff in 360-degrees is quite demanding memory-wise, so you’ll need a fairly sizeable storage card. We’re using a 64GB SanDisk card, which can film roughly five hours worth of dual lens footage, but the camera can take a card up to 200GB capacity.

  • Backup battery

You don't need a backup battery, but seeing as its removable you might want to think about one. Especially if you're going to be adventuring and documenting all day without means of charging up.

  • Charger

There’s a micro USB charging lead included in the box, but no actual plug. You’ll more than likely have one of these lying around somewhere anyway.

  • Samsung Gear VR

Not totally essential, but if you want to immerse yourself in your footage, instead of dragging it around a flat screen, this is the way to do it.

How does it work?

To get started, head to the Google Play Store and download the Samsung Gear 360 Manager app. You’ll then be able to connect to the camera using either Bluetooth or NFC.

Once you’ve got the app on your phone, you’ll go through the setup guide – and after four short steps you’ll be ready to go. It works very similarly to your normal camera app, except you have the option of using both lenses simultaneously, or just one at a time.

What’s all the fuss about?

360-degree footage is the future. It’s a bold statement, but cameras like this are going to be hugely popular - and not just with those who’re partial to the occasional bungee jump. When you pair it with the Gear VR headset, you’re able to create your own virtual reality content.

At first we showed off photos of our holidays, and later home videos. But now we can actually transport friends and family there – putting them in the centre of the action.

Like the sound of the Samsung Gear 360? Get your own from our wesbite by following the link. And if you've got any questions, drop us a comment below

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