The Insta360 Air 360 camera is one of the best 360 cameras to snap onto your Android smartphone.
Insta360 Air Review
In this review I will be going over the Insta360 Air 360 camera, which is a clip on 360 camera for Android smart phones. It is one of the many 360 cameras that the Insta360 camera company have sold to consumers. They also sell a iPhone only version of a snap on camera called the Insta360 Nano.
We are going to take a look at the packaging, design, mobile app, software included, photo quality, video quality and lastly my final thoughts of the Insta360 Air 360 camera snap on for Android smart phones.
The Insta360 Air comes in a very small box, which would make sense because it is supposed to be a very small device to snap onto your Android smart phone. Typically 360 cameras come with a lot of included gear like charging cables, charger for your outlet and occasionally a small tripod. But, because the device uses the Android smart phone for storage and power you don’t need any additional tools for the 360 camera.
As you can see below the Insta360 Air is very small and fits perfectly in this small box. This is all you need to start taking 360 panoramic photos as well as 360 videos. One great thing I like about the Insta360 Air is the carrying case shown below, it perfect fits the 360 camera inside of it so it protects the lenses for you. It is just a rubber covering, but it is very useful. You can now easily carry it around in your pocket without any issues of scratching the lenses.
Most 360 cameras have lots of physical buttons, ports, battery slots, micro SD cards, many lights and LCD screens. But, because the Insta360 Air 360 camera tries to make it as simple as possible, you don’t need any of that. As you can see below the Insta360 Air just has a small USB – C plug to place into your Android smart phone. This device comes in two versions a USB-C and Micro USB version depending on what your port your smartphone has.
Every 360 camera that I test, I make sure to run it through many different photo quality tests. For all of my tests I do not change any settings or configurations, it is all directly out of the box. First I test low light photos with various amounts of lighting (low, medium, high). Then I go to a local park to test a few other specific locations to get as many different lighting, colors and scenery to compare with.
Low Light Photos
The Insta360 Air has below average results for low light photography. This is without any pre or post production changes or changes to any of the settings. It is directly out of the box with default settings. The only other 360 camera that Insta360 Air beats at the low light test is the LG 360 Cam.
Other Test Photos
Similar to the photographs, I will be taking low light video tests as well as other video tests to compare with the other 360 camera competition.
Low Light Video
I also record a few videos at the local park to get a few tests to compare with all the other 360 cameras that I review. I typically do an indoor shot and an outdoor shot of a building or architecture. I have these videos available for each 360 camera to compare with all the other 360 cameras.
Video Test 1
Video Test 2
The Insta360 Air Mobile Application is one of the few well built Mobile Applications with a ton of extra features that most other 360 cameras do not have. We will go over the basic of the Mobile App below and some of it’s best features.
Lets take a look at the first window when we open up the Mobile App. So like some 360 cameras the Insta360 Air camera company have their own little social network within the Mobile App and enable other users to post publicly their own photos and video for all to see. This is a pretty cool feature, because it makes you feel like part of the community and also get to see some interesting places that you probably wouldn’t be able to.
To start taking a photo or a video, lets go ahead and click on the yellow and black camera button hovering on the right side of the screen. Once we do that, we now are on the capture photo / video screen. Here we have four main ways of recording media : Take a photo, record video, stream to facebook live in 360 degrees and stream to facebook live in tiny planet mode.
Take a photo
Live stream to Facebook Live as a 360 video
Live stream to Facebook Live as a tiny planet
After taking a bunch of video and photographs, you can view all of the current media on your phone in the album / gallery window. Here we can see preview thumbnails of everything that we have taken and can click on each one to view it in a 360 degree viewer.
Also, when viewing media we have options to make changes. Lets go ahead and take a look at the preview window. Here we we have a sharing button at the top right as well as an additional settings button. At the bottom tab we have three options for editing our media : Filters, Stickers and Viewing angles.
When we click on the Sharing button, we get the typical sharing options that are available on our specific smart phone. The more Mobile Apps that we install, the more options should appear here. Obviously we have all the standard sharing options like Facebook and YouTube.
If we click on the additional options at the top right corner of the window we get a lot more configuration items. Here we can set the gyroscope, VR mode, auto horizon correction, manual horizon correction, fringing fix and delete the currently viewed piece of media.
Now if we go all the way back to the main menu one of the bottom right tabs was the settings tab. If we click on that we can view the options available for us to link up accounts, set logos and much more. Lets go ahead and click on that tab.
One of my favorite features of the Insta360 Air Mobile App is that you can upload your own custom watermark or logo at the bottom of the screen. This is really nice if you want to hide either your body and hand or the tripod if you are using one.
There is a lot going on with the Insta360 Air Mobile Application, but we have gone over pretty much the most important features and basics of it. In the future I will make a more in depth tutorial of the Mobile App and will post a link here.
Not specifically part of the Insta360 Air 360 camera, but the Insta360 camera company has a desktop software called the Insta360STUDIO which is a 360 video/photo editing software. It is available for both Windows and OS X and it is completely free.
Another Insta360 software peice is the Insta360PLAYER which supports playing all the videos recorded by Insta360 cameras, and also supports all standard 2:1 360 videos and images with a 2:1 ratio.
Errors, Issues and Complaints
The only issue that I had was that the Insta360 Air 360 camera had to be flush with the smart phone when you plugged it in. This means you can not have a case on your smartphone, so it forces you to take off your phone case then plug in the Insta360 Air camera to be able to use it. It is a small annoyance, but could have been avoided if they made the USB C or Micro USB plug either longer.
Insta360 Air Review – Final Thoughts
Overall I think the Insta360 Air 360 camera is a nice addition to the Insta360 family, they hare continuously releasing very good 360 cameras to the consumers who want 360 cameras. Obviously the photo quality and video quality could be better. Within this category of phone snap on 360 cameras there are only a few other contenders. Insta360 also makes a Nano version for the iPhone which has better photo and video quality than the Insta360 Air. Also a few newer additions to the smart phone snap on 360 camera family are the Ion360, Essential Phone 360 camera and the Moto 360 Camera.
The Insta360 Air Mobile App can actually be used with any type of 360 panoramic photography on your phone. So if you want to use all the fancy features on the Mobile App, make sure to import those photos into the App and take advantage of the Free Mobile App.