An updated version of the Samsung Gear 360 camera goes on sale Thursday, offering better smartphone compatibility and a price that lets even casual child birthday and soccer game videographers dabble in 360-degree video.
The new Gear 360, which vaguely resembles a chicken drumstick, is smaller and lighter than the globe-shaped first-generation model. With an asking price of $229, it's cheaper, too. Pick it up at Samsung.com, Best Buy, and Amazon, as well as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and US Cellular, since it's designed primarily for smartphones.
The specs remain mostly the same as the previous model, with video resolution topping out at 4,096-by-2,048 4K video at 24 frames per second. If you're thinking about using your Gear 360 for capturing stills, however, you'll probably want to go with the first-generation model since the image sensors have dropped from 15 megapixels to 8.4 megapixels each on the new version.
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As for the phone compatibility, you'll need an iOS or a Samsung phone to transfer and edit video; non-Samsung Android devices aren't supported. You can also transfer footage to a computer; PCMag hasn't yet been able to test the desktop integration, but Samsung promised an improvement over the rebranded Cyberlink ActionDirector software it used for the first Gear 360.
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