When LG announced the new G5 at its launch event in Barcelona back in February, it also launched a handful of ‘Friends’ to work alongside the smartphone. One of them was the 360 CAM, which is essentially a 360-degree camera, and we’ve been sent a unit to check out.
The camera comes in an attractive lime green and white box which opens by simply opening up the top panel, then sliding out the tray inside. The camera, of course, sits on top in its own soft plastic bag. It also ships with a hard, gray plastic cover which secures to the device using a clip on either side, and protects the lenses. To slide it off, just press and hold both buttons and slide.
Other box contents include a well-made, thick USB-A to USB Type-C cable for charging the camera and a bunch of paper guides, one of which seems roughly as thick as a Lord of the Rings novel. Sadly, there is one major miss: There’s no MicroSD card included, at least not in the version I was sent. If you haven’t got one spare already, you’ll need to order one separately. Thankfully, you can pick them up as low as $10.
Looking at the base of the 360 CAM, you’ll see a screw mount for fixing the camera to a tripod as well as a plastic flap which covers both the MicroSD card slot and USB Type-C port.
Spec wise, the camera is capable of shooting up to 2K resolution video, and takes stills up to 15MP and is powered by a 1,200mAh battery. MicroSD cards up to 2TB are supported as is USB 2.0 Type-C through the port.
From a design perspective, it’s a relatively attractive product. Saying that, it’s predominantly made from plastic, and doesn’t feel overly durable. It’s certainly not built to be a GoPro-style action-cam.
The shape is very symmetrical, owing mostly to the two identical cameras placed on either side which kinda remind me of Chameleon eyes. Both of them are 206-degree fisheye lenses which, combined, make a the 360-degree image.
Once you’ve inserted a memory card, you need to download the 360 CAM companion app from the Play Store (or iOS) store (it’s compatible with virtually any phone). I tested with both my Galaxy S7 Edge and Moto X Style.
When you launch the app, it searches for nearby 360 CAM units and should display whichever one is nearby. Select the camera, the input the password; which is normally “00” followed by the last six digits of the unit’s serial number. It’s worth noting that it connects by Wi-Fi as standard, so your phone will disconnect from any wireless network you’re connected to.
Once connected, you can control the camera remotely using the app, or by using the button on the front of the device. Press once to take a 360-degree photo, or press and hold for video. Other changes you can make within the app include the option to switch between 180-degree and 360-degree photos/videos, you can also chose which camera you’d like to appear in the preview.
If you import a video directly in to a video editor, what you’ll see is two circle lenses next to each other onscreen. However, if you use a 360-compatible app, like the included one, you can immerse yourself in the full screen. You can swipe around the video or photo with your finger, or just move your phone to adjust the onscreen angle. You can publish and upload to either Google Maps or YouTube.
You can pick up an LG 360 CAM for around $200 in the US and £200 in the UK. If you’re looking for some other awesome accessories for your phone, check out MobileFun, who kindly loaned us this 360 CAM unit to check out.
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