Samsung Gear 360 puts you in the action

MWC 2016: Samsung's new camera syncs up with Gear VR for immersive videos
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Anything LG can do, Samsung can do better. Sort of. The Samsung Gear 360, just unveiled alongside the new S7 smartphone duo, is a bit like LG's new 360 CAM and Rolling Bot combined.

It's a tad bizarre to describe a camera as cute, we know, but that's the overwhelming impression the Gear 360 left on us following our hands-on session. The idea is to "see what I saw rather than see what I did" but putting viewers right in the middle of the action.

Combining a duo of 180 degree f2.0 fisheye lenses, each with 15 megapixels, the Gear 360 is capable of shooting two super wide videos or images at once, which can be stitched together using the companion app to create 360 degree visuals.

Essential reading: Samsung Gear VR review

Samsung Gear 360 puts you in the action

It's all easy to use – you can either push the button on the top of the device to start recording or take a snap, or control everything remotely using the Gear 360 app. The app also acts as a live viewfinder, and you can even move around a scene, or zoom in, while a recording is taking place.

Once you've recorded your 360 degree action, it's simple to share on Facebook or YouTube by tapping the relevant icon in the app and, of course, you can view the images or video on the Gear VR headset – for which there's a dedicated mode.

This is the best way of watching back what you've shot – we got eyes-on with some great demoes putting us right in the middle of a safari scene and, more boringly, in a hotel lobby. You can't live stream the action yet, which is a shame, but it's a great way of showing people exactly where you've been and what you've seen.

The Gear 360 itself is small and lightweight and comes boxed with a tripod which also collapses to form a useful handle. It's the standard tripod screw fitting, so you could always use your own one.

Each lens has an LED light above it so you know what sides are shooting and there's a small display up top which gives info on storage, battery life and so on.

Read this: The best Gear VR apps, games and experiences so far

We're told that you'll get a couple of hours of recording from the Gear 360 before it needs a charge. That's done by Micro USB – the port is situated next to the microSD slot (there's no onboard storage).

It connects to your smartphone, and the companion app, using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi takes care of syncing and the live viewfinder features.

It's super easy to use and, although a touch gimmicky, a lot of fun. We can see it being a big hit with the sorts of people who like to show off about all the cool gigs, holidays, parties etc on Facebook. You know, the people you've unfollowed.

Seriously though, it really is a simple way of putting someone right in the middle of a scene and a lot less hassle (and money) than buying 16 GoPros and slotting them all in a rig.

Samsung hasn't spilled the beans on a Gear 360 price or release date as of yet, but we'll keep you posted. The cheaper, the better for 360 video.

TAGGED Samsung Cameras VR

How we test

Paul Lamkin


Wareable Media Group co-CEO Paul launched Wareable with James Stables in 2014, after working for a variety of the UK's biggest and best consumer tech publications including Pocket-lint, Forbes, Electric Pig, Tech Digest, What Laptop, T3 and has been a judge for the TechRadar Awards. 

Prior to founding Wareable, and subsequently The Ambient, he was the senior editor of MSN Tech and has written for a range of publications.

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