360 Cameras

11 differences between the 2017 Samsung Gear 360 and the original Gear 360, plus a hands-on video

New Samsung Gear 360 2017. Photo by Etienne Leroy of V360 video editing app.
New Samsung Gear 360 2017. Photo by Etienne Leroy of V360 video editing app.

UPDATED!  See below re stitching

The 2017 Samsung Gear 360 is quite different from the original Gear 360.  Here are 10 11 differences between them, plus a hands-on video of the new Gear 360:

photo by Etienne Leroy

1.  Compatibility.
The original Gear 360 was designed only for high-end Samsung phones (Samsung S6 and above).  The new Gear 360 is compatible with a wider range of phones:
– the latest iPhones (iPhone 6S and above, including iPhone SE, running iOS 10)
– some lower-end Samsung phones, including the A5 and A7
– possibly other Android phones (on Android 7.0).

2.  Live streaming; resolution is limited to 1920 x 960.
The biggest new feature of the Gear 360 is wireless livestreaming.  This can be through a smartphone or a PC.  The resolution is limited to 1920 x 960.  We’ll just have to see how it compares to the Insta360 Air and Insta360 Nano.

3. Much smaller and lighter than the current Gear 360.
As you can see from the photo above, the 2017 Gear 360 is much smaller than the current Gear 360.  Among other things, the smaller distance between its lenses should enable the Gear 360 to have lower parallax stitching error.

The 2017 Gear 360 is also a little lighter at 130 grams versus 153 grams for the previous Gear 360.

photo by Etienne Leroy

4. Slightly higher video resolution, at a slightly slower frame rate.
Both Gear 360s have a 4k resolution.  However, the 2017 Gear 360 has a slightly higher resolution of 4096 x 2048 versus the previous Gear 360 which had a resolution of 3840 x 1920.  The difference is probably not noticeable to most people.

While the 2017 Gear 360 has a higher resolution, its frame rate is lower at 24fps versus 30fps for the old Gear 360.  The Gear 360’s 24fps frame rate is the same as that of the Nikon Keymission 360 and Orbit 360 (when stitched on a desktop).

photo by Etienne Leroy

5. Much lower photo resolution than the current Gear 360.
The 2017 Gear 360’s photo resolution is 15mp (5472 x 2736), only half of the old Gear 360’s 30mp (7776 x 3888).  The sensor is only 8.4 megapixels, versus the old Gear 360, which had 15mp sensors.  It remains to be seen whether the ultimate image quality of the 2017 Gear 360 is better, worse, or the same as that of the current one.

6.  Potentially shorter battery life.
The 2017 Gear 360 has a smaller capacity battery (contrary to what I expected) with only 1160 mAh versus the previous one which had 1350 mAh.

7.  Longer recording time.
The previous Gear 360 could record for only about 25 minutes before overheating.  As predicted, the 2017 Gear 360 is less susceptible to overheating and can record up to 130 minutes (at 2560 x 1280 30fps resolution).

8.  Larger Micro SD card capacity.
256 GB versus 128 GB for the old one.  This complements the longer recording time.

9.  More ergonomic design.
The previous Gear 360 was hard to hold because the lenses covered most of the body.  Any time you held it, you were likely to touch the lenses and put your fingerprints on it.  The 2017 Gear 360 has a built in handle as its body, making it much easier to hold.

10. USB Type C.
The previous Gear 360 used a Micro USB cable.  The 2017 Gear 360 uses USB Type C cables.

11.  Better stitching
The current Gear 360 has very good stitching, but the 2017 Gear 360 has even better stitching (see here).  The current Gear 360’s stitching is smooth, but there is often a difference in the color and/or exposure between the lenses.  The 2017 Gear 360 doesn’t have such a problem, and early samples posted by some users show perfect stitching.

Here is a video showing the new Gear 360:

Other issues:
– HDR:  In the current Gear 360, there is an “HDR” mode but all it does is lift shadows.  It does not take multiple exposures.  The 2017 Gear 360 has both HDR and “Landscape HDR.”   The latter may mean a true multiple exposure HDR mode.
– Price and availability: Samsung has only said that it would be released in the Spring, and did not give a price.  I speculate it will be similar to the current reduced price of the Samsung Gear 360, i.e., $250 to $300.

The official specifications are here.  Thank you very much to Rich for bringing this official specs to my attention.


Here are sample videos from the 2017 Gear 360.

Special thanks also to Etienne Leroy of V360 for sharing photos and the video of the new Gear 360.  V360 is the first 360 video editing app for Android (and iOS in the future) and enables you to combine several 360 videos into a montage, with background music and other effects (see more info here).  V360 is free to download from the Google Play Store.

RELATED POSTS
Why the 2017 Gear 360 could become the most popular 360 camera
Sample 360 videos and a 360 livestream from the 2017 Gear 360

About the author

Mic Ty

8 Comments

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  • As the previous Gear 360 had a frame rate of 30 FPS does this mean it is better for 360 video while the new version will likely have the edge on still 360 photos?

    • Hi Alex. The frame rate difference is not necessarily as significant as one might suppose. You can check out videos from the Keymission 360 (which also has 24fps) to see if the lower frame rate is an issue for you.

      The old Gear 360 definitely has higher resolution for photos, but that doesn’t always mean it’s better. The image quality will still depend on the lens quality and the sensor quality, and it’s possible for a lower-resolution sensor to have better image quality than a higher-resolution sensor.

      In summary, we won’t know if the 2017 Gear 360 is better or worse in image quality until we see actual samples, hopefully very soon.

      Best regards,
      Mic