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Rylo 360 camera specifications and features: overpriced clone of the Insta360 ONE?

Rylo 360 camera, a compact stabilized 4K 360 camera
Rylo 360 camera, a compact stabilized 4K 360 camera

Rylo 360 camera is a new compact, stabilized 360 camera with 4K video resolution. Is it more than just an overpriced clone of the Insta360 ONE? Here is a comparison of their specifications and features.

Rylo 4K 360 camera
Rylo 4K 360 camera

Rylo is a startup formed by former Apple and Instagram engineers.  They announced an eponymous fully spherical 4K 360 camera that features stabilization and the increasingly popular ability to frame the 360 video as a conventional 16:9 video. Here is the promo video:

Rylo 360 camera specifications and features

Here are the Rylo’s key specifications:
– two 208-degree fisheye lenses
– f/2.8 aperture
– fully spherical field of view
– video resolution: 4K @ 30fps
– photo resolution: approximately 6000 x 3000 (18 mp)
– removable 16GB Micro SD memory
– built-in gyro-based stabilization
– anodized aluminum body with OLED display
– compatible with iOS; Android version in 2018
– Battery life: 60 min. (even though marketing materials prominently show “96 min.” in the OLED display)
– dimensions: 72.5  x 37.0 x 42.7 mm
– weight: 108 grams
– MSRP: $499

Rylo 4K 360 camera
Rylo 4K 360 camera

Rylo vs Insta360 ONE: their similarities and differences

With its compact, capsule-like shape and single button operation, it has more than a passing resemblance to the Insta360 ONE. Spec for spec and feature for feature, it seems very similar to the Insta360 ONE (reviewed here), which is also a compact stabilized 4K 360 camera for iOS (Android version coming soon).  But there are definitely important differences between them.  Here is a list of their similarities, the Rylo’s advantages, and the Insta630 ONE’s advantages.

Insta360 ONE 360 Camera
Insta360 ONE 360 camera

Here are their similarities:
o Both have gyro-based stabilization
o Both can reframe the 360 video as a conventional 16:9 video. With Rylo, this is done by tapping on objects in the video. This will cause the video to center its view on the object. It’s therefore functionally equivalent to keyframing. Insta360 ONE can use keyframing as well with its Insta360 Studio software, although it is desktop-based, not mobile. (But see also FreeCapture below).
o Both can track a subject (Rylo calls it “follow,” while the ONE calls it Smart Tracking)
o Both have a time lapse feature.
o Both have an optional waterproof case.

Here are the Rylo’s advantages:
+ anodized aluminum body (compared to the Insta360 ONE’s plastic body)
+ OLED display (Insta360 ONE has no on-camera display)
+ FrontBack: with this feature, Rylo can create a picture-in-picture effect with one lens facing you to show your reaction

Here are the Insta360 ONE’s advantages:
– f/2.2 aperture (2/3 stops brighter)
– photo resolution: 6912 x 3456 (32% higher)
– can take and record photos in Adobe DNG Raw format
– 4K spherical live streaming capability
– tiny planet live streaming capability
– has a built-in 1/4-20 tripod connector (Rylo doesn’t seem to have a built-in tripod connector)
– can be controlled wirelessly via Bluetooth
– built-in lightning connector
– bullet time effect up to 120fps
– hardcase that doubles as a lens cover
FreeCapture: this is a unique feature of the Insta360 ONE that allows you to reframe a 360 video by holding your phone as a virtual camera. This allows you to capture videos that look natural, instead of robotic camera movements from keyframing.  See this in-depth look at why FreeCapture is different.

With the Insta360 ONE’s many advantages, I don’t quite see the value proposition of their $200 markup over the Insta360 ONE.   However, ultimately, the big unknown is how they compare with respect to image quality. Rylo’s cropped 16:9 videos shown in their promo look very promising. If the actual videos are as good as those shown in their promo video, the Rylo may be worth looking into.  But we should wait and see what their actual 360 videos and photos are like (Rylo hasn’t posted any actual 360 samples yet).