Samsung Updates Gear 360 With 4K Capabilities, Social Features

Samsung updated its Gear 360 camera with 4K video capture, live broadcasting features, and improved compatibility with various hardware platforms.

The new Gear 360 seems in some ways like a downgrade from the previous model. This year's version features dual fisheye lenses with CMOS 8MP image sensors; last year's had dual fisheye lenses with CMOS 15MP image sensors. This year's boasts a 1,160mAh battery; last year's has a 1,350mAh battery. Finally, this year's model captures video at 24fps, versus the 30fps captured by its immediate predecessor.

In all other ways, though, the 2017 refresh of the Gear 360 camera is an obvious step-up over its predecessor. The new camera records 360-degree video in true 4K for a more immersive experience. It can also be connected to YouTube, Facebook, and Samsung VR for live broadcasting or direct uploads. However, "direct uploads" is a bit of a misnomer; you still have to connect the camera to a compatible PC or smartphone to share your recordings with the world.

That process should be made easier by the new Gear 360's expanded compatibility list. The original camera was designed specifically for the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. This new model is compatible with more Samsung devices, including the Galaxy S8 and S8+ that were announced today, recent iPhones from the iPhone SE to the iPhone 7 Plus, and PCs running Windows and macOS. (The company didn't say what versions of Windows are supported.)

Samsung didn't announce a price or release date for the Gear 360.

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ProductSamsung Gear 360 (2017)
CameraTwo CMOS 8.4-megapixel fish-eye cameras
Image ProcessorDRIMe5s
VideoMP4 (H.265)– Dual Lens: 4096×2048 (24fps)
ImageJPEG– Dual Lens: 15MP
AudioCodec: ACCFormat: MP3, M4A, AAC, OGG
MemoryUp to 256GB microSD card
Features- Shooting mode: Video, Photo, Time Lapse Video, Looping Video, Landscape HDR- IP53 Certified Dust and Water Resistant- Camera mode: Dual/Single Lens mode
Connectivity- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz)- Wi-Fi Direct- Bluetooth 4.1- USB 2.0 (Type-C)
Dimensions100.6 × 46.3 × 45.1mm
Battery1,160mAh Li-ion
Compatibility- Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, S7, S7 edge, Note5, S6 edge+, S6, S6 edge, A5 (2017), A7 (2017) (Android 5.0 or later)- iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6S, 6s Plus, SE, (iOS 10.0 or later) - Windows, macOS
Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.