Welcome to my Insta360 One X2 review! This camera has been launched exactly 9 months after the release of the One R modular action camera.
Is it a worthy upgrade for you? Let’s find out in this review.
Finally, it’s here! The Insta360 One X2 was expected to arrive earlier in the year but instead, Insta360 launched the One R during that time.
SEE ALSO: Insta360 One R vs One X Comparison
Insta360 has done much on the design section of this camera more than any other aspect.
First, they have gone back to the long-bodied design that appeared with the One X. To learn more about the changes made, please check out my design and components section in this review.
Insta360 claims that the battery that powers the X2 is 55% more enhanced than what we had with the One X.
As usual, I tested out everything about the battery and I have highlighted my review on the same in the Battery section of this post.
The One X2 has a new circular touch screen display which is an improvement from the small LCD screen that was there with the One X.
The camera shoots 360-degree videos with a maximum resolution of 5.7K. This is the exact maximum resolution we get with both the One R and One X.
It is a bit disappointing to see that Insta 360 did not attempt to improve on the video resolution count of the new camera. Many people were expecting to see an 8K resolution in this camera.
Flowstate stabilization has been made even better with the One X2. You will get smoother footage from rugged situations.
The big question at the end of the day will be whether to upgrade to this camera or not?
I will try as much as possible to give you a full review of this camera, covering all aspects that are of importance in answering that question.
I will also give my thoughts at the very end of this review, stick around.
First things first, I will kick off the review by showing you the technical specifications of this camera as highlighted on paper.
Let’s Jump to the Review!
Product: Insta360 One X2
Release date: October 2020
Cheapest place to buy: Amazon
Insta360 One X2 Specifications
|Spec||Insta360 One X2|
|Dimensions||4.62 x 11.30 x 2.98cm / 1.82 x 4.45 x 1.17 inches|
|Video Resolutions and Frame Rates||360 Mode:5.7K@30fps, 25fps, 24fps, 4K@50fps, 30fps, 3K@100fps|
Wide Angle (Steady Cam Mode):2560×1440@50fps, 30fps, 1920×1080@50fps, 30fps
|Video Format||MP4, INSV, LOG, and HDR|
|Video Codec||H.264 and H.265|
|Maximum Video Bitrate||100Mb/s|
|Video Modes||Standard 360 video, Time Lapse mode, Bullet Time, HDR video, and Log 360 video.|
|Electronic Image Stabilization||Yes, FlowState|
|Image Sensor||Sony CMOS sensors|
|360 – Photo Resolution||6080×3040 (2:1)|
|Pano Resolution||4320×1440 (3:1)|
|Photo Formats||JPG, Raw (DNG)|
|Photo Modes||PureShot, Standard 360 photos, timed 360 photos, HDR 360 photos, interval 360 photos, and RAW 360, InstaPano|
|White Balance||Auto, 2700K, 4000K, 5000K, 6500K|
|Exposure Modes||Auto, Manual (Shutter 1/8000s-120s, ISO 100-3200), Shutter Priority (1/8000s-2s), ISO Priority (100-3200)|
|External Mic Port||No|
|Waterproof||Yes, up to 10 meters / 32 feet|
|Memory Card||Yes, micro SD Card Slot up to 1TB.|
|USB Interface||USB Type C|
|Battery charging time||85 minutes|
|Operating Temperature||32° F to 104° F / 0° C to 40° C|
As you can see from the above table, Insta360 One X, One R, and One X2 share similar technical specifications.
There are a few software tweaks that have been added to the newer camera but in general, the specifications are the same.
What’s in the Box
With the basic retail packaging unit, you will find the following items in the box.
· Insta360 ONE X Action Camera Unit
· Insta360 ONE X Battery
· Quick start guide
· 1 x USB type Charging Cable
· Warranty card
· Protective pouch
· Insta360 Stickers
You can however opt to purchase your preferred edition which includes the necessary accessories you will need. Of course, that one comes with an added price tag on it.
Design & Components
The One X2 takes a similar design approach to the previous One X.
I like the shape factor of this camera especially since it is a 360 camera, the long slim design makes it easier to use with a monopod/tripod.
As I mentioned earlier, the One X2 packs several design changes from the previous generation Insta360 cameras more than any other section.
Weight and Dimensions
The Insta360 One X2 action camera has a bodyweight of 149 grams including the battery. This is 34 grams more than Insta360 One X which has a weight of 115 grams.
The increase in weight can be attributed to the bigger battery in the One X2. Despite all that, the camera is still very portable, you can slide it into your pocket easily without any worries.
Moving on to dimensions, the camera body measures 4.62 x 11.30 x 2.98 cm / 1.82 x 4.45 x 1.17 inches.
Processor and Image Sensor
The One X2 uses an Ambarella processor which has proved to be efficient enough for a consumer 360-degree camera.
The processor is responsible for working on the input it receives to result in a desirable output.
For 360 cameras, the heavy task is always in stitching the videos from the individual lenses to produce one spherical outcome.
The camera uses a CMOS Image sensor which is nearly similar to what has been used before with the One X. The sensor size is 1/2.74 inch.
New: OLED Touchscreen
As you know by now, the preceding One X had an LCD for displaying the camera status only.
With this new camera, there is an improvement in this department that has seen the introduction of a circular OLED panel which is touch-sensitive.
I think the circular nature of the screen denotes that this is a fully spherical camera. This screen will also rotate automatically depending on how you are holding your camera.
The screen can be used for live monitoring of what you are recording or capturing, and it can also be used to control the camera by making swipes from different areas of the screen. Navigating through this screen is relatively easy.
This screen offers a slight improvement from that of the One R which is a little bit difficult to navigate.
A major concern that I had with the One X is the seemingly dim LCD panel that was difficult to use on a bright sunny day.
Insta360 has made a step to trying to solve that since the new touchscreen on the X2 is bright even on a sunny day.
Being a 360-degree camera, we expect the X2 to rock a dual-lens setup. The two fisheye lenses are located at the topmost part of the camera and they are still protruding out quite a bit.
The lens aperture is f2.0.
Each lens records a video with 200 degrees FOV, then the camera will later stitch both videos to result in one 360 – degree output.
All packages of the One X2 include a lens cloth in the box. You will use it to wipe gently on the lenses to get rid of any dust or debris that may interfere with the view.
There is a new Lens cap made by Insta360 that was introduced alongside this camera. It is good to always cover your lenses whenever you are not using the camera.
Ports and Slots
Insta360 has introduced the USB Type C port to the One X2, the port is located on the side of the camera.
This is a good step to take since most consumer devices nowadays have shifted to the Type C port. It is good to remember that the One X has a micro USB port instead.
You will use the port for charging up the battery as well as for data transfer.
The memory card compartment is located beside the camera battery.
You can insert a microSD card up to a capacity of 1TB storage.
This is a huge improvement from the previous Insta360 One R and One X which could support a maximum of 256GB memory card.
Remember to format your new memory card before using it. You can format it through any of the following channels;
· Format in the ONE X2 camera
· Format on the ONE X App
· Format on Computer
Microphones & Audio
Another upgrade that has come with this camera is the introduction of spatial audio which is accomplished by 4 microphones, one on every side of the camera.
The microphones work together harmoniously by capturing audio from all the corners of your view resulting in an immersive experience.
You will remember that the preceding One X had only two microphones that produced stereo audio.
The camera has a wind noise reduction technology that tries to eliminate background wind noise and maintain the clarity of your voice.
You will need to update your camera to the latest firmware to enjoy this feature.
How is the Audio Quality?
There is a noticeable improvement from the One X in terms of audio clarity and volume.
However, you will easily notice that GoPro does a better job than this camera in terms of audio. For example, the GoPro Max has a total of six microphones that work together to produce an audio recording.
Nonetheless, it is nice to see that Insta360 has made the jump from 2 to 4 microphones in the new camera.
External Microphone Adapter
The One X2 does not have a dedicated port for external microphone connection.
However, you can purchase an external microphone adapter that will allow you to connect an external microphone.
I recommend using an external microphone if you are not filming in 360 mode.
Otherwise, if you are doing a spherical video you can still use the camera’s in-built microphone for that purpose.
New! Waterproof up to 10M
The Insta360 One X2 is waterproof without the need for waterproof housing.
You can go underwater up to 10 meters / 32 feet. The One X was not waterproof and the One R was waterproof up to 5 meters / 16 feet. So, we can see here that there is a good upgrade to mention.
Despite this rating, I still discourage filming 360 videos underwater because the refraction caused by the water brings interference when it comes to stitching the video.
This rating is good enough for offering protection when the camera comes in contact with accidental splashes from rain or any other source.
Otherwise, if you need the camera for diving, I recommend that you get a Dive Case for added security and touch.
The Diva Case for One X2 has been rated at IPX8 which means that you can go underwater up to 45 meters / 148 feet.
Before using a newly-bought dive case, please test it out to see whether there are any leaks. After your underwater adventure, clean and dry the case well enough.
Controls, Buttons, and Modes
Just like the One X, this camera has only two buttons, the only difference is in the placement of the buttons.
On the front of the camera, we have a shutter button which is also known as the control button.
From the name, you can use this button to start/stop video recording, take photos, change modes, and perform several control features.
The other one is the Power button which is located on the side of the camera. The button is used to switch the camera ON/OFF.
Both buttons are made of rubber which has a more premium feel than plastic. The rubber buttons are easy to click hence avoiding delays arising from clicking delays.
Voice control is where you will use your voice to control the camera by saying any of the predetermined voice commands.
This is an upgrade since the previous generation One X does not support voice control. However, the One R supports it.
You can give commands such as:
· Start recording
· Stop recording
· Take photos and many others.
Using your voice to control the camera can be seen as a safety measure when your hands are fully engaged in handing other things, e.g. when cycling.
You can control the camera remotely by using a Bluetooth remote control, smartphone App, or a GPS Remote control.
Insta360 Bluetooth remote
The camera has an in-built Bluetooth capability that will permit you to connect it to a Bluetooth powered remote control.
Doing this will enable you to control your camera from a distance without using your smartphone. You can read this official Insta360 tutorial on how to use a Bluetooth remote for your camera.
GPS Smart Remote
You can use the previous GPS Smart Remote to control your Insta360 One X2 up to a distance of 10 meters / 32 feet.
For you to have a seamless interaction with the Smart Remote, it is recommended that you update your camera to the latest firmware version.
You can use the Remote to perform actions like; taking photos, recording videos, resetting the camera, and many more.
Using the Smartphone App
This camera has in-built Wi-Fi that will allow you to connect it to a smartphone via the App.
After downloading and installing the App on your smartphone, you will then activate Wi-Fi on your camera and use it to connect to the phone while launching the App.
Once the two devices have been paired together successfully, you can then use the App to perform several things including changing the video and photo settings.
It is always recommended to use the App to edit your 360-degree video especially when you don’t have the right plug-ins to use for desktop software.
I am impressed to see how Insta360 has managed to integrate the App and the camera, making the workflow relatively short and enjoyable.
Without a doubt, this is one of the most important segments for any camera out there.
Users will always decide to purchase a camera over the other based on how it performs in terms of video recordings.
In this section, I will take you through the various aspects of this camera that relates to videography, covering video resolutions, video formats, bitrates, codecs, and many more.
I will also inform you how the camera performs in this category to help you see what you will be getting if you choose to buy this camera.
As I mentioned earlier, the Insta360 One X2 has the same video resolution that we had with the One X and One R.
It is rather disappointing to see that there was no effort made to increase the resolution even by 0.1.
Many people were expecting this camera to carry a whopping 8K resolution, but that did not happen.
Nonetheless, you have the following video resolutions with this camera: 5.7K, 4K, and 3K. The resolutions display the following pixel measurements:
· 5.7K: 5760 x 2880
· 4K: 3840 x 2160
· 3K: 3840 x 1920
When it comes to frame rates, we also have the same choice that we had with the One X. The highest frame rate is 100 frames per second which is compatible with 3K resolution.
You will have the following resolution and frame rate combination with this camera: 5K@30fps, 5K@25fps, 5K@24fps, 4K@30fp, 4K@50fps, 3K@50fps, 3K@30fps, 3K (3008 x 1504) @100fps.
How is the video quality?
Having similar resolutions and frame rates does not entirely mean that this camera has no improvement in terms of video quality.
When comparing to the One X, you will easily notice that the One X2 has better color saturation, contrast, and brightness. The video on One X looks a little bit flat which is good for post-production.
Despite similar resolution with the One X, I was able to notice the improved sharpness on the One X footage, especially when using 5.7K resolution.
Comparing the One X2 to the One R, I noticed a slight improvement which enhanced the colors and contrast.
Both cameras are not 100% accurate when it comes to exhibiting real-life colors. DJI Osmo Action offers better colors that appear closer to real life.
The One X2 has a better Dynamic Range than the One R. I also like the fact that the X2 has a small pocketable size which makes it a good traveling companion.
Here is a video by ‘Brandon Li’ showing the video quality of the insta360 One X2:
This term refers to the amount of data that the camera uses to write a second-long video. Bitrate is measured in megabytes per second (Mbps).
Insta360 One X2 has a maximum Bitrate of 100Mbps which is good enough.
Remember that higher bitrates will always improve the video quality due to the increased writing speeds.
The One X2 has two video encoding technologies; the H.264 and H.265 video codecs. H.265 is the newer technology and I recommend using it because it offers better compressions.
Videos encoded with H.265always have a reduced file size but does not compromise the sharpness and clarity of the video.
If you choose to use the H.265 codec, ensure that you have a powerful PC/Mac for editing.
There are two video formats in this camera; the INSV format used for 360 mode and the MP4 format used for Steady Cam mode.
As mentioned above, the codec can either be H.264 or H.265.
Insta360 One X2 has the following modes for recording video: Standard, HDR, Timelapse, TimeShift, Bullet Time, and a new Starlapse mode which is coming later on.
Insta360 has introduced a new Bullet time Cord which will be used to record Bullet time videos. This is more effective than using Bullet time handles.
You can read my video mode section review on Insta360 One X to learn how to use the different video modes since the operation is the same.
Using Quick Capture
You can activate Quick Capture on your One X2. This feature will allow you to power ON the camera then it automatically jumps to recording footage by pressing the shutter button while the camera is OFF.
You can then press the shutter button to stop recording then the camera will switch OFF. This feature can be seen as a power-saving tool.
The One X2 has 6-axis gyro-based image stabilization which works even better than what we had with the previous generation Insta360 cameras.
Recording your videos in rugged situations makes everything butter smooth.
Please have a look at the video below by Insta360 to give you a clear view of what I am talking about here.
Moving on to the Photo Section, I hope that you have gained a deeper knowledge of how the camera performs so far.
In this section, I will explain the important photo aspect of the One X and give you my thoughts on how it performs.
I will cover photo resolution, formats, modes, and many more.
The One X2 has an image sensor that is capable of capturing 18.4 megapixels still images with a fully spherical view.
The resolution is good enough for consumers and it offers a good amount of details for impressive clarity.
It is important to mention at this point that there is a new automatic InstaPano mode that will form 6MP photos in a 3:1 ratio from any photos.
How is the photo quality?
The images shot by One X2 are very clear and vibrant thanks to the high resolution and impressive image sensor.
The photos have a slight improvement over what we had with the One R earlier this year. The improvement from One X is easily noticeable.
Even though photos from the One X2 are impressive, they are still not at par with what we get from Ricoh Theta Z1. I still believe the latter has the best to offer in this category.
The camera has insv and RAW photo formats to choose from. When using insv, you will be able to export the photos directly to the phone from the camera.
I like the fact that there is a Raw option on this camera. You can edit Raw photos either from your smartphone App or Desktop.
Please note that you can only stitch RAW HDR stills using a desktop.
I enjoy shooting in Raw because of the flexibility the format offers me in terms of editing and color correction.
Similar to videos, the One X2 has several modes to choose from when shooting photos.
The photo modes include High Dynamic Range, Burst photo, Interval, Night Shot, and the newly added PureShot.
New! PureShot Mode
This mode was previously only available on the One R 1-inch edition. PureShot mode is meant to improve the low light performance of the camera as well as underwater visibility.
This mode works by enhancing shadow details using Artificial Intelligence.
This mode can be used for both spherical and non-spherical photos.
Insta360 One X2 has a new photo mode known as Instapano which allows you to capture a panoramic photo with just a single shot.
This is similar to the PowerPano mode in GoPro Max action camera.
Insta360 One X2 Battery
Insta360 One X2 has a rechargeable and removable battery with a capacity of 1630mAh which is a good improvement from what we had with the One X.
Insta360 claims that this battery is up to 55% better than the One X’s battery and that is debatable.
Having in mind that the X2 has a new OLED touchscreen panel, then the huge capacity battery will have a hit.
I was able to get an hour and twenty minutes of recording with the One X which is a pretty decent battery life considering that this camera has a dual-lens set-up.
It is also an improvement from the one hour I got with the One X a year ago.
The One X2 has a USB Type C interface for charging up the battery which is a good thing as I mentioned earlier.
The battery on the One X was much harder to remove from the camera and it felt as if one was breaking the camera.
With the One X2, the battery is much easier to take out thanks to the new design and increased size.
Pros of the One X2
· Beautiful OLED touchscreen
· Small-sized camera
· Improved audio
· Descent videos and photos
Cons of the One X2
· Similar resolutions to previous cameras
· Wi-Fi connectivity issues
One X2 does a decent job in many areas and one is left with a clear option to desire the camera.
5.7K video resolution is good enough although we expected an increase similar to what the trend has been in this industry for quite some time now.
The photos are also great, both non and spherical ones. Although they are good, I mentioned that you will get better photo performance with Ricoh Theta Z1. I also like the fact that the camera has a RAW option for photos.
The new circular OLED touchscreen panel is a very nice thing to have in a camera especially for making quick controls and having a live monitor of what you are filming/capturing.
The 4 microphones dotted on the sides of the camera do a very nice job in capturing crisp audio. I also like the fact that the camera offers a wind-noise cancellation option.
Insta360 is putting a lot of effort into ensuring that the workflow is reduced by making the App and Adobe Plugins very effective to use.
The big question for many is whether to upgrade to the One X2 if you already own the One X or One R.
I will give a no answer to that because the upgrades are so slight in this camera that it doesn’t warrant that kind of move.
However, if you are coming from older models of Insta360 cameras or you have never owned a 360-degree camera and you are considering getting the first one; then buying the One X2 is a good deal.
This is because it offers a nice overall package that will serve you for the next couple of years.
Thanks for reading my Insta360 One X2 review! I hope you found it useful.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can leave a comment down below and I will most certainly get back to you.