There are a handful of good 360-degree cameras for consumers, like the Samsung Gear 360 and EZVIZ Mini 360. Garmin's first entry into this product category was announced today - the VIRB 360. It's a pretty powerful little camera, but you'll be paying a premium for it.

To start off with, the VIRB 360 can record video at 5.7K/30FPS, 4K/30fps, or 1080p/120FPS. Only the 4k/30FPS mode stitches together the video while recording (you'll have to use the editing software for the other modes), and the 1080p mode just captures regular 16:9 video. It has four built-in microphones, plus something Garmin is calling "4K Spherical Stabilization." The other standout feature of the VIRB is that it supports G-Metrix data overlays, which can display information (like the current altitude) on top of recordings.

The VIRB is waterproof, and supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ANT+, and NFC connectivity. That NFC allows you to pair the VIRB with the mobile app just by tapping your phone to it. Garmin says you can expect to get about an hour of usage out of each charge, depending on what recording mode you're using. So if you're going on a long trip, you might want to bring a battery or two.

The embargo for reviews of the VIRB 360 has just been lifted as well, so you can already find a few reviews of the camera online. DC Rainmaker called it, "the most impressive consumer 360° cam to date," but reported a few minor software problems with the mobile and desktop editing software. I recommend checking out their review, especially if you want to see sample footage.

The VIRB has a suggested retail price of $799.99, placing it well above most (if not all) consumer 360-degree cameras. But you also get far more recording capability for the price, so it evens out. The camera is expected to go on sale in June.

Garmin VIRB
Garmin VIRB
Developer: Garmin
Price: Free

Press Release

OLATHE, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), today announced the versatile VIRB 360, a compact, rugged and fully spherical 360-degree camera. The waterproof1 VIRB 360 is an easy-to-use camera that captures impressive high-quality video up to 5.7K/30fps, with four built-in microphones to ensure everything sounds as good as it looks in any direction. Whether users are kayaking down river rapids or mountain biking through rough terrain, the VIRB 360’s 4K Spherical Stabilization2 makes every video smooth and steady.

With the VIRB 360, users capture video with automatic in-camera stitching up to 4K/30fps. Videos are easily uploaded for editing or sharing instantaneously. Taking advantage of its built-in GPS and numerous other sensors, the VIRB 360 provides owners with customizable G-Metrix™ data overlays in a captivating 360-degree augmented reality3 setting.

“The VIRB 360 lets you relive personal experiences and share them with your friends – from a different point of view, every single time,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “VIRB 360 owners will no longer need to worry about trying to capture the perfect angle or setting up the perfect shot. The camera’s easy-to-use feature set will make even the most inexperienced users look like experts.”

Garmin offers a free downloadable VIRB Mobile app and desktop software to edit, stabilize, share and add data overlays to any VIRB 360 video content – features that make the VIRB 360 easier to use than most other 360 cameras. Boasting conveniently simple one-touch button controls, the VIRB 360 also incorporates helpful voice control4 options to start and stop recordings, snap photos and more. And to make the most of “in-the-moment” experiences, the VIRB 360 features livestream5 capabilities to post to YouTube™ or Facebook Live with a compatible smartphone or tablet.

The VIRB 360 offers a rechargeable, one-hour battery life while recording. Even more impressive, whether it’s a family event or a rigorous journey, the VIRB 360 is built to withstand overheating and wet conditions. Beyond video, the VIRB 360 can take stitched-in-camera, 360-degree, 15 megapixel spherical photos. Photo modes include single capture, burst shooting, and time lapse. Additionally, the camera is equipped with a sunlight-readable display for users to identify battery life, storage capacity and video modes. The VIRB 360 supports Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth®, ANT+®, and NFC (one-tap connection with Android™ devices) connectivity.

Offering a wealth of flexibility and range, the VIRB 360 is compatible with industry-leading virtual reality headsets and live playback through the free VIRB Mobile app. What’s more, the camera is compatible with Apple® and Android devices, and comes with its own unique tripod/handgrip. The VIRB 360 uses replaceable microSD memory6 cards of up to 128GB (sold separately).

The Garmin VIRB 360 has a suggested retail price of $799.99 and is expected to be available in June. For more information, visit Garmin.com/VIRB360.

The Garmin VIRB 360 is the latest from the consumer automotive and camera segment of Garmin, the leading worldwide provider of portable navigation devices for automobiles, motorcycles and trucks. The company’s user-friendly navigation and action camera solutions have innovative features that provide time- and fuel-saving benefits to meet the demands of everyday driving and outdoor living.

For decades, Garmin has pioneered new GPS navigation, advancements with camera solutions, wireless devices and applications that are designed for people who live an active lifestyle. Garmin serves five primary business units, including automotive, aviation, fitness, marine, and outdoor recreation. For more information, visit Garmin's virtual pressroom at garmin.com/newsroom, contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200, or follow us at facebook.com/garmin, twitter.com/garmin, or youtube.com/garmin.

1See Garmin.com/waterrating.

2Stabillization is applied using VIRB Mobile app or VIRB Edit desktop software and is only available for videos stitched in camera.

3Augmented reality overlays require mobile or desktop VIRB app before sharing.

4Voice control available for English (US, UK), French, Italian, German, Spanish, Swedish, Japanese, and Mandarin.

5Live streaming only available on compatible Apple devices.

6See Garmin.com/VIRBcards for compatibility.

NOTICE: For the best viewing experience, we recommend you watch 360 videos in the YouTube app on a mobile device or tablet. To view interactive 360 YouTube videos on a desktop, you’ll need Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

About Garmin International Inc.:

Garmin International Inc. is a subsidiary of Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN). Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in Switzerland, and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Garmin, ANT+ and VIRB are trademarks of Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries and are registered in one or more countries including the U.S. G-Metrix is a trademark of Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries. Apple is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Android™ is a trademark of Google Inc. The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Garmin is under license. Wi-Fi® and the Wi-Fi logo are registered trademarks of Wi-Fi Alliance.

All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.