This story was originally published and last updated .
If you missed out on winning a CoolPo AI Huddle PANA video conference camera in our contest earlier this year, you're going to get another shot at it. This week, CoolPo is giving away the same camera, valued at $699.99, to one more lucky Android Police reader. Here's everything you need to know.
Most 360 camera aficionados know that Insta360 is one of the top players in the game. After a shy start, the company made some great cams, starting with the One, then One X, and finally the modular One R. Now it's releasing an updated One X2, keeping the simplicity of the form factor, but adding many of the cool and powerful features of the One R, and sticking to the same price range at $430.
Insta360 has made a name for itself in the enthusiast 360 camera market thanks to a line of consistently excellent products that culminated in the One X in 2018, possibly the most lauded 360 cam of its time. The company came back in 2020 with a more ambitious project: a modular cam that can transform from an action shooter to a 360 cam — and other potential form factors — in a snap.
But in aiming to do everything and in trying to copy the GoPro so much, the company has introduced a long list of compromises that didn't plague its previous offerings.
A 360-degree camera remains a commodity to this day, but those who have tried one and really looked at all the ways it can be used won't stop singing its praises. For video, a 360 cam lets you shoot without worrying about framing or angle, for still pics it forces you to think about creative places and perspectives. Not to mention all the fun effects you can create with it and the flying drone viewpoint it can generate. If you'd like to test the waters or if you're looking to upgrade your existing 360 gear, you're in luck because Insta360 has a bunch of nice summer deals.
In the span of a few years, Insta360 has made itself a name in the 360 camera space thanks to an excellent balance between specs, image and video quality, funky additional features, and price. After a small detour with the Insta360 GO, the company is now back with its most ambitious 360 and action cam to date, the One R.
A 360-degree action camera can be quite a fun device to have around. Besides being great for capturing panoramic videos during sporty activities such as biking or snowboarding, you can also use it to create interesting tiny planet photosphere pictures, shareable virtual reality videos, and use them in other interesting and creative ways. When 360-degree cameras first came out, they were quite expensive and hard to recommend to casual users. Thanks to companies like Xiaomi who often bring lots of value to the table, this type of camera is now within the reach of anyone who wants one. The Xiaomi Mijia, which has seen a few price drops previously, is now down to its all-time lowest of $125.49 ($74.50 off).
360-degree cameras are particularly useful for sports videos, allowing you to capture everything around you while you're focusing on your activity. You only need to decide what to show your audience when you're editing. Xiaomi offers one such camera with the Mijia and even sells it in the US, unlike its phones. You can grab it for $150 on Amazon right now, $50 cheaper than the price it has been going for lately.
Insta360 just launched the EVO, a foldable all-in-one 180°, 360°, and 3D camera. Meant for capturing all of life's wacky moments (where normal cameras are simply inadequate), EVO is compatible with both Android and iOS and can be yours for $419.99.
Depending on the tech circle you're in, 360 cameras may either be the most superfluous fad or the coolest thing. I used to be in the former camp and my LG 360 Cam collected dust in a drawer for years, but over the past months, I've found a new appreciation for the product category. It's partly thanks to the number of cool "tiny planet" creators I follow on Instagram, but most importantly, it's because of a shift in my understanding of what a 360-degree camera can do.
If you think that these cams are only good for photospheres and VR, you're missing out.
Look, Essential has been trying to sell you phones and 360-degree cameras for like a year. The original price was a little high, but it's been discounting them over and over, and there are still some left. For a limited time, you can get the Essential 360 Camera for just $24. This device cost a whopping $200 at launch.