Samsung Unpacked 2017 is officially underway, and one of the first things out of the gate is an update to Samsung's Gear 360 camera. The newest version of the Gear 360 bumps the video recording up to 4K resolution, and allows live streaming of 4K and VR content, while allowing 360 degree photos to be taken at up to 15 megapixels. The new version of the Gear 360 sports a smaller, more user-friendly design, sporting only two extremely wide-angle cameras, along with a bevy of sensors. The new design is a palm-sized orb on a built-in handle, looking quite similar to the average webcam, but with two cameras instead of one.
The new Gear 360 boasts a spec sheet that's leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor. The stars of the show are the dual CMOS fish-eye cameras, each sitting at 8.4 megapixels. Those sweet dual lenses hook into a DRIMe5s image processor to allow recording and streaming in 4K at up to 24 frames per second, though Samsung doesn't say exactly what the frame rate tradeoffs amount to as you go down to lower resolutions. A USB Type-C port is on board, compliant to the USB 2.0 standard. A microSD slot is also on board, and the whole package boasts IP53 ingress protection. Finally, a 1,160mAh lithium-ion battery keeps the 130 gram device up and running.
On the software and connectivity side of things, the newest Gear 360 can connect via Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi Direct, or through its USB port. It can work in concert with any iPhone from the SE and 6S lineup onward, any Galaxy phone from the Galaxy S6 onward, most devices running Android 5.0 Lollipop and up, and Windows and Mac PCs. Shooting modes include normal Video, Photo, Time Lapse Video, Looping Video, and Landscape HDR. These can all be used with either one or both lenses. Audio is encoded through ACC, and can be recorded in MP3, M4A, AAC, and OGG formats. Video, meanwhile, is recorded in MP4 format with the highly compatible H.265 encoding, meaning it can be live streamed to dedicated VR headsets, watched on a phone, or even played on some older devices like a Sony PlayStation 3.