Motorola has really done something different with their Moto Mod offerings. They have put out an entire line of products that are compatible with multiple Moto phones via a sturdy magnetic docking system. The idea is a genius one in that it finally does not have to live within the tight space requirements of today's wafer-thin phones. Taking the Moto 360 Camera Mod for a spin did not disappoint.
The Moto 360 Camera Mod is a very simple yet powerful device with only one button. The magic all happens when you hook it up to any member of the Moto Z phone family.
- 360° spherical panorama camera with 2 × 13 MP
- 360° 4K video at 24 fps
- 3D sound (4 channel ambisonic)
150° ultra wide-angle view for photos
Live stream ready
- Edit photos and videos with advanced software right on the phone
As much as phones have changed over the years, they are all now basically still rectangles. The utopian dream phone idea featured in the popular YouTube video "Phonebloks" This idea comes to fruition with Moto's simpler concept with a single rectangular footprint.
Motorola smartphones have always had solid built quality. They always seem to use stronger metal instead of plastic which translates to a more premium feel.
While the 360 Camera Mod is plastic, it is thick and feels plenty strong. The camera's lenses are a bit convex so there is a nice rubber cover included to protect them.
I vowed never to switch again when I got the Moto Droid Turbo 2 which had an industry first unbreakable screen. To me, this is the only feature that I truly need. I'm not a huge fan of bulky cases, but I also happen to drop my phone often enough that I'd otherwise be forced to wear one.
When the Moto Z2 Force came out with the same indestructible screen I had to upgrade. The phone is the best I've used.
In the video below I took the 360 camera with me while I shot a sunset at the waterfront. I'm not one to be in front of the camera or talk on it for that matter, but with the full 360 degrees of coverage, there is no hiding. You can drag the video around while it plays and you should be able to pick up the 3D audio as well.
I should confess I know very little about 360 cameras or the current state of video cameras in general. I know on the product page the user in the demo is using a gimble which helps reduce the movement but doesn't erase itself as well.
Who Is It For and How Much?
There are a number of things I wasn't prepared for when trying the camera out. For one, I have no idea where to look. If I'm paying attention to the screen then I'm not looking at the camera and it can look a bit off during playback. Also, everything is the set meaning no hiding clutter behind the camera. There is no "behind the camera" with 360.
I would say the ideal customer has experience being on camera. Filming in places with amazing scenery like the balloon ride video in the demo will yield the best results.
The unit goes for $299 right from Motorola's website but there is currently a holiday promotion for 25% off of any Moto Mod ending December 2, 2017.
What I Liked
- Easy to use
- Compact enough to bring along
- Good software integration
- Rubber lens cover
- 3D audio feature was impressive
- Dragging around your own videos is pretty cool
What I Didn't Like
- Lots of distortion when close to objects
- Not the best performance in lower light