The AKASO Brave 4 is a portable action camera. The camera is incredibly small and lightweight, and it comes with a wide array of accessories in the box. While it's advertised as a 4k video camera, its "4k" video setting outputs 2880 × 2160 resolution video, which is disappointing. Its FHD video quality is also poor, especially in low light. That said, it does a fantastic job of smoothing out camera shake in FHD. It also has a great battery life, though this can vary with real-world conditions and usage habits. It's waterproof as long as it's in the included protective case, which adds a bit of bulk but makes it feel more rugged. Otherwise, it feels somewhat flimsy, with cheap materials.
The AKASO Brave 4 is a poor choice for travel photography. While it's very portable and easy to pack in a bag, its image quality is terrible, and it's intended for action video rather than any photography. The built-in lens has a fixed wide-angle focal length, creating a noticeable fisheye effect, and a fixed aperture. You also can't manually adjust its shutter speed. It also lacks an autofocus system and feels cheaply made, although it does have a long-lasting battery. That said, battery performance can vary drastically with settings and usage habits.
The AKASO Brave 4 is bad for landscape photography, as it isn't meant for this use. Image quality is terrible, with few ISO options and a very limited dynamic range. Its aperture and focal length are fixed, and you can't manually adjust shutter speed, resulting in very little flexibility for landscape photography. It also lacks an autofocus system.
The AKASO Brave 4 is a bad choice for sport and wildlife photography since it's not intended for this use. It doesn't have a manually adjustable shutter speed, and its aperture and focal length are fixed to a wide-angle field of view. Its continuous shooting mode is also extremely limited, and it can only shoot at a slow 2 fps with a very small buffer. Finally, it lacks an autofocus system and feels cheaply built.
The AKASO Brave 4 is poor for vlogging. While it's very portable, it feels poorly built, and switching out mounts and accessories can be cumbersome. You also can't use its front-facing screen for playback or live view, and it doesn't have an autofocus feature. It's advertised to shoot 4k video, but it can't record true 4k video. Its FHD video quality is also poor. On the upside, it does a fantastic job of smoothing out camera shake in FHD.
The AKASO Brave 4 is bad for studio video. It can't record native 4k video, and its FHD video quality is bad. It has a poorly designed menu system that's a bit cumbersome to navigate, and it lacks inputs and outputs, with no headphone or microphone jack.
The AKASO Brave 4 is a disappointing action video camera. Despite being advertised as a 4k camera, it can't record 4k video. Its video quality in FHD is also poor, and its frame rate options are limited since it can only record FHD video at 30 fps or 60 fps. On the upside, it's incredibly lightweight and portable. It also does a fantastic job smoothing out camera shake in FHD, and it's waterproof, but only with the included protective case, though we don't currently test for this.
Note: With the protective case equipped, the camera is slightly less portable, measuring:
Note: With the included protective case, the camera is advertised to be waterproof up to 100 feet, though we don't currently test this.
Note: This camera has a small front-facing screen that can only display the camera mode, remaining battery life, and memory card space.
Note: When charging via USB over a computer, you can only use the camera as a webcam and not take photos or videos. Also, the camera splits up long recordings into sequential clips of 3 minutes and 1 second each.
Note: The shutter speed isn't manually adjustable.
Note: This camera only has a single burst mode that you can set to take bursts of 3, 5, or 10 images, and it shoots at a speed of approximately 2 fps.
Note: This camera doesn't have an autofocus system.
Note: We weren't able to run our image stabilization test properly because this camera doesn't have a manually adjustable shutter speed.
Note: This camera doesn't shoot in RAW format.
Note: This camera is advertised as a 4k camera, but it's not actually capable of shooting native 4k video. When using its '4k' setting, it can only produce 2880 x 2160 resolution video with a 4:3 aspect ratio.
Note: According to AKASO, the camera doesn't record sound when in its protective case; however, we don't currently test this.
Note: This camera is advertised as a 4k camera, but it can only produce 2880 x 2160 resolution video with a 4:3 aspect ratio. When playing back the camera's advertised "4k" video, VLC and other media players will scale it up to a 16:9 aspect ratio. However, when processing the same video file in a video editor like DaVinci Resolve, the video is squished into a 4:3 aspect ratio, as seen here. You can see a rescaled 16:9 frame here.
Note: This camera doesn't have adjustable bit rate settings.
Note: This camera doesn't have an autofocus system.
The AKASO Brave 4 comes in one color variant: Black. You can see our unit's label here.
If you come across another variant or your AKASO Brave 4 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update the review.