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AKASO Brave 4 Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.10
Reviewed Aug 18, 2021 at 10:40 am
AKASO Brave 4 Picture
3.5
Travel Photography
4.1
Landscape Photography
2.7
Sport & Wildlife Photography
3.9
Vlogging
3.2
Studio Video
5.4
Action Video
Body Type
Action Cam
Mirrorless
Yes
Sensor Size
Unspecified
Tested Lens
Built-In Lens

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.

Our Verdict

3.5 Travel Photography

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.

Pros
  • Incredibly portable.
  • Great battery life.
Cons
  • Poor image quality.
  • Can't adjust shutter speed manually.
  • Fixed aperture and focal length.
  • No autofocus system.
4.1 Landscape Photography

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.

Pros
  • Incredibly portable.
  • Great battery life.
Cons
  • Poor image quality.
  • Can't adjust shutter speed manually.
  • Fixed aperture and focal length.
  • No autofocus system.
2.7 Sport & Wildlife Photography

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.

Pros
  • Incredibly portable.
  • Great battery life.
Cons
  • Poor image quality.
  • Can't adjust shutter speed manually.
  • Fixed aperture and focal length.
  • No autofocus system.
3.9 Vlogging

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.

Pros
  • Incredibly portable.
  • Great battery life.
  • Fantastic FHD video stabilization.
Cons
  • Bad FHD video quality.
  • Doesn't support native 4k video.
  • Fixed aperture and focal length.
  • No autofocus system.
3.2 Studio Video

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.

Pros
  • Incredibly portable.
  • Great battery life.
  • Fantastic FHD video stabilization.
Cons
  • Bad FHD video quality.
  • Doesn't support native 4k video.
  • Fixed aperture and focal length.
  • No autofocus system.
5.4 Action Video

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.

Pros
  • Incredibly portable.
  • Great battery life.
  • Fantastic FHD video stabilization.
Cons
  • Bad FHD video quality.
  • Doesn't support native 4k video.
  • Only waterproof with protective case.
  • Limited frame rate options.
  • 3.5 Travel Photography
  • 4.1 Landscape Photography
  • 2.7 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 3.9 Vlogging
  • 3.2 Studio Video
  • 5.4 Action Video
  1. Updated Oct 03, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.10.
  2. Updated Sep 02, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.9.
  3. Updated May 18, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.8.
  4. Updated Aug 18, 2021: Review published.
  5. Updated Aug 16, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
9.9
Design
Portability
Height
1.6" (4.1 cm)
Width
2.3" (5.9 cm)
Depth
1.2" (3.0 cm)
Volume
4.4 in³ (72.6 cm³)
Weight
0.14 lbs (0.06 kg)
Weight With Lens
0.14 lbs (0.06 kg)

Note: With the protective case equipped, the camera is slightly less portable, measuring:

  • Height: 2.8" (7.1 cm)
  • Width: 2.8" (7.1 cm)
  • Depth: 1.6" (4.1 cm)
  • Volume: 12.6 in³ (206.7 cm³)
  • Weight: 0.24 lbs (0.11 kg)
  • Weight With Lens: 0.24 lbs (0.11 kg)

3.5
Design
Build Quality

  • Materials feel flimsy, with cheap-feeling hard plastic that scratches easily
  • Plastic battery cover may be easily lost since it isn't attached to the camera
  • No cover for inputs and outputs
  • Buttons feel clicky but somewhat loose-fitting
  • Rear screen and plastic cover feel flimsy
  • With the included protective case, the camera feels more sturdy and secure

Design
Body
Water Resistance
Waterproof, with included case
Rugged
Yes, with included case
Hot Shoe
No
Customizable Button
No
Command Dial
0
Tripod Mount
Yes, with included accessory
Lens Mount
No Lens Mount
Built-In Flash
No

Note: With the included protective case, the camera is advertised to be waterproof up to 100 feet, though we don't currently test this.

Design
In The Box

  • AKASO Brave 4 action camera
  • Protective case
  • Protective back plate
  • 2x PG 1050 battery
  • Battery charger
  • Micro USB cable
  • Remote
  • Tethers
  • 7x mounts
  • Handle bar/pole mount
  • Helmet mount
  • 2x extra sticker for helmet mount
  • 2x clip
  • 2x velcro strap
  • 2x strap
  • Lens cloth
  • Quick Start guide

5.0
Design
Ergonomics & Comfort
Hand Grip: Small Hand
No Hand Grip
Hand Grip: Medium Hand
No Hand Grip
Hand Grip: Large Hand
No Hand Grip
Hand Grip: Extra-Large Hand
No Hand Grip

  • Intended to be mounted and used as an action camera, but it can also be used handheld to take photos/videos if desired
  • No touchscreen functionality
  • Settings can be adjusted using the arrow buttons on the side and the 'OK' button on the top of the camera, which also acts as the shutter button
  • Switching out accessories and mounts can be cumbersome
  • Plastic finish makes it somewhat slippery

Design
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Type
No Viewfinder
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Resolution
N/A
Advertised Magnification
N/A
2.6
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
No Articulation (Fixed Screen)
Screen Max Brightness
530 cd/m²
Advertised Resolution
N/A
Size
2.0" (5.0 cm)
Touchscreen
No

Note: This camera has a small front-facing screen that can only display the camera mode, remaining battery life, and memory card space.

5.5
Design
Menu System
Guide Mode
No
App Name
Camking

  • Menu is a bit sluggish and can only be accessed by cycling through the camera modes
  • No distinction between photo and video settings
  • You can only navigate the menu using the two arrow buttons on the side of the camera, and there's only one menu tab, so it takes a while to scroll through to find the setting you're looking for
  • Design is misleading, with left and right arrows shown on the menu, despite only being navigable using the physical up and down arrows on the camera
  • No guide mode to provide additional information about settings

6.0
Design
Lens
Lens Type
Built-in
Maximum Aperture
N/A
Max Aperture (Full-Frame Equivalent)
N/A
Minimum Focal Length
N/A
Maximum Focal Length
N/A
Max Focal Length (Full-Frame Equivalent)
N/A
Optical Image Stabilization
No
Luminance
78.7%
Light Falloff
35.1%
Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
Unspecified
Advertised Effective Pixels
20 MP
Processor
Unspecified
Extended ISO Minimum
N/A
Native ISO Minimum (Base ISO)
100
Native ISO Maximum
400
Tested Firmware
IPS7789_V3
8.0
Design
Battery
Battery Type
AKASO PG 1050
USB Charging
Yes
Use When Charging
Yes
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
N/A
Tested Battery Life In Video
96 min

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.

Photo General
Photo General
Photo Features
JPEG File Format
Yes
Raw File Format
No
Shutter
Electronic
Slowest Shutter Speed
1/266 s
Fastest Shutter Speed
1/2,631 s
Silent Shooting
Yes
HDR
Yes
Time Lapse
Yes

Note: The shutter speed isn't manually adjustable.

3.5
Photo General
Photo Shooting Speed
Low Speed Continuous
2 fps
High Speed Continuous
2 fps
Silent Shooting Continuous
2 fps
Raw Buffer Size
N/A
JPEG Buffer Size
10 Photos
Buffer Empty Time
9 s

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.

0
Photo General
Photo Autofocus
Object Tracking Success Rate
N/A
Face Tracking Success Rate
N/A
Face Detection Distance
N/A
Eye Detection
No
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Focus Points
N/A

Note: This camera doesn't have an autofocus system.

not tested
Photo General
Photo Image Stabilization
Minimum Shutter Speed Achieved
N/A
In-Body Image Stabilization
No

Note: We weren't able to run our image stabilization test properly because this camera doesn't have a manually adjustable shutter speed.

Photo Image Quality
not tested
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Dynamic Range
Dynamic Range At Base ISO
N/A
Dynamic Range At 1/500s Exposure Time
N/A
Dynamic Range At 1/2000s Exposure Time
N/A
Dynamic Range At 1/4000s Exposure Time
N/A
not tested
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Sharpness
Vertical Edge MTF50 At Base ISO
N/A
Horizontal Edge MTF50 At Base ISO
N/A
not tested
Photo Image Quality
Photo JPEG Noise
SNR 18% At Base ISO
N/A
SNR 18% At ISO 800
N/A
SNR 18% At ISO 3200
N/A
0
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Noise
RAW SNR 18% At Base ISO
N/A
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 200
N/A
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 400
N/A
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 800
N/A
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 1600
N/A
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 3200
N/A
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 6400
N/A
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 12800
N/A
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 25600
N/A
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 51200
N/A

Note: This camera doesn't shoot in RAW format.

Photo Image Quality
Test Scene Pictures Download
JPEG Picture At Base ISO Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 400 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 800 N/A
JPEG Picture At ISO 1600 N/A
JPEG Picture At ISO 3200 N/A
JPEG Picture At ISO 6400 N/A
JPEG Picture At ISO 12800 N/A
JPEG Picture At ISO 25600 N/A
JPEG Picture At ISO 51200 N/A
RAW Picture At Base ISO N/A
RAW Picture At ISO 400 N/A
RAW Picture At ISO 800 N/A
RAW Picture At ISO 1600 N/A
RAW Picture At ISO 3200 N/A
RAW Picture At ISO 6400 N/A
RAW Picture At ISO 12800 N/A
RAW Picture At ISO 25600 N/A
RAW Picture At ISO 51200 N/A
Pictures Sample Gallery
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Skate Park Picture
JPEG Skate Park Picture Download
RAW Skate Park Picture N/A
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Polish Church Picture
JPEG Polish Church Picture Download
RAW Polish Church Picture N/A
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Studio Picture
JPEG Studio Picture Download
RAW Studio Picture N/A
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Stairway Picture
JPEG Stairway Picture Download
RAW Stairway Picture N/A
Video General
Video General
Video Features
Full HD Video
Yes
4k Video
No
6k Video
No
Clean HDMI Output
Yes
Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI
Not Advertised
Advertised Max Bit Depth Over HDMI
N/A
Log Picture Profile
No
Recording Light
No

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.

Video General
Audio
Audio Test Sample
Audio Recording
Stereo
Microphone Level Display
No

Note: According to AKASO, the camera doesn't record sound when in its protective case; however, we don't currently test this.

Video General
Video File Format And Compression
MP4 H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
Yes
MP4 H.265 / HEVC
No
MOV H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
MOV H.265 / HEVC
No
AVCHD H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
All-I Compression
No
4k Video
not tested
4k Video
4k Video Frame Rate
240 fps In 4k
N/A
120 fps In 4k
N/A
60 fps In 4k
N/A
30 fps In 4k
N/A
24 fps In 4k
N/A
4k Crop At Max Available fps
N/A

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.

0
4k Video
4k Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In 4k
N/A
Bitrate Minimum In 4k
N/A
Chroma Sampling In 4k
N/A
Bit Depth In 4k
N/A
Record Time Limit In 4k
0 min
Overheat Recording Interruptions in 4k
N/A
not tested
4k Video
4k Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In 4k
N/A
Face Tracking In 4k
N/A
Face Detection In 4k
N/A
Eye Detection In 4k
N/A
not tested
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k N/A
Test Scene Extract In 4k N/A
not tested
4k Video
4k Video Rolling Shutter Effect
4k Rolling Shutter
N/A
Full HD Video
5.5
Full HD Video
FHD Video Frame Rate
240 fps In FHD
No
120 fps In FHD
No
60 fps In FHD
Yes
30 fps In FHD
Yes
24 fps In FHD
No
FHD Crop At Max Available fps
1 x
7.9
Full HD Video
FHD Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In FHD
20 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In FHD
14 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In FHD
4:2:0
Bit Depth In FHD
8 Bit
Record Time Limit in FHD
N/A

Note: This camera doesn't have adjustable bit rate settings.

0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In FHD
N/A
Face Tracking In FHD
N/A
Face Detection In FHD
No
Eye Detection In FHD
No

Note: This camera doesn't have an autofocus system.

3.3
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
3.0
Test Scene Extract In FHD
3.5
7.5
Full HD Video
FHD Video Rolling Shutter Effect
FHD Rolling Shutter
3.0°
Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
microSD Card UHS-I
Card 2 Slot
No 2nd Card Slot
4.8
Storage And Connectivity
Inputs / Outputs
USB
Micro USB
HDMI
Micro (Type D)
Headphones
No
Microphone
No Microphone input
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
No

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

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.

Discussions