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Insta360 GO 2 Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.10
Reviewed Jul 22, 2022 at 10:23 am
Insta360 GO 2 Picture
5.9
Travel Photography
5.2
Landscape Photography
3.8
Sport & Wildlife Photography
4.0
Vlogging
2.7
Studio Video
6.3
Action Video
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Body Type
Action Cam
Mirrorless
Yes
Tested Lens
Built-In Lens
Sensor Size
1/2.3-inch

The Insta360 GO 2 is a portable video camera touted as the world's smallest action camera. The camera itself is hard to beat when it comes to portability and comes with a few different mounting accessories that make it easy to capture video in tight spots and from POVs that are difficult to achieve with bigger camerasโ —including a magnet necklace that lets you dangle the camera inconspicuously from the front of your shirt. If you ever thought GoPro should take an Apple-like approach to design, this is the camera for you.

Note: We couldn't score this camera's video stabilization performance, which affects its vlogging and action video scores.

Our Verdict

5.9 Travel Photography

The Insta360 GO 2 isn't well-suited to travel photography. The camera is mainly for video, so its photo options are limited. It takes poor-quality images, has a short battery life, and the fixed focal length and aperture of its lens are very limiting. The only upside is that it's incredibly portable.

Pros
  • Exceptionally portable.
Cons
  • Fixed fisheye lens.
  • Sub-par image quality.
  • Poor battery life.
5.2 Landscape Photography

The Insta360 GO 2 isn't suitable for landscape photography. Its built-in lens has a fixed focal length and aperture, and its small sensor is extremely limited in terms of dynamic range and image quality.

Pros
  • Exceptionally portable.
Cons
  • Fixed fisheye lens.
  • Poor dynamic range.
  • Sub-par image quality.
  • Poor battery life.
3.8 Sport & Wildlife Photography

The Insta360 GO 2 isn't suitable for sports and wildlife photography. It doesn't have any burst mode, and the camera has to process each photo individually before you can start shooting again, which can cause interruptions during a critical moment. The fixed focal length of its lens is also incredibly limiting and not suitable for subjects that are farther away. Image quality is hindered by the camera's sensor, especially in challenging lighting conditions.

Pros
  • Exceptionally portable.
Cons
  • Fixed fisheye lens.
  • No continuous shooting mode.
  • Sub-par image quality.
  • Poor battery life.
4.0 Vlogging

The Insta360 GO 2 isn't the best option for vlogging, although it can be helpful if you want something portable and inconspicuous. While the camera itself doesn't have a screen to help you monitor yourself while vlogging, it's meant for use with the companion app on your phone, through which you can monitor your footage in live view. It also does a great job of smoothing out camera shake. Unfortunately, the camera has a very disappointing battery life and suffers from frequent overheating issues.

Pros
  • Exceptionally portable.
  • Does a great job smoothing out camera shake.
Cons
  • No 4k video.
  • Poor video quality.
  • Poor battery life.
2.7 Studio Video

The Insta360 GO 2 isn't suitable for studio video. Its video quality is poor, and it can only record up to 1440p resolution. The fixed focal length and aperture of its built-in lens are limiting, and the camera's battery life is disappointingly short. Curiously, it has a Log picture profile to take full advantage of the sensor's dynamic range, but this adds little in the way of value given the size and quality of the sensor.

Pros
  • Exceptionally portable.
Cons
  • No 4k video.
  • Poor video quality.
  • Poor battery life.
6.3 Action Video

The Insta360 GO 2 is okay for action video, although it's very limited in its frame rate and resolution options. Still, if you're looking for an exceptionally portable camera with good video stabilization, the GO 2 is decent. It has a slow-motion mode that can capture 1080p at 120 fps, and it comes with a few mounting accessories, including a magnet clip that makes it easy to record chest-level POV footage. Unfortunately, it can't record 4k video, and its frame rate options pale compared to more typical action cams.

Pros
  • Exceptionally portable.
  • Does a great job smoothing out camera shake.
  • Comes with mounting accessories.
  • Slow-motion mode shoots 1080p at 120 fps.
Cons
  • Limited frame rate options.
  • No 4k video.
  • Poor video quality.
  • Poor battery life.
  • 5.9 Travel Photography
  • 5.2 Landscape Photography
  • 3.8 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 4.0 Vlogging
  • 2.7 Studio Video
  • 6.3 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 Jul 22, 2022: Review published.
  4. Updated Jun 03, 2022: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Insta360 GO 2 comes in a single color, white, with two built-in storage capacity options: 32GB and 64GB. We tested the 32GB option, and you can see our unit's label here.

Let us know if you come across another variant, and we'll update the review.

Compared To Other Cameras

The Insta360 GO 2 is a unique little camera for those who want a camera in a more sleek, ultra-portable package. The camera is incredibly portable and comes with some unique mounting accessories, including a magnetic necklace for inconspicuous chest-mounting and a charging case that also acts as a mini tripod. However, it disappoints in its battery life, build quality, and frame rate/resolution options.

For more options, see our recommendations for the best action cameras, the best cameras for sports video, and the best vlogging cameras.

DJI Pocket 2

While they're both pretty niche cameras, the DJI Pocket 2 is better overall than the Insta360 GO 2. The DJI is more capable, with 4k video and a built-in handheld gimbal, as well as a tracking feature. It also has a better battery life, although it's less portable than the Insta360, and you can't mount it in tight spots for POV footage.

GoPro HERO8 Black

The GoPro HERO8 Black is a bit better than the Insta360 GO 2. It isn't as portable, but it can record 4k video, offers a wider range of frame rate options, and has no recording time limit, on top of longer battery life.

GoPro HERO10 Black

The GoPro HERO10 Black is better than the Insta360 GO 2 for action video. It's less portable; however, it offers more frame rate and resolution options, including 4k and 5k. It also has better battery life.

DJI Osmo Action

The DJI Osmo Action is better overall than the Insta360 GO 2. While it isn't as portable, it has 4k video capability and offers more frame rate options. It also has a significantly better battery life and no recording time limits.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
10
Design
Portability
Height
2.1" (5.3 cm)
Width
0.9" (2.4 cm)
Depth
0.7" (1.7 cm)
Volume
1.3 inยณ (21.6 cmยณ)
Weight
0.07 lbs (0.03 kg)
Weight With Lens
0.07 lbs (0.03 kg)

The Insta360 GO 2 is an incredibly portable camera. It folds up into a compact size that makes it super easy to toss into a small bag or purse. It's also exceptionally lightweight. The camera also comes with a charging case with little kick-out tripod legs and additional controls. With the case on, the camera measures as follows:

  • Height: 2.6 in / 6.7 cm (closed); 5.2 in / 13.2 cm (open)
  • Width: 1.9 in / 4.8 cm (closed); 0.98 in / 2.5 cm (open)
  • Depth: 1.0 in / 2.6 cm (closed); 1.0 in / 2.6 cm (open)
  • Volume: 5.1 in3 / 83.6 cm3 (closed)
  • Weight: 0.19 lbs / 0.09 kg

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The Insta360 GO 2 feels decently well-built. The camera itself is made of smooth plastic. Without the charging case, the camera feels small and somewhat fragile. The lens, in particular, feels like a weak point, though it does come with a lens cover, which you can replace if it ever gets scratched. Thankfully, the camera is waterproof without the case. The included magnet clip is also very strong, so the camera feels very securely attached around your neck when using it.

Aside from the tripod legs, which are thin and have weak attachment points, the case is pretty solid. There's a bit of flex in the walls, but the bracket that joins the two halves of the case is made of a brushed metal alloy and feels sturdy. The magnet in the case is also very strong, so the camera isn't likely to accidentally pop out of place.

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

The charging case isn't waterproof. Only the camera itself has an IPX8 waterproof rating, meaning it's rated for continuous immersion in water.

Design
In The Box

  • Insta360 GO 2 camera
  • Charge Case
  • Lens cover
  • USB-A to USB-C cable
  • Easy Clip
  • Pivot Stand
  • Magnet Pendant
  • Quick start guide

7.0
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

The Insta360 GO 2 isn't the most comfortable to shoot with when you aren't using one of the included mounts or grips. When used with the charging case, as it's mostly intended to be, it's fairly comfortable when pointed toward you. It's lightweight, and the buttons are easy to reach with good tactile feedback. You can even shoot hands-free if you use the magnetic pendant, which allows the camera to stay mounted on your clothing. That said, if you're pointing the camera away from you, it becomes harder to use comfortably, with the controls being harder to reach. The camera is also very small and sleek, making it easy to drop or lose grip if you aren't careful. It can also be a bit cumbersome to use your phone as a screen, especially if you're shooting handheld.

Design
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Type
No Viewfinder
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Resolution
N/A
Advertised Magnification
N/A
1.5
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
N/A
Screen Max Brightness
N/A
Advertised Resolution
N/A
Size
0.6" (1.5 cm)
Touchscreen
N/A

While the Insta360 GO 2 has a small display that shows you the camera's settings, aspect ratio, and storage info, it's meant for use with your smartphone and the Insta360 app. The info display is bright enough to see on a sunny day.

8.0
Design
Menu System
Guide Mode
Yes
App Name
Insta360

The app menu is very simple and easy to use. You can quickly adjust settings like ISO and shutter speed. The app also has built-in editing features, including filters, color adjustments, playback speed and aspect ratio options, and more, so you can easily make adjustments to your photos and videos and almost immediately share them from your phone. The on-camera display also gives you access to a limited version of the menu, as seen here.

5.4
Design
Lens
Lens Type
Built-in
Maximum Aperture
2.2
Max Aperture (Full-Frame Equivalent)
f/12.3
Tested Lens
Built-In Lens
Minimum Focal Length
2 mm
Maximum Focal Length
2 mm
Max Focal Length (Full-Frame Equivalent)
11.74 mm
Optical Image Stabilization
No
Luminance
87.4%
Light Falloff
24.4%
Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
Unspecified
Advertised Effective Pixels
N/A
Sensor Size
1/2.3-inch
Processor
Unspecified
Extended ISO Minimum
N/A
Native ISO Minimum (Base ISO)
100
Native ISO Maximum
3,200
Tested Firmware
3.10.17.2
6.0
Design
Battery
Battery Type
Built-In
USB Charging
Yes
Use When Charging
Yes
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
N/A
Tested Battery Life In Video
56 min

The Insta360 GO 2 has mediocre battery performance and falls significantly short of its advertised runtime for video. In its charge case, the camera lasts a little under an hour long on and off with several overheating interruptions. That's much shorter than the advertised 150 minutes in standard video mode and 110 minutes in Pro video mode. When removed from the charge case, the camera only lasts about 10 minutes of continuous video recording. Within those 10 minutes, we also experienced three overheat interruptions. On the upside, you can keep using the camera while it charges via USB, except if you plug it into a PC, as it'll go into data transfer mode, and you can't use it to take photos and videos.

Photo General
Photo General
Photo Features
JPEG File Format
Yes
Raw File Format
DNG
Shutter
Electronic
Slowest Shutter Speed
120 s
Fastest Shutter Speed
1/8,000 s
Silent Shooting
Yes
HDR
Yes
Time Lapse
Yes
1.7
Photo General
Photo Shooting Speed
Low Speed Continuous
N/A
High Speed Continuous
N/A
Silent Shooting Continuous
N/A
Raw Buffer Size
1 Photos
JPEG Buffer Size
1 Photos
Buffer Empty Time
6 s

The Insta360 GO 2 doesn't have a continuous shooting mode. Unfortunately, it also takes six seconds for the camera to process a photo after taking it, regardless if you shoot in RAW or JPEG. That also means you have to wait six seconds after taking a picture to start recording video, which can slow you down a bit if you're trying to capture a fleeting moment.

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
9.2
Photo General
Photo Image Stabilization
Minimum Shutter Speed Achieved
1/4 s
In-Body Image Stabilization
No

The Insta360 GO 2's wide field of view makes it easy to take stable handheld images.

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

The Insta360 GO 2 naturally has a very limited dynamic range. Don't expect to get a very wide range of shadow and highlight detail in high-contrast scenes. RAW files also have limited latitude when adjusting the exposure, resulting in noisy images with noticeably degraded quality. Note also that the only way to remove the fisheye effect of the lens from the DNG files is to export them as JPEGs.

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
6.6
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Noise
RAW SNR 18% At Base ISO
39.87 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 200
38.43 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 400
36.28 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 800
33.84 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 1600
31.01 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 3200
29.47 dB
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

At lower ISO settings, RAW files are okay when it comes to luminance noise. However, the camera is really bad when it comes to chrominance noise, with heavy color noise visible even at base ISO, which you can download to see here. Noise also gets significantly worse as you raise the ISO.

Photo Image Quality
Test Scene Pictures Download
JPEG Picture At Base ISO Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 400 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 800 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 1600 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 3200 Download
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 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 400 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 800 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 1600 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 3200 Download
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 Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Polish Church Picture
JPEG Polish Church Picture Download
RAW Polish Church Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Studio Picture
JPEG Studio Picture Download
RAW Studio Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Stairway Picture
JPEG Stairway Picture Download
RAW Stairway Picture Download
Video General
Video General
Video Features
Full HD Video
Yes
4k Video
No
6k Video
No
Clean HDMI Output
No HDMI
Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI
No HDMI
Advertised Max Bit Depth Over HDMI
N/A
Log Picture Profile
Yes
Recording Light
Yes

The Insta360 GO 2 can record video in 1080p and 1440p. You can see a sample of 1440p footage here. The camera also has a LOG picture profile for those who plan on grading their footage and want more control over the look of their videos. However, given the limitations of the camera and its sensor, it's probably not worth it to shoot with this camera in LOG.

Video General
Audio
Audio Test Sample
Audio Recording
Mono
Microphone Level Display
No
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
0
4k Video
4k Video Frame Rate
240 fps In 4k
No
120 fps In 4k
No
60 fps In 4k
No
30 fps In 4k
No
24 fps In 4k
No
4k Crop At Max Available fps
N/A
0
4k Video
4k Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In 4k
N/A
Bitrate Minimum In 4k
N/A
Chroma Sampling In 4k
No
Bit Depth In 4k
N/A
Record Time Limit In 4k
0 min
Overheat Recording Interruptions in 4k
N/A
0
4k Video
4k Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In 4k
0
Face Tracking In 4k
0
Face Detection In 4k
N/A
Eye Detection In 4k
N/A
0
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
0
Test Scene Extract In 4k
0
not tested
4k Video
4k Video Rolling Shutter Effect
4k Rolling Shutter
N/A
Full HD Video
6.7
Full HD Video
FHD Video Frame Rate
240 fps In FHD
No
120 fps In FHD
Yes, with a Crop
60 fps In FHD
No
30 fps In FHD
Yes
24 fps In FHD
Yes
FHD Crop At Max Available fps
2 x

In regular video mode, the camera can record 1080p at 30 fps or 24 fps for more cinematic-looking footage. It also has a 'Slow Motion' mode that records at 120 fps without audio. This mode also incurs a drastic 2x crop.

7.6
Full HD Video
FHD Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In FHD
68 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In FHD
1 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In FHD
4:2:0
Bit Depth In FHD
8 Bit
Record Time Limit in FHD
30 min

Internal recording is good. While the camera has a max recording time of half an hour, the length of your video clips is determined by the video mode you're in. In 'Pro Video' mode, the max clip length is 10 minutes, in regular 'Video' mode, it's 15 minutes, and in 'FPV' mode, it's the full 30 minutes. The only exception to this is 'Timelapse' mode, which allows you to record up to 110 minutes continuously with the charging case, producing a seven-minute max time-lapse video.

0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In FHD
0
Face Tracking In FHD
0
Face Detection In FHD
No
Eye Detection In FHD
No
5.0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
5.0
Test Scene Extract In FHD
5.0

Video quality is poor overall, even in more controlled lighting conditions. Though it's better than cheap action cameras like the Campark V40, it isn't quite as good as the GoPro HERO10 Black. In low light, there's heavy noise and loss of detail. The camera also struggles to bring out detail in heavily shadowed areas.

9.1
Full HD Video
FHD Video Rolling Shutter Effect
FHD Rolling Shutter
1.0ยฐ

The camera doesn't have much rolling shutter effect in terms of skewed vertical lines. However, it's helped by its fisheye field of view.

Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
Built in Memory
Card 2 Slot
No 2nd Card Slot

The Insta360 GO 2 uses built-in memory. You can buy a version with 32GB or 64GB.

4.5
Storage And Connectivity
Inputs / Outputs
USB
USB-C
HDMI
No
Headphones
No
Microphone
No Microphone input
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes

The Insta360 GO 2 itself doesn't have any inputs and outputs, but the charging case comes equipped with a USB-C port and a tripod mount. Unfortunately, the camera doesn't have a headphone jack or mic input.

Discussions