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Insta360 launches GO 3 thumb-sized action camera for cycling with magnetic mounting system

Yep, that's an action cam seemingly floating on this rider's jersey... it's actually thanks to Insta360's magnetic mounting system that has made it onto the tiny GO 3 camera, plus there's also increased battery life and higher screen resolution

Insta360 has revealed the new GO 3, a tiny action camera with a magnetic mounting system, a claimed weight of 35g, an upgraded 2.7K lens and longer battery life. It comes with a flip-screen Action Pod which acts as a remote control, housing and charger for the GO 3. This also increases battery life from 45 minutes without the Pod to 170 minutes when mounted in the Pod. 

2023 Insta360 GO 3 and Action Pod

> Are cheap action cameras any good for cycling? We head to wish.com to find out

Like the GO 2 before it, the Insta360 GO 3 can be worn to shoot hands-free videos using the magnetic accessories, included in the box. Insta360 says: "GO 3 eliminates the hassle of bulkier cameras and offers more unique creative possibilities". 

Compared to the GO 2, GO 3 offers a claimed 50% increase in battery life, the new Action Pod and an upgraded 2.7K lens with no clip length limitations. While Insta360 claimed the GO 2 was "the world's smallest action camera" and came in at just 27g, the GO 3 adds just 8g with all the extra bells and whistles. 

Built for all adventures, GO 3 is also IPX8 waterproof to 16 feet. 

Multifunctional action pod

2023 Insta360 Action Pod

> Is the Insta360 GO 2 a good camera for cycling?

GO 3 comes with an Action Pod that provides "remote preview and enhanced control", with an IPX4 water-resistant design. 

It's a 2.2" flip touchscreen connecting to GO 3 via Bluetooth, so you can control the camera remotely and preview shots when it's mounted in hard-to-reach locations. 

Usefully, the Pod acts as a charger when the GO 3 is mounted, for a claimed battery life of up to 170 minutes. 

Built-in stabilisation 

2023 Insta360 GO 3

Insta360’s proprietary FlowState Stabilisation and 360 Horizon Lock is built-in and applied to the camera. The benefit of this, according to Insta360, is that you can share smooth wide-angle content to social media without having to process it in the Insta360 app.

A replaceable lens guard also comes pre-installed for those action-packed scenarios. 

Dual microphones 

Improving on GO 2, GO 3 is sporting an additional microphone which Insta360 says "offers clearer and crisper audio". 

Voice Control 2.0 also comes with this upgrade, allowing for complete hands-free operation of GO 3.

Easy and extensive editing on the go

Insta360’s app has an extensive editing suite for pulling together the shots you take on the GO 3 directly on your phone for quick processing and on the move, which is likely to be especially useful for those on multi-day bikepacking trips. 

> Check out the best cycling cameras 

GO 3 saves all content in any aspect ratio, and FreeFrame Mode enables you to modify the aspect ratio of your footage after shooting. You can therefore edit the same clip for a 9:16 Instagram Reel as a 16:9 YouTube video. 

For interesting effects, Insta360 has AI (artificial intelligence) editing features which are updated regularly. Insta360 gives an example of curating your best clips into reels or using TimeShift for hyperlapse montages. 

New recording modes are also available, including Pre-recording, Loop Recording and Timed Capture. Time Capture also allows you to schedule your GO 3 to start recording at a specific time, meaning you can capture that sunrise on your next cycling trip while you're still in bed. 

Pricing and availability

Insta360 GO 3 is available in three storage options: 32GB, 64GB and 128GB, priced at $379.99 (~£300), $399.99 (~£315), and $429.99 (~£340) respectively. This includes the Action Pod and other accessories such as the magnet pendant, pivot stand and lens guard. 

Charging time is said to be 65 mins, while the run time is 45 mins without the Action Pod and 170 mins with the Action Pod. 

Is this dinky new action cam a GoPro killer? Of course, we'll be looking to have a play with one soon for a full review... 

www.insta360.com

Emily is our track and road racing specialist, having represented Great Britain at the World and European Track Championships. With a National Title up her sleeve, Emily has just completed her Master’s in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University where she raced for Elite Development Team, Loughborough Lightning.

Emily is our go-to for all things training and when not riding or racing bikes, you can find her online shopping or booking flights…the rest of the office is now considering painting their nails to see if that’s the secret to going fast…

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16 comments

Avatar
Adam Sutton | 11 months ago
0 likes

I have the cycliq fly 12 which is OK, but I find the quality a bit lacking.

I recently invested in the DJI osmo 3 and am very happy. Battery life is good, can get 2hrs easily and the action bundle comes with 3 batteries and charge box that holds all three, it can be used with the batteries as a power bank as well.

Avatar
Laz | 11 months ago
1 like

wouldnt it be so much more convient to have something like a wearable holder for a cell phone or perhaps a fibre-optic cable attachment that would utilize a rider's natural ability to absorb vibrations and directly feed in the view from a lens at the other end ? 

I find action cams to be so limited by their unreliable batteries and stuff - this one is really no different than any other. PITA 

Avatar
Sriracha replied to Laz | 11 months ago
0 likes

No. If you are thinking of a fiberscope type job then it's one fibre per pixel - resolution isn't going to be great, and dead pixels are just around the corner. If you are wanting to harness the "rider's natural ability to absorb vibrations" then clipping on a small, light camera might be an idea though. Alternatively, sure, strap on your mobile phone - it's a wonder nobody's doing it already.

Avatar
Fignon's ghost | 11 months ago
2 likes

I'm all for cameras on bikes for everyone that uses the road. Whether it's a fancy roller skate or Raleigh banana. Motorists take chances with the lives of vulnerable road users.
It's a MUST.

But. I'd rather stick with my 4k gopro. Amazing battery life. Cloud streaming and a backup quarter tera card. All for much less than this jazzy toy.

Avatar
mark1a replied to Fignon's ghost | 11 months ago
4 likes

Just out of interest, what GoPro do you have that's got amazing battery life?

Avatar
Miller replied to Fignon's ghost | 11 months ago
2 likes

Leaving aside battery life, I doubt that insta360 see this as a bike dashcam, though it might be fine as that. They'll be seeing it as a lifestyle accessory for creating sick clips of you sending your MTB etc etc.

Avatar
Secret_squirrel replied to Fignon's ghost | 11 months ago
2 likes

The best GoPro seems to have about 2hs 30.  Hardly amazing compared to the 5hrs plus that Cycliq and Drift offer....

Avatar
Cycle Happy replied to Secret_squirrel | 11 months ago
0 likes

Which GoPro model has 2hrs 30mins? From the reviews I've seen, the image quality is outstanding but the battery life is typically more in the 40 minutes territory. Over 2 hours would seriously tempt me away from just using the cheapo Chilli Techs.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Cycle Happy | 11 months ago
2 likes

Cycle Happy wrote:

Which GoPro model has 2hrs 30mins? From the reviews I've seen, the image quality is outstanding but the battery life is typically more in the 40 minutes territory. Over 2 hours would seriously tempt me away from just using the cheapo Chilli Techs.

I get around 135 minutes from my Hero 7 White. Excellent picture quality too.

Avatar
Cycle Happy replied to Rendel Harris | 11 months ago
1 like

Thanks Rendel. Time for me to eBay away!....

Avatar
ibr17xvii replied to Rendel Harris | 11 months ago
0 likes

Rendel Harris wrote:

Cycle Happy wrote:

Which GoPro model has 2hrs 30mins? From the reviews I've seen, the image quality is outstanding but the battery life is typically more in the 40 minutes territory. Over 2 hours would seriously tempt me away from just using the cheapo Chilli Techs.

I get around 135 minutes from my Hero 7 White. Excellent picture quality too.

I could get just short of 2 hours with mine on 1080p & image stabilsation turned on.

Avatar
ibr17xvii replied to Fignon's ghost | 11 months ago
1 like

Fignon's ghost wrote:

I'm all for cameras on bikes for everyone that uses the road. Whether it's a fancy roller skate or Raleigh banana. Motorists take chances with the lives of vulnerable road users. It's a MUST. But. I'd rather stick with my 4k gopro. Amazing battery life. Cloud streaming and a backup quarter tera card. All for much less than this jazzy toy.

Which is fine if where you live the relevant police authority actually gives a stuff about your safety.

If (like mine) they don't, then it's just a massive waste of time & the reason I sold my GoPro.

Avatar
Sriracha | 11 months ago
0 likes

What is a "2.7K lens"? I'm familiar with the concepts of focal length in mm, aperture as a ratio, and angle of view in degrees. But 2.7K - what's that when it's a lens?

Avatar
mark1a replied to Sriracha | 11 months ago
2 likes

It's not, it's the max resolution (2.7K is between 1080p and 4K), I suspect the reviewer has confused the sensor specifications with the lens. 

Avatar
quiff replied to Sriracha | 11 months ago
3 likes

I believe 2.7k refers to the video resolution. Insta360 website states "2.7K: 2720x1536@24/25/30fps"

(EDIT: for the second time this week, mark1a got there first!)

Avatar
Adam Sutton replied to Sriracha | 11 months ago
1 like

I suspect it's a mix up as others have said. Unlike cycliqs deliberate misleading advertising that the new fly sport does "4k playback" rather than stating it records 1440p.

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