Update: Samsung has reached out saying that the United States is actually not one of the “select countries” where the Gear 360 will be launching on April 29. Blargh.
Samsung unveiled the Gear 360 virtual reality camera last month at Mobile World Conference. People were generally impressed, but without a price tag most withheld judgment. Well today onstage at the Samsung Developer’s Conference, the company revealed that the 4K 360-degree cameras will be going on sale April 29 in select countries and….. we still don’t know the price.
We do know the device is retailing for 350 euros in Europe, which is about $400 USD. If Samsung can stick in that general $350-$400 area than this could be a big development.
Now, $350-$400 for a little racquetball sized camera sounds pretty expensive (and let’s be honest, it is), BUT that amount for a 4K 360-degree camera is actually a pretty great deal these days. Add in the fact that the Gear 360 plays so nicely with Samsung handsets and the Gear VR, which is the most popular decently-powered VR headset on the market, and you’re left with pretty killer potential for a great VR ecosystem from Samsung.
The 153-gram camera hosts a pair of fisheye F2.0 lenses that can capture near-4K (3840 x 1920) quality video or 30 megapixel photos. It can hold up to 128GB of content on its internal microSD slot and can record for up to 140 minutes of active use.
The camera has some cool playback features that play well with the new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones. You can live-preview content captured on the Gear 360, and, after recording it, you can opt to save footage to a phone over WiFi for 2D viewing on the mobile app or a true 360 experience through the Gear VR. Past that, you can also share your captured content directly to 360 video-compatible services like YouTube or Facebook.
This thing comes out in two days so hopefully we find out the price soon. Given the emphasis Samsung has placed on marketing VR in the US, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Samsung drop the price a bit lower than $350-$400 and give all of those new Galaxy owners sporting Gear VR headsets one more reason to buy into virtual reality.