Insta360 X4: The world’s best 360° camera just got an upgrade


The Insta360 X3 has been regarded as the best 360 camera for creators since its release in 2022.
The X4 looks to build on this success, bringing exciting new upgrades, including much-anticipated 8K video quality.
A host of new features and tweaks guarantee that the Insta360 X4 will be one of the hottest camera releases in 2024.
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Since its release in September 2022, the Insta360 X3 has been revered as the best 360-degree camera on the market, and rightly so. It boasted a solid, robust build, beautiful image quality (including great stabilization), and a host of great features coupled with an intuitive mobile app that was clearly developed with creators in mind. All of this placed it firmly ahead of other 360-degree competitors, including GoPro. 

Now, just one and a half years later, Insta360 shows no signs of slowing down as they announce the release of the X4. Can this new iteration of their flagship 360° camera live up to the hype and expectations? Let’s find out.

First impressions

Straight out of the box, the Insta360 X4 doesn’t feel all that different from the X3, and I’m happy about that. The shape and design remain comforting, robust, and familiar. This is a smart move from Insta360 because, in my opinion, why fix what isn’t broken?

There are a few small notable details. The screen is now larger at 2.5”, and there’s a key upgrade in the inclusion of removable lens guards. As any creator knows, working with 360° cameras can be stressful! Those large, bulbous lenses that protrude from the camera body are so easily prone to scratches and marks that can show up in footage and impact your videos. These protective lens guards are a welcome addition; from what I can see, they don’t impact the image quality.

Aside from the screen upgrade, all of the major new upgrades come packaged inside the X4.

Exciting new features

One of the things I’ve noticed about Insta360 over the years is their willingness to listen to and take on board all the feedback they receive from creators. It’s a strength that’s helped them develop cameras that hit the mark with their target audience, which appears to be the case once again. In my Artlist review for the Insta360 X3, I actually wrote the following:

“In an ideal world, I would love for the resolution to go beyond 5.7K, but there are obviously sensor sizes and budget limitations here. However, the quality of the footage I am shooting now is better, so I can’t complain. Perhaps we’ll see that happen in the future and in a later model.”

Well, it looks like I have my wish granted. The biggest upgrade for the Insta360 X4, which will generate the most chatter, is undoubtedly the ability to shoot 360° videos at 8K resolution (up to 30fps). The image quality from the X3 was already good, but we’re now looking at a product that can comfortably hold its own alongside footage shot on regular cameras. No matter how you reframe your footage, it remains incredibly detailed and sharp.

Speaking of resolution, a few other exciting upgrades are worth mentioning here. You can now film 360° videos at 60fps at 5.7K, which is fantastic for slow-motion action shots. You can go even further with the new 100fps setting at 4K, allowing you to slow the footage as much as 4x.

Sticking with the success of the X3, The X4 does, of course, double up as both a 360° camera and a traditional wide-angle action cam. Whenever you want to shoot regular video, you can simply switch to the single-lens mode, where you’ll find some souped-up options, including super smooth 4K 60fps and an ultra-wide 170° view at an upgraded 4K30fps. “Smoother and better” seems to be the running theme here.

I’m really happy to see all of the modes from the X3 retained here, with some great upgrades. The Me Mode on the X3 was good in the sense that you could automatically lock on to a subject in the shot and create ready-to-share videos without any reframing…but it could only produce those videos at a 1080p resolution. With the Insta360 X3, Me Mode now offers a very welcome 4K 30fps.

Elsewhere, there’s a new and powerful 5nm AI chip—the same one used in the Insta360 Ace Pro. This ensures the X4 has one of the most seamless, responsive camera menus I’ve had the pleasure of navigating. We also see an upgrade to the other important piece of hardware—a new 2290 mAh battery now offers a 135-minute run time when recording in 5.7K 30fps, which is an astonishing 67% longer than the X3 capabilities. 

Naturally, the runtime for filming in 8K is significantly lower as it demands so much more from the camera. Despite this, I’m still able to spend a morning cycling and filming what I want, when I want, before there’s any worry of a drained battery.

Meanwhile, as we’ve come to expect from Insta360, their mobile and desktop apps are being upgraded consistently, giving users a really intuitive, enjoyable experience when editing 360° video. I’ve never quite got the hang of editing on my mobile phone, so I tend to stick with the desktop version, but there are some great features in the mobile app that are worth playing around with. It’s all designed to make the editing and sharing of your clips as easy and smooth as possible – perfect for creators on the move.


The verdict

I think the Insta360 X4 is going to be another big hit. It isn’t a totally brand-new camera, but it didn’t need to be either. With a real pedigree and solid foundation to build on in the X3, the X4 chooses to refine and upgrade a few key areas, making it an even better 360° camera than before. If the Insta360 X3 was great, I’m tempted to say that the X4 may well be perfect.

The ability to film in 8K is truly glorious, and for that alone, I think the upgrade is well worth it. Additional features such as the inclusion of the lens guards, the super-fast 5nm AI chip, and the longer battery time all combine to make what will undoubtedly be the best 360° camera money can buy. 

The Insta360 X4, priced at US$499.99, will be available to order from April 16th, 2024, via the Insta360 Official Store, Amazon, and select retailers.

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Josh Edwards is an accomplished filmmaker, industry writing veteran, storyteller based in Indonesia (by way of the UK), and industry writer in the Blade Ronner Media Writing Collective. He's passionate about travel and documents adventures and stories through his films.

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