Spy Finds is a series that unveils the coolest, under-the-radar products that you haven’t heard of until now. Each product is curated by our editors who want to help you discover cool finds you didn’t know you needed.
When it comes to compact video cameras, the competition continues to grow seemingly in direct correlation to the footprint of the physical gadget decreasing. From using your smartphone to become an amateur videographer to action cameras turning daily bike rides into action-packed films, capturing moments on camera has never been easier. But as access to compact cameras becomes more affordable, and the competition in the market rises, expectations from consumers who want more bang for their buck also increase. That’s why when we heard about the new Insta360 GO 2 Minions Edition, we wanted to see whether the mini camera could live up to the demands of its competitors.
Insta360 GO 2 Minions Edition: SPY’s Review
When reviewing the latest Insta360 GO, 2 Minions Edition, we had our checklist of the most critical areas. Our most significant considerations were size, ease of use, video quality, editing options, and additional features. After a few days of using the compact camera, we can confirm that the Insta360 GO 2 Minions Edition met and, in many cases, exceeded our expectations. Plus, the bright yellow design of the Minions edition makes the camera fun for the whole family to use and easy to spot in a crowded backpack. What’s Minions speak for ‘this is awesome’?
Size: One of the biggest pros of the Insta360 GO 2 is its small size. Yes, it’s even smaller than a Minion. The GO 2 measures 2.08 x 0.93 x 0.81 inches and weighs only 0.93 ounces, with a design that looks like an oversized USB stick. When the GO 2 is inside its case, which fits in just about any pocket thanks to its 2.68 x 1.91 x 1.04-inch measurements (essentially two AirPod cases side by side), the weight is still only 2.24 ounces. This makes for a light enough unit to take just about anywhere without adding any bulk or weight, which helps increase its usability since users are much more likely to pack a camera that weighs less than a smartphone than its heavier counterparts.
Ease of Use: The InstaGO 2 is easy to connect to a smartphone after downloading the Insta360 app. Users can access the app to customize their shooting preferences and control the camera or scroll through the small menu on the actual GO 2 unit, using the two buttons on the inside of the camera to choose their shooting mode and start and stop filming.
The Minions Edition of the InstaGO 2 comes with the pre-installed Lens Guard, Magnet Pendant, Pivot Stand, and Easy Clip, as well as a Type-C Charge Cable. We found that all the accessories were sturdy and easy to use, giving customers several options for getting the best shot for their video or picture.
The battery life on the InstaGO 2 gets a massive boost from its multi-functional charging case. The case has built-in tripod legs, two buttons, and a small screen allowing the user to scroll through shooting modes and use the charger as a remote control.
The camera can also film and be charged simultaneously while in the case, which helps users’ film even longer. I filmed an 8-minute video in ProMode, which took the battery of the GO 2 from 100 percent down to 41 percent. I then placed the GO 2 back in the charging case and filmed another 8-minute video, with the battery life only decreasing from 41 to 35 percent. This is close to the run time InstaGO 2 advertises, which is 20 minutes in Pro Video mode and 110 minutes in the case in Pro Video mode. As for charging time, the GO 2 can be fully charged in 35 minutes, while the case hits 100 percent after 65 minutes.
Video Quality: There are several video options with the GO 2 that make it possible to get video quality that is smooth and crisp, regardless of the shooting conditions. FlowState stabilization helps to ensure a smooth filming experience when the camera is mounted on a moving object. This is designed primarily for bike riders, but I strapped it on my child’s stroller during a bumpy ride and found that the rough terrain’s video quality wasn’t affected. There is also a Horizon Lock that is ideal for use with drones and other moving objects.
I shot most of my videos in bright sunlight and was impressed to find that the images were not overexposed but instead showed the vivid colors around me. The slow-motion video below shows just how rich the colors captured by the GO 2 are.
One of our favorite aspects of the Insta360 GO 2 were all the shooting modes, including Slow Motion, Timelapse (see video below), Pro Video and HDR Video. The GO 2 also takes high-quality photos with a max resolution of 2560 x 1440, which is a great addition, but video content is where the camera really shines.
Editing Options: Unlike most cameras designed for hobbyists or professionals, the Insta360 GO 2 is an excellent option for both groups and won’t require users to upgrade their tech in the near future. The Insta360 app and YouTube page have a massive library of tutorials to help users get the shot they want and provide ideas on how to best use their GO 2.
FlashCut auto-editing inside the app allows users to create custom videos in the app using premade themes or their own custom art. Users can also take editing into their own hands and add music, transitions, change the speed of videos, cut and paste clips, and more with the Insta360 app.
When it’s time to share their content, users can automatically reframe their videos or images to the best format for their desired social media site and automatically upload it to their account. A 4K footage option for YouTube is also available, making this an excellent option for YouTubers and influencers.
Additional Features: For those of us who haven’t yet upgraded to WoW (World of Waterproofing) and are still in the dark ages with earbuds and smartphones that can’t get wet (raises hand), access to a waterproof camera opens up new possibilities that are especially exciting for travel and outdoor use. The InstaGO 2 is waterproof up to 13 feet using the lens guard, and the GO 2 has an Aqua Vision setting that removes the hazy blue hue that often shows up in waterproof footage.
Is there anything we didn’t like?
The InstaGO 2 clearly states in its handbook that the camera heats up quickly and should not be held against the skin for any period. I found that the camera does indeed get very hot very fast, though the heat doesn’t appear to affect the video quality.
Like any WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled gadget, the GO 2 does take about 10 seconds to re-connect to the users’ phone every time it is turned off and turned on again. This isn’t a major con but is worth noting.
The Insta360 GO 2 is well worth its price point, which lands in the mid-range for action cameras. It comes with several useful accessories, a charging case that makes it easy to continue filming throughout adventures big and small, several useful filming modes for various conditions, and a waterproof lens that outperforms competitors who require a fully waterproof case to get the same result. The limited Minions Edition artwork on the camera makes for a fun and eye-catching design that stands out and sets a fun and creative tone the entire family will enjoy.