- 4K 60fps video
- 48 MP photos
- SuperSmooth stabilization
- Includes two batteries
- Waterproof even without a case
- Mounts included
- Easy-to-use remote
- App doesn't connect or work very well
- Battery life is far lower than advertised
- Stabilization is only fair
- No SD card included
AKASO has become well-known for being a reliable mid-range alternative to more expensive action cameras. With the AKASO Brave 8, the brand looks to become a true competitor among higher-end action cams. I recently had the opportunity to test out this new 4K camera myself, which was a great excuse to get out and about during some cold winter days.
This is a sponsored article and was made possible by AKASO. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence even when a post is sponsored.
Overview of Features
The AKASO Brave 8 Action Camera doesn’t skimp on features. In fact, the feature set can easily rival its more expensive competitors. It offers an impressive 4K resolution at 60fps, though this can be adjusted depending on your needs. It also supports 12 MP and 48 MP photos.
The lightweight camera has a front and back screen, allowing you to both do traditional filming and take great selfie videos and photos. Don’t hesitate to use it out in the rain or while swimming either. Without a waterproof case, the camera itself is still safe up to 33ft. or 10m. With the optional case, this is boosted to 196ft. or 60m.
It’s designed to feature far superior sound quality than previous AKASO action cameras. Not only will it pick up audio well, but the 1/2-inch CMOS sensor, complete with a nine-layer glass lens and Quad Pixel technology, ensures you don’t miss any visual details.
Some of the other notable features include:
- SuperSmooth image stabilization
- 8K time lapse
- 16x slo-mo
- Super-wide angle, wide angle, portrait perspective, and narrow angle modes
- AI face metering
- 1550 mAh battery
- USB-C, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connections
- microSD card support up to 512 GB (not included)
- One-click capture, remote control, and app control
In the Box
Everything you need to get started is included, except a microSD card. You’ll need to purchase a U3 card, or you’ll get “low speed” errors, even if you just try to take photos.
What immediately impressed me was the inclusion of two batteries and a dual-battery charger. Of course, you can also use the included USB-C cable to charge the battery while it’s in the AKASO Brave 8 action camera.
In addition to the camera and camera frame, you’ll also find the following in the box:
- Remote control with strap
- USB cable
- Helmet mount
- Handlebar and pole mount
- 7 mount accessories
- Lens cloth
- Double-sided tape
- Quick Start guide
I have to admit that I wasn’t overly impressed with how the camera was packaged. The camera itself wasn’t secured in any way in the upper portion of the box. So, it just kind of bounced around in the box. Everything else was packed tightly in the bottom portion in its own box, complete with bubble wrap.
Getting Set Up
Upon turning the AKASO Brave 8 Action Camera on, you have to immediately connect it to the AKASO app. If you skip this three times, the camera locks until you complete the process, which wasn’t easy until I discovered the issue.
I was prompted to turn on the camera’s Wi-Fi, which is super easy to do. Simply swipe down on the camera to turn on the Wi-Fi setting. I did this and started the connection process again. For a second time, it failed. Several more tries and several more failures. For some reason, the Wi-Fi setting randomly turns off. Once I was connected, I had no issues. But, if you disconnect, you may have to turn the Wi-Fi setting on several times before the app pairs again.
With that issue resolved, I was able to connect easily. But, I immediately had a firmware upgrade. This caused the camera to freeze up and disconnect. The app stated the upgrade had failed. I had to remove the battery before I could restart the camera and start over. The second time I had no issues.
Since pairing with the app wasn’t the easiest thing to do, I also paired the remote, which worked perfectly.
After all that was complete, all I had to do was explore the various menus to get familiar with where everything was. The camera itself has three buttons – Power/Display, Shutter, Mode (switches between video and photo and also front and rear display).
The Quick Start guide really isn’t useful at all, so scan the QR code to download the actual manual to fully understand all the settings.
The first step was to test the video performance. Changing the settings is easy enough. A simple swipe and you can edit resolution, frame rate, image steadying, and more. I admit I was excited to try out the SuperSmooth stabilization.
Since it’s the middle of winter, my first test was indoors. At first the video was kind of dark until I turned on the light correction setting. Then, after a second of blurring, the image lightened, even in darker areas of the room. Also, the video stayed fairly smooth throughout even as I walked through the house.
I finally got a warmer day without rain or snow to venture outside. The mic picks up every little sound, so most of the noise in my videos are crunching leaves under my feet. I attached the camera to a ballcap and my belt to test out different variations of movement.
When attached to the cap, the video was a bit smoother. However, I didn’t really notice much of a difference between SuperSmooth and no image stabilization. When I compared this with carrying around my phone, the AKASO Brave 8 video was much smoother.
I only ran into two big issues. First, the camera randomly froze up a few times when I first started using it outside. It was warm enough for t-shirts and shorts, so I know it wasn’t a temperature issue. Secondly, the battery life was abysmal. You’re supposed to get up to 90 minutes of 4K video. I’m not sure if that means on one battery or between both.
However, two minutes of video dropped the battery by nearly 30 percent. After shooting several videos and taking five pictures, the battery was down to just 20 percent. That was less than 10 minutes of use. I had the same result with the other battery, so I don’t think it was a battery defect.
Taking photos with the AKASO Brave 8 was a pleasure. It did incredibly well at picking up vivid colors. Actually, both the 12 MP and 48 MP settings resulted in great shots.
I wouldn’t rely too much on zooming all the way in, though. The results are incredibly grainy and somewhat blurry. My phone’s camera (16 MP) did better when zoomed all the way. However, the other zoom options actually did well. You can see the differences below.
Using the App
Honestly, I recommend just using the remote or buttons on the camera. The app randomly disconnects. If your phone screen locks or you get a text, the app disconnects, and you have to go back through the process of connecting the camera again.
The editing features are nice; however, having to constantly reconnect means it may be better to use a different video/photo editing app instead. I’m not going to lower my rating due to the app since it’s not necessary for using the camera.
Overall, the AKASO Brave 8 was a reliable, well-performing action camera. At the price point, I would expect better battery life and image stabilization. However, it’s still cheaper than it’s more expensive GoPro competition. A plus is you don’t need a waterproof case just to take it out in the rain. And, yes it worked fine in the rain.
You can try out the AKASO Brave 8 yourself by pre-ordering today. Early pre-orders can get as much as 50% off.
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