When the Galaxy S8 was unveiled in late March, it wasn’t the only premium product in Samsung’s catalog that received a massive overhaul. The Gear 360 camera also got an impressive redesign, turning it from a somewhat clumsy sphere into a neatly pocketable stick.
But the 360’s case isn’t the only thing that changed. The device’s cameras have actually been downgraded—from dual 15MP fisheye lenses to dual 8.4MP fisheye lenses. Still, despite the lesser lenses, the Gear 360 is now able to record in 4K or broadcast live in 2K. Additionally, an updated Gear 360 app makes the new hardware compatible with a wider range of phones, including the iPhone.
The Gear 360 is easier than ever to use, as long as you own a Samsung phone. To get started, you’ll need to download the Gear 360 app from the iOS or Galaxy app store, and follow some simple setup instructions. Galaxy S8, S7, and S6 users, as well as Note5, and Galaxy A5 and A7 owners, will barely need to do anything other than turn the camera on, and wait a few seconds for a connection to be established.
When it comes to the iPhone, the whole process is quite a bit trickier. After turning the camera on, you’ll need to press and hold the menu button to start what’s described as “pairing.” Then you have to tap the menu button to cycle through the options until you see “Connect to iOS.”
On your phone, head over to the Wi-Fi settings, select the Gear 360 network, and type the string of numbers that appears on the camera’s tiny screen in the password field. Then head back to the Gear 360 app and wait for the connection to be established.
Each time you want to use your camera, you’ll need to connect to the same Wi-Fi network, so it’s not exactly plug and play. Since it doesn’t use Bluetooth, you won’t be able to broadcast live, and I wasn’t able to see a preview on my iPhone 6S while recording video (though there was a preview on the iPhone 7). Lacking a preview, it was all but impossible to record. Also experience several crashes while saving videos, sometimes causing to lose what was recorded.