Insta360 launches GO 3S, a tiny 4K action camera with Apple’s Find My


The Insta360 GO 3S being held between two fingers.

Insta360 just launched the GO 3S, an upgrade to its smallest, thumb-sized GO 3 action camera. Not only does the GO 3S allow you to film in 4K, you can also use Apple’s Find My to locate the minuscule camera when you inevitably misplace it.

Released last year, Insta360’s GO 3 is a great little lightweight camera with a maximum resolution of 2.7K at 30fps. This has been more than adequate for many users, whether they’re filming home videos, travel vlogs, or extreme sporting adventures. Still, there are some people who demand more, and the GO 3S is giving it.

The GO 3S bumps up that maximum resolution to 4K at 30fps, as well as allowing you to film 2.7K at 50fps. Though there may seem little point in shooting in 4K if you don’t have a television that supports this resolution, having the option offers more versatility and enables you to future proof your home videos.

The Insta360 GO 3S coming out of its Action Pod.

Credit: Insta360

Insta360 has also added Apple Find My compatibility in the GO 3S. Pair your camera with your iPhone’s Find My app, and you can track it down anywhere within the network. This feature will work as long as the GO 3S has battery charge, regardless of whether the device is actually switched on or not.

This doesn’t mean you can carelessly toss the GO 3S around at the beach and just trust Find My to locate it later, though. Insta360 told Mashable that the device’s Find My’s effectiveness will be “significantly limited” underwater, as Bluetooth signals have difficulty travelling through the medium.

“Water is a much denser medium than air and can absorb and scatter the radio waves that Bluetooth uses, making it almost impossible for the signals to be detected by another device once submerged,” the company said in a statement.

The GO 3S’ bundled Action Pod doesn’t have Find My, so you’ll have to keep track of it the old fashioned way. Still, you’re more likely to misplace the tiny GO 3S itself, making its Find My capability a reassuring feature.

What else is new in the Insta360 GO 3S?

Three images of Insta360's GO 3S, showing it from the side, front, and back.

Credit: Mashable composite: Insta360

Though the GO 3S’ 4K and Find My capabilities are its biggest new features, they aren’t the only upgrades it has from the GO 3. 

While the GO 3 is waterproof down to 16ft (5m) with the included Lens Guard, Insta360 has doubled that and given it to the next one, making the GO S3 capable of diving 33ft (10m) deep. (Note that this only applies to the camera itself — the included Action Pod will need a Dive Case if you want to submerge it.)

The GO 3S also has a new MegaView FOV setting — an ultra-wide mode with less distortion so you don’t get that fisheye look — as well as an Interval Video function that will automatically turn the GO 3S on at set times and then power off to save battery. This Interval Video feature is designed for longer activities such as picnics or family gatherings, so you can just set the camera in a corner and have a video recap ready to go at the end of the day.

GO 3S’ Slow Motion setting has been upgraded to a maximum frame rate of 200fps at 1080p or 100fps at 2.7K, compared to the GO 3’s maximum of 1080p at 120fps. Timelapses have also been upgraded, with the new Dynamic Timelapse effect cropping such videos to make it appear as though the camera is panning. There’s decent potential there for some awesome city or sunset shots.

Further, the GO 3S automatically detects whether you’re shooting in a horizontal or vertical aspect ratio and adjusts its settings accordingly — very handy for today’s TikTok-focused internet.

First impressions of the Insta360 GO 3S

The Insta360 GO 3 and GO 3S side by side in their respective Action Pods.

Credit: Amanda Yeo / Mashable

Mashable was able to spend a few days playing with Insta360’s GO 3S, and we’ve been pretty satisfied with it so far. Like the GO 3, it immediately impressed with the sheer volume of filming and editing options offered via the Insta360 app, which was easy to connect to and control the camera from.

Straight out of the box, the GO 3S looks practically identical to the GO 3. If you already have the latter and are planning on picking up the GO 3S, it’d be a good idea to grab it in the colour you don’t have so they don’t get mixed up. Both the GO 3 and 3S come in black and white, though you can also order a custom skin sticker on Insta360’s website for $9.99.

Aside from this, the main physical difference between the two cameras is that the GO 3S’ removable Lens Guard is noticeably larger than the GO 3’s, as well as ridged for much easier removal. The GO 3S is heavier than the 35g GO 3, but the 4g weight difference is so minuscule that it’s barely worth mentioning.

In fact, the GO 3 and 3S are so alike in form that each will be compatible with the others’ Action Pod. Mashable was unable to test this feature prior to launch, however Insta360 informed us that standalone GO 3S and GO 3 cameras will be available to purchase without an Action Pod or bundled accessories for users who wish to use ones they already have. The standalone GO 3S is priced at $239.99 for 64GB, or $269.99 for 128GB.

The Insta360 GO 3 and GO 3S side by side.

Credit: Amanda Yeo / Mashable

As expected, Find My had significant difficulty locating the GO 3S when put in its Dive Case and submerged in water. After Mashable placed the GO 3S in a bucket of water less than a foot deep, Find My could only connect with it when the phone was three to five feet away at maximum. Find My can also only show the general area where it detects your GO 3S, rather than the precise Find Nearby distance and direction instructions that AirTags and some AirPods have. Even so, the GO 3S’ Find My connectivity offers some peace of mind in less wet environments such as on hikes or dirt biking.

Connectivity to the Insta360 app is also substantially hindered when the GO 3S is underwater. Mashable lost the Wi-Fi connection with the GO 3S when only a few feet away, so was unable to start recording from a distance. Again, this wasn’t surprising, but it’d be a good idea to invest in a Dive Case and operate the GO 3S manually if you’re planning on aquatic adventures.

If you’re deliberating between the GO 3 and GO 3S, there’s really no reason not to choose the latter. Both action cameras are the exact same price, setting you back $399.99 for the 64GB models, or $429.99 for 128GB. The GO 3 does have a 32GB model for $379.99, but at that point you may as well pay an extra $20 for the GO 3S upgrade plus double the storage capacity.

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