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GoPro’s Hero4 Session Review

Updated on July 9, 2015
Image: GEOFFREY A. FOWLER  / THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Image: GEOFFREY A. FOWLER / THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

GoPro Inc., the world's favorite maker of portable, yet powerful video cameras, is on their journey to produce even tinier products.

The new GoPro Hero4 Session is as small as an ice cube. That is almost half of the other GoPros they have produced. Its size is very convenient for active individuals.

The Session will be out on the 12th of July (yay! aren’t you excited?). This item isn’t much, actually, but because of its size, one can simply keep it for future use.

GoPro Session costs $400, almost the price of an Apple Watch, as well as last year’s GoPro Silver (which has better image quality - and a touch screen at that).

We can say that at currently, GoPro is having its iPod Shuffle moment. Remember when Apple released their iPod Shuffle that is so small it almost lacked everything, except the music). What’s good about these products is that they are not very complicated to use.

GoPro Session is so simple that it has no screen to look at photos, no buttons to play with modes as well as there is no way to change its battery that only lasts for 2 hours.

Reading through that, you may think, “What’s to love about this?”. Here’s the answer to that: although small, Session is very refined and is guaranteed to be worth your money. This product solves the ongoing complaints of GoPro users about how they have to unnecessarily go about the other GoPros for hours, because of how complicated they are.

This small camera can still take full-HD videos, and can still go underwater without the waterproof housing that the other GoPros required. Its lens has a transparent protection and the USB ports for the memory card and battery charging are pressure-sealed, meaning, it can go down 10 meters under the water. Its microphone drains the water automatically.

Session has only one button. You can tap it once to start the camera and begin recording video, or hold it down to take pictures. There’s a readout beside the button that provides you a confirmation that it is operating. To shut it down, you can just tap it once more to stop the recording, and it will automatically shut down. Now, what can you say about that speed?

The gadget also has the ability to sense its orientation and can flip the video in 180-degree increments. The fact that it cannot increment 90 degrees creates some issues, but you can figure it out eventually.

The 2-hour battery can shoot a 2-hour video, no power wasted. GoPro Session is either shooting or turned off. Since you can’t change the battery, you have to be careful when charging it (which takes 90 minutes).

But why would you need a GoPro Session when you already have a Smartphone? - It is because there are areas where you don’t want your Smartphones, or your regular camera to be.

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