Apple this week quietly released an update for the Windows version of its iTunes music player. However, rather than adding new features, the update is focused on fixing bugs and security breaches for those who still rely on iTunes.
According to an Apple Support webpage, iTunes 12.12.4 fixes five different exploits that could be used for arbitrary code execution through the music player.
A specific exploit in the Mobile Device Service, which manages the connection between PC and iOS devices, allowed an app to delete files from the computer without permission. Other exploits fixed were related to AppleGraphicsControl, ImageIO, and WebKit.
Apple recommends that Windows users download the latest version of iTunes from the Microsoft Store. However, the app is still available as a separate download through Apple’s website (it requires Windows 8 or later). iTunes on Windows is required to access Apple Music offline and manage iPhone, iPod, and iPad devices.
Of course, since iTunes was discontinued on macOS years ago, the update is not required for Mac users.
iTunes on Windows
Even though Apple Music has its own app on iOS, macOS, and even Android, Windows users still rely on iTunes – which at this point is quite outdated and lacks some features available on other platforms.
Apple Music users on Windows PCs can download some alternative clients such as Cider. However, these apps do not replace iTunes when it comes to restoring iOS devices.
Rumors heard last year that Apple was testing both Music and Podcast apps for Microsoft platforms. The company was even looking for engineers with Universal Windows Platform (UWP) experience. Unfortunately, other details about Apple’s plans for launching an Apple Music app for Windows remain unclear.
Google is ever on the quest to improve the general perception of security and privacy on its mobile operating system. The latest effort is called “Protected by Android” and that branding looks set for a broader rollout.
The Android YouTube channel today uploaded a 50-second video about how the OS “is all about keeping you and your information safe so you can focus on what matters most.” Still images of people using smartphones – presumably Android-powered ones, but we’re pretty sure there’s one of an iPhone 8 Plus at 0:05 – with short captions are used throughout:
From detecting and defeating bad apps to helping you control your personal information, you’re always protected by Android.
A slick animation sees the green Android head morphs into a checkmarked shield: “Whatever you’re up to, you’ve got peace of mind when you’re protected by Android.” Highlighted platform and ecosystem features include:
Verified by Play Protect: “You’re safe from malware and harmful apps”
Monthly security updates: “Defended by non-stop security”
Location access permissions: “And in control of your personal information”
Besides this ad, Google at I/O 2022 showed off Android 13’s upcoming unified “Security & privacy” settings page. Underneath the prominent “Scan device” button there’s the same “Protected by Android” branding and shield.
The page will be anchored by new action cards that notify you of critical steps you should take to address any safety risks. In addition to notifications to warn you about issues, we’ll also provide timely recommendations on how to enhance your privacy.
After over a month of beta testing, Apple has released iOS 15.5 RC to developers and public beta users. This suggests that the updates could be released to the public as soon as sometime next week. Head below for the full release notes…
iOS 15.5 new features
Apple says that iOS 15.5 makes enhancements to Apple Cash, with support for more easily requesting and sending money from the Apple Cash card in the Wallet app. There’s also a new feature in Apple Podcasts to help preserve your iPhone’s storage space and some bug fixes for HomeKit.
Here are the full release notes for iOS 15.5 according to Apple:
iOS 15.5 includes the following improvements and bug fixes:
Wallet now enables Apple Cash customers to send and request money from their Apple Cash card
Apple Podcasts includes a new setting to limit episodes stored on your iPhone and automatically delete older ones
Fixes an issue where home automations, triggered by people arriving or leaving, may fail
As a reminder, the “Release Candidate” name usually indicates that this will be the final beta of iOS 15.5 before it’s released to everyone. This is why Apple also concurrently publishes the full release notes of the update.
Here are some other changes in iOS 15.5 we’ve spotted so far, not mentioned in Apple’s release notes:
iOS 15.5 beta 1 changes and features: Wallet updates & handy new HomePod feature [Video]
iOS 15.5 includes support for apps with external purchases
iOS 15.5 hints at Bancomat and Bancontact on Apple Pay
Apple to rebrand iTunes Pass in Wallet app with iOS 15.5
iOS 15.5 beta blocks ‘Sensitive Locations’ for Memories in Photos app
iOS 15.5 beta 1 changes and features: Wallet updates & handy new HomePod feature
Apple released iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 beta to developers, and it’s likely that the public beta release isn’t far behind. While not packed with new features and changes like iOS 15.4, this latest beta release comes with a modest amount of updates and enhancements.
What’s new in iOS 15.5 beta 1?
New Request and Send buttons for Apple Cash in Wallet app.
Physical Apple Card now called ‘Titanium Card’ in Wallet settings.
Apple Pay has been rebranded as ‘Apple Cash’ Messages app.
Rebrand of iTunes Pass as “Apple Account Card” in the Wallet app.
New Wi-Fi signal bars for HomePod connectivity in Home app.
Home app now features a permissions notification for Critical Alerts.
Universal Control on iPadOS 15.5 requires all devices to be updated to latest betas.
Video: iOS 15.5 beta 1 changes and features
iOS 15.5 is largely focused on Wallet app-related enhancements and changes, so there are no huge standout user-facing features to be found here. However, having Wi-Fi signal strength indicators within the Home app for HomePods is a nice improvement. This change could make it easier to decide on how best to arrange a physical network and corresponding HomePod devices scattered around a home. It can also help with troubleshooting HomePods that aren’t properly connecting to the network.
Even if your HomePod is running 15.4, and not the latest 15.5 beta, you can still see the Wi-Fi signal strength within the Home app. Previously, the Wi-Fi network section of the HomePod preferences only showed the SSID. For HomePods in a stereo pair, you’ll have to venture into the Speakers panel to access the settings for each individual HomePod. If there are any connectivity issues, that will be reflected by an exclamation point on the Wi-Fi signal indicator, as shown below.
iOS 15.5 includes support for apps with external purchases to satisfy regulators, code confirms
Apple was recently required to let developers redirect users to third-party payment platforms instead of using the App Store’s in-app purchases system.
The latest beta version of Apple’s operating system has full support for the new entitlement used by apps to indicate that they let users make external purchases. For instance, if the user deletes an app that offers external purchases, iOS will show an alert saying that it is not possible to manage purchases and subscriptions through the App Store.
While the App Store lets users manage all their purchases in a single place, Apple has no control over what users buy outside of its platform – so it’s important to have a reminder to users.
External purchases from [app’s name] may still exist. You cannot manage or cancel any external purchases through the App Store. For more information, contact the developer.
Apple is implementing another alert that will show up when the user opens an app that offers external purchases for the first time. However, it’s worth noting that this feature won’t be available for every app.
The App Store guidelines make it clear that “External Link Account Entitlement” is only available for “Reader apps,” which are apps that offer digital content such as magazines, books, songs, or video. Another requirement is that the app can’t offer in-app purchases using Apple’s platform. Still, each request must be approved by Apple.
In the Netherlands, dating apps can continue to use Apple’s in-app purchases system along with a third-party payment system or an external link due to a requirement from the Dutch regulator.
iOS 15.5 beta 2 hints at Apple Pay support for Bancomat and Bancontact networks
Apple released the second beta of iOS 15.5 to developers, and while the update doesn’t bring any significant new features, it does hint at some changes Apple has been working on under the hood.
For those unfamiliar, Bancomat (an Italian company) and Bancontact (from Belgium) are interbank networks similar to Mastercard and Visa. Right now, cards issued by these networks are not compatible with Apple Pay, but it seems that this is about to change.
Internal codes from iOS 15.5 beta 2 reveal that Apple is working with both networks to make their cards compatible with Apple Pay, which is Apple’s digital payments platform. It’s unclear when exactly support for these cards will be announced to the public, but we assume it will happen sometime after the release of iOS 15.5.
Apple is also working to rebrand iTunes Pass as “Apple Account Card.” This card will be shown in the Wallet app with the balance on the user’s Apple ID, and it can be used for purchases in the Apple Store, App Store, and app subscriptions.
With today’s beta, more code related to the Apple Account Card has been added to the system, which corroborates that this feature will also be introduced soon.
Apple to rebrand iTunes Pass in Wallet app with iOS 15.5
Apple has just released the first beta of iOS 15.5 to developers, and while we’re still looking for what’s new in today’s update, Apple has been working to rebrand iTunes Pass as “Apple Account Card” in the Wallet app with iOS 15.5.
If you buy an Apple Gift Card or add money to your Apple ID, the balance can be used to buy products in the Apple Store as well as apps, songs, movies, and subscriptions.
Currently, users can check this balance by going to the App Store or by adding the iTunes Pass to the Wallet app. At the same time, this pass has a QR Code that can be used to purchase products in Apple Retail Stores. With iOS 15.5, Apple is finally revamping the iTunes Pass.
iTunes Pass will become a new card called “Apple Account.” This card will be displayed in the Wallet app just like the Apple Card and the Apple Cash card. This way, instead of having to show the QR Code when shopping at an Apple Store, the user will be able to complete the purchase using Apple Pay.
Your account balance can be used to buy products, accessories, apps, games and more online or in store with Apple Pay.
Interestingly, the Apple Account card will have a parallax effect in the Wallet app, just like the Apple Card and Apple Cash card. The feature is currently disabled even for beta users, but it will likely be officially announced with the public release of iOS 15.5.
iOS 15.5 beta blocks ‘Sensitive Locations’ for Memories in Photos app
Apple released the third beta of iOS 15.5 to developers, and while the update doesn’t seem to have any significant changes, Apple has made an interesting tweak to its native Photos app. The system will now block “Sensitive Locations” for Memories in the Photos app.
For those unfamiliar, Memories is a feature of the Photos app on iOS and macOS that recognizes people, places, and events in your photo library to automatically create “curated collections” with a slideshow. Since this feature is entirely based on machine learning, Apple has now made some changes to the app to avoid creating some unwanted memories.
The Photos app now has a list of “Sensitive Locations,” so that any photos taken there will never be added to a memory. Interestingly, all the places banned in this version are related to the Holocaust.
Here’s the list of places that are blocked from the Memories feature in the Photos app with iOS 15.5 beta 3:
Yad Vashem Memorial
Dachau concentration camp
US Holocaust Museum
Majdanek concentration camp
Berlin Holocaust Memorial
Belzec extermination camp
Anne Frank House
Sobibor extermination camp
Treblinka extermination camp
Chelmno-Kulmhof extermination camp
Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp
Each location has latitude, longitude, and radius assigned, so that the Photos app will ignore images taken at these locations when creating new memories. Of course, Apple can update this list with new places with future iOS updates.
iOS 15.5 beta also brings changes to the Wallet app and reveals upcoming changes to Apple Pay.
The Pocophone brand is often associated with performance on the cheap, and that’s probably the apt description for the latest phone we have for review – the Poco F3. It’s more than that, though – it’s like a flagship on the cheap, or as this other company would have called it – a flagship killer.
The Poco F3 is jam-packed with top-notch features starting with its beautiful glass body with a sturdy plastic frame. The F3 has a 6.67″ AMOLED screen with 120Hz refresh, one of the fastest platforms available today – the Snapdragon 870 5G chip, loud stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos, a versatile triple-camera setup, and a large battery with fast charging.
The rear camera is your typical budget arrangement, and that’s probably the biggest cost-cutting decision to happen on the F3. There is a 48MP primary, an 8MP ultrawide shooter, and a 5MP macro enhanced with autofocus. The punch-hole at the front contains a 20MP selfie shooter. Sure, it’s no real flagship, but hey, it’s not too shabby either.
The Poco F3 is among the first phones to employ the enhanced version of last year’s Snapdragon 865. That’s the new Snapdragon 870, which should be about 10% faster. Paired with that 1080p screen, the hardware should also be doing a fabulous job in graphics-intensive tasks, too.
The Poco F3 isn’t a massive upgrade over the F2 Pro, though. It sure packs a better 120Hz AMOLED and stereo speakers than its predecessor, but we expect the processing performance to be similar. The F2 Pro even had higher-resolution main and ultra-wide cameras. But there is a big case to be made here – the Poco F3 price at launch is almost half the Poco F2’s, and that’s a big deal.
Indeed, the Poco F3 seems to be packing a lot of unexpectedly good specs. Let’s scroll through those now.
Xiaomi Poco F3 specs at a glance:
Body: 163.7×76.4×7.8mm, 196g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass 5), glass back (Gorilla Glass 5), plastic frame.
We appreciate the stereo speakers and the fast charging, but we can’t but miss the microSD slot and the 3.5mm jack. The writing has been on the wall for a couple of years now, sure, but still. Poco users usually expect these features to be present, and they are not on the F3. There is no FM radio on the Poco F3, if you were wondering.
Enough with the introductions, it’s time we unbox it.
Unboxing the Poco F3
The Poco F3 ships within a big black box with the usual yellow Poco insignia. The retail bundle is your typical Xiaomi treatment – there is a fast 33W power adapter, a 3A-rated USB-A-to-C cable, and a transparent silicone case. That case has a small protective cover for the USB port, which boosts the ingress protection, but gets annoying fast when you need to charge the phone or plug a wired headset.
And speaking about headsets, the Poco F3 doesn’t offer a 3.5mm jack, and that’s why the maker is also offering a 3.5mm-to-USB-C adapter as part of the bundle. Nice!
Finally, if you are an avid Poco fan, you’ll also be happy to find a bunch of Poco stickers, which you can put on your favorite gadgets, PCs, or maybe your car bumper?
The Poco F3 comes with this very thin screen protector that was applied in the factory, but it was so cheap and hard to keep to clean from smudges that we got rid of it quickly.
The Poco F3 is one capable smartphone with a great design, an impressive screen, a powerful chipset and a large battery. It’s not a water-resistant phone, and its camera experience is rather average, but with a price of €350, or even €300, it’s a killer deal.
Xiaomi is having a blast these couple of weeks – it has launched a couple of devices jam-packed with high-end features devices and incredibly low prices.
Take the €50 cheaper Poco X3 Pro, for example. It shares many specs with the Poco F3, but there are a few notable differences, too. The Poco X3 Pro is IP53-rated for splash resistance, and it packs a similar screen with an LCD panel instead of an AMOLED. The X3 Pro runs on the slightly inferior Snapdragon 860 chip with 4G connectivity, which is still a beast, all things considered. The rest is the same – speakers, cameras, software. It’s an excellent alternative to the F3, cheaper at that.
Then there is the even cheaper €280 Redmi Note 10 Pro. This Redmi also has a lot in common with the Poco F3 – similar glass design, the same 120Hz AMOLED screen, the secondary cameras are a match. The Redmi Note 10 Pro uses the mid-range Snapdragon 732G chip – it may not be a flagship, but it handles games well, but it really shines with the flagship-grade 108MP primary camera.
You should also consider the €50 more expensive Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G. This one has a 90Hz AMOLED, but it supports 10-bit color and can show more than 1 billion colors (compared to 16 million on the F3). The Snapdragon 780 5G chip is a particularly good alternative to the SD870, so no complaints here. And the camera experience seems to be on par, if not better, as the main camera is now 64MP.
Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro • Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G
There are also many alternatives outside Xiaomi‘s backyard fighting for a change in this price bracket. The €300 Realme 8 Pro impressed us with its 108MP primary camera and its 3x lossless zoom. It does pack an AMOLED screen, but it’s limited to 60Hz. Then the chipset isn’t impressive either – it’s the mid-range Snapdragon 720G. Oh, and there is just one speaker on the Realme.
The €350 Samsung Galaxy A52 sounds like one very reasonable offer. It has an IP67-rated body and packs a 90Hz Super AMOLED screen. The camera quality is better on the A52, even if the setup is similar. It does feature stereo speakers, too, but can’t offer the same performance – the A52 runs on the SD720G.
The OnePlus Nord price has dropped down to about €370, and it’s a phone to consider if you are after the smoothest software experience thanks to the 90Hz Fluid AMOLED and the Oxygen OS. The Nord isn’t as fast, but it will make up for that with better photo quality and a second ultrawide selfie camera.
Finally, the €500 Moto G100 is powered by the same Snapdragon 870 chip, and while more expensive, it has its nice quirks. The Moto offers a water-repellent design and a 90Hz LCD screen. It has better cameras on both sides (there are two selfies), and the “Ready For” PC-like experience did turn out pretty good.
Realme 8 Pro • Samsung Galaxy A52 • OnePlus Nord • Motorola Moto G100
The Poco F3 is a great smartphone that offers unbeatable performance at a bargain price. This, coupled with the great HRR AMOLED screen, earns it an immediate recommendation. But there is more, too.
We appreciate that the maker has taken the extra step and has provided some value-adding features like stereo speakers, fast charging on the large battery, and even a premium-looking design. The Poco F3 isn’t perfect, of course. Only the main camera offers good results, and there is no 3.5mm jack, or a microSD slot, or an official IP rating either.
Yet, at €300-€350 price, the Poco F3 is still tough to match, let alone beat in most aspects, and without a doubt, it will become the first choice for many potential buyers. And if they can live with the mediocre camera, they’ll love the F3 as we did.
Stunning design with a premium build.
Excellent AMOLED screen, 120Hz refresh rate.
Outstanding battery life, fast to charge, too.
Class-leading performance, 5G connectivity.
Good stereo speakers.
Good daylight photo and video quality.
Latest Android and MIUI.
No 3.5.mm jack, no microSD, no FM radio.
Ultra-wide camera is mediocre in both photos and videos.
It’s the end of an era: Apple is officially discontinuing the iPod touch. The company says that the device will be available only “while supplies last.” This also means that the “iPod” brand is officially retired, as the iPod touch was the last iPod in Apple’s lineup.
It’s the end of an era for a product that was once one of the most popular gadgets in the world.
iPod touch discontinued: Available ‘while supplies last’
The first iPod touch was introduced in 2007 and was an instant hit among buyers who wanted the iPhone form factor without cellular functionality. The device saw regular updates for years, but as the iPhone become more widespread, Apple’s focus shifted.
The current seventh-generation iPod touch was introduced in 2019. It’s powered by an A10 Fusion chip that first debuted in the iPhone 7. It features a 4-inch display and is available in an array of colors. This, however, will be the end of the iPod touch.
Apple says the current iPod touch 7 will only be available “while supplies last.” This means the company has discontinued the iPod touch line. It’s the same approach it took when it also discontinued the iMac Pro and full-size HomePod.
Apple made the announcement in a press release curiously titled “The music lives on.” The press release explains that Apple users now enjoy their music via products like the iPhone, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and HomePod mini.
In a press release, Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, explained that the “spirit of iPod” lives on in Apple’s current lineup of products.
Music has always been part of our core at Apple, and bringing it to hundreds of millions of users in the way iPod did impacted more than just the music industry – it also redefined how music is discovered, listened to, and shared. Today, the spirit of iPod lives on. We’ve integrated an incredible music experience across all of our products, from the iPhone to the Apple Watch to HomePod mini, and across Mac, iPad, and Apple TV. And Apple Music delivers industry-leading sound quality with support for spatial audio – there’s no better way to enjoy, discover, and experience music.
The discontinuation of the iPod touch isn’t a surprise to anyone, and we even pondered earlier this year whether the iPod touch 7 would be the final iPod ever released.
The end of the ‘iPod’ brand
In addition to this being the end of the iPod touch as a product, this also marks the end of the “iPod” brand altogether.
The first iPod was introduced in October of 2001, with Steve Jobs famously saying that it could put “1,000 songs in your pocket.” The iPod lineup expanded (and eventually contracted) multiple times over the years with the addition of products like the iPod shuffle, iPod nano, iPod classic, and iPod touch.
While there is undoubtedly a lot of science that goes into making your Pixel water resistant, the ratings we currently see on our devices are not an exact science. Depending on what rating you see and what you’re told, it can get a little confusing. So is your Google Pixel waterproof or water-resistant? Here’s what you need to know.
What does your IP rating mean?
For every device, a dust and water resistance rating is released with it. It can range anywhere from IP00 to IP69K, with IP00 being unable to resist any dust or water in any capacity at all and the latter being completely water and dust-proof, even under pressure.
When it comes to smartphones, you’ll likely never see an IP00 rating simply because having an enclosure around the internals dictates at least some amount of water and dust resistance. More often than not, you’re looking at ratings around IP67 and IP68. So what does that mean?
Dust and solid object resistance
Well, the IP rating is split into two numbers – the first and second digit. The second number the first number after “IP” is the amount of resistance to dust and hazardous objects, with 6 being the highest. An IP6X rating means that your device is completely resistant to “dust ingress,” which basically means you don’t have to worry about dropping it in dirt and having any particle enter the enclosure of your Pixel. Most of Google’s Pixels have an IP6X rating, so this isn’t so much of a worry.
The second number after “IP” is the rating against liquid. Most devices now rate somewhere between a 6 and 8. If your IP rating is IPX6, your device is able to resist something equivalent to a harsh 12.5mm wide stream of water from any direction; where the line starts to get blurred is at IPX7 and IPX8. A lot of devices fall into one of these categories.
At IPX7, you’re looking for two qualifying resistance factors. The phone is able to withstand being submerged up to 1 meter for less than 30 minutes. At IPX8, your device can withstand more than 1 meter. Unfortunately, this could mean anywhere from 1 centimeter over a meter to 2 meters, with the exact rating being left up to the manufacturer.
Remember, these ratings are intended to represent water resistance, meaning the Google Pixel is not waterproof, only resistant up to a certain degree depending on the rating.
Rule of thumb
Since the latter rating is somewhat left up to the manufacturer to decide, here’s the general rule of thumb we recommend you exercise: if your Google Pixel has an IPX8 water resistant rating, avoid submerging over 1 meter anyways. Since this could mean that your device is protected at 3’1/8″, it’s much better to play it safe and pretend like you only have an IPX7 rating.
Does the IP rating stay the same throughout the Pixel’s life?
No. No, it does not.
Your Pixel’s IP rating, whether that’s IP67 or IP68, will not remain the same the whole time you have the phone – the rating is meant to represent what state the device is in when it left the factory. In fact, there are a few ways that the IP rating could take a dip. Anything from dropping the device to having the Pixel repaired could cause that IP rating to come down a bit.
The bits and pieces that makeup water and dust resistance also happen to be materials that are shock absorbing. This includes silicones and types of glue inside your Pixel. If your device does fall and take a hit, some of that glue could come loose, developing a weak spot in your Pixel’s water resistance rating.
What waterproofing rating is your Pixel?
As mentioned, Google’s line of Pixels usually falls in either the IP67 or IP68 rating, with newer phones being IP68. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t release an IP rating for some “a” series devices, such as the Pixel 4a or 3a. For these devices, it’s better to avoid water and dust altogether. Here’s the rating for your Google Pixel’s waterproofing:
Pixel 6 Pro – IP68
Pixel 6 – IP68
Pixel 5a – IP67
Pixel 5 – IP68
Pixel 4a – N/A
Pixel 4 – IP68
Pixel 4 XL – IP68
Pixel 3a – N/A
Pixel 3a XL – N/A
Pixel 3 – IP68
Pixel 3 XL – IP68
Pixel 2 – IP67
Pixel 2 XL – IP67
Pixel – IP53
Pixel XL – IP53
In all, it’s important to know what your Pixel can handle in terms of water and dust. To be on the side safe, even if your Google Pixel has an IP68 water resistant rating, don’t submerge your phone past 1 meter underwater if you can help it. Also, note that these ratings don’t stand true the whole lifespan of the device and can absolutely degrade over time.
Every year the world’s biggest action camera company brings out their latest and greatest edition
There are two slogans for the GoPro HERO 10 Black. The first is ‘A New Era’, which is a pretty massive claim for a company that has been at the leading edge of action sports cameras for over a decade. A New Era stems from their upgraded (finally!) processor, the GP2, which is essentially the engine that powers the entire camera. The GP2 on the GoPro HERO10 brings about some enormous upgrades around things like frame rates and overall performance, while the general features like photo and video modes stay mostly the same as the previous model.
The second slogan is ‘Speed with Ease’, which isn’t quite as catchy or awe-inspiring as ‘A New Era’, but is completely justified seeing as how much better and smoother the new camera performs. So is the GP2 really as good as the company claims? Let’s find out in our GoPro HERO10 review!
The Latest Features
A New Era of GoPro is here and that means there are a whole string of new features and upgrades when you compare the HERO10 with the HERO 9 Black action cameras.
Here are some of the new and major features of the HERO 10 Black. The number of practical changes this year isn’t as many as previous years, but the quality of improvements and technical upgrades are incredible.
I’ll go into more detail on some of them below in our GoPro HERO 10 review.
New GP2 processor
2.7K 240fps (that’s 8x slow-motion, perfect for action scenes!)
Full 23MP photos
HyperSmooth 4.0 Image Stabilization
In-Camera Horizon Levelling increased angles to 45 degrees
Improved LCD full-colour front display with smoother live preview
Improved LCD full-colour real screen with higher touch sensitivity
Frame grabs – 19.6MP from 5.3K 4:3 video and 15.8MP from 5.3K wide video
1080p Livestream and Webcam with HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilization
23MP RAW photos in all modes
New removable lens cover with scratch resistance, water shedding and reduced ghosting
Optional modular accessories such as Max Lens Mod, Media Mod, Light Mod and Display Mod
Plus the usual features and shooting modes that were introduced on the HERO 9 Black, such as:
SuperPhoto with Improved HDR
Night lapse video
Folding fingers (removing the need for a frame)
RAW photos in all modes
Waterproof to 10m without a dive housing
USB C Charging
Micro SD memory card
Slightly better battery life this year
Seamless integration with the GoPro Quik App
Same fantastic user interface
New GP2 Processor
The brand new GP2 is by far the biggest upgrade on the GoPro HERO10 Black!
Why is that you ask? Well its predecessor, the GP1, has been around since the HERO6 was released in 2017. Which in the tech world is a hell of a long time. Almost an eternity really. Even though the GoPro HERO9 last year finally revealed a new upgraded 23 megapixel sensor, using the old processor meant that it could only achieve 20 megapixels. All of that is now changed with the GP2 proving to be well worth the wait, and finally utilising the full capabilities of the new image sensor. If you’re not exactly sure what the processor does, essentially think of it as the entire engine to your camera. And by having a newer, faster, efficient processor, the camera is now even better than ever. Compared to the HERO9, the GoPro HERO10 Black now has double the performance and double the frame rate across all of the higher resolution video modes. It is now twice as smooth when reviewing footage and using live preview on the front LCD screen, and the rear LCD touchscreen interface is incredibly responsive. It’s 30% faster for wireless transfers, and has a new wired transfer mode which is 50% faster than the already improved wireless version. The GP2 processor offers much higher levels of detail thanks to advanced local tone mapping and 3D noise reduction. It greatly increases the video stabilization in HyperSmooth 4.0, even widening the in-horizon levelling mode to a whopping 45 degrees! And to top it all off, it’s just overall much, much faster to use. It’s quicker to launch, quicker to start taking photos and videos, and touch sensitivity is more responsive. Essentially the GP2 makes it perform like camera users have always hoped and prayed for from GoPro. If this was the only improvement we found in our GoPro HERO10 review, we’d already be singing its praises and telling you that you need to stop what you’re doing and order one now. But of course, there’s more…
Catching sunset, captured on the GoPro HERO10 Black in RAW mode.
Improved Video Frame Rates – 5.3k60, 4k120 and 2.7k240
If there’s one thing you can count on from GoPro, it’s that with every new camera will come with faster frame rates for video. After all, how can you be considered the world’s top action cam company if you can’t keep up with the pace of extreme sports? And what we found in our GoPro HERO 10 review is that this year is no different, with not just a marginal improvement, but a huge one. Thanks to the GP2 processor, frame rates across the board have doubled, and the highest resolution is now up from 5k to 5.3k video (that’s 15.8 million pixels). That means you can shoot in 5.3k at 60fps, or 4k video at a massive 120fps. Still not enough? Then drop it down to 2.7k and shoot at 240fps, which is a very ridiculous 8x slow motion. Why that is significant is that now you can down-res your 2.7k video into full HD at 1080p for cleaner, sharper footage, or use the higher resolution to heavily crop into your image without lowering quality when you export. Whether you’re shooting sports, lifestyle, travel, pets or automotive, you’ll find these higher frame rates hard to resist when playing around with film creativity.
The GoPro HERO10 Black (on the right side) now sports 5.3k at 60 frames per second, up from the 5k 30fps on the HERO9.
23 Megapixel Still Images
As we mentioned above, this camera sensor actually came out with the HERO9, but due to the GP1 processor, it wasn’t used to its full capability. But now with the GP2, you can take full advantage of the 23 megapixel photo resolution that this tiny action camera has. SuperPhoto is still around, and turns any picture into a stunning HDR (high dynamic range) shot that doesn’t require any editing. But if you’re a professional user, we recommend shooting in RAW mode to full make the most out of the 23 megapixels the GoPro HERO 10 boasts with image quality. No, the GoPro HERO10 Black doesn’t replace a pro-level mirrorless or DSLR camera. But for 90% of users it’s more than enough.
Low Light Improvements
This isn’t necessarily something that we’d consider pushes GoPro into a ‘new era’, but it’s been a massive annoyance for us for years and are so glad they’ve improved it. GoPro photos and videos have always looked great when shooting on bright, sunny days. But they’ve often fallen apart when it comes to low light situations, such as dawn, dusk or indoors. That’s no longer an issue though, thanks to the GP2 processor opening up the capabilities of the new sensor in more lighting conditions. Noise and grain isn’t so much of a problem now, and details are fantastic, even in low light. It may seem minor, but it was something we really wanted to highlight in our GoPro HERO10 review.
Does anyone remember when GoPro brought out the Karma Grip, the handheld gimbal for stabilised footage? Well GoPro practically killed off their own product when they introduced HyperSmooth into the HERO7, their own version of digital image stabilization. Over the years it has gotten better and better, and now with the latest upgrade, HyperSmooth 4.0 takes it up a notch again. The video footage is just as buttery smooth as HyperSmooth3.0, except now they’ve increased the in-camera horizon* levelling to cover 45 degrees instead of the previous 27 degrees. HyperSmooth 4.0 now also works on 5.3k30, 4k60 and 2.7k120, bringing near-perfect image stabilization to much higher resolutions and frame rates, even when doing shaky activities such as mountain biking, running or skiing.
*Note – horizon levelling only works when shooting in linear mode.
Overall Better Performance
This is a pretty broad thing to discuss, but the GoPro HERO10 actually feels and performs like a high-end camera should in 2022! Besides the massive 2x frame rates that are available now, the start-up of the camera is a lot faster, meaning you can start recording those epic moments sooner. Wireless transfers are 30% faster, and there’s a new wired transfer mode that makes this 50% quicker again. The touch screen is a lot smoother and more responsive, and this was actually our biggest gripe with the HERO9. While it looked great, the touch screen was very frustrating to use. Not an issue any more on the HERO10. It may have taken more than a decade of versions to figure out, but finally the GoPro HERO10 Black is on par with professional expectations with how it performs day to day.
The ‘Mods’ – Media, Max Lens, Display and Light Mod
The camera itself is great, but what has always set GoPro apart from other companies is the sheer number of accessories you can attach to them, allowing you to use the camera in just about any situation you can set your imagination to. Besides the dazzling array of random accessories like suction cups, selfie sticks, dive housings, clamps, helmet and board mounts and plenty more, it’s the ‘Mods’ of the last few years that have helped turn the GoPro cameras into a versatile beast.
The HERO10 is compatible with the same Mods that fit the HERO9, so if you already have a few lying around, you don’t need to upgrade. The Media Mod adds a bi-directional microphone, cold shoe mounts, USB C output and a 3.5mm microphone jack, making it a fantastic vlogging camera. The Max Lens Mod turns the already-wide camera lens into a ultra-wide lens, so you can capture more of the scene when using in selfie mode without compromising image quality. Then there are the Light Mod (adds a light, surprise surprise) for when shooting indoors or at night, and a Display Mod, which adds another screen so you can see yourself, but the latter is kind of redundant now thanks to the front-facing LCD screen.
Moody afternoons in Sydney – shot on the GoPro HERO10 Black.
How Does the Camera Perform in the Real World?
Alright, enough with all the technical talk. You’ve read through the features and upgrades, and already know that this year’s new camera is a significant step above last year’s. But before you rush out and buy one based on a bunch of fancy talk like GP2 processors and 5.3k60fps, how does the GoPro HERO10 Black actually perform in the real world? That’s exactly what we wanted to know, so the second we got our hands on one we hit the trails to test it out. The very first thing we noticed was that the camera fired up a lot faster than the HERO9, and the screen responsiveness did indeed seem a lot smoother and quicker.
So what we did was pull out the HERO9 and did a side-by-side comparison. And yes, sure enough, the improvement was incredibly obvious. The GoPro HERO10 LCD touch screen almost felt as smooth as our iPhone, which is pretty remarkable. So much so that it made us even more frustrated with the screen performance on the 9. Then we fired up the standard video mode, shooting in 4K at 30fps with zero customisation, and started walking around filming to test the out-of-the-box HyperSmooth 4.0 and video quality.
Results? Definitely smoother than the HERO9, and the details in the video were cleaner and more vibrant as well.
Another thing we really liked is that there are now 3 different colour profiles for your footage – Flat, Natural and Vibrant. Flat is perfect for those professionals out there who love to colour grade their footage and make the most of the local tone mapping. Natural is awesome if you’re the kind of person who mixes your video footage between different types of cameras such as a smartphone or mirrorless/DSLR set up. And vibrant is fantastic for those who simply love the ‘pop’ that GoPro colours are most famous for.
But what about photos? Well we played around between RAW and SuperPhoto shooting sunset at our local beach, and the image quality was superb.
One of the big things we noticed too was how much more quickly the GoPro captured and processed these images, especially in RAW mode, compared to the HERO9. The wait time is significantly reduced, making the camera ready to go for the next shot in half the time. When we pulled the images up on Adobe Lightroom to check them out we were very impressed with the clarity and colour rendering that the GoPro produced. Plus the dynamic range to pull the details out of the shadows and highlights was fantastic, without having the image fall apart. Pretty impressive for what is a relatively small image sensor compared to mirrorless or DSLR cameras.
All of the other camera features such as TimeWarp, Burst Mode, Night Photo, Voice Activation, etc performed as expected, with no real improvement over the HERO9, other than everything just being faster and smoother. The new HERO replaceable lens at the front is scratch resistant, which is a breath of fresh air and a big leap forward in terms of durability. The biggest thing we point out too is that so far our camera HASN’T FROZEN since we started using it! Now we don’t want to go jumping the gun just yet, because GoPros have had freezing issues forever, even with every firmware update, but the fact that we haven’t experienced this yet may just mean that the new GP2 chip has finally rectified this massive problem. Hallelujah!
Overall the GoPro HERO10 Black handles like an absolute beast in the real world, and we will be using this new camera on every single shoot we do from now on.
The GoPro HERO10 Black performs extremely well out in the real world, with the GP2 processor speeding everything up.
What We Don’t Like
Like we said at the beginning of this article – this is an HONEST GoPro HERO10 review. And being honest means we’re going to tell you exactly what we don’t like about the latest camera too.
Is it a perfect camera?
No. But it’s close.
First up is the audio. Granted, for a camera this small you’re not going to have a world-class microphone built into it. But the audio when vlogging using the front-facing microphone is still slightly tinny, and not great in high-wind or crowded environments. This is greatly improved with the Media Mod, but still we wish you didn’t have to buy an additional accessory to have a feature like being able to plug in an external microphone. It’s not a dealbreaker, but something we’re looking forward to hopefully being rectified on future models.
Second is that there is no optical zoom on the GoPro HERO 10. You can utilise the digital zoom, and change the digital lenses between SuperView, Wide, Linear and Narrow, but there isn’t any real optical zoom there. We would have love to see at least 2x optical zoom built in, because sometimes you just want a different perspective for your shots rather than the typical GoPro fish-eye look. There is a Max Lens Mod, which widens the point of view, so it makes us wonder if at some point GoPro can create a switchable lens that crops in. But at this stage you’re stuck with the digital options. Other than that there really isn’t anything glaring at us that we dislike in our GoPro HERO 10 Black review. But if we notice anything as time goes on we’ll be sure to return to this article and update it.
The GoPro HERO10 and HERO9 size comparison – they are both identical, using the same battery, which makes existing mods and cases fit on the newer model.
GoPro HERO10 vs GoPro HERO9 vs GoPro HERO8 – What’s the Difference?
Now that we’ve dove deep into what’s new, what we like (and what we don’t) in this GoPro HERO 10 Black review, you may be wondering whether it’s worth upgrading your camera, if you have an older model. On the surface it may seem like there’s not a huge difference between the previous model and the HERO10, but with the GP2 processor almost everything is better, faster and smoother. Let’s line up the differences between the latest 3 GoPros in this nifty little comparison table.
As you can see, the GoPro HERO 10 Blackon the surface appears to be similar to previous models, using quite a lot of the same features, but it’s under the hood that everything sees improvements.
Is it Worth Upgrading?
As with every new camera release, a sense of FOMO kicks in from users around the world. And the inevitable question is always, “Is it worth upgrading? You’ve read through our review, have a solid understanding of the new features and capabilities of the GoPro HERO10, and if you haven’t already made a decision on whether to buy it or not, we’re going to help you out right now.
You Don’t Have a GoPro
If you don’t already have a GoPro and are wondering whether or not you should bite the bullet and get one, then 100% yes, the HERO10 is worth the money! This camera is perfect for travel, sports, lifestyle and even vlogging, and thanks to its waterproof body, portability and easy smartphone connectivity, it sits pretty high on the list of being the perfect all-round travel camera too. You can literally connect your camera to the GoPro Quik app on your phone, wirelessly sync your footage, edit photos, make videos (using their ready-to-go templates), and in a matter of minutes you have epic content ready to upload straight to Instagram, TikTok, YouTube or Facebook as soon as you have an internet connection!
Stormy weather? No stress when you’re shooting on GoPro.
You Have a GoPro HERO8 or Earlier Model
If you have the HERO 8 or an earlier model and looking to upgrade, then absolutely yes, the HERO10 is a fantastic product that sits on another level compared to the previous products. Every part of the camera has been given an upgrade, and especially for people who like to vlog or take selfies, you’ll find the front LCD display a huge game changer over the HERO 8.
You Have a GoPro HERO9 Black
Now this is a hard one. In previous years we have always said that if you are using the previous GoPro camera, then unless you’re a professional user, it’s not worth upgrading. the HERO10 Black is a significant upgrade over the 9. That’s thanks to the GP2 processor, which makes everything smoother, faster and easier. The difference is very noticeable, and if you’re the kind of person who uses their camera a couple of times a week, it’s definitely worth considering an upgrade. But if you’re the kind of shooter that tends to stick to their smartphone for photos and videos, or also uses a DSLR or mirrorless setup in addition to your standard kit, then don’t stress – the HERO9 is still a fantastic camera.
Here’s an easy breakdown:
I use my GoPro more than 2x a week
DON’T WORRY IF:
I use my camera less than 2x a week
Also if you literally just bought a 9, don’t stress out and throw it away. It is still an amazing camera, and at the end of the day it’s all about learning how to use it and getting out there to create content, rather than always having the latest and greatest model.
Final Verdict – 9/10
You’ve made it to the end of our GoPro HERO10 review, and considering the features, quality, durability, size, design, ease of use and of course the price, we’ve decided to give it a massive 9/10. When they claimed it was ‘A New Era’ for the brand, it’s easy to fob it off as a simple marketing ploy. But in this case, we have to agree with them. Kudos GoPro, you’ve stepped things up another notch. If you do purchase the GoPro HERO 10 Black, we also recommend getting a GoPro subscription to their cloud storage service too.
Daisy can disassemble up to 1.2 million phones each year, helping Apple recover more valuable materials for recycling. The company has offered to license the patents related to Daisy for researchers and other electronics manufacturers developing their own disassembly processes.
Company also advances new disassembly technology as part of closed-loop goal, Apple released new details on the increased use of recycled content across its products. For the first time, the company introduced certified recycled gold, and more than doubled the use of recycled tungsten, rare earth elements, and cobalt. Nearly 20 percent of all material used in Apple products in 2021 was recycled, the highest-ever use of recycled content.
The company also shared new ways customers can celebrate Earth Day, including supporting World Wildlife Fund by using Apple Pay. With educational resources, curated content, and engaging activities across platforms, Apple customers can take opportunities to appreciate the beauty of nature from wherever they are, learn about key issues like climate change, and support causes and communities working to protect the planet.
“As people around the world join in celebrating Earth Day, we are making real progress in our work to address the climate crisis and to one day make our products without taking anything from the earth,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives. “Our rapid pace of innovation is already helping our teams use today’s products to build tomorrow’s, and as our global supply chain transitions to clean power, we are charting a path for other companies to follow.”
More Recycled and Responsibly Sourced Materials Across Apple Products
Apple has pioneered innovations in the recycling and sourcing of materials to spur industrywide change. To help its recycling partners build on this momentum worldwide, Apple today announced its newest recycling innovation, Taz, a machine that uses a groundbreaking approach to improve material recovery from traditional electronics recycling.
In 2021, 59 percent of all the aluminum Apple shipped in its products came from recycled sources, with many products featuring 100 percent recycled aluminum in the enclosure. Apple has also made significant progress toward the company’s goal to eliminate plastics from its packaging by 2025, with plastics accounting for just 4 percent of packaging in 2021. Since 2015, Apple has reduced plastic in its packaging by 75 percent.
Additionally, Apple products in 2021 included:
45 percent certified recycled rare earth elements, a significant increase since Apple introduced recycled rare earth elements in its devices.
30 percent certified recycled tin, with all new iPhone, iPad, AirPods, and Mac devices featuring 100 percent recycled tin in the solder of their main logic boards.
13 percent certified recycled cobalt, used in iPhone batteries that can be disassembled by Apple’s recycling robot Daisy and returned to market.
Certified recycled gold, featured — for the first time in any Apple product — in the plating of the main logic board and wire in the front camera and the rear cameras of iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro. To achieve this milestone, Apple pioneered industry-leading levels of traceability to build a gold supply chain of exclusively recycled content.
At the Material Recovery Lab in Austin, Texas, engineers and experts use a pilot-scale industrial electronics shredder for research and development. Apple’s newest recycling machine, Taz, was developed out of this process, designed to help conventional bulk electronics recyclers recover more precious materials.
Recovering more materials for use in future products helps reduce mining. From just one metric ton of iPhone components taken apart by Apple’s recycling robots, recyclers can recover the amount of gold and copper companies would typically extract from 2,000 metric tons of mined rock. Apple is also committed to extending the lifetime of its products through refurbishment. In 2021, Apple sent 12.2 million devices and accessories to new owners for reuse, extending their lifetime and reducing the need for future mining. Ultimately, Apple aims to use only renewable or recyclable materials in its products — a goal announced in 2017 that has charted the company’s pathway on design and material sourcing.
Taz, a machine that uses new shredder-like technology to separate magnets from audio modules and recover more rare earth elements, is the latest in a series of recycling advancements spearheaded by Apple. The company has also further expanded the capabilities of its patented iPhone disassembly robot Daisy to take apart 23 models of iPhone, and has offered to license those patents to other companies and researchers free of charge. An additional robot, Dave, disassembles Taptic Engines, helping to recover valuable rare earth magnets, tungsten, and steel.
2022 Environmental Progress Report
In addition to charting progress in recycling innovation and material stewardship, Apple’s newly released 2022 Environmental Progress Report highlights the company’s significant work to become carbon neutral across its global supply chain and the life cycle of every product, as well as progress reducing waste and promoting the safer use of materials in its products.
In a year when many other companies saw large increases in their footprints and the company’s revenue grew 33 percent, Apple’s net emissions remained flat. Apple has been carbon neutral for its global operations since 2020, and has relied on 100 percent renewable energy to power its offices, stores, and data centers since 2018.
Apple recently announced that its suppliers more than doubled their use of clean power over the last year, with over 10 gigawatts operational out of nearly 16 gigawatts in total commitments in the coming years. As of this month, 213 of the company’s major manufacturing partners have pledged to power all Apple production with renewable electricity across 25 countries. In 2021, these renewable projects avoided 13.9 million metric tons of carbon emissions, the equivalent to removing 3 million cars from the road for one year.
For more information about Apple’s commitment to protect the planet for future generations, explore the 2022 Environmental Progress Report.
Explore, Learn, and Take Action for Earth Day
In celebration of Earth Day 2022, Apple is sharing new ways for customers around the world to explore the beauty of the natural world, learn about pressing issues facing communities worldwide due to climate change, and take action to protect the planet.
Explore: Ahead of Earth Day, Apple Maps is making it easier than ever to find beautiful green spaces, family fun in nature, city walks, and trails with 25 new guides from Lonely Planet, AllTrails, and The Nature Conservancy in the US and Canada.
This Earth Day, Apple Maps is making it easier than ever to find beautiful green spaces, family fun in nature, city walks, and trails with 25 new guides from Lonely Planet, AllTrails, and The Nature Conservancy in the US and Canada.
To celebrate Earth Day, Apple Fitness+ subscribers can enjoy nature-inspired yoga, meditation, cycling, rowing, and treadmill workouts, as well as a new Time to Run episode that takes listeners through the beautiful sights and sounds of Yosemite National Park with an uplifting pop and rock playlist; and coaching that inspires you to take in the great outdoors, no matter where you’re running. A new episode of Time to Walkis also available this week with world-renowned scientist and environmentalist, Dr. Jane Goodall, who shares why she is willing to push past her fears for the sake of her work and what she has observed about the interconnectedness of all living things. And after completing any workout of 30 minutes or more on April 22, all Apple Watch users can earn a limited-edition award.
Fitness+ subscribers can take a walk with world-renowned primatologist and environmentalist Dr. Jane Goodall on a new Time to Walk episode.
Fitness+ subscribers can enjoy a new Time to Run episode featuring a route through Yosemite National Park. Additionally, all Apple Watch users can earn a limited-edition award after completing any workout of 30 minutes or more on April 22 (Earth Day).
Learn: On Earth Day, April 22, Apple customers can learn about the exciting environmental innovations behind iPhone 13 — including the Daisy recycling robot — with a new immersive augmented reality experience on Snapchat. And Apple Store locations worldwide are inviting customers to learn more about the company’s environmental commitments with special window decals.
In honor of Earth Day, Apple News, Apple Books, Apple Podcasts, and the Apple TV app will each feature curated global collections of content that offer in-depth opportunities to experience the natural world, learn about the climate crisis and the science behind it, and meet communities fighting for solutions. Highlights include a book collection curated by visual artist and children’s author Oliver Jeffers, and a collection of eye-opening films about humanity’s interdependent relationship with nature, curated by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal.
In honor of Earth Day, Apple Podcasts — along with Apple News, Apple Books, and the Apple TV app — will feature a curated collection with opportunities to learn more about the climate crisis.
Take Action: The App Store provides a single destination for users to discover apps that will help them to positively impact their communities and the planet — including by being able to track carbon footprints or connect with environmental grassroots organizations with apps like Earth Hero and Milkywire
Customers can also help protect the planet by using Apple Pay. Now through April 22, Applewill donate $1 to World Wildlife Fund for each purchase made with Apple Pay on apple.com, in the Apple Store app, or at an Apple Store.
Google has created a new emoji (variable) font with “Noto Emoji,” whose defining characteristic is a black-and-white design that tries to capture the “simplicity” of the format – and also happens to bring back the blobs.
Over time, emoji have become more detailed. Instead of representing broad concepts, there has been a trend to design emoji to be hyper realistic. This wouldn’t be a problem except skeuomorphism’s specificity has resulted in the exclusion of other similar concepts in your keyboard.
Google is bucking that trend toward realism with Noto Emoji by “removing as much detail as possible.” The goal with this set is to make emoji “more flexible, representing the idea of something instead of specifically what is in front of you.” For example, the dance emoji today clearly just represents one form of dancing to the detriment of other types.
Many resulted in 1:1 conversions, but there were several design challenges associated with simplification that prevented Google from just redrawing emoji in black-and-white, especially flags:
You can’t simply convert flags into black and white. You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Finland and Sweden. You could redraw the flags but that puts them at risk of being incorrect. Instead, we leveraged the ISO’s country codes. These sequences of letters are unique and represent each country.
Meanwhile, people in Noto Emoji are represented using Google’s blob characters:
Relatable without maintaining a distinction between genders. Google’s blob emoji were really something special. Cute, squishy, and remarkably friendly. We were able to bring back a little bit of what made them special while simultaneously discarding the parts that weren’t working. Most notably, the blobs’ facial expressions were wildly inconsistent but that was very easily fixed in black and white mode.
That said, one modern aspect of Noto Emoji is how it is a variable font with a weight grade that lets characters appear “light” or “bold.” There are also dark and light modes as well as the ability to change text/character color, like all other fronts.
Noto Emoji is open-sourced and available from Google Fonts today. It supports the latest Unicode 14.0 specification with 3,663 emojis in total.
The GoPro Hero 7 Black is now the entry-level model in GoPro‘s revamped lineup, thanks to the arrival of the GoPro Hero 9 Black. But this former flagship is far from a basic action camera – in fact, for most people it’s one of the best-value action cameras around.
Throughout GoPro’s history, there have been certain models that have represented big leaps forward – and the Hero 7 Black is one of them. It was the first GoPro to debut HyperSmooth image stabilization, which still stands up today as one of the best EIS systems you can find on an action camera.
While subsequent flagships have made this mode available in a wider range of shooting modes – it isn’t available in the Hero 7 Black’s for 2.7k/120p mode, for example – this first version of HyperSmooth remains a strong selling point, particularly compared to budget action cameras or older GoPros.
With its refreshed UI and the ability to shoot 4K/60p video, the Hero 7 Black is still a highly polished action camera that is a great value all-rounder for anyone who wants a waterproof ally for their smartphone or main camera.
GoPro Hero 7 Black features
4K video to 60p
While some may be disappointed to know that many of the core specs are essentially carbon copied from the Hero6 Black, GoPro’s thinking for this model was clearly less about boosting frame rates and packing more pixels, and more about improving the actual experience of using the device.
This means the Hero 7 Black still incorporates the same 12MP sensor and the same wide-angle lens, for example, and the top video specs of 4K at 60fps and Full HD to a maximum 240fps for 8x slowed-down footage are also unchanged. The myriad of additional sweeteners on top of this, however, make this a significantly more powerful camera than before.
The most significant of these is HyperSmooth, a form of video stabilization that GoPro ranks as being the equivalent to using a gimbal. A combination of hardware and software, rather than simply an upgraded optical stabilization system, this was developed in response to user feedback – indeed, this was apparently the number one request – and it presents a clear advantage for anyone who may find using a gimbal for their chosen thrill inconvenient.
GoPro isn’t shy about its capabilities, going as far as claiming that it’s the best in-camera video stabilization system not just of any action camera, but of any camera. On top of that, the means of its operation are said to have no additional penalty on battery life.
Unlike the Hero 6 Black, which only allows regular stabilization to be applied to 30fps when shooting in 4K, HyperSmooth can be used even when capturing 60fps footage at full resolution (though not at 4:3) on the Hero 7 Black. The only other time you can’t call upon it is when capturing Full HD footage at 240fps and 120fps footage, although standard standard stabilization is available at the latter frame rate.
TimeWarp video is a further new feature on the Hero 7 Black, one that combines the idea of regular frame-by-frame time-lapse shooting (which you can still do separately) with HyperSmooth – essentially, a stabilized hyperlapse. In essence, it allows you to capture time-lapse footage with the freedom to move the Hero 7 Black at all times. That’s right: time-lapse footage without a tripod, and whatever movement you want.
Voice Control is once again on hand, recognizing 12 separate commands such as “GoPro take a photo” and “GoPro start video recording”, which, between them, cover all the main tasks.
Audio performance was also revamped on the Hero 7 Black. GoPro expanded dynamic range, providing more natural bass tones and brighter mids, and also redesigned the microphone membrane to eliminate the vibrations that might be picked up, all the while ensuring it can capture more subtle sounds than before.
Easier to take photos
Another new option on the Hero 7 Black was SuperPhoto, something akin to a scene-intelligent auto option on a more conventional camera, which automates a handful of helpful features that you may not think to enable when capturing photos.
So, instead of calling on HDR when shooting scenes with a wide dynamic range, it will do it for you if you want it to. Similarly, the Hero 7 Black deploys multi-frame noise reduction for low-light scenes, if it feels the need to do so.
For the benefit of those who do want intervene and get creative, ProTune will give you freedom to adjust things like exposure compensation, white balance, ISO range, sharpness and so on. You can capture raw images in addition to JPEGs on the Hero 7 Black, and also shoot bursts of images at a maximum 30fps, telling the camera how many images over how long a duration you want it to capture.
The GoPro Hero7 Black also becomes the first Hero model with the capability to live-stream built right into it. This works with Facebook right now, but is set to shortly work with YouTube ad other channels too.
GoPro Hero 7 Black build and handling
Similar design to Hero 6 Black
Waterproof down to 10m/33ft
Improved UI with portrait orientation
The GoPro Hero 7 Black offers the same kind of rugged and largely rubbered body as the Hero 6 Black, although the sides of the devices are just as smooth as the front, rather than ridged. This also means the previous two-tone look is now gone, but you’ll likely have the GoPro in a case of some kind, so this makes very little difference in use.
Build quality of the Hero 7 Black feels just as solid as the Hero 6 Black. The two doors to the battery/card and USB/HDMI compartments can be a little fiddly to open, though the design is necessary to ensure waterproofing. Without a housing the camera can travel 10m/33ft safely underwater (just as before), although you can go even deeper with the optional Super Suit.
A small plastic frame that wraps around the GoPro Hero 7 Black and clips into place is provided as standard, and this can be mounted on an adhesive stand to keep the camera in place, in addition to many other mounts for helmets, handlebars and more.
One of the advantages of the newer GoPro Hero 8 Black is that it has built-in mounting prongs, which means you no longer need this frame. And indeed, first-time users of the Hero 7 Black are likely to be cautious and find some of this fiddly, as everything is necessarily tight so that it all stays in place when you’re using it in the kinds of expected conditions. But you do soon become used to how rough you need to be with it.
Turn the Hero 7 Black on and you can see just how much GoPro changed things around from its predecessor. There’s a refreshed UI, with key information such as current frame rate and resolution condensed into a smaller space, and green icons to show battery life and remaining cards space now easier to see against brighter subjects than the previous white ones.
The Hero 7 Black is also more smartphone-like in operation, with simple directional swipes to access different modes, captured footage/images and more. You can still alternate between shooting modes with a press of the Mode button on the side, but you can also swipe to do the same.
The UI on the Hero 7 Black also adapts to portrait orientation when you have the camera positioned this way, which makes it easier to operate. You can disable it if you think this will be more of a nuisance than a help, but it doesn’t seem to be so sensitive enough to warrant the average user needing to do this.
The UI now adjusts to a portrait orientation when you rotate the camera
The touchscreen on the Hero 7 Black bears the same 2-inch dimensions as its predecessors, and on the whole it’s generally responsive, but it occasionally fails to respond to touch, and on such a small display it can be annoying to have to jab the same function a few times.
Voice Commands are largely unchanged from before, although you can say ‘GoPro Capture’ and the camera will start recording or take a photo, depending on what mode you’re in. It will even respond to you saying ‘That was sick’ with a Hi-light, but if you’re not a teenager, you can simply say GoPro Hi-light’ to perform the same action. Or, as it happens, ‘oh shit’.
The Hero 7 Black generally responds well to a range of voice commands, although as you can probably imagine it’s not quite 100% reliable, and sometimes these need to be repeated a few times. It would also be good to add your own commands to the Hero 7 Black, which is one area we can see this evolving, although pretty much all key functions are covered already.
The Hero 7 Black is now the entry-level model in GoPro‘s new lineup, which means it now offers excellent value. It was the model that brought software leaps like HyperSmooth stabilization and TimeWarp, which still easily stand up today and have only really been refined by its successors. Video and stills quality is excellent, and it has built-in waterproofing without the need for a case. It isn’t compatible with GoPro’s new Mod accessories and lacks the Hero 9 Black’s front-facing screen. But if you just want a tough, reliable action camera with impressive image quality, it’s the best value GoPro you can buy.
+Great 4K video and image quality
+HyperSmooth is very effective
+TimeWarp is great fun
+Useful UI improvements
-Can struggle with voice commands
-Screen unresponsive at times
-Slo-mo footage only output through app or software