Best 360-Degree Cameras

Why the Samsung Gear 360 is the best

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Samsung Gear 360

What it really comes down to with this camera is convenience and price. The Gear 360 software is noticeably easier to use than just about all of the other camera apps out there. You have quick access to more features, editing images and video is easier, and there's a lot that can be done with exposure and white balance settings to make sure you get the perfect shot. Transferring images in large batches to your phone is easy as well and noticeably faster than most cameras.

As for price, the Gear 360 launched at nearly one third the price of the original 360-degree camera Samsung released last year. That's a considerable markdown when you consider how expensive a lot of these cameras are, and even though this camera doesn't have the highest megapixel count, the photos you get are fantastic.

Samsung's motivation for making this camera easy to get and easier to use is simple: more people making videos that can be enjoyed inside the Samsung Gear VR headset is great for that ecosystem. To that end, the Gear 360 is one of the best 360-degree camera experiences you can get today.


There are a lot of great reasons to start exploring 360-degree photography. If you're looking for the best camera to really dive in and start having fun, get the Gear 360 from Samsung. If you're interested in the best sphere you can capture and love playing with settings to get the perfect shot, the Ricoh Theta S is what you want. If you're mostly looking to play and don't want to spend a bunch of money, get the Insta360 Air.

Updated September 2017: The Samsung Gear 360 is still the best 360-degree camera you can buy.

Russell Holly

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

  • Let's see how the Samsung 360 Gear costs. Which btw I am looking forward to. Because it's the best from all those other cameras. And that's a undeniable fact! Posted with ❤love❤
  • u can get it on Amazon today. $499.00 I believe.
  • $349 now announced Posted via the Android Central App
  • I got my lg cam a week or so ago.... I am not digging it at all honestly. Clunky for sure, the software..... Oh the software. I'm definitely looking forward to what else comes out in the near future. Posted via what ever tickles me at the time.
  • I think I'll end up buying the LG one. Not too expensive, and decent. I'll buy yours from you, if you want to get rid of it.
  • I got my LG cam last week too and had a blast making my first video and sharing it. Still amazed by the technology and at $199, it was a no-brainer for early adoption. Sure, there's room for improvement but this is still so new at the consumer level. The videos look decent on Facebook and YouTube. And yes, the wifi connection/disconnecting thing is odd, but to me, that's a small hurdle. In a few years, this will be ironed out.
  • I don't think the world needs any 360° pictures/videos of my cat or dog laying around, which is what I photograph the most. I'll pass...
  • I have a Theta S but I think the image quality is still pretty bad lol. Here are some of the photos I took with Theta S: Posted via the Android Central App
  • I actually think that your album looks better than the samples at the Ricoh website. The spheres don't have the bubble effect that made everything look very distorted. Very nice pictures. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Those actually look pretty good. A lot better than the LG 360 Cam.
  • Having fun with my LG cam. Decent for the cheapest option of them all. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Do you think the stitch lines on the Samsung product can be fixed with a software patch or upgrade? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Are you back Phil?
  • I like the LG 360. It is easy to use and I've had no problems so far. You can't beat the price for what you get.
  • If only i had money, i would every single gafget of lg yep
  • Nikon KeyMission 360?
  • Trying SVPRO dual lens vr camera that you can create yourself 3d vr video.
  • About the Theta S, "your phone will be connected via Wifi Direct" Actually, no.. it's connected by good old fashioned WiFi. The Theta acts as an access point and you connect to it either manually (through the WiFi settings) or through the app. I wish it WAS WiFi Direct because with that, you don't have to drop your WiFi access. Also, Ricoh has a lower cost version of the Theta out now... The Theta SC, which goes for about $100 less and has most of the same features as the S.
  • Nokia?
    Regurgitated old story. Lazy
  • Verizon has the 360 4k with a $50 Visa gift card right now, in case you were trying to pick one up. Free shipping. Or for $49 if you purchase an S8/S8+ from major carriers from 5/25 to mid June
  • I use the Theta SC, which is a bit smaller than the S and it gives great photos with no noticeable seam except straight down. The Theta is also much easier to slip into your pocket than a spherical camera, it takes pics without a phone and has a 5s timer. Also, make sure you get a monopod or selfie stick or you'll just end up with big pictures of your hand. If you want to share your photos you can use or add a WordPress plugin.
  • How was the Ricoh runner up..should of been winner!
  • I have read decent reviews about the Gear 360 (2016 and 2107 versions) as a still camera and those are mostly accurate. However, trying to use it as a video camera is fraught with problems. First, the camera will easily overheat and shut down in about 20 minutes, even in temps around 75F and in the shade. The connection to the phone (S7) will crash often using the new or old Gear 360 app. It is also excruciatingly slow to stitch videos on the phone. 30 minutes of video can take several hours to stitch. Read the dismal app reviews on Google Play and you'll get an idea on how bad it really is. Samsung claims the 2016 version of the camera is wifi enabled but good luck finding any documentation on it. I personally don't think it exists. The desktop software (made by Cyberlink) will also crash when stitching videos and is also slow, although not as slow as using the phone. It also has issues with some Nvidia video cards where is puts a black blob in the middle of the stitched images. Cyberlink did provide a "fix" but that fix introduces a wobbled in the stitched videos. FInally, Samsung "Support" is about as bad as it gets. I have attempted to get answers via the phone, chat, email, Samsung Community forums and even their Facebook page. If you happen to get someone to answer your question good luck getting the right answer. In many cases, be prepared to simply be ignored. The way Samsung handled the Note 7 mess is EXACTLY how they treat customers who complain about the myriad of problems with this camera. They deny, deny, deny then when you prove that your problem is real, then ignore, ignore, ignore. If you plan to shoot 360 video, run away from the Gear 360.
  • It will be interesting to see how the Essential camera quality compares.
  • When are we getting 180 cams?
  • Just got my lg 360 cam , looks good :)
  • I'm getting started in 360 video, so I purchased the Insta360 Air and love it. Very easy to use and for the price, it does well with pics and vids. With that said, I am now waiting for the Insta360 One for Android powered devices to drop.
  • Doesn't the Gear 360 only work with SAMSUNG Android phones? Or does the latest version of the device or software for it work on all android phones?
  • It works with Samsung phones and iPhones (yes...iPhones)...
  • You can it free with a Note8 pre-order
  • Picked up a Gear 360 (2017) model new for $85 on CL. I'm really enjoying it!
  • "New" and "CL" are incompatible. "New" means unopened original packaging, proof of purchase, and warranty.
  • Cool story, bro.
  • I'm not sure I can say the Samsung Gear 360 is best since it only really works with a Samsung phone or an iPhone.