Insta360's One X2 includes a touchscreen to make panoramic captures easier

It offers improved image quality, bigger battery and IPX8 waterproofing.

Richard Lai/Engadget

Following the modular One R action cam from January, Insta360 is finally refreshing its two-year-old One X line for those who want similar image improvements but in a simpler setup. The aptly named One X2 is essentially the 360-edition One R repackaged into a candybar form factor, so not only can you mount it directly onto a monopod, but you also get a handy touchscreen for quickly checking your 360 shots before and after. Better yet, the One X2 has a much bigger removable battery — 1,630mAh gets you around 80 minutes of filming, which is 10 minutes more than the One R with its standard battery, and 20 minutes more than the One X.

Another benefit of this design is that it allows for better waterproofing, which is why the One X2 can survive a depth of up to 10 meters in water — doubling that of the One R — without a case. That said, you’ll still need to put on a specialized dive case or underwater lens guards for seamless stitching.

Despite the same 5.7K video resolution (at up to 30 fps), both the One X2 and the One R support the more efficient H.265 video encoding along with improved low-light performance plus stabilization, meaning you’ll get notably better video quality than the One X. Likewise, the One X2 benefits from a familiar list of camera modes and software treatments, namely Bullet Time mode, Starlapse mode, webcam mode, AquaVision color correction, MultiView export and more.

Insta360 One X2

Of course, the One X2 also delivers some new features. The “InstaPano” shooting mode, for instance, lets you take flat, “seamless ultra-panoramic” photos with just one click, and you can even preview your shot using the built-in screen. Once imported into your app, you can choose which part of this 360 “ring” you want to crop out for the JPG export. If you want to, you can also revert to the 360 form for the full VR view.

Another noteworthy improvement on this new camera is audio. Thanks to its four microphones, the One X2 is able to do directional audio capture, so that in video playback, you get an audio boost according to your viewing direction. Insta360 adds that its new smart wind-reduction algorithm should perform better than before, but we’ll have to hear it to believe it.

Insta360 Bullet Time Cord with One X2.
Richard Lai/Engadget

Announced alongside the One X2 is the new “Bullet Time Cord” accessory, which replaces the chunky “Bullet Time” handle. Simply mount the camera onto the end of the cord, switch to “Bullet Time” mode, start recording, then swing the camera around on the same plane a few times. If all goes well, the result is a cool slow-motion video which literally puts you in the center.

Interestingly, the One X2 is priced at $429.99 which is the same as the 360-edition One R, so between the two, it would mainly depend on whether you prefer convenience over versatility. The new camera is already available for ordering on Insta360’s website; just make sure you also get yourself a selfie stick, a mini tripod and maybe a Bullet Time Cord as well to get the most out of your 360 camera.