Insta360 Nano S vs Insta360 Nano: What’s changed?

9th January 2018

Insta360 recently announced the Insta360 Nano S at CES 2018, an update to the Insta360 Nano released in 2016. The original Nano was one of the first 360 cameras to be designed as an accessory to an iPhone. It attaches directly to your phone and you control the camera with an app.

The Insta360 Nano S is designed to be used in exactly the same way, but comes fitted with new features and upgraded optics. Let’s find out exactly what the difference is between the original Insta360 Nano and the new Insta360 Nano S, and whether it’s worth upgrading.

Insta360 Nano vs Insta360 Nano S

SpecsInsta360 NanoInsta360 Nano S
Lenses 2 x f/2.0 2 x Sony f/2.2
Video Resolution 3040 x 1520 @ 30 fps 3840 x 1920 @30fps
Photo Resolution 4096 x 2048 (8mp) 6272 x 3136 (20mp)
360 Live Stream Yes Yes + FreeCast (user controls visual perspective)
Stabilization Yes, uses iPhone Gyroscope
Waterproof No No
Shockproof No No
Memory MicoSD up to 64GB MicoSD up to 128GB
Battery 800 mAh - (70 minutes) 800 mAh (60 minutes)
Audio 1 x Microphone 1 x Microphone
Compatibility iOS smartphones iPhone X, iPhone8/8 plus, iPhone 7/7 plus, iPhone 6s/6s plus, iPhone 6/6 plus
Price Check Amazon Check Amazon

So what’s changed? Quite a lot actually. The original Nano was limited to 3K video and 8mp photos, both of which are considered obsolete now. The new Nano S can shoot 4K video and 20mp photos, bringing it in line with the competition. The Nano S should therefore be able to produce much better quality 360 images and video, let’s take a look at some examples to see if that’s true.

Insta360 Nano Example 

Nano S 360 Video Example

Remember to watch both videos at the highest quality settings. The first thing you’ll notice is that the original Nano is limited to 1440p onYouTube, while the Nano S can go all the way to 4K which looks a lot sharper. Now the two videos are shot in different situations and lighting conditions, but even so the Nano S is clearly able to shoot clearer and sharper video. Saying that, the video is still pretty blown out and the colors are not that great, this doesn’t seem to be a massive improvement despite the bump in pixels.

There has been a huge increase in photography power in the new Nano, which can now shoot at 20mp compared to just 8 previously. 20 megapixels is about the minimum for very good 360 photos, so if you enjoyed taking 360 photos with your original Nano then you should see a huge improvement in quality with the Nano S

Other improvements include a larger memory capacity and compatibility with the latest iPhone models, although batter power seems to have suffered a slight decrease.



The main difference between the two cameras isn’t really the hardware, but the software used to power it. The Insta360 Nano has two new features that sets it apart from it’s older brother. One is 360 video calling and the other is multiview live-streaming. 360 video calling lets you call others using your 360 camera and show them the entier envirnment around you without moving your camera.

Multiview lets you split your screen into several sections, each of which is recording a separate area. This is not a 360 video but makes use of the cameras ability to capture in 360

You can live stream using multi-view, or capture video and edit it later to choose the best angles to show.

These two features are exclusive to the Insta360 Nano S, but won’t be coming to the original Nano. Why? Because these kinds of videos require a large resolution to look even half decent, and the 3K Nano can’t handle it.

Which one is worth buying?

The original Insta360 Nano is looking pretty dated as of now. The lack of 4K video is a big downside and no new software is likely to be coming its way. The new Nano S does update the hardware to match up to 2018 standards, so it’s definitely a big upgrade. If you enjoyed the form factor of the Nano and want to up your game in terms of quality, then the Nano S will likely make you happy.

I’d seriously consider whether you are going to be using the two main features of the Nano S, namely 360 video chat and multiview live-streaming, because if not you may want to consider one of the other 360 cameras for iPhone’s available now.

The Insta360 Nano S is available now on Amazon: Click here to Buy




Owner of Writer, photographer and videographer. You can see my YouTube channel for guides of how to shoot 360 video. I've written for The Times, Digital Photography School and Sunday Express. 

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