Insta360 One X2 Review: Upgraded In All the Right Places

12th November 2020

It’s been two years since the Insta360 One X became the most popular 360 camera ever thanks to its compact design, amazing stabilization software, decent video quality and feature packed app. Enter the Insta360 One X2 which builds on this solid platform with some much welcomed improvements.

In this Insta360 One X2 review I’ll tell you everything you need to know about this new flagship 360 camera. I’ve been using the camera for a few weeks and have also owned every other Insta360 camera.  I’ll be exploring the changes made since the last version, the new design, video & photo quality as well as shooting tips & tricks.

insta360 one x2 review

The One X2 comes less than a year after Insta360 released the One R, a modular camera with 3 different lenses. While both cameras can shoot 360 video the One X2 is not meant as a replacement for the One R and both will be sold and supported alongside each other.

9 Total Score
Insta360 One X2 Review

Keeps everything you loved about the One X and makes improvements where they were badly needed

  • New Rugged Design
  • Higher Quality Video
  • Waterproof
  • Touchscreen
  • Much Better Battery Life
  • Pureshot Photo Mode
  • No Resolution Boost
User Rating: 3.25 (4 votes)
Insta360 One X2
Insta360 One X2
A durable, waterproof, high-end 360 camera with excellent video and photo capabilities.

Insa360 One X2 Specs

SpecsInsta360 One X2
  • 5.7K @30fps, 24fps, 25fps
  • 4K @50fps, 30fps
  • 3K @ 100fps
Bit Rate 120MBPS
  • insv (can be exported via App or Studio),
  • mp4 (enable in-camera FlowState Stabilization),
  • supports LOG and HDR videos
  • Standard, 
  • HDR, 
  • Timelapse, 
  • TimeShift,
  • Bullet Time
  • Single Lens
Coding H.264, H.265
Audio Ambisonic
Livestream Yes - 4K
Resolution 18.4MP
  • Standard
  • HDR
  • Burst
  • Interval
  • Night Shot
  • Pureshot
  • insp
  • RAW
Exposure Modes Auto, Manual (Shutter 1/8000s-120s, ISO 100-3200), Shutter Priority (1/8000s-2s), ISO Priority (100-3200)
White Balance
  • Auto
  • 2700K
  • 4000K
  • 5000K
  • 6500K
Waterproof Yes - 10 metres
Battery 70 Minutes of Video
Special Features Invisible Selfie Stick, Re-framing App, Waterproof Design
Where to Buy Insta360

Some of the new features and improvements build into the X2 include improved color technology, higher bit rate video, waterproof design, improved build quality, longer battery life & improved audio quality. Are these new features enough of an upgrade? Let’s find out!

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One X2 Video Review

If you prefer to watch rather than read then this comprehensive video review will tell you everything you need to know!

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One X2 Design & Build Quality

The One X2 looks pretty similar to the previous One X but with some important changes. The candy bar shape has been retained as well as the dual lenses protruding at the top of the camera. Compared to the previous version the One X2 is slightly thicker and a bit heavier but it’s still easily able to fit in a trouser pocket.

insta360 one x2 review

Most of the positives that made the One X a popular camera design have been retained. The improvements lye in the addition of a circular touch LCD display for easy control over all camera functions, much improved build quality and full waterproofing without the need of a case.

The body of the One X2 is comprised of a hardened plastic on each face and textured rubber on the outer edges. The rubber makes it easy to grip and less likely to slip out of your hands. The touch screen is super responsive and gives you full manual control over the camera without needing to connect to the App. A series of locking mechanisms keeps the removable battery water tight, as well as the USB C port. Yellow indicators show when the lock is fully in place so you know it’s safe to use in a wet/dirty envirnment.

insta360 one x2 review

The design is a considerable improvement on all previous Insta360 cameras which have been known to be made of rather cheap materials or with some obvious design flaws. In contrast the company seems to have listened to critics and designed the One X2 with longevity in mind.

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Video Quality

There is no headline grabbing upgrade in terms of video resolution. Like the Insta360 One X & One R the resolution is capped at 5.7K @30fps, which seems to be the upper limit for all 360 action cameras. There may be some disappointment that the resolution could be upgraded to 8K or even 5K @ 60fps. I don’t think the technology is quite there yet to allow for these resolutions to work reliably in a small action camera; maybe in a few years.

That doesn’t mean to say there hasn’t been some improvement compared to other 360 cameras. The One X2 shoots at a higher bit rate, uses better color technology and it seems to use an improved sensor to better capture details & low light video. The difference is noticeable, particularly when compared to the original One X.

insta360 one x2 review

The limitations of 360 video still remain. When shooting 5.7K video and reframing the resulting video look more like 720p; what you will notice is less noise, better colors and improved dynamic range.

insta360 one x2 review

Other options include shooting 4K @50fps which might be a good idea when shooting faster moving action shots. [email protected] is the best slow motion option and is best used in combination with the bullet time video mode. You can also shoot at the maximum resolution at 25 and 24fps for a more cinematic look.

The design of the One X2 is perfect for achieving the “invisible selfie stick” effect, which is where you can make the camera seem like it’s floating using a certain type of selfie stick.

insta360 one x2 review

For those who like to have full control over their video appearance the One X2 retains the ability to shoot in LOG mode, giving you full control over color and contrast. The camera performs worst in dark/low light situations and you can still expect to see a lot of noise. Adjusting the shutter speed and ISO can help somewhat.

The magic of 360 video is the ability to create some pretty epic looking shots that is just not possible with any other type of camera. This is partly down to the invisible selfie stick effect which is once again easily achievable with the One X2 when using the right stick. You’ll be able to achieve impossible looking action shots using a simple accessory.

Insta360 One X2
Insta360 One X2
A durable, waterproof, high-end 360 camera with excellent video and photo capabilities.
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Steady Cam Mode

A brand new addition to the One X2 is the steady cam mode. This mode uses just one of the two lenses to shoot “normal” non 360 video at a maximum resolution of 1440p @ 30 or 50fps. This mode is a useful addition for when shooting in 360 is not required. In this mode you’ll use the camera to just like your phone or any other action camera. While the quality won’t match up to any phone made in the last 3 years, this mode does include Insta360’s amazing stabilization software that ensures your video is super smooth.

While I’m not blown away by the video quality of the One X2. it easily matches up to the other top 360 camera out right now like the GoPro Max and One R; and with Insta360’s new Vivid profile as well as the easy to use editing app for color correction, you’ll be able to squeeze out the best looking video possible without much fuss.

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What made Insta360 cameras so popular is the amazing stabilization technology that allows you to shoot crazy action shots and still come out with smooth video. Flowstate stabilization as the company calls it has been a staple of every Insta360 camera of the past few years and the One X2 is no exception.

I’ve tested the camera while talking, running, cycling, jumping and in every case it managed to remove the bumps, jolts and make it seem like I was barely moving at all. Horizon lock can ensure your camera is focussed in single direction and that the horizon remains flat. The software has had some minor upgrades since the last camera but the end result is broadly the same.

This stabilization technology, in addition to the new rugged and waterproof design, makes the One X2 a contender for best action camera of the year, at least in terms of creative potential.

See Also: Insta360 One X2 vs One R vs One X

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The most popular use of 360 cameras when it comes to photography is virtual tours. I will probably be asked 100 times if the Insta360 One X2 can be used to create virtual tours. The answer: technically yes, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

While the One X2 features some improved photography features it’s still very much a secondary use of the camera. Photo resolution is just over 18mp which isn’t much of an improvement on the last version. One new addition is a “pureshot” mode which automatically created bracketed images which can give a big boost to dynamic range, particularly in low light environments.

insta360 one x2 purshot

one x2 purshot

You also have the option to shoot RAW images to get the maximum quality possible, which can be quite impressive if you are half decent at editing in Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop.

The reason I wouldn’t recommend the One X2 for virtual tours is the limitation of the small sensors. Virtual tours require a quality that the One X2 is just never going to be capable of; for that you need a camera like the Ricoh Theta Z1 with its dual 1 inch sensors. For social media and casual shooting the One X2 photography options are ideal, but not good enough for professional use.

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Insta360 One X2 Review: App

Probably the second best reason to get the One X2 (after stabilization) is the App. Insta360 has continued to develop an impressive video editing app for its range of cameras. The Insta360 App allows you to reframe your videos quickly and easily, includes an AI editor that will do most of the work for you and has a dozen unique effects which it can automatically create.

While the App isn’t perfect and requires a pretty powerful phone to work properly, you have to give it to Insta360 for making the most of 360 video in every way they can imagine. Here’s a few of my top Insta360 App features, however you’ll find a lot more when you explore the app for yourself.

Deep Track

This feature allows you to select a person or object in your video which the camera will follow for as long as you need. Even if the object goes out of view the AI powered tracking feature will keep tracking. It’s a great feature for action shots involving multiple people such as skiing, skating and cycling; it also allows for super easy vlog editing where you need one person to be the focus of the video.

Auto TimeShift

Timeshift video mode is a moving timelapse which looks completely awesome. You shoot a timeshift by holding your camera still and walking for 5-10 minutes. When put into the app the AI editor will automatically create the timeshift with movements, music and speed adjusted. It’s my favourite type of video to shoot with an Insta360 camera.

Shadow Clone

Another unique use of 360 video and an easy way to create some epic shots. When shot correctly (the app will explain how) you can create clones of yourself fin a single video with just a few taps. You can also create moving clones where the camera follows you around.

Many different effects are available in the Shot Lab. Some are a bit gimmicky but some are pretty awesome for a short, unique video and would make you stand out on platforms like TicTok.

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Other Features

Battery Life: The battery life of the One X2 has been hugely improved compared to the weak battery on the One X. Insta360 claims a 55% improvement and I can pretty much conform that. It’s also great that the battery is easily removable so you can just slot another one in if you have a spare.

Audio: I also mentioned at the start of this review that the audio quality has been improved and will soon feature ambisonic audio (360 audio). There are 4 microphones on the One X2 which is a significant boost. The Audio will still not match up to any dedicated external audio device but should be fine for vlogging as long as conditions aren’t too windy.

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Insta360 One X2 Review: Summary

I really loved the original Insta360 One X, in fact I think it’s the 360 camera I used the most over the past few years even when others were coming thick and fast. The One X2 feels like a real upgrade which retains everything I loved about the One X and improved upon its main weaknesses.

Some people were disappointed when the One R ditched the easy to handle form factor in favour of a modular design, which has its own strengths and weaknesses. Anyone who was in that camp should be delighted with the One X2.

You’re not going to see a huge leap in video quality but the slight improvement is still notable. What you will notice is a much improved build quality, easier to use design and more video/software editing options than any 360 camera ever.

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Where to Buy

Hopefulyl this Insta360 One X2 review has helped you decide if it’s the right camera for you. You can get the One X2 from Insta360’s website no matter where in the world you are.

Insta360 One X2
Insta360 One X2
A durable, waterproof, high-end 360 camera with excellent video and photo capabilities.


See Also: One X2 vs GoPro Max

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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