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GoPro Hero11 Black vs. GoPro Hero11 Black Mini: Which is best for your next adventure?

GoPro hero11 black vs hero11 black mini
(Image credit: GoPro)

Our GoPro Hero11 Black vs. GoPro Hero11 Black Mini comparison is here to help you decide which action camera is best for you.

Yes, for the first time in a long while, GoPro has two action cameras on the market: The GoPro Hero11 Black, and the GoPro Hero11 Black Mini. While the Hero11 Black has the same design as last year’s GoPro Hero10 Black, the Hero11 Black Mini resurrects the smaller, squarer form of the GoPro Session, an action camera the company discontinued after 2016.

So which camera is best for you? We break down the specs and features of each, so you can better choose which of the best action cameras you should take on your next adventure.

GoPro Hero11 Black vs. Hero11 Black Mini: Price

If you don’t have a GoPro subscription, the Hero11 Black will cost $499 and the Hero11 Black Mini will cost $399. If you do have a subscription (which costs $50/year), the price for each model drops by $100.

The Hero11 Black is currently available, while the Hero11 Black Mini will go on sale October 25.

GoPro Hero11 Black vs. Hero11 Black Mini: Specs

Hero 11 BlackHero 11 Black Mini
Price$499$399
Size2.8 x 2 x 1.3 inches2.1 x 2 x 1.5 inches
Weight5.4 ounces4.7 ounces
Image sensor1/1.9-inch1/1.9-inch
Max video resolution5.3K/60 fps5.3K/60 fps
Battery1720 mAh1500 mAh
Display2.27 inchesnone

GoPro Hero11 Black vs. Hero11 Black Mini: Design

GoPro Hero 11 Black screen

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The most obvious difference is that the Hero11 Black is larger and heavier than the Hero11 Black Mini. Also, there’s no rear display on the Mini, though there is a small readout next to the camera’s Record button. If you want to change any of the Mini’s settings, you’ll have to do it via the GoPro Quik app. 

Unlike the older Session, where the camera lens occupied the entire front of the camera, the Hero11’s camera only takes up a corner of the front. There’s also only one button on the Mini — a large Record button on the top (the Hero11 Black has a Power and a Record button). The Mini is designed to be in a sort of “ready” state — just press Record, and the camera will turn on and start taping. 

The Black Mini (2.1 x 2 x 1.5 inches) is the same height as the Black (2.8 x 2 x 1.3 inches) and slightly thicker, but it’s also narrower. The Mini is also lighter, at 4.7 ounces to the Black’s 5.4 ounces. That’s not much of a difference — the old Session cameras weighed in at around 2.6 ounces — but on your head, every little bit counts.

While smaller than the Black, the Mini is still a bit larger than the long-discontinued GoPro Session 5, which measured 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.4 inches. 

GoPro Hero11 Black mini

(Image credit: GoPro)

Cleverly, the Mini also has the GoPro mounting “fingers” on both the bottom and back, which should give you more options when attaching it to a helmet, or to some of the best GoPro accessories. However, because the Mini is newer, as of now there are no “Mods” available — the add-on cases from GoPro that give you a better microphone, for instance.

While we haven't had a chance to go hands-on with it yet, by the looks of the images, the rear of the Mini could get a bit toasty. It has fins, which would indicate that it's used as a heat sink, and there's a warning label that the back can get hot.

GoPro Hero11 Black vs. Hero11 Black Mini: Video and photo capabilities

Despite their differing sizes, both the Hero11 Black and Hero11 Black Mini have the same image sensor, a 27-megapixel 1/1.9-inch sensor with an 8:7 aspect ratio, the largest to date on any GoPro camera. As such, both cameras can record video at 5.3K/60 fps, as well as 4K/120 fps and 2.7K/240 fps. 

However, only the Hero11 Black lets you manually adjust the exposure, and it alone has a burst photo and night photo mode. 

Because both cameras can also use GoPro’s Max Lens mod, which provides an even wider field of view. 

GoPro Hero11 Black vs. Hero11 Black Mini: Features

For the most part, the Hero11 Black and the Hero11 Black Mini have the same functions, but there are a few other things you get with the Black that you don’t get with the Mini.

For starters, the Mini lacks scheduled capture, so you can’t program it to turn on at a specified time. It’s a handy feature if you want to record star trails, but don’t want to stay up until 3 AM to turn the camera on. Similarly, only the Black has Duration capture and Hindsight mode, a useful feature if you think you missed something. 

The other big feature found on the Black that’s not on the Mini is webcam mode. As people started to work from home during the pandemic and webcams were in short supply, GoPro updated the firmware for its cameras so you can use a GoPro as a webcam. While webcam mode will be available for the Hero11 Black, it’s not available for the Mini.

GoPro Hero11 Black vs. Hero11 Black Mini: Battery life

The Hero11 Black comes with a removable 1720mAh battery that the company says will get you up to 80 minutes of recording 5.3K/30 fps, and 137 minutes of 1080p recording time. 

By comparison (and necessity), the Mini has a smaller 1500 mAh battery that is nonremovable. GoPro says that you should expect about 10-15 percent less runtime than the Hero10 Black, so you should expect about an hour out of the Mini.

GoPro Hero11 Black vs. Hero11 Black Mini: What’s best for you?

While we have yet to test the GoPro Hero11 Black Mini, our own experiences for our GoPro Hero11 Black review would indicate that the Mini will perform equally well. So, whether you opt for the Mini or the Black will ultimately come down to how you plan to use the camera. 

Granted, the Hero11 Black Mini isn’t all that much lighter than the Hero11 Black — we’re talking a difference of 0.7 ounces — but its smaller size and dual mounting points should make it better suited for helmets. However, if your needs go beyond action shots — if, for example, you plan on shooting a lot of star trails — then the Hero11 Black is the best option. 

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.