Photo resolution: 5760 x 2880
Video resolution: 3840 x 1920/30fps
Internal storage: 14.4GB
Battery: 720mAh (approx. 100 photos, 30 mins video)
Size: 5.5 inches (length), 0.75 inches (diameter)
Weight: 2.1 ounces
The Iqui, a new 360 camera from the startup Vecnos, is meant to make taking — and more importantly, sharing — 360 photos and video a lot easier. This pen-shaped camera slips in and out of your pocket and is ready to snap a picture in seconds. But taking a photo is merely the first step; Iqui’s app then takes your photo and turns it into a mini-movie, which you can then share with the rest of the world. Will the Iqui be the one to popularize 360 cameras with the masses? Read the rest of our Iqui camera hands on review to see if it has the potential to be one of the best 360 cameras.
Editor’s Note: Vecnos sent us an Iqui camera to test prior to its launch, using an early version of the company’s app. We will update this hands-on review after a final version of the app is released in the Google Play and Apple App Store.
Iqui camera: Price and availability
The Iqui camera will go on sale on October 1 for $299.
Iqui camera: Design
While the category is still relatively new, 360 cameras have started to settle into one of two designs: One that resembles traditional action cameras, or a stick-style shape that lends itself to being carried in your pocket, and taken out when the moment strikes.
The pen-shaped Iqui is definitely in the latter camp, though it has a unique design that’s a throwback to when companies were still figuring out how consumers were going to use 360 cameras.
The Iqui is the size of a highlighter pen, but with a bit more heft. At one end are four cameras (three arrayed around the sides, and one on the tip). Further down is a power button, a shutter button, and a third button that lets you select between photo and video modes. There’s no removable storage, and the camera charges by docking into a proprietary USB-powered cradle.
Its pen-shaped design made it easy to slip into my pocket and carry around without noticing it, but if you’re planning to do so, be sure to use the included cloth bag; the camera picked up a few scuff marks from where it rubbed against my keys.
Taking a photo with the Iqui is as simple as turning it on and pressing the shutter. The camera turned on in less than a second, and was ready to shoot.
Iqui camera: Photo quality
A photo taken on a sunny day was clear and bright with vivid colors; the maroon of my hat was crisp, and was offset nicely against the blue sky and my green jacket. Photos taken on overcast days exhibited more graininess, and there was a lack of detail in shadows.
Iqui camera: App
After you’ve uploaded your photos to the Iquispin app, you have the option to create 10-second “movies,” where the app will rotate the image to show everyone in it. The app has four templates for selfie photos, six for small groups, and four for large groups.
Each template has a particular theme, such as Mystical Place, Twinkling Stars, and Sparkling Planet, and rotates and zooms the camera view in a different manner. All templates let you add animations, such as hearts, confetti, and balloons, to give it a more fun vibe.
Once you choose the template and any animations, the app then lets you save and share the completed video to the social media account of your choice. However, that’s about the extent of what you can do with your photos and video.
“Motion” stills export as MP4 videos at 720p. If you want an unadulterated copy of your photos or videos, they’re stored to your phone.
I tested the Iquispin app on an Android phone; this app, which is available for both Android and iOS users, lets you work with 360 images from most any 360 camera, but the iOS version does not let you control the Iqui camera. When the camera goes on sale, a full-fledged version of the app will be available for both Android and iPhone owners.
Iqui camera: Outlook
I’m reserving my final judgment on the Iqui until the official app is available to consumers, but the camera looks to be a pretty good device for its intended audience. The Iqui’s design makes it one of the easiest 360 cameras to carry around, and for the price, it takes pretty good photos.
Where Vecnos will need to do more work, though, is with its app. While I get that Vecnos is trying to keep things simple, Insta360 has a much more sophisticated app, which lets you do things such as track particular individuals and lets you edit videos without having to download them to your phone first. Admittedly, Insta360’s cameras are more expensive, but at the very least, the Iqui app needs to add more Instagram-style filters and features if it wants to appeal to that market.