Akaso Brave 6 Plus 4K Action Camera Review

 
Akaso Brave 6 Plus 4K Action Camera Review

Buy it at Amazon: Akaso Brave 6 Plus 4K Action Camera [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Inexpensive 4K action camera with plenty of features, decent video but tinny audio.

You’ll receive the action camera in a waterproof housing, three bags of accessories, and a quick start guide. In the first bag of accessories you’ll find a number of different mounts, plates, and grips that you can use to attach the camera to different surfaces and equipment with, or without the waterproof housing on it. There are also additional mounting arms and straps you can use. In the accessory bag marked '2' are two batteries, a charger, another strap, and a remote control shutter. In the third accessory bag is a microfiber cleaning cloth, USB charging cable, zip ties, sticky pads, an extra door for the case, and a metal wire tether. You can charge both batteries in the dual charger simultaneously; just seat them in the charger, tab side up and plug in the USB cable. When the batteries are charging the LEDs will be red and they turn blue when the batteries are fully charged. On a full charge, the camera runs with the LCD on for about an hour of recording time.

The camera comes pre-installed in the waterproof housing with a clip mount on the bottom compatible with the included mounting plates. To open the case, pull out and up on the latch on the right-hand side and open the door, then you can take the camera out. This waterproof housing is able to protect the camera to depths of 130 feet and features a clear lens protector, external buttons for power, menu selection and record. To close the case, hook the latch to the back of the door first, then snap it shut. You can peel the opening instructions off of the back of the door and the protective film on the front over the lens.

The camera measures 2.25”W x 1.5”L x 7/8” D, or 1-1/8” including the lens. The camera itself only weighs 3 oz, with the battery installed. On the front is the power button and 20MP lens. On the right-hand side is the battery door which slides up and flips open on the spring. Just above the battery compartment is the microSD card slot, though one is not included. On top of the camera you have the ok/menu button and navigation keys. On the back is a 2 inch diagonal LCD screen and on the left side is the external speaker and this rubber door covers the USB-C charging port and micro HDMI output port. For best viewing, peel off the protective film on the back of the camera and don’t forget to remove the film on the front lens as well.

After powering on the camera, you can change settings and modes by tapping or swiping the touchscreen LCD, though navigation is a bit clunky. For example, swiping up brings up a menu of modes. But also swiping left or right allows you to switch between photo and video mode, but not playback mode. For that, you’ll need to switch modes by short pressing the power button to cycle through the three modes. Swipe down for a quick access menu for WiFi, voice commands, lock, or power off. It’s unclear whether or not the lock actually does anything because it doesn’t lock the screen, and it also doesn’t protect your files from getting deleted, so that one’s a mystery to me. Also, when changing the settings, sometimes menu items or icons are highlighted even when features are switched off, which makes things a bit confusing. The ‘up’ button doubles as the WiFi key for connecting to the smartphone app. To take a picture or capture video in their respective modes, press the shutter button. While recording video, you can zoom in and out by pressing and holding the up and down keys, but you’ll notice that the zoom is step-wise incrementally and not smooth.

One of the first things I like to do with these types of camera is test the seal of the waterproof housing. I do this by placing the closed housing, without a camera in it, in a bowl of water, weighted down for 15 mins. If it comes out dry, then I’m reasonably comfortable that it won’t leak during operation. While the housing passed the dunk test, in practice it was a mixed bag. Most of the times it performed as expected in the pool and wet conditions and didn’t leak at all. But once, we did notice the inside of the case steaming up and sure enough, when we opened it, there was a little water inside, like half a teaspoon. It wasn’t flooded, mind you, and the camera still worked fine after we dried it off. But my theory is that temperature changes were to blame, for example, having the camera in direct sunlight caused it to heat up then dunking it into a cold pool may have caused the air inside the case to contract quickly and draw some water in past the seal.

You’ll notice that when the camera records inside the waterproof housing, sound is almost entirely muted so you won’t be able to capture that much sound through the case; if you want to hear people talking, you’ll have to take it out of the case. You can retrieve files from the camera by plugging it into a computer using its USB-C to USB-A cable. However, note that the camera is not compatible with USB-C to USB-C connections, neither for charging nor data transfers. When you connect the camera to a computer via its charging cable, it’ll prompt you to choose ‘USB storage’ for retrieving files, ‘PC Camera’, or ‘Charge. But note that the camera cannot actually be used as a webcam to record or display live video on your computer, which I did verify with the manufacturer, so I’m not sure why it’s even an option here.

In general, the colors and auto balance isn’t that bad, although there’s a ton of edge distortion and fisheye effect with the wide angle lens, so you’ll want to turn on ‘Distortion calibration’ to correct that. It does so-so in low lighting because it gets pretty grainy. The anti-shake does smooth out handheld footage, but tends to result in a bit of a bobbing effect. It’s still a lot better though than without it. If you download the Akaso Go app, you can use your smartphone as a remote screen for the camera over a direct WiFi connection. You’ll also have access to all the same settings on the camera within the app.

Overall, this action cam is decent for what it is, an inexpensive 4K action camera with plenty of features like slow-mo, time lapse, and anti-shake. While what you get is not nearly the same video quality as more expensive 4k action cameras, and some of the features don’t seem to be completely working, the battery life isn’t bad and you do capture a nice wide field of view with serviceable colors, audio, and clarity.

Buy it at Amazon: Akaso Brave 6 Plus 4K Action Camera [Affiliate Link]

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