AKASO Brave 4 Review
AKASO is a brand that’s mostly known for their well priced action cameras. They have really taken over the budget market. It has been over a year since I reviewed their very first action camera and it’s still one of the best selling models on Amazon. So it’s clear that the buyers are mostly happy with it. I’m happy to see that they have also decided to come out with new models. Especially since other companies have started making cheaper versions as well. So I decided to buy myself the AKASO Brave 4 action camera and review it.
- Dimensions: 59.5×41.8×30.3 mm / 2.34×1.65×1.19″
- Weight: 61 g / 2.2 oz
- Chipset: Allwinner V3
- Sensor: Sony CMOS 20MP
- Lens: 170°
- Video resolutions: 4K 24fps; 2K 30fps; 1080p 60/30fps; 720p 120/60/30fps
- Photo: 4MP (interpolated to 16 MP)
- Modes: Video, Photo, Burst, Time-Lapse, Looping, Underwater
- Features: WiFi, Electronic Image Stabilization
- Screens: 2″ rear IPS, small front LCD
- Ports: MicroUSB, HDMI, MicroSD card slot
- Memory: MicroSD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 64GB
- Battery: 1050 mAh Li-On
- Battery life: 90 minutes of 1080p at 60fps
In The Box
- AKASO Brave 4 action camera
- 2x 1050 mAh Li-On batteries
- Remote control
- Waterproof case (up to 30 m / 98 ft)
- Bicycle stand
- 7x mounts
- 2x clips
- Helmet mount
- Bandage and tethers
- Protective backdoor
- USB to MicroUSB cable
If you have seen a bunch of action cameras before then the AKASO Brave 4 will look familiar to you. Let’s be honest, most action cameras have a really similar design. You know, the same old plastic rectangular shape with a ribbed texture on the side. A simple and effective design that just works with action cameras. It’s easy to hold onto and apparently it’s easy to for the manufacturing companies to install the hardware as well. So overall a great design for both consumers and manufacturing companies.
That said, AKASO has added some changes to spice up the typical design. They have added a small LCD screen to the top left corner of the front side. Now I’m used to seeing this on more expensive cameras but usually it’s at the bottom corner. So it’s definitely a nice change. I don’t believe the location makes that much of a difference in terms of usability though.
The overall camera dimensions are 59.5×41.8×30.3 mm / 2.34×1.65×1.19″ and it weighs 61 g / 2.2 oz. Which by the way is incredibly light for an action camera. It almost feels like they keep weighing less as this is the second camera I have reviewed recently that weighed under 70 grams. Quite impressive. The overall build quality is okay. I mean all of the ports and the buttons are solid. There’s nothing loose and not once have I felt like something is about to come off or break.
Despite the new front LCD screen positioning, the overall button layout is still standard. With the only exception of Power / Mode button, which is now underneath that screen. The top of the camera still has a shutter button and two navigation buttons on the side. The main 2″ IPS screen is at the back. There are also 3 ports on the right side: Micro USB, Micro HDMI and Micro SD. These ports aren’t covered so make sure that you keep it in a waterproof case if you are near water. The battery can be found at the bottom. It has a compartment for that. Unfortunately no threaded tripod mount.
That doesn’t mean you can’t use it with a tripod! AKASO has always been generous with accessories and the Brave 4 is no exception. It includes an impressive amount of mounts, some of which even have that same threaded tripod connector. I have listed every single bit of accessory that’s included above. But out of all of them, what I’m most impressed about is that they have managed to fit a remote controller, an extra battery and even an external battery charger into the budget. I have seen some pretty generous action camera packages before but the AKASO Brave 4 definitely takes the cake.
Settings & Menu
You most probably noticed that I haven’t mentioned any touch screens. That’s true. It’s because the AKASO Brave 4 has a regular screen and there are two buttons on the side for navigating through the settings. Now this does take some time getting used to as it’s not as native for the modern smartphone generation.
On the plus side, AKASO has done a great job at making it as simple as possible. There is some logic behind all the menus and once you understand it, it becomes almost natural. Another thing is that you don’t need to touch the settings every time you use the camera. It’s more like an initial configuration and then later on you can change some small things. Like recording modes, resolutions and frames.
The menu is in English so it shouldn’t be an issue. You can also pair the action camera with a phone. All you have to do is download the AKASO DV app and pair it via WiFi. The app is available on both Android and iOS devices. From the app, you can change all of the settings, view live feed and have access to past recordings. You can even use it as a remote controller. It’s definitely easier to change the settings straight from the app.
The AKASO Brave 4 has a Sony CMOS 20MP sensor and an Allwinner V3 chipset. Now the Allwinner V3 specifications state that the maximum native video it can output is 1080p at 60 fps. Which means that the 4K and 2K video resolutions are clearly interpolated. This means that the action camera records videos at a 1080p resolution and then the internal software scales them until they fit the desired size. You’ll basically get a 4K resolution video but it won’t be near as good of a quality as a native version. Which is why it’s rather pointless to comment on and why I’m more interested in how the quality looks like in 1080p. Remember that this is the case with almost all budget cameras.
The overall video quality is I’d say okay, considering the price of the action camera. It’s nothing amazing but it also isn’t terrible. The camera has some pretty nice colors. The only downside is the over exposure, which makes the footage way too bright. What I was surprised about is how well it handled the greenery. There was a lot of clear details in the grass and on the leaves. Well when the footage was close up anyways. It all blurred together in the background and near the edges. But that’s really common with under $100 action cameras.
Like here for example. At the beginning of the video, most of the footage is close up and the quality is fantastic. Even the colors are on point. And just like the EK7000, the AKASO Brave 4 is fantastic underwater. I don’t know how they do it but in my opinion, the action camera performs much better underwater than it does above the surface. The footage is surprisingly clear, the details are sharp and you can see everything.
AKASO has done a fantastic job at making the batteries last longer. It’s powered by a 1050 mAh Li-On battery and it lasts for around 90 minutes. That’s when you record videos at 1080p. It lowers a lot when you increase the resolution but I don’t really see a reason to do. But what I really like is that the action camera comes with two batteries instead of just one. This way you don’t need to worry about running out of power while recording.
The AKASO Brave 4 is an action camera that excels underwater. I have no idea how they have done it but it’s much better underwater than it is outside of it. And that’s also where the affordable price level comes to play. Even if you manage to somehow drop it and lose it while diving, then it’s not a huge blow to your wallet. Plus I’d even say that the action camera is designed for diving, judging from the included accessories at least. So overall for diving, I give it a thumbs up. For above the water, there are better options out there (the Apeman A80 for example).