Insta360 X4 vs X3: which 360° camera to choose?

The Insta360 X4 replaces the Insta360 X3, one of the brand’s flagship 360° cameras. Design, image, features… what are the differences between the two cameras? Which one should you choose? X3 owners, should you upgrade your camera to the X4? All the answers in our full Insta360 X4 vs X3 comparison!

Insta360 X4 vs X3: design

Insta360 X4 vs X3 design
 Insta360 X3Insta360 X4
Dimensions (L x H x W)46 x 114 x 33.1 mm46 x 123.6 x 37.6 mm
Weight180g203g
Touch screen2.29 inches2.5 inch
StorageMicro SD card up to 1 TBMicro SD card up to 1 TB
Operating temperature-20°C to 40°C-20°C to 40°C
Waterproofing 10 meters10 meters

The Insta360 X3 and Insta360 X4 look very similar. The first thing that strikes you is the difference in size: the X4 appears to be an XL version of the X3. Although equally wide, the X4 is in fact almost a centimeter longer than its predecessor (123.6 mm vs. 114 mm) and just over 4 millimeters thicker (37.6 mm vs. 33.1 mm). Logically, the X4 is also a little heavier than the X3, by 23 grams to be precise (203g vs. 180g).

Why this difference in size? Firstly, the Insta360 X4 is equipped with a larger touchscreen, measuring 2.5 inches versus 2.29 inches for its predecessor. Incidentally, the new screen is made of more resistant Corning Gorilla glass. The reason is also to be found inside the device: the X4 has a higher-capacity battery, and therefore a larger size. We’ll look at this point in more detail in the next section.

Another change between the two models is the removable lens caps. Whereas they were adhesive on the X3, those on the X4 are screwed on, offering easier, more practical handling. They are available in two versions: a standard version in plastic and a “Premium” version in tempered glass, which better preserves image quality.

Apart from these new dimensions and a grooved surface replacing the X3’s smooth back, the interface remains the same on both cameras:

  • The power button and Q quick menu key on one side,
  • The battery door, and the one giving access to the USB-C port and memory card slot on the other,
  • The shutter and quick-change mode buttons below the screen,
  • The screw thread ¼ inch below.

Another aspect that remains unchanged is water and temperature resistance: both the X3 and X4 are waterproof to a depth of 10 meters and can be used in temperatures ranging from -20°C to 40°C.

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Insta360 X4 vs X3: battery and autonomy

 Insta360 X3Insta360 X4
Batteries1800 mAh2290 mAh
Charging time90 minCharge to 80% in 38 minutes Charge to 100% in 55 minutes
Autonomy81 min135 minutes

As we saw in the previous section, this is one of the changes in the switch from the Insta360 X3 to the Insta360 X4: the latest model incorporates a new, larger battery for increased capacity.

In fact, the X3’s 1800 mAh battery has been upgraded to 2290 mAh for the X4. Naturally, the X4’s battery life is longer than that of the X3: 135 minutes of video recording (in 5.7K at 30 frames per second) versus 81 minutes for the previous model, a gain of 67%.

Last but not least, recharging has been improved and charging time is faster on the X4 than on the X3. A battery can be fully charged in 55 minutes on the X4, compared with 90 minutes on the X3.

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Insta360 X4 vs X3: photos and video

 Insta360 X3Insta360 X4
Sensors1/2 inch1/2 inch
LensF1.9 aperture
6.7 mm equivalent
F1.9 aperture
6.7 mm equivalent
Photo resolution72 MP (360°)
18 MP (single-lens)
72 MP (360°)
18 MP (single-lens)
Video resolution360° :
5.7K up to 30 fps
4K up to 60 fps
3K up to 100 fps

Single-lens :
4K up to 30 fps
3.6K up to 60 fps
2.7K up to 60 fps
1080p up to 60 fps
360° :
8K up to 30 fps
5.7K up to 60 fps
4K up to 100 fps

Single lens :
4K up to 60 fps
2.7K up to 60 fps
1080p up to 60 fps
Photo formatINSP
DNG
INSP
DNG
Video formatMP4 (single-lens)
INSV (360°)
MP4 (single-lens)
INSV (360°)
Color ProfilesBright
Standard
Dish
Bright
Standard
Dish
Maximum video rate120 Mbps200 Mbps
ISO range100-3200100-6400

Sensors and resolutions

This is certainly THE major difference between the two models. Although equipped with sensors of the same size (1/1.2 inch), the Insta360 X4 can film at higher resolutions and frame rates than the Insta360 X3.

The main improvement from the X3 to the X4 is the ability to shoot 360° (on two sensors) in 8K resolution at up to 30 fps, while the X3’s maximum resolution is 5.7K at 30 fps. At the same definitions, it can shoot at higher frame rates: 5.7K at up to 60 fps and 4K at up to 100 fps (compared with 60 on the X3) for more beautiful slow-motion shots.

The same goes for 4K video on a single lens, in traditional format: up to 60 fps for the X4 versus 30 fps for the X3.

The X4 also boasts a higher maximum data rate than its predecessor: 200 Mbps versus 120 Mbps, and a higher ISO range: up to ISO 6400, versus 3200 on the X3.

On the other hand, the two devices are no match for each other when it comes to photography: both the X3 and the X4 are capable of shooting at 18 MP on a single lens, and at 72 MP in 360 degrees on both sensors.

Image quality

The Insta360 X4’s 8K resolution enables it to deliver a higher-quality image when viewed in its entirety, using a virtual reality headset.

But it also enables us to obtain better-quality sequences when cropping a video filmed in 360° in a traditional format: in fact, filming in 360° enables us to film everything around us at the same time, and then keep only the shots that interest us when editing. By cropping the image, it is inevitably reduced. Starting with an 8K image, the X4’s final sequences will therefore have better resolution than those of the X3.

In terms of pure image quality, if we compare the two cameras using the same resolution, the X4 still beats the X3 colors are more vivid, dynamic range is greater, and details are more visible in both highlights and shadows.

While this is particularly true for photos and videos taken in good light conditions, the difference is less obvious in low light. For both the X3 and X4, colors start to lose their brilliance as soon as the daylight fades, and noise becomes increasingly noticeable as the light diminishes.

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Insta360 X4 vs X3: features

 Insta360 X3Insta360 X4
Photo ModesStandard
HDR photo
Rafale
Interval
Starlapse
Standard
HDR photo
Rafale
Interval
Starlapse
Video modesStandard
Active HDR
Timelapse
TimeShift
Bullet Time
Loop recording
Pre-registration
Standard
Active HDR
Timelapse
TimeShift
Bullet Time
Loop recording
Pre-registration
Microphones (quantity)44
Audio modesWind reduction
Stereo
Directional focus
Automatic wind reduction
Active wind reduction
Stereo
Directional focus

Modes and functions common to both cameras

The table above shows that there are many identical modes on both devices. While most of the functions are the same from one camera to the next, it’s important to note that the resolutions and frame rates available for these modes arehigher for the X4.

For both the X3 and X4, all these modes and functions can be used with the invisible selfie pole, which, as its name suggests, magically disappears from all your footage.

On the photo side, the X3 and X4 offer the same traditional shooting modes (single shot, HDR shot, Burst, Interval) as well as Starlapse mode, which transforms starry nights into superb circular streaks of light. Resolutions are identical on both cameras; however, as a bonus for 72 MP photos, the X4 benefits from the PureShot function , which relies on AI to bring out colors and reduce noise.

The video modes are the same on both devices:

  • Timelapse mode: allows you to shoot time-lapse videos with a fixed camera. Note that you can go up to 11K resolution in this mode with the Insta360 X4.
  • TimeShift mode: the equivalent of hyperlapse for other manufacturers, this mode lets you shoot accelerated videos with the camera in motion. The X4 allows it to be used at a higher resolution (8K).
  • Bullet Time mode: the selfie pole is rotated above your head by a rotating handle to reproduce the famous Matrix effect. Available on both cameras, the result is often better on the X4, and available up to 5.7K at 120 fps.
  • Me Mode: automatically keeps you in the center of the image, so you don’t have to crop when editing. Here too, the resolutions available are better on the X4: 4K up to 30 fps and 2.7K up to 120 fps.
  • loop recording: to use your camera as a dashcam. The camera films continuously, and if something interesting appears in the image, you can keep the last sequence, which will be longer or shorter depending on the preset duration.

Both cameras offer the same color profiles : Normal, Vivid (which brings out colors more vividly) and Flat (to manage color grading during editing).

FlowState stabilization is also present on both devices, and works very well indeed. You can also lock the horizon at 360° on both the X3 and X4.

Finally, on the audio side, both the X3 and X4 are equipped with four microphones, one on each side to pick up ambient sound in all directions, and offer different recording modes, including the ability to reduce wind noise during recording.

New Insta360 X4 functions

The following new features are only available on the Insta360 X4:

  • gesture control: this function allows you to trigger photo shooting or video recording with a simple gesture of the hand. Simply make the peace sign with your index and middle fingers to take a photo, or put your open hand in front of the camera to start a video. This works very well, and comes in very handy when the X4 is at the end of a selfie pole or attached to a remote stand.
  • programmed recording : the X4 can be programmed to switch on at a specific time, film and then switch off automatically. Handy for making sure you don’t miss a sunrise, for example.

Insta360 X4 vs X3: price

insta360 x4 test price
 Insta360 X3Insta360 X4
Standard Kit479,99€559,99€
Kit with accessoriesFrom €518 to €992From €597 to €739

Originally priced at €539.99, the Insta360 X3’s price has naturally dropped with the arrival of the X4. It is now available from Insta360’s online store at a price of €479.99 for the Standard Kit.

You’ll need to spend an extra €80 to get the latest model, as the Insta360 X4 base package is available for €559.99.

Both cameras are available in a variety of packs, including accessories for all kinds of activities. The packages offered with the X3 and X4 differ slightly, and the price difference between the cameras is reflected in their accessory packs. For example, the least expensive Deluxe Kit, which includes a 114 cm selfie pole and lens cap, is priced at €518 for the X3, compared with €597 for the X4.

Conclusion Insta360 X4 vs X3: which to choose?

Here’s a summary of the main improvements on the Insta360 X4:

  • 8K resolution;
  • higher frame rates at all resolutions;
  • higher resolutions and frame rates in all modes;
  • 67% longer autonomy ;
  • larger touchscreen ;
  • gesture control.

To conclude this Insta360 X4 vs. X3 comparison, apart from the gesture control that enables the camera to be triggered remotely, both cameras have the same photo and video functionalities. The X4’s larger size gives it a bigger screen and 67% longer battery life, although the X3 had little to complain about on both counts.

In our opinion, the real improvement lies in the image: the X4 offers much better image quality, with higher resolutions and frame rates, which will be more useful for demanding videographers than for occasional videographers or those who just want to shoot memories.

Choose the Insta360 X4 if…

… you want a versatile 360° action camera with the best image quality. The Insta360 One RS 1-Inch 360 Edition offers even better image quality with its two 1-inch sensors, but its much larger dimensions and inability to go underwater make it incompatible with action.

Choose the Insta360 X3 if…

image quality is not a decisive criterion. The X3 has nothing to envy the X4 in terms of features, and will more than get the job done if you’re not a professional content creator and you’re shooting for pleasure or to make family memories.

I already have the X3, do I need to buy the X4?

The Insta360 X3 is already very powerful and, with the exception of gesture control, offers the same functions as the X4. For those who film on an occasional basis or create videos for recreational purposes, such as vacation souvenirs, and who don’t require the highest resolution, it’s not essential to change cameras. However, for content creators for whom quality is paramount, upgrading to the 8K resolution offered by the X4 could be an option to consider.

Read our full tests of the two protagonists in this Insta360 X4 vs X3 comparison :
➡️ Insta360 X4, complete test: the 360° power of 8K
➡️ Insta360 X3: the best 360° camera?