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iSaw Edge 4K WiFi Action Camera – definitely the best budget GoPro rival on the market [Review Editors Choice]

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Isn’t it ironic how popular action cameras have become, since most of us sit around and stare at screens all day? Maybe it’s a compensation thing? Anyhoo, we’ve found a new budget camera which actually seems like it could genuinely claim to be a true GoPro competitor. Lots of other products have tried and failed to win this crown before, so let’s see if the very impressive iSaw Edge action cam can pull it off.

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First impressions
The product ships in a nicely packed container, very professionally produced and tidily presented. The real surprise however, comes when you open the box and find a bunch of goodies waiting for you to enjoy. We’re talking a heap of mounting options and other useful stuff, which you would usually have to pay extra for. And none of that cheap flimsy plastic rubbish either. It’s all solidly made and with a quality feel.

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There’s a tripod and bare frame mount, two adhesive mounts (one flat, one curved for a helmet or whatever), car windscreen and handheld mounts, plus a 40 meter proof waterproof case, a carrying bag and various bits and bobs like a hand strap and USB cable. It’s great, because it means you can get going with your filming no matter what you need. Nicely thought out. There’s also a useful User Guide in multiple languages. Check out our video below to get our overview of the camera in action.

In use
As you’d expect from a GoPro clone, the Edge comes in a very typical black rectangle shape, all the better for fitting standardized action cam accessories. The camera itself is again very solidly built, with no flimsy catches or buttons, and it’s designed to be ultra easy to operate. So much so that we managed to get going without once looking at the user guide, which is a real testament to the designers.

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To start it up, press the bright orange on/off button and hold until the 3 beeps. Off is 4 beeps. To configure, hit the Setup button and cycle up and down with the Mode and Setup button, and then Select and Execute with the orange button again. It takes a mere minute or two to work it out and then you can set up the camera as you like and start shooting. The difference here is that everything is logically implemented. It sounds trivial but it makes a huge difference in practical use.

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The camera features HDMI out, mini USB charge port and microSD (TFCard) slot for storage which will accept up to 64GB cards (at least we assume that, since there’s no confirmation on any of the documentation). The camera features a 16MP Sony sensor, 170 degree 7 element lens, 1.5 inch LCD view finder, mic, WiFi, and smartphone app control, time lapse, 100 minute battery time, and up to 120 minute slow motion recording at 720p.

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One nice feature is the ability to tweak image settings such as ISO, exposure and so on, to improve your image quality in low light or other tricky situations. It’s the kind of flexibility you don’t find on other budget cameras, and is a neat touch. We’re not sure that the 4K resolution on the camera settings is that useful for video though, since it’s only available at 10 frames per second, but for more static scenes it may be useable. In this regard the GoPro still reigns supreme. But at a price!

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What is undeniable though is the fact that the conventional 1080p 50 (or 60fps) mode delivers really delicious video quality, which is the sweet spot of any action camera. Combined with the 40 meter proof underwater housing and you should be able to grab awesome footage in the bath (or Ocho Rios even). There are two standout features in the product in general. First the fact that there’s very little battery/power leak when the camera is not in use. This makes it a much more useful tool, because you don’t have to worry so much about picking up a dead camera on the way out of the door.

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The second thing is the ease of use with the smartphone app. It’s a trivial matter to get the camera and phone connected via WiFi and from then on you can use the phone as your remote control, which is great for tricky or more extreme captures. We think the firmware upgrade procedure also deserves a shout out, if only because it’s the easiest and quickest we’ve every found. Just drop the upgrade onto a microSD card, switch on, and the camera does the upgrade in seconds. Brilliant. No hassles with connecting up to a computer and downloading utilities or any of that nonsense.

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Conclusion
The iSaw Edge really sets the quality bar high for budget action cams from now on. It’s clearly a product which has been carefully thought out, and the result is a camera which can hold its own with any other model including the GoPro range. And considering it’s a fraction of the price of an equivalent GoPro, that’s a pretty superb achievement. The icing on the cake is the excellent set of accessories you get in the box, which means you don’t have to hunt around for bits and pieces to get shooting quickly. We wish more manufacturers would do this. Overall this is an excellent product, and we’re happy to give it Editors Choice.

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Price: $189.99 / £179.95

Specifications:
Support 4K, 2.7K and Full HD 60fps video recording
16Mpx Sony sensor
Supports TF card up to 64GB
Approximately 100 minutes of video capture at 1080p per battery charge
1.5″ built-in LCD view finder
170 Degree super wide angle lens with 7 elements glass lens
Wi-Fi
Free smartphone app from App Store & Play Store:
Comes with :
40m waterproof housing
Suction Mount
Open frame
Hand grip
Tripod mount
Adhesive mounts x 2
Release buckle & pivot arm

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


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