POV action cameras have gone from being specialty gizmos to something a lot more mainstream in the last couple of years. GoPro is a brand that’s helped push the category forward, coupled with lower prices, but the concept of an action cam is now moving into the iPhone itself. mophie’s OutRide has been almost a year in the making, and now that it’s coming soon to Future Shop, I spent some time with this ruggedized and waterproof camera and case for the iPhone 4 and 4S to see what you can expect.
Unboxing the OutRide is a satisfying experience, and that’s mainly because you can plainly see everything that comes with it. Each section is marked clearly for you on their respective packaging in the box. The OutRide comes with both a regular back (where the iPhone’s screen is exposed), a waterproof back that covers the whole iPhone, a thumb-latch quick-release, a tripod mount, an adjustable handlebar mount, a surf mount, two flat mounts, two curved mounts, two 90-degree extensions and a safety leash. The front of the casing has a 170-degree wide-angle lens built-in.
The quick-release is what you use to hook up any of the included mounts. Changing the backings is a matter of tilting the back onto a 90-degree angle and pulling it away from the hinges that keep it in place. Look closely, and you’ll see the openings along the edges. Once pulled out, you can push the other backing straight in from the same angle. The backs are a combination of hardened plastic and rubber to not only keep the iPhone in place, but also seal the crevices from any dust, sand or other substances (at least with the waterproof case).
The waterproof case is interesting for its ruggedness, but just remember that you can’t control your phone once it’s enclosed in there. There is a button next to the quick-release that corresponds directly with the volume up button on the iPhone. The reason why is because you can snap photos or start/stop video by pressing that. The problem is that you can’t toggle between photos and video while it’s enclosed, but the workaround there is to shoot video and press the button if you want to snap any pics.
Of course, that’s easier said than done if the OutRide is mounted on yourself, a helmet or some other surface, while you just try to make sure you concentrate on whatever activity you’re doing. The OutRide would’ve been great if it included a small remote control to handle that function, but unfortunately, you don’t get that here.
There is a free OutRide app to download from the App Store that is designed to work with the case. It’s not impressively deep in features, but it’s more than capable of doing what you need. You can choose to shoot footage in either 1080p at 30fps or 720p at 30fps. Sign up for an account, and you can also upload your masterpieces to the OutRide app community, so that others can see your antics. In turn, you can also watch videos from other users, too.
Some might look at all this and wonder why anyone would bother when a dedicated POV action cam might be better suited for capturing daredevil footage. The OutRide will be selling for about $149.99, making it cheaper than almost all the POV cams on the market. Plus, if you have an iPhone 4/4S and plan to have it on you in whatever activity you’re taking part in anyway, why not make it the primary source for creating content?
There are good arguments on both sides, but the bottom line is that this is the kind of product meant for specific uses to begin with. Whether the OutRide is more ideal than just getting a dedicated POV cam will depend on what your needs are, how much you want to spend and what you ultimately plan to do with it.
It’s well-built, has an array of mounts to get your creative juices flowing and is pretty easy to get used to. You could probably unbox the unit and be up and recording in less than 30 minutes. Where you go and what you do from there is where the adventures begin.
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