Insta360 GO 3S vs X3: Same Price, Different Uses

By Naila Syifa
Updated June 2024

Insta360 GO 3S vs X3

Looking for a portable, rugged action camera that can capture high-quality footage during various adventures? Insta360 offers many excellent options, including the GO 3S and X3 models.

Insta360 GO 3S is a 2024-released action camera known for its ultra-compact size, making it one of the smallest and lightest cameras on the market. Meanwhile, the X3 is the third generation of Insta360's 360-degree camera released in 2022, offering creative possibilities with its dual lenses and advanced features.

We'll compare both cameras across a few consideration aspects to help you decide which one best suits your needs.

Key Takeaways

Both GO 3S and X3 record 4K flat videos, but the X3 also records 5.7K 360 videos that have better flexibility in post-production. X3 is also more versatile with external mic support and live streaming capability, but the tiny size and magnetic design of GO 3S give it an advantage for discreet and flexible mounting options.
If you prioritize flexibility in editing, go with the Insta360 X3. If you prioritize flexibility in mounting and angle-capturing, the GO 3S might be a better choice.

Insta360 GO 3S vs X3
Insta360 GO 3S

Insta360 GO 3S

Tiny Mighty 4K Cam

✓ 4K Video + 12 MP Photo
✓ Compact, Lightweight, Magnetic
✓ FreeFrame & Interval Video Mode
✓ Action Pod

Insta360 X3

Insta360 X3

360 Action Camera

✓ 5.7K/30 fps 360 Footage
✓ 4K/30 fps Single-lens Footage
✓ Invisible Selfie Stick
✓ AI Reframing & Editing

#1 Price

Insta360 GO 3S vs X3

Insta360 GO 3S

Insta360 X3 was priced at $449.99 when it was first released in September 2022. As of June 2024, the price has dropped to $399.99, making it the same price as the Insta360 GO 3S.

This eliminates the budget factor when choosing between the two cameras, as you can get either one for the same price. The question then becomes which camera is more worthy of your investment, based on your specific needs and usage scenarios.

#2 Design & Durability

Insta360 GO 3S vs X3

Insta360 X3

Insta360 GO 3S and X3 are portable, rugged action cameras. They have waterproofing capability to 10m and can withstand extreme temperatures ranging from -20°C to 40°C.

The GO 3S is very tiny however, measuring only around the size of a thumb and weighing only 39 grams, making it one of the most compact action cameras on the market. It also comes with 3 mounting accessories (magnet pendant, easy clip, and pivot stand) for versatile mounting right out of the box, while the Insta360 X3 requires separate purchase of additional accessories for mounting.

Insta360 GO 3S vs X3

Insta360 GO 3S

Both cameras feature a digital screen with a nearly similar size for preview and framing shots, but the 2.29" touchscreen of the X3 is integrated into the camera body while the 2.2" touchscreen of the GO 3S is found in the Action Pod, not the camera unit.

Action Pod that comes with the GO 3S serves as the main control and display unit for the camera, allowing you to preview shots despite the camera unit's tiny size. The Action Pod also packs additional battery capacity to extend the camera's recording time, as well as functions as a remote control when detached from the camera.

#3 Video & Photo

Insta360 GO 3S vs X3

Insta360 X3

While the Insta360 GO 3S and Insta360 X3 deliver a 4K/30 fps resolution for standard/flat videos, the X3 has the ability to capture 360-degree videos at 5.7K/30 fps with its dual lenses.

Insta360 X3 can also capture 72 MP 360 photos, which may seem a lot higher than the 12 MP flat photo resolution of the GO 3S. However, the photo resolution specs of both cameras aren't directly comparable as 360 photos have their resolution distributed across the entire 360-degree sphere, while flat photos have their resolution concentrated on a single frame. So, the real-world photo quality between the two cameras may not differ as significantly as the raw megapixel count suggests. Resolution comparison is a bit tricky, but it is clear that the X3 has an advantage with its ability to capture 360-degree reframeable photos.

Video Modes

The FreeFrame Video mode that the GO 3S offers imitates the X3's ability to reframe footage after recording. When using the FreeFrame Video mode, the camera records footage at a wide angle, which you can export later in any aspect ratio for more flexibility in post-processing. This allows you to repurpose single footage for different social platforms instead of recording multiple footage with different fixed aspect ratios.

Insta360 GO 3S also offers Interval Video mode that the X3 doesn't come with. Interval Video mode automatically starts recording at set intervals throughout your day or activity and then uses Auto Edit to stitch the videos into a short highlight reel. This is a convenient feature for capturing your daily life or adventures without having to manually record and edit the footage.

Insta360 GO 3S vs X3

Interval Video Mode

Meanwhile, the Insta360 X3 offers Active HDR mode that the GO 3S doesn't offer. The Active HDR mode on the Insta360 X3 can help capture high-quality footage in challenging lighting conditions by balancing highlights and shadows while also maintaining stabilization.

Other than the distinctive video modes mentioned, both the GO 3S and X3 share the same video modes, including Standard Video, Timelapse, TimeShift, Slow Motion (known as Bullet Time in the X3), Pre-Recording, and Loop Recording.

Photo Modes

Insta360 GO 3S vs X3

Insta360 X3

Insta360 GO 3S and X3 share the same photo modes, including Standard Photo, HDR Photo, Interval Photo, and Starlapse.

The X3 also offers Burst Photo mode, which takes multiple photos in a short time. It is different from Interval, which takes continuous photos at a specific time interval. Burst mode can be useful for capturing fast-moving subjects.

#4 Audio

Insta360 GO 3S vs X3

Insta360 GO 3S

Featuring 4 microphones, the Insta360 X3 captures better audio quality than the Insta360 GO 3S with only 2 microphones. Having more microphones does make sense for the X3, as it is a 360 camera that also captures 360 audio for immersive audio experiences.

The Insta360 X3 also supports connection to external microphones for even higher-quality audio recording, while the GO 3S does not offer the ability to connect external microphones.

Despite these differences, both cameras offer the same audio mode to choose from: Wind Reduction, Stereo, and Direction Focus. Direction Focus in the X3 is special because reframing the 360 videos will also adjust the audio to match the direction.

#5 Features

Insta360 GO 3S vs X3

Invisible Selfie Stick

Like most other action cameras from the Insta360, both the GO 3S and X3 are compatible with the Insta360 app, which allows for live preview, remote control, editing, and sharing.

The Insta360 has a suite of AI-powered editing tools that make post-processing footage easier and more creative. For example, Auto Edit can automatically select the best clips and stitch them together into a highlight reel.

As a 360 camera, the X3 supports more AI-enhanced features like Deep Track, Shot Lab templates, and Invisible Selfie Stick. Footage reframing is also possible thanks to the X3's 360-degree capture, while the GO 3S has fixed-angle footage.

The X3 has another advantage with its support for 360-degree live streaming, while the Insta360 GO 3S does not offer a live streaming feature.

However, Insta360 GO 3S is compatible with Apple Find My. If the camera ever gets lost, you can use the Find My network to locate it.

#6 Battery Life

Insta360 GO 3S vs X3

Insta360 GO 3S

Insta360 GO 3S has a battery capacity of 310mAh for the camera unit and 1270mAh for the Action Pod. Using the camera unit as a standalone would provide up to 38 minutes of recording time, while the Action Pod can extend the total recording time up to 140 minutes at 1080p/30 fps.

Insta360 X3 offers a larger battery capacity of 1800mAh. For continuous recording at 5.7K/30 fps, the Insta360 X3 can last up to 81 minutes, which is quite impressive for such a high resolution.

Insta360 GO 3S vs X3

Final Thoughts

Insta360 GO 3S vs X3

Insta360 GO 3S

At the same price tag, the Insta360 GO 3S and Insta360 X3 both offer impressive features and capabilities, but the choice between the two ultimately comes down to your specific needs and preferences.

The GO 3S excels in its ultra-compact size and convenient features like Interval Video mode, while the X3 offers more advanced 360-degree capture, better audio quality, and live streaming capabilities.

If the tiny size of the GO 3S is a priority for taking video from unique angles during your adventures, and you don't necessarily need the advanced 360-degree features, then the GO 3S could be the better choice.

However, if you want more post-production flexibility and creative possibilities with 360-degree footage, the Insta360 X3 might be the more suitable investment.

If you’d like to read more about Action Camera, check out our other relevant guides here:

Insta360 GO 3S vs GO 3

Insta360 GO 3S vs GO 2

Insta360 GO 3S vs X4

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