This new modular action cam beats GoPro in two key ways

The Insta360 One RS action cam on a blue background
(Image credit: Insta360)

Insta360 has a launched a follow-up to the modular action camera it released at CES 2020 – and the impressive Insta360 One RS beats its GoPro rivals in two important ways. (Want to jump straight to our verdict? Check out our Insta360 One RS review). 

Like the previous Insta360 One R, the new model consists of three sections: a base block that holds the battery, a sensor/lens block, and the camera's processing engine. This time, the One RS can be bought with a new 4K Boost lens that has a 1/2in 48MP sensor, which you can swap out for the existing 5.7K 360-degree camera or the 5.3K 1-Inch Wide Angle Lens block.

It's this versatility, coupled with other improvements like a new battery base and a faster processor, that gives the One RS one key advantage over its GoPro rivals. GoPro's Hero range, led by the Hero 10 Black, remain slightly better single-purpose cameras, but the Insta360 One RS uniquely lets you take a 360-degree camera and standard wide-angle action cam out with you, while only needing one main body and battery.

The other advantage of the One RS, when you buy its standard package, is its value for money. You can buy that standard bundle, which includes the 4K Boost Lens, battery and main unit, for a pretty reasonable $299.99 / £279.99 / AU$569. That's significantly less than the GoPro Hero 10 Black ($399 / £379 / AU$599.95, when bought with a GoPro subscription) and DJI Action 2 ($399 / £349 / AU $609).

Naturally, the cost mounts up if you want more modules, with the Twin Edition (which adds a 360-degree lens to the standard package) costing $549.99 / £499.99 / AU$919.99. You can also get the Insta360 One R with the 1-inch Wide Angle lens for $549.99 / £499.99 / AU$919.99. But the benefit of the One RS' modular approach is that you can always start with that base bundle and add extra modules if needed. 

Like the DJI Action 2, there are also dome downsides to the Insta360 One RS' modular design. The main one is that it has a pretty tiny 1.5in screen, which makes it harder to see what you're filming. It also doesn't pack the same slo-mo powers as rivals like the Hero 10 Black, with no 4K/120p option. Instead, you can shoot 2.7K resolution at 100fps, or 1080p at 200/120fps.

Still, the Insta360 One RS does has fewer workflow headaches than its predecessor. Previously, you had to process videos through the Insta360 app to get image stabilization, but FlowState is now all done in-camera and produces impressively smooth results. Combine this with its high-quality 4K video and you have a strong rival to the GoPro Hero 10 Black for the title of best action camera.

Analysis: The bridge camera of action cams 

The Insta360 One RS action cam on a blue background

The Insta360 One RS with its 360-degree camera module. (Image credit: Insta360)

In many ways, the Insta360 One RS is like the bridge camera of action cams – it aims to pack maximum versatility into one, simple-to-use body, and it largely succeeds thanks to some extra polish that was absent from its predecessor.

It remains a more niche choice than a GoPro Hero 10 Black, because it only really makes sense if you're looking to take advantage of its modular design and swap in different cameras. But if that sounds like you, then it's a fine new option at a reasonable price.

Our Insta360 One RS review praises its good in-camera stabilization, sharp-looking 4K video and surprisingly intuitive interface, given its small 1.5in screen. We were also relieved to find that it fixes all the workflow issues we found with its predecessor, caused by the need to process footage through the app in order to get stabilized footage.

In fact, we even found the video from the Insta360 One RS' 4K module to be more engaging and detailed than its GoPro rivals, even if it does exhibit some issues like aliasing and shimmering. As our review states: "A GoPro nets you footage with fewer issues, and often a more pleasant warm color tone, but there’s an open and airy quality to the Insta360 One RS’s 4K video that we just don’t see from our Hero 9 Black".

If you can accept slightly less consistent footage than a GoPro, along with that tiny 1.5in screen, then the One RS is a very solid new action camera, particularly at that base price of $299.99 / £279.99 / AU$569.

Mark Wilson
Senior news editor

Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at both TechRadar and Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.