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Ricoh’s newest 360-degree camera runs on Android with a smartphone processor

Update: Ricoh originally stated the Theta V featured a Snapdragon 835 processor, but has since sent out a statement noting the chipset is actually based on the Snapdragon 625.

Ricoh's newest 360-degree camera is powered by its own Snapdragon processor and the Android operating system.

The newly announced Ricoh Theta V takes 360-degree video into the 4K world with a resolution of 3840 x 1920, a big step up from the Ricoh Theta S, which shot videos at 1920 x 960. To accomplish this resolution bump, the Theta V features a new pair of 12MP 1/2.3-inch sensors.

On top of rendering sharper images with more detail, the Ricoh Theta V resolves cleaner pictures with a wider dynamic range, despite relying on the same f/2.0 lenses of the Theta S. 

Ricoh’s latest camera also boasts double the maximum sensitivity at ISO6400. The maximum shutter speed is also dramatically faster at 1/25,000 sec, which will come in handy for shooting high-speed action.

At the heart of the Ricoh Theta V is  Qualcomm's Connected Camera Platform, which is based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 that once powered phones like the Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom

Embedded in the processor are also new wireless transmitters that enable the camera to transmit 4K video and photos to a smartphone 2.5 times faster.

What’s more, this 360 camera runs on a modified version of Android, allowing Ricoh to implement plugins including one that will allow it to connect to and control Miracast-enabled displays.

Alongside the Theta V, Ricoh also introduced a batch of new accessories, including a TA-1 3D Microphone that can capture spatial audio and a TW-1 Underwater Case TW-1.

The Theta V is an interesting development given that Ricoh arguably paved the way for 360-degree cameras. Over the past few years we’ve seen competitors rise in the mobile space, with the Gear 360 and most recently the 360 camera module for the Essential Phone PH-1.

The Ricoh Theta V looks to bypass the need for a mobile device, while being the most capable 360-degree camera we’ve seen yet.

Preorders for the $429 (about £330, AU$540) Ricoh Theta V and $269 (about £210, AU$340) TA-1 3D Microphone start today, with shipping slated for mid-September. The  TW-1 Underwater Case will arrive later this October for $199 (about £150, AU$250).

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Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee is the Hardware and Roundups Editor at IGN Entertainment. Prior to IGN Entertainment, he worked at TechRadar.