If there’s a “perfect” gadget for recording 360-degree videos, we haven’t seen it yet – everything is either too fiddly, too expensive, too unwieldy or too underpowered to be considered a must-buy choice. But there are several devices that come within spitting distance of greatness.

The Insta360 Nano, released last year, is one such gizmo. It’s a tiny and not unreasonably priced smartphone add-on that make taking 360 photos and videos a piece of cake. The downside? It only works on Lightning port-equipped iPhones.

Lest you thought Insta360 had forgotten all about Android users, the company has just launched the Air, which’ll fit any Android device with a USB-C or microUSB port. While looking markedly different from the Nano, it’s similarly priced and specced. So, does it perform just as well as its Apple-only cousin?

Insta360 design: pocket-friendly ball

Aside from its Android leanings, the chief difference between the Air and the Nano is its shape. While the Nano was long and rectangular, the Air is a lightweight, compact sphere; very pocket-friendly, it has to be said.

Available in four colour finishes – my black review sample being the soberest of the lot – it’s solidly built, but with camera lenses on two sides has a tendency to attract fingerprints whenever you grab it.

To save those lenses from getting scratched, it comes supplied with a rubber case, which means you can toss the Air in your pocket or a bag without fear of your house keys doing a number on it. 

Insta360 Air verdict

As I mentioned earlier, if there’s a five-star, 360-degree camera, I hadn’t seen it before the Air landed on my doormat – and I still haven’t.

The Air offers a level of performance similar to the Nano while offering slightly less in the way of usability (no button to trigger off-phone recording, for instance). That being said, it does make capturing 360-degree photos and clips (and sharing them, for that matter) pretty easy for Android users, which is all Insta360 ever claimed it would do.

If you’re looking for a compact, lightweight way to try your hand at VR video creation using your Galaxy S7 or OnePlus 3, I haven’t seen a better or more wallet-friendly solution than this.

Buy the Insta360 Air here from Amazon

Tech Specs 
Video quality
2560x1280 at 30fps
Photo resolution
Maximum aperture
USB-C or microUSB
37.6x37.6x 37.6mm/26.5g
Stuff says... 

Insta360 Air review

An affordable and user-friendly way for Android fans to jump aboard the 360-degree video train
Good Stuff 
Simple operation
Lightweight, compact and sturdy design
Decent quality snaps and clips
Bad Stuff 
Wobbly fitting on certain phones
Only records when attached to a phone