Build Quality and handling
There’s little to add about build quality over what we’ve said before about the GoPro Hero5 or Hero6. Compare this camera with any action camera at a similar price, and the step-up in build quality is instantly apparent.
Where the big differences come between the GoPro Hero 2018 and previous GoPro cameras is in the ease of use.
The Hero6 Black leapt forward when it came to ease of use compared with the Hero5 Black and the previous generations. The Hero6 options and screens were simplified making it faster for the user to find and adjust options.
The Hero 2018 takes this even further by only offering a maximum of three settings per option, and that maximum is only used for the field of view. The resolution and frame rates are really simple with just two options apiece.
Rather than being any hindrance, the limited choice cuts any decision making so you get on with whatever activity it is you’re about to do, without worry about settings.
During the test, I used 1080p at 60fps when the sun was out and dropped this to 30fps when clouds appeared. In the past, I’ve found that this helps with the quality of the video footage.
That 2-inch touch-screen is a joy to use and is incredibly responsive if you do decide to change any of the settings. Swiping the screen enables you to access the advanced settings as well as preview the footage you’ve shot.
All the on-screen options work well, and the camera’s screen is responsive, even when it’s is soaked with rain.
The voice activation makes sense with the Hero 2018, although I still feel a little-embarrassed shouting at the camera to start and stop recording.
The overall handling of the Hero 2018 is as good as the Hero6 Black. The more limited options make it far more streamlined than any other GoPro which in turn makes it almost entirely foolproof. Although, that may not be appreciated so much by advanced users.
As with all recent GoPros, Wi-Fi connectivity and a compatible app come as standard. Connecting to the app on a smartphone couldn’t be easier; swipe down and select connect on the GoPro. Then on your mobile device, ensure that you have installed and opened the GoPro app, then click the prompts and you’re done. The whole process takes about 2-3 minutes and seems far less painful than any connection of this type that I’ve had to do in the past.
Once connected, you have direct access to all the GoPro camera’s settings on your phone. You also get the live view stream; this has about a second delay unlike with the Hero6 which is almost instantaneous. The layout of the screen is the same as with all other GoPro cameras and it enables you to start and stop recording by tapping the large record button at the base of the screen.