Insta360 X3 Action Camera Review: The ultimate bike camera with 2 major flaws

I fell in love with 360 cameras a few years ago, and the Insta360 X3 is my go-to action camera to capture the most unique point of view when biking or traveling, and to capture the most stable footage possible when biking. If you are new to bike cameras, make sure to check out my Ultimate Bike Camera Guide. Today we are going to weigh the pros and cons of this little action camera, the main functions I use it for when biking, and to help you decide if it is worth dealing with the two major flaws it has.

Most Fun Action Camera
Insta360 X3 360 Camera
$426.99 $399.99

The best consumer 360 camera available.

03/25/2024 05:24 am GMT


Key Details of the Insta360 X3

  • Potentially the best consumer 360 camera on the market right now
  • Large touchscreen
  • 1/2″ sensor with better image quality and does better in low light
  • Even more shooting modes like Loop Recording and Active HDR mode

Insta360 X3 Specs That Matter to Me

Image sensors: Dual 48MP 1/2’’ sensors (bigger than the One X2)
Megapixels: 72
Waterproof: Yes (Not when charging)
Video frame rates: 5.7K 360-degree up to 30FPS, 4K up to 60fps (Single lens mode)
LCD: 2.3″
Touchscreen: Yes
Video modes: Standard, Active HDR, Timelapse, TimeShift, Bullet Time, Loop Recording, Pre-recording (I use mostly Active HDR or Loop Recording)
Photo mode: Standard, HDR, Burst, Interval, Starlapse
Photo resolution: up to 72 MP
Photo format: INSP, DNG RAW
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
Memory card: Micro SD
Size: 4.5 x 1.8 x 1.3 inches (bigger than the One X2)
Weight: 6.3 ounces (heavier than the One X2)
Battery: Removable 1800 mAh (larger battery than the One X2)
Interface: USB-C
Charging time: 90 minutes, which can be used while charging

Why a 360 Camera for Biking?

If you haven’t experienced a 360 camera before, it is a fully immersive type of video capture. The Insta360 X3 and One X2 use a fish-eye lens on either side of the camera and combine the footage from both sides to record a sphere around you. This allows you to “reframe” what you want the video to be looking at AFTER you record the video. For example, I can hold the Invisible Selfie Stick in my hand to the side of the bike, and during editing, I can decide to show a video of me riding and then rotate to show the path ahead of me or rotate even further to show the world around me. Check out this video to better understand 360º cameras work.

This 360 video footage has some major advantages over a typical video camera:

1. No longer have to make sure the framing is perfect. Simply hit record and then decide which direction you want it to face during editing.
2. Horizon lock. When you move the camera it keeps everything level instead of flipping the image around.
3. It gives you INSANE footage stability. The best stability in an action camera that I have found without a gimbal, all using AI and software.
4. You can decide after you take the video if you want it to be horizontal or vertical sizing, which in the day of Instagram, Reels, and Shorts, may be very important to you and is becoming increasingly important to my work.

Using the Insta360 X3 for Biking

There are two key ways I use the Insta360 X3 over a GoPro camera for biking:

Dash Cam

The most common way I use the Insta360 X3 is mounted to my handlebar with my favorite camera handlebar mount with a large microSD card simply recording. This is either for safety or to record a ride. The advantages of the Insta360 X3 over a GoPro or typical action camera are that you have amazing stability and you can reframe if you need to show something in front of you. The Insta360 X3 also excels in this category because you have the Loop recording which overwrites itself after a certain amount of time, and the camera can be charged while being used. Most modern GoPros have the Loop function but not the Insta360 One X2. Not sure why you want a cycling camera for safety? Read this.

Off the Side with the Invisible Selfie Stick

If I’m riding with kids, or want to show off a feature of a bike I am riding, the easiest way to do that is with the Insta360 X3 mounted to the invisible selfie stick. I can reframe after and just kind of poke the camera in the area I want to show off.

What is the Invisible Selfie Stick? See below!

The Invisible Selfie Stick Effect: The Magic of Insta360 Dual Lens Design

Within the Insta360 X3 360 action camera, and the predecessor, Insta360 One X2, you have the Invisible Selfie Stick function, one of the coolest things of the Insta360 cameras. As the dual lenses stitch together, the software removes the selfie stick from the footage that is directly below the camera. It allows me to take epic videos of myself or when mounting the selfie stick to an object like a bike. It makes it look like a drone is flying next to you! The biggest hurdle with this is to also make sure your shadow isn’t giving away the trick!

Insta360 Studio and App Functionality

Learning 360 video editing is the most fun part for some, and can be a time headache for others. Using an app on your phone, or on your computer, you can reframe your footage, use the various Shot Lab options to make remarkable videos, and truly make a quick edit video from within the Insta360 programs. I feel like the phone app and desktop app should be completely different articles, but what I can say to summarize it is the phone app truly makes it easy for someone to get quick 360 videos exported and ready to share in a pretty quick fashion compared to competitors. There is a learning curve, but as long as you aren’t trying to edit a 30-minute video on your phone, you will do great.

Comparison to Other 360-degree Action Cameras

03/25/2024 05:24 am GMT

Consumer 360 cameras haven’t been around for a very long time. The first 360 camera I remember seeing was the Kodak PXPro SP 360, introduced in 2015. Now several manufacturers are battling for market share. Typically, GoPro, Insta360, and Ricoh dominate. Insta360 also offers other 360º cameras, the more expensive One RS 1-inch 360 and the predecessor of the X3 is the One X2 which is still widely available.

Insta360 X3 vs One X2

X3 Advantages:
Loop Recording Mode
HDR Active Mode
Larger touchscreen
Slightly better footage

One X2 Advantages:
Still a badass 360 camera
Better pricing
Easier to use on the fly

Insta360 X3 vs GoPro Max

To be honest, I haven’t had enough time with the GoPro Max to be able to weigh in on this. What I can say is the GoPro app is not nearly as intuitive the few times I used it. I’ll revisit this article once I have more time with the GoPro Max.

The 360 Camera Achilles Heel

Now, why haven’t I replaced my GoPro cameras completely with the Insta360 X3 cameras? Good question!
1. The lenses are easily scratched and require shipping back to Insta360 to fix them. They make covers but it distorts the image a bit too much for my liking.
2. Due to the design of the lenses and max resolution there is some quality lost compared to the GoPro Hero 11 with the 10-bit coloring, especially in low light when the image really falls apart.
3. Not as readily available. This may not be a big deal to you, but if I’m traveling for work and need a new battery or accessory for an action camera then I know I can find GoPro replacements, parts, and accessories at any Target or Walmart around.

Favorite Insta360 X3 Accessories

This is my goto bike handlebar mount for action cameras.


The Micro SD card that is in everyone of my cameras.


Short Invisible selfie stick - perfect for everyday carry and jersey pockets


Mid-sized invisible selfie stick


EXTRA long carbon fiber Invisible selfie stick


Includes Charging Hub and 2 Insta360 X3 Batteries (1800mAh)


I use this only when mountain biking or conditions that the lens make get scratched.


I keep a case on the Insta360 anytime it isn't recording

03/25/2024 01:58 am GMT

Is the Insta360 X3 Worth It?

For me, it is well worth the price. It allows me to get drone-like photos and videos, and the stabilization is amazing. Is it worth the upgrades over the One X2? Well, that is up to you.


The One X2 and X3 are by far my most commonly recommended cameras for biking. As long as you can manage to keep the lenses clean and scratch-free, and don’t mind the extra time to reframe after, I believe this type of camera is the future. I hope to test out the ONE RS 1-Inch 360 but it is hard to justify the price tag.

Leave a Reply

2 thoughts on “Insta360 X3 Action Camera Review: The ultimate bike camera with 2 major flaws”

Scroll to Top