Samsung Gear 360 launches in Korea, app, video guide now up

As hinted before, Samsung has indeed launched the Gear 360 camera in South Korea. Sadly for those wishing to get a whiff of more international news, the Korean OEM has remained mum on the subject of market availability in other countries. For now, interested buyers will have to content themselves with the knowledge that, at least, the camera has truly arrived in the market. They could also prepare by downloading the Gear 360 Manager app or see how the camera works in a brief walkthrough video.

While the Gear VR headset has been available for some time already, Samsung hasn't completely dived into the realm of 360-degree images and videos until the announcement of the Gear 360. Although Samsung did reveal some time ago the Project Beyond VR camera, we're definitely happier that it went with a more consumer-friendly, more portable, and less obnoxious version instead.

The Gear 360 is practically two wide angle lens cameras set back to back in a fancy looking sphere chassis. Its "stick holder", which could probably give some vampires the shudders, opens up into a tripod. Controls are pretty basic and limited on the ball itself, with a single button letting you cycle through different modes, including time lapse, video looping, settings, video recording, and still photos. A single record button starts the whole process.

Take a peek at our hands-on of the Samsung Gear 360 for the lowdown on the rest of this pocket-friendly camera's features.

That's from the camera's side only. Of course, there's a lot you can do on the paired smartphone side, especially when you have the Samsung Gear 360 Manager app installed. Owners of Samsung's smartwatches might be familiar with this manager type apps and, indeed, the Gear 360 version bears the same yellow orange theme even. The app lets you control all actions from your smartphone, view the camera's status, and even immediately share content on social media. The app is only compatible with the Galaxy S7, S7 edge, Note 5, S6 edge+, S6, and S6 edge, and only in selected regions so far.

If you happen to also have a Gear VR headset, then you can truly experience the magic. With the smartphone, you can only appreciate the 360-degree nature of videos and photos by panning the preview or moving and tilting the smartphone. With the Gear VR, it's as if you're dropping right in the middle of the scene.

In South Korea, Samsung launched the Gear 360 with a price tag of 399,300 KRW. That roughly translates to $350 and we can only hope it will actually be lower than that. As it stands, it's already more than thrice the price of a Gear VR, which is understandable given the hardware crammed inside, but also nearly double that of a rivaling LG 360 CAM.