There are now a number of GoPro alternatives on the market, but this 4K action camera with easy editing from TomTom changed things when launched last year thanks to its built-in media server. In our review of TomTom Bandit we looked at its construction, performance and how the easy editing actually works.
As no doubt you’ll know, it’s a pain to have to wade through hours of footage after you get back from your activities. Not only do you have to download it, you also need to use an editing program to prepare it, then upload it, share it etc.
To cut this time consuming faff, the TomTom Bandit processes the footage on the camera and you edit it via an app on your phone – an action camera with easy editing. From here you’re ready to upload it to wherever you like, so you can prepare and share videos to social media right from the beach, hill or slope.
It was an excellent move by TomTom, who are better known for their satnavs, as they didn’t have a reputation in the action camera market and needed a hook. We got our hands on one and over many months have put together this review of TomTom Bandit.
TomTom Bandit: Key features
- In-camera motion and GPS sensors that find and tag moments based on your activity.
- Record and display statistics such as speed, altitude and g-force in your videos.
- Smartphone app (iOS only on launch) – featuring a superfast viewfinder and editing software.
- Built-in media server to help you review and share your footage.
- Captures 1080p video at up to 60fps and 4K at 15fps, also takes 16MP photos.
- Battery giving approx 3 hours of full HD.
- Waterproof to 50m without an additional case.
Price: From £199.00 in basic spec. £249.00 with a mount and extras. Find out more at: www.tomtom.com
Review of TomTom Bandit
When trying the TomTom Bandit 4k action camera for the first time there’s a few things you have get used to. You can’t see what you are filming as there’s no screen. The buttons are less than intuitive, but become familiar after a while. And it’s not that easy to hand hold as it’s made to mount to equipment.
That said, this is not hugely different to most action cameras.
Build quality & ruggedness
I was very impressed with the construction and how rugged the TomTom Bandit is. Huge cliff jumps didn’t phase it, snorkelling was not a problem, nor was snow, dirt and plenty of bumps – it’s clearly built to last.
The main compartment and battery screw tightly into the body and the seals are solid. The waterproof lens is less than reassuring the first time you fit it but has stayed put ever since. Although it can clearly take knocks, the body could be a little more rubberised so I’m not sure how it’ll handle a hard fall onto concrete.
4k action camera: What’s 4k?
It’s the next level of quality above HD – sometimes referred to as Ultra HD – providing four times as much quality as 1080p full HD. The drawback with the TomTom Bandit is that it can only film this quality at 15 fps (frames per second), although it films at 60 fps in HD.
Image & video quality
Both photos and videos are super sharp. It’s a 4k action camera so you really expect the image quality to be excellent, and it is. Video footage is very good even at the limited frame rate. But at 4k it struggles when filming high speed activities due to the low frame rate, and is certainly not suitable for playback in slow motion.
But at standard HD, which to be honest is more than adequate for most people, the image quality is still very good and shooting at up to 60fps it can handle speed with ease. You can also use this to playback your footage in slow motion, and although it is not as high a frame rate as the latest GoPro’s, it’s again more than adequate for most people.
Action camera with easy editing?
Using its GPS functions and motion sensors the TomTom Bandit tags the highlights from your recording based on altitude, speed and g-force – it can even tell when you have done a trick. This means you can avoid trawling through hours of footage and quickly pull together the bits you want to share – in short a 4k action camera with easy editing.
Without downloading the footage you can use an app on your smartphone to view the highlights. From here you can turn them into a slick video with titles, music, and stats such as your speed or altitude. You can then share it for the world to see, all quickly and without too much fuss.
Although it’s billed as ‘Shake to Edit’ and it’s all very clever, I never found it that useful. To me the ‘create a story’ function on the app felt a bit gimmicky, and despite it being a 4k action camera with easy editing I preferred to download the footage onto my laptop and edit it the old fashioned way.
Personally I’d rather edit as I shoot, i.e. shoot shorter preconceived sequences and then create the perfect video from my laptop. However, the app syncs really well with the camera and it’s easy to quickly share good footage. So it’s great if you want to instantly edit and share highlights, but if you’re a perfectionist you might not use it.
Review of TomTom Bandit: Extras
The cheapest option at £199 is just the camera, but to get the most from it you really need a mount. For £249 you can get a range of accessories and mounts with everything you need to start filming – you pick from either an adventure or bike pack. A board mount is extra at £29.99.
Review of TomTom Bandit: Conclusion
Although the TomTom Bandit 4k action camera does not offer as high frame rate as the GoPro’s, when recording like for like quality the footage is just as good. The reality is not everyone needs 240fps or for that matter 4k quality, particularly with most of us consuming media on our phones.
With the addition of GPS and easy editing, the TomTom Bandit 4k action camera has differentiated itself from it’s competitors. By bridging the gap between recording video, editing the footage and actually sharing it, the TomTom Bandit neatly solves the industry’s biggest problem.
To conclude this review of TomTom Bandit 4k action camera, while I found the auto-editing detracted from my creative process, there are many people out there who’ll love it. In a world where instantly sharing videos, bragging about how high or fast you’ve gone, an action camera with easy editing will appeal to many people.
We hope you found this review of TomTom Bandit useful. If you fancy getting your hands on a 4k action camera with easy editing visit: www.tomtom.com