Currently priced at £89.99 (currently with an additional £20 discount at the Amazon checkout) the TRAWO action camera, the latest from the APEMAN range show just how much action cameras have developed over the past year or so.
The camera and accessories arrived packaged in an attractive upmarket box which again shows that increased care given now to the presentation of budget products. A full range of accessories and mounts are included, too many to list here but they are all shown in my video. The only notable omissions are an SD card and a wifi wrist mounted Off/On button. It is a pity about the SD card as they are cheap enough these days and would not add greatly to the cost and would allow the camera to be used straight from the box. It could be said that the wrist mount feature is included in the phone app but that is not a practical option when engaged in active sports. The printed User Guide is better those usually found, is a decent size, well printed, in good English and easy to read but not as detailed as I would wish.
Physically the 2 1/4″ x 1 3/4″ x 1″ camera is well designed and a pleasure to use. All the buttons are recessed and the port flap and battery cover are secure but easy to remove and a great advance on many rivals where I have struggled for hours to remove (and replace) the battery cover. The 2″ IPS screen is bright and easy to read but is not touch sensitive. On the side is the grommet protected panel housing the micro-SD card, micro-HDMI, and USB ports.
The camera has four basic modes of operation accessed by short pressing the power button on the camera top: video, photo, playback, settings. The camera can also function as a webcam and car camera, although I do not think it has the G-Sensor needed to record and flag impacts. For me, that is no big deal as I have yet to find an action camera that will actually work effectively as a Dashcam. It has HDMI video out and so can be connected directly to your TV, although a separate micro-HDMI cable will be needed for this. It can also be connected directly to a PC or video display to view files and function as a webcam.
Gone are the days when budget action cameras gave you grainy, low-resolution video with colour casts and artefacts. Video quality is certainly amongst the best I have encountered for an action cam in this price range, and a definite step up from the cheaper no-name GoPro clones of the past. Unlike with so many others, here there is no substantive daylight colour cast. The 170° wide angle lens is great but with the barrel distortion common to all of this type You can correct for this in the settings but I suspect this may be achieved by simply electronically cropping the image. Image stabilisation is also available and although not perfect does make a noticeable difference without image quality suffering unduly, unlike with too many budget rivals/. The camera does an excellent quality 4K@30fps ( 3840×2160) as well as several other rather more useful modes including 1080@60fps. Slow motion is available at 120fps@720p, 240fps@720p and 120fps@1080P. Still images were good and free from colour fringing or casts. Remember that the sample footage in my unboxing video will have been heavily compressed during posting and not reflect the true quality. I would say the image quality and features are at least as good as those from a high-end phone.
The camera is claimed to be waterproof to 40M and I have no reason to doubt it. It should certainly be fine for all normal swimming and diving use.
The camera has a settings mode accessed using the rear screen and this is by far the best I have tried so far with multiple and easy to read options large and bright enough to be used outdoors. The camera comes with two 1350 mAh Li-ion batteries (better than the 1050mAh too often used) but no separate charger so you cannot charge the second battery when the camera is in use.
Like many more upmarket action cameras, it has wifi built in which means the camera generates a mini wifi network of its own which allows an attached phone have basic control of the camera and view live-streamed video. To use it you need to download the “YITUPRO” app from Apple or Android. The Android app is considerably better than most and will act as a remote control, configure camera settings, play recorded videos, stream video, and save images and video to the app. I did encounter some stuttering when streaming video but that may be due to the limitations of the phone I tested it with. Certainly using the app is the easiest way to change the camera settings.
This is one of the most impressive action cameras I have used in this price range. Image quality is excellent, there is a wide range of modes and options available and it has genuinely useable Electronic Image Stabilisation, Field of View choice, 4K and slow motion. A good range of mounts is included but no carry case, remote control, or battery Charger. Nevertheless, at his price, the APEMAN TRAWO really is a serious GoPro rival.
Two batteries included
No External Battery Charger