There are options to increase the battery life of your Avatour system, up to and including permanent AC power for continuous operation. This article outlines those options.
A typical Avatour capture system consists of a 360 camera and a mobile device. Each component has its own battery, and both components must be powered to provide a 360° feed to the Avatour session. Depending on the specific devices used, different power options are available.
The hardware options continue to evolve. We will update this article regularly to reflect new options as they become available.
TL;DR: What gear gives me the longest battery life?
The combination of the Insta 360 One R camera with a wireless-charging capable Android phone, a USB-C splitter, and an external battery enables operation for 4 hours or more. Scroll to the bottom of this article for a complete shopping list.
Battery Options for Cameras
Insta360 One X
The Insta360 One X camera cannot support external power, so it is limited to battery power only. The standard One X battery lasts a little over an hour. However, it's easily removable, so that spare charged batteries can be "hot-swapped" with only a few seconds of stream downtime. Spare batteries are inexpensive and readily available, and are shipped with all of our Avatour kits.
Insta360 One X2
The Insta360 One X2 camera is very similar to the One X, but it has some crucial differences when it comes to power options. Its standard battery lasts longer, almost 90 minutes in our tests. And while it does have a "hot-swappable" battery like the One X, replacement batteries are not available yet - not from third-party vendors and not from Insta360 itself. And while it does have a USB-C connector, in our tests, it is impossible to use a splitter to connect both power and data to the camera.
As a result of these deficiencies relative to other options, we can't recommend the X2 for situations where sessions longer than an hour are required.
Insta360 One R
The One R has two battery options, and also can support external power under certain conditions.
Spare batteries are available directly from Insta360 in both a regular and high-capacity ("Boosted") format. The "Boosted" battery is particularly effective, as it lasts more than 2 hours in an Avatour session, and has a built-in GoPro-style mount which makes for a lighter and simpler setup. On the downside, it is harder to swap than the One X and One X2 batteries, requiring dismounting of the camera.
Unique among the Insta360 options, the One R supports external power during an Avatour session. This enables much longer run-times with an external battery, or continuous operation when connected to
External Charging Options
We have only validated one camera which works with an external battery - the Insta360 One R. Using this device with the external battery requires a USB-C splitter, enabling the data cable to still be used. We have tested and validated several splitters designed for USB-C headphones, including this one and this one. We cannot guarantee that other devices might work.
In addition to the splitter, you'll need a way to charge the mobile device.
Wireless Charging Mount
Our friends at Ulanzi have created a one-of-a-kind tripod phone mount which enables wireless charging of phones. When used with external power, this can allow the mobile device to be charged even though its cable port is connected to the camera.
This device must be connected to a battery pack or other source of USB power, and the phone must support wireless charging.
We have tested this device and it works well. Note that it does not accommodate a tablet; we don't know of any charging solution for tablets that allows the camera to be connected at the same time.
Now that we can get power to our devices, we need something that can supply power. If you're planning a stationary application, of course, you can simply hook up to AC USB adapters. But for portable use, we need an external battery.
Once again Ulanzi has come to the rescue with an excellent external battery pack that is designed to be mounted on a tripod. Their BG-3 Power Stick features a 10,000mAh battery and two power connectors. In our tests it has powered an Avatour kit continuously for over four hours. It's relatively lightweight at 460g, and mounts directly inline with the tripod and mount.
Here's a complete shopping list to enable continuous AC or external battery-backed power for your Avatour kit, including US Amazon links where appropriate:
- Insta360 One R camera
- Wireless-charging compatible mobile phone
- Ulanzi ST-13 wireless charging camera mount
- Ulanzi BG-3 tripod-mounted battery pack
- Cold-shoe GoPro-style mount for camera
- Compatible USB-C splitter
- Data cable for Insta360 One R
- Two short power cables to connect devices to the battery pack: 1 USB-C to USB-C, and 1 USB-A to USB-C
Feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com if you have unique needs or other questions about hardware solutions.