RUGGED,SUR­GI­CAL, AC­CU­RATE

Garmin VIRB XE

HWM (Malaysia) - - APERTURE - TEST - JohnLaw

When it comes to Garmin, it’s a nat­u­ral re­ac­tion for us to au­to­mat­i­cally as­so­ciate the brand with its wide­ly­pop­u­lar GPS navigational sys­tems. But what many don’t re­al­ize about Garmin is that the com­pany is also an ad­vo­cate for the cre­ation of a num­ber of other prod­ucts, such as fit­ness track­ers and avionic equip­ments. Re­cently, the com­pany re­leased an ac­tion cam­era that’s de­signed for out­door ac­tiv­i­ties, such as ex­treme, avi­a­tion, sea, and au­to­mo­tive sports. What are we talk­ing about? We’re talk­ing about the Garmin VIRB XE.

The VIRB XE is ac­tu­ally one half of two ac­tion cam­eras re­leased by Garmin, the other be­ing the VIRB X. As you would’ve no doubt guessed, the VIRB XE just so hap­pens to be the bet­ter half of the two. Long story short, the VIRB XE is able to record HD videos at a max­i­mum res­o­lu­tion of 1,440p at 30 fps, while the VIRB X is ca­pa­ble of video record­ing at a max­i­mum res­o­lu­tion of 1080p at 60 fps.

When it comes to de­sign, we can’t help but point out that the VIRB XE isn’t as sleek, es­pe­cially when you com­pare it to GoPro’s re­cent HERO4 Ses­sion ac­tion cam­era. Com­pared to that, the VIRB XE’s black, rugged, rhom­bus de­sign seems to be de­lib­er­ate, al­most as though it was sur­gi­cally de­signed to be that way.

As for func­tion­al­ity: the VIRB XE is op­er­ated with a sim­ple lever, which is lo­cated on its right side. Flipped to­wards the di­rec­tion of your fore­head (we had it at­tached to a head strap), and the de­vice is on standby. Flipped away and to the front, and the cam­era will then be­gin its record­ing. To snap a pic­ture, you only need to press the but­ton af­fixed to the lever.

Per­haps the most in­ter­est­ing fea­ture of the VIRB XE is some­thing known as the G-Metrix sys­tem. It’s ef­fec­tively a cus­tom­iz­a­ble fea­ture that al­lows you to add in dif­fer­ent gauges via the use of the ac­com­pa­ny­ing mo­bile and desk­top soft­ware. Dur­ing test­ing, we left the fea­ture on its de­fault set­tings, which dis­played a G-Force me­ter that could ac­cu­rately tell you the amount of force that was ex­erted in any cho­sen di­rec­tion.

Video qual­ity on the VIRB XE is pretty much on par with the com­pe­ti­tion. Both video and im­age qual­ity are ab­so­lutely stun­ning, but even more im­pres­sive is how it could ac­cu­rately pick up the sur­round­ing sound in crys­tal clar­ity and with lit­tle to no dis­tor­tion.

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You can set the VIRB XE to dis­play dif­fer­ent gauges. Seen here is a G-Force gauge.

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