AKASO's latest Brave 8 action camera is a reason to get really excited. It's an improvement from the previous generation in every possible way.
In my last review, I covered the Brave 7, which featured a great weight improvement with the skeletal frame enclosure. The Brave 8 carries forward the same design, but with an even more polished action camera.
In this review, we'll be unboxing the Brave 8 and going into a deep dive. I can't wait to share the new red accents featured on the body.
Key Technical Specs
Up to 4K60 FPS
Up to 48 MP
Up to 8K
Weight (Including Battery)
2 x 1,550 mAh
First Look: Packaging
AKASO has kept the packaging consistent. The most noticeable difference is the subtle redesign on the Brave 8. There's an imitate front grill along with an accented logo, which I really like. It feels even better in the hand.
By this point, it should come as no surprise that the accessories included are standard. AKASO has consistently made the effort to include a comprehensive list of accessories that will likely cover your multi-use case.
What I really like is there attention to details as the icons have been polished to match certain redesigned accessories such as the remote control. Yes, the remote control has undergone another redesign, which I dare say is the best version yet.
Sliding the box out is exciting. The redesigned chassis is more noticeable than ever. The front grill and the red logo really appeals to me.
Removing the action camera unit itself from the mount is a bit tricky and requires a bit of effort. This is by design to ensure that the unit doesn't get damaged during shipping. As long as you follow the three-step instructions of unhooking the rubber stopper, removing it entirely, and then sliding the unit out, you shouldn't encounter any difficulties.
You're greeted with the Quick Start Guide right when you open the box. I haven't found this to be too helpful as AKASO does try to make a push for you to download their app. The app isn't special in any way. It more so connects to the action camera and acts as a file viewer. It provides you with with the option to edit a video file, view it, or download it to your phone. Of course, it's still best to remove the micro-SD card when you need to transfer larger files.
One of the main advantages of going with AKASO is that you get an extensive array of mounting accessories. I have yet to come across a situation where AKASO didn't offer an accessory that I needed. Since I do own some of the older Brave action cameras, I was able to confirm that the accessories are interchangeable. In other words, you don't need to worry about matching the accessories with the model of the action camera. The accessories that came with my Brave 7 action camera can easily be used with the Brave 8.
However, there is one exception to this and that's the battery. AKASO did modify the battery for the Brave 8. It's slightly larger so I do expect it to last about the same as the Brave 7 or slightly longer. This is because 4K recordings will be quite intensive.
Battery & Remote
Unfortunately, the Brave 7 batteries are not interchangeable with the Brave 8. This is one aspect I really hope AKASO is able to standardize. This way, my existing batteries do not "go to waste" when I make the upgrade to a new Brave model.
However, each PG 1550 battery for the Brave 8 has a capacity of 1,550 mAh, which is 200 mAh higher than the previous Brave 7 battery. Understandably, this does mean that the battery size and form factor will differ.
If AKASO releases a Brave 9 with the same battery capacity as the Brave 8, I sincerely hope that the batteries will be interchangeable. While two are included in the box, sourcing additional batteries isn't exactly easy. Depending on the model of the battery, it may not be readily available on third-party marketplaces such as Amazon.
While it may seem nonsensical for me to talk about the batteries and the remote together, I assure you that it is not. Unfortunately, the Brave 8 still hasn't addressed one of my gripes with the previous Brave 7. It's summed up in this series of photos.
The two PG 1550 batteries are plugged into a dock with a USB Type-C port. However, the remote uses a different port. As much as I rave about how polished the Brave 8's remote is, it's still an annoyance that it must be charged via a micro-USB cable. By the way, this micro-USB cable isn't included by AKASO so you will need to purchase this separately if you foresee yourself using the remote quite a bit.
Brave 8: First Look
The Brave 8 is incredibly polished. More specifically, the injection molding lines are no longer present.
If you read my review on the Brave 7, the visibility of the injection molding lines was a mild detractor. However, it doesn't mean the Brave 7 was "bad" in any way. It was simply a byproduct as AKASO migrated towards a rugged design so that the a slimmer skeleton case can be used.
Nevertheless, I'm very happy to see that the injection molding lines aren't nearly as visible. The Brave 8 certainly feels more complete. What I really love is the color scheme. The red accent around the camera is certainly a nice touch.
The rugged design enables AKASO to use a skeleton case that leaves the screen exposed. This is great as it makes navigating the controls significantly easier with touch and swipe gestures.
One thing I noticed was that AKASO did not list the size of the touch screen. Based on my estimation, I'd say the screen is just over 1.5 inches. However, it would be nice if AKASO listed the official specs for the Brave 8.
Aspiring Vlogger? The Brave 8 has you covered. It looks like AKASO is making the dual-screen setup standard for the Brave series. We saw this on the Brave 7 and it's now on the Brave 8 as well. Plug in the external microphone that is included in the accessories and you'll be able to vlog with convenience.
Aesthetics wise, I have to say I love how polished the design is. The faux plastic grill with a red badge is a good look. I do hope AKASO continues the Brave series with this trend.
Opening the bottom latch reveals the battery compartment. Since you can easily see how the contact pins are positioned, it's pretty much impossible to put the battery in backwards.
Another very cool feature that you can observe is the thick rubber gasket that prevents water from getting into the battery compartment. This gasket is also present for the other compartment, which you can see below.
If you prefer not to remove and dock the battery, you can certainly charge it by connecting a USB Type-C cable. This goes back to my gripe with AKASO. They include a USB Type-C cable, which can be connected to the battery dock and the Brave 8 itself. However, you need a separate cable for the remote.
Adjacent to the USB Type-C port is the micro-SD card. According to AKASO, you can use a micro-SD card up to 512 GB. Since that's a bit overkill, I completed my testing with an 128 GB endurance card. My only tip here is to ensure that you purchase and use a micro-SD card that's designed for action cameras. This will ensure that you don't suffer and file writing speed issues.
On a final note, the gasket to cover up these openings is present. Based on me feeling it, I'd say it's sturdy enough to ditch the conventional plastic case that completely seals an action camera inside it.
So how does the AKASO Brave 8 perform? Due to the cold weather conditions here when I got my Brave 8 unit, I was unable to mount it and just go for a bike ride. However, I did mount the Brave 8 in the car when I took a mini road trip.
For my usage, the Brave 8 got the job done and it performed very well. After recording quite a bit of footage, I compiled the key components to highlight and here are my general thoughts.
Daytime clarity is superb. If you pause the footage, the text on signs and trucks are legible. The Brave 8 does struggle a bit more picking up smaller text such as license plates. The plate will need to be directly in front of the action camera for reading to be possible.
As I drove, I experienced various road bumps. The action camera did a great job stabilizing the footage. Although some shakes and jitters were present, it didn't detract the viewing experience one bit.
However, the Brave 8 isn't without its weaknesses. I pulled into a parking lot about 45 seconds into the video. Since I parked facing east, the action camera was pointed directly at the sun. In turn, this caused quite a bit of lens flare. This was also present during my night time drive near the end of my video.
Nevertheless, the night time video quality did surprise me. Taking a closer look, the lens flare was most prominent from the vehicle lights directly in front of me. However, the Christmas decorations were surprisingly clear. Furthermore, pretty much all the signs were legible despite the low light conditions.
Given my testing and personal usage, I found that the slightly bigger PG 1550 battery led to marginal improvements in recording time. On one battery, I was able to get a recording time of 1 hour and 40 minutes. Of course, your recording time will vary depending on environmental conditions. The recording time will shorten if the Brave 8 is exposed to extreme heat or extreme cold.
The Brave 8 action camera is extremely polished with minor frustrations. AKASO continues to offer an all-encompassing package to ensure you don't miss out. Each unit will come with an assortment of accessories and mounts that will pretty much cover all sport and usage conditions.
However, I really wish they standardized the ports so that both the battery, action camera, and the remote can be charged via the USB Type-C port. Right now, be prepared to buy a separate micro-USB cable if you plan on using the remote. Luckily, one of these cables can be purchased for just a few bucks so you won't break the bank.
While it's largely a nice to have, this won't affect any new Brave 8 buyers. I wish the batteries were standardized so that the older Brave 7 batteries can be used on the Brave 8. This is not a concern for new Brave 8 buyers as two batteries are already included.
At the end of the day, the Brave 8 is AKASO's best action camera yet. Whether you're just getting started with action cameras or an athlete, it's unlikely you can go wrong with the Brave 8.