For some time now the action camera market has been dominated by GoPro. While that’s no surprise, there are some competitors out there. One such is the Activeon line of affordable action cameras. I am familiar withe the GoPro line of products but for this review I’ll be focusing on the Activeon CX and how it stands apart.
The Box Opening
Box is sealed within a cylindrical packaging, half see-trough plastic, and half sturdy cardboard. Taking it apart is as simple as pulling the tape between it.
The Activeon CX Camera is securely mounted and comes in a hard transparent case. Also included inside the packaging is the battery, the USB charger cord, one angled mount with adhesive, an instruction manual (a must read) and a quick start user guide.
The Activeon CX Camera measures in at 2.3″w X 1″d X 1.6″. The camera body is covered in a black matte solid protective rubber, it’s surprisingly light, compact and weighs in just over 2 ounces.
The top of the camera you can see the microphone and two function buttons. One for Mode/Navigation, the other for Power/Record/Shutter. The bottom has a standard 1/4 universal screw hole, convenient for using many aftermarket tripods. The side of the camera has the standard slot for the micro SD memory card, the USB charging port and an HD Out port. The ports are suitably spaced where you can charge the device and connect to a HDTV for easy playback. The front of the camera’s is a shiny black (removable) plastic faceplate. The Activeon CX also sports a built-in 2″ LCD live viewfinder. It can be used for setting up and framing shots without the use of an app, something the base GoPro cameras are missing.
Features and Experience
While inside the transparent case, the Activeon CX camera is reported to be water proof up to 196 feet. While the case may feel fragile, it’s certainly not. The hard molded plastic it’s surprisingly quite rugged. The submersible test, while I didn’t have the means to do a submersible test up to 196 feet, I did run 40 feet test for an hour and the seal held well and the camera stayed dry.
The camera features a CMOS sensor, and a 6-elements aspherical glass with f/2.4 bright glass lens offering it a super wide field of vision with the ability to record Full HD (1920×1080 30 frame per seconds) (sadly not 60fps). In camera-mode the action cam takes photos at 5 mega pixels. The device is actually quite easy to configure. The instructions are very straight-forward, and the 2 function buttons allows you easy navigation. In that rare case where your storage needs exceeds your battery life, the Activeon CX camera battery is removable. On its own though, the battery life is quite great. Reported to run up to 2 hours, I’ve been fortunate in my test where it ran a bit longer. Continuing a bit from style, the Activeon CX line was the first in my experience with action cameras to offer the option of changing the faceplate. For roughly $24.99, Activeon offers a Changeable Kit, a pack of six color interchangeable faceplates and a pry tool that resembles a guitar pick. While it’s not an important feature, it’s a welcomed option. Now we come to the Mobile app and the built-in WiFi feature, easily my favorite option. The install and configuration to the Mobile (control) app was quite easy.
Your external device, whether it be a mobile phone or tablet, you now have a remote viewfinder as well as an easier way to manage files, settings and effects. In giving it a fair configuration review, I made sure I tested the mobile app setup on both IOS and Android devices. The experience between the two was almost identical.
How is the Video/ Photo quality?
I wanted to use the Activeon CX under different natural lighting scenarios using the default settings. Action cameras in general are not equipped with a flash module, so natural light is what you’ll need and depend on to get the best possible image/video out of the product. Based on the shots taken, you can get a general idea of what this device is capable of. Even under low light and uncooperative weather the Activeon CX does a pretty good job.
First I used the Activeon CX as a dash camera, with the low light the video capture is sharp with no noise.
Second test, while is was securely mounted on the dash, I quick put in camera mode to see how it will handle under the same lighting. Like the dash video, the image output was much better than expected.
In hoping for clear skies, I had to settle for just a slight improvement in lighting. Last question being, was I going to get a slight improvement or a significant one? I took a few shots and sure enough the quality improved significantly. If this is how the Activeon CX performs under rough lighting, under great weather and clear skies you can expect the image to be nothing short of great.
While the photos made not show, I put the camera though the ringer. The Activeon CX survived with flying colors. This is one action camera that’s came into the game to give GoPro a good market fight. Now, what would you expect for an iddy biddy HD action camera with LCD viewfinder? The Activeon CX retails at a shocking $119.99. The features, the LCD, the easy mount, the app control is smooth. It’s a great camera offering more with an amazing price point to compete in the action camera market.