Apple acknowledged that the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max suffer from overheating issues and pointed the finger at a bug in iOS 17. A fix is in the works, but a new issue has surfaced – wireless charging might be damaging the NFC module. There are only a few isolated incidents reported for now, but it has happened often enough that it can't be ignored.
Several folks in the MacRumors forums as well as posters on X have reported issues with setting up Apple Pay – when replacing the phones at an Apple Store, the employees suggested that the NFC module had died.
Apple Pay issues...
Just as promised earlier this year, HMD Global is now manufacturing 5G smartphones in Europe – more specifically in Hungary and the first phone from the assembly line is a Limited Edition Nokia XR21. HMD commissioned an initial batch of only 50 devices with a mere 30 going on open sale. Each phone will be engraved with its own unique number in the series and comes in the Frosted Platinum color with its own limited edition box.
Nokia XR21 was announced back in May and brings a rugged design with MIL-STD-810H military-grade and IP69K certification - the highest IP protection against...
The Turtle Beach Scout Air wireless gaming earbuds manage to get the job done on a number of fronts and are a solid option if you’re in the market for a pair of simple and effective mid-range buds.
Don’t expect incredible quality here though, as nearly everything about the Turtle Beach Scout Air gaming buds is pretty middle-of-the-road. Audio for gaming and casual music listening is decent without feeling particularly full-bodied or accentuated in any one area. Plus, the overall average battery life and awkward form factor make them rather unsuitable for extended listening sessions.
It’s not all bad news, though, and these buds do excel in some pretty important areas. Their low-latency Game mode is fantastic for providing accurate and responsive audio while gaming and a high water resistance rating means they’re perfectly suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. If you can deal with their shortcomings, the Turtle Beach Scout Air gaming earbuds are a solid pick if you’re after a well-rounded and versatile pair of buds.
Price and availability
You can get the Turtle Beach Scout Air gaming earbuds for $99.99 / £89.99, either from the brand’s official website or other big box retailers. This is fairly competitive as far as gaming-focused true wireless earbuds go, coming in much cheaper than the Razer Hammerhead Hyperspeed earbuds for PS5 which cost $149.99 / £149.99 / AU$259.
While you’ll get overall better performance from non-gaming earbuds released around the same timeframe, such as the Creative Outlier Pro for $119 / £84.99 (around AU$159), you’ll find that the Turtle Beach Scout Air buds are discounted quite regularly, making them worth keeping in mind during key sales periods.
Design and features
The Turtle Beach Scout Air gaming earbuds come in a pocket-friendly charging case that features a lightweight design and form. A line of three white LEDs on the case indicates the state of charge for your buds, too, which is a welcome addition for seeing how much battery they have at a glance. On the rear, you’ve got a USB-C for charging up the case, and buds, once it’s run dry.
Flip open the charging case to find the earbuds inside, and you’ll notice that they have a rather distinct look. While there are no complaints to be had in terms of overall build quality, the stems of the buds are slightly angled by design, and the buds themselves don’t rest well in the ear without some fidgeting. Readjusting them mid-session was a fairly common occurrence just to make sure they wouldn’t slip out.
This form factor led to the buds becoming more uncomfortable over time; in fact, after just a couple of hours, I felt I needed to place them back in the case to give my ears a bit of a break. The buds made my ears slightly achy and overly warm over the course of a cross-country train ride, and it was a relief to stop using them for a bit.
The Turtle Beach Scout Air gaming earbuds do excel in other areas, though. Bearing an IPX4 water resistance rating, they can operate in conditions equal to an average amount of rainfall, and are resistant to small splashes of water. This makes them ideal for out-and-about play just so long as you’re not running into a storm with them.
As for connectivity, you’re strictly dependent on Bluetooth with the Turtle Beach Scout Air gaming earbuds. While that makes them ideal for Nintendo Switch, Steam Deck and Android-based devices, you’ll need to look elsewhere if you’re after buds that’ll be compatible with PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.
Performance and battery life
The Turtle Beach Scout Air gaming earbuds perform adequately in terms of sound quality, but they’re not particularly special. The overall sound profile is decent but rather flat. Music with particularly high production value - like the Sonic Frontierssoundtrack or Tool’s 10,000 Days, for example - doesn’t sound as rich or full-bodied as it should when listened to with some of the best gaming earbuds around.
The earbuds do fare better for gaming, thankfully. A built-in low latency Game mode helps to reduce delay inherent with Bluetooth connectivity. The mode allows for accurate, responsive audio which makes them an excellent choice for Bluetooth-ready devices.
Connectivity in itself can be an issue, though. When pairing the buds to my Android phone (which you can do by flipping open the charging case with the buds remaining inside), I often found that only one of two earbuds would pair. As a result, expect to have times when you’ll need to unpair the device and try again. This is a substantial frustration and one you wouldn’t expect to deal with when spending nearly $100 / £100.
Battery life is acceptable, with the charging case providing up to 20 hours of battery when it’s fully topped up. It’s a shame that the earbuds themselves can only hold up to five hours of charge, but that should still be enough for most daily activities, and it helps that the case charges them fairly quickly, in roughly 60 - 90 minutes from empty to full.
Overall, the Turtle Beach Scout Air wireless gaming earbuds are a decent pair if you can grab them in a sale. It’s hard to recommend them at full price given their relatively flat sound and occasional connectivity issues. That said, they’re about as affordable as true wireless gaming earbuds get. If you have the budget, then, we’d recommend a higher-quality pair like the excellent Epos GTW 270 Hybrid Earbuds.
Should I buy the Turtle Beach Scout Air gaming earbuds?
Buy them if...
Don't buy them if...
How we reviewed the Turtle Beach Scout Air gaming earbuds
I tested the Turtle Beach Scout Air gaming earbuds over the course of a couple of weeks, ensuring to use them in a range of environments including both in and outdoors, as well as aboard public transport. Both casual listening and gaming were tested, and I played many of the best Nintendo Switch games to get a feel for what their low-latency Game mode offers.
Platform reviewed: PC Available on: PC Release date: October 3, 2023
Station to Station is exactly what it says on the tin: a minimalist and relaxing game about building railway connections and moving things from station to station. You’ll pour hours into building stations and connecting buildings to then transport your goods to a city, all while bringing life back to the world's desolate landscapes. It’s incredibly simple in premise, but it’s astoundingly fun once you get stuck in.
Regardless of your relationship with world-building simulators or anything that relies on resource management in general, Station to Station is a must-play for anyone looking for a relaxing experience. If you’ve played games like Before We Leave, Islanders, and Terra Nil, you’ll be familiar with the routine of finding out what you have to do, and then planning the best way to complete the task, but what separates it from these games is the extreme lack of feeling pressured due to resource management and instead the emphasis on working at your own pace.
Bring me to life
To start out, the map feels a little on the small side, since it’s just a square with a handful of buildings scattered across. As you begin connecting wheat farms to mills, then mills to bakeries, Station to Station hints at the complexity to come as it gently holds your hand while teaching you how to place stations and tracks. It’s an essential step, but once complete you’ll have a firm understanding of the game and the intricate systems that underpin it.
As you begin to breathe a new life into these landscapes and connect each building through your railways, the color starts to return, and the music starts to swell as both a visual and auditory representation of your progress. I love adaptive music within games that require you to build from the ground up since it feels far more rewarding than just being given a sticker at the end of the level and told 'good job', and it’s something Station to Station excels in. You feel proud of the work you’ve done as the world springs to life, and it’s enough motivation alone to push you through to the next level.
To keep the experience exciting, Station to Station hosts six different biomes to bring to life too, so when you feel like you’ve exhausted one, you can move on to the next and encounter entirely new cities and requirements in fresh settings. Plus, each new biome is home to a new creature to locate across the map, like horses for plains, camels for deserts, all of which you can zoom right in on - which I might’ve spent more time doing than I like to admit, but in my defense, this was required for a few levels so that’s my excuse.
Although there is a little room for error, you are free to completely restart levels or from a checkpoint if you realize you’ve misplaced or connected a rail that would be better off elsewhere. I don’t usually go back and correct myself when I notice I make an error like this, but the lax nature of Station to Station helps you feel like there are no real consequences if you do have to retrace your steps a little bit, so there’s no shame in feeling like you might benefit from doing so. Even if you just want to organize things a bit neater, it feels like an integral part of the game to go through this process rather than feeling like you’re going back on yourself.
The train keeps a-rollin'
The only real restriction in Station to Station is your money. Placing stations and laying tracks isn’t free, and you will eventually run out of funds if you’ve been busy creating roller coaster-style railways for your freight trains to enjoy on their commute. But, you will always start with an ample amount to get set up, and the second you start producing things like bread and cheese, you’ll start to make money again. This emphasizes the importance of planning, which the game revolves around, and then goes back to my point about how restarting from checkpoints is part of the process rather than a retracing of steps.
Watching the world spring to life as you begin to build from the ground up is always a rewarding experience. There’s nothing quite like watching life come back to what looks like an abandoned location as you start to get to grips with the game.
In addition to this, each level comes with two optional challenges for those who like a little more structure. One usually revolves around finances, challenging you to end a level with a certain amount left to your name, and the other will be more of a wildcard. You’ll be challenged to create rails that run for 2000m or cross three times, generally, just things that will require you to be a little more creative with your placements, but they are fun objectives to try and meet if you do struggle with just being told to build a network and left to your own devices.
Let off some steam
The freedom Station to Station provides you with to just build as you please is what I think makes the game so appealing. You don’t have to place things on specific tiles or against certain blocks, just as long as you can connect your stations to one another, the world is your oyster. Even with optional challenges, you can still work at your own pace without any repercussions if you don’t follow a specific routine, and that is so important in a game that claims to be relaxing.
Outside of it’s six regions, Station to Station comes equipped with a “custom game” mode, which lets you build your own maps according to your preferences, and really lets your creativity shine through. If you’re someone who doesn’t love the shackles of funds in world-building games, there’s a way to turn this off and simply build.
With games like Terra Nil and Dorfromantik, you can feel as though one misplacement will end up with you having to begin again, whereas with Station to Station, you are more willing and more likely to find a workaround if you do realize you’ve misplaced a rail, but it doesn’t feel as enjoyment-shattering even if you do have to go back to a checkpoint and evaluate your decisions again.
At its core, Station to Station is simply about learning to slow down and plan without feeling the limitations of deadlines or the pressure of resource management. Although its more relaxed content loop might not appeal to the action-seeking, high-stakes player, for someone looking for a game that just lets you chill, it’s a charming, unique little game that’s enough to keep you entertained for a decent chunk of time.
Unfortunately, Station to Station falls a bit short on accessibility settings. If you don’t fancy playing with a mouse and keyboard, the game does have full controller support, but as for in-game accessibility, your options are limited. Keybinding and custom graphics settings, alongside the ability to change the language of your game, are about as accessible as things get, but the nature of the game and lack of narration or dialogue, in general, means there’s no need for subtitles - so it gets a pass on that.
How we reviewed Station to Station
I played Station to Station for around 13 hours on PC using a mouse and keyboard. This was enough time for me to complete all six biomes the game offers, a handful of the optional in-game challenges, and explore the custom game mode. There are still several challenges for me to go back in and complete, which I definitely plan on doing.
For more games like Station to Station, you might want to check out the best indie games, or the best simulation games if you want to see the world from the perspective of a conductor rather than the network constructor.
Google is announcing its Pixel 8 series tomorrow and we’ve already seen countless leaks but here’s one more. M. Brandon Lee from This is Tech Today shared several images of the Pixel 8 Pro running the Device Info HW and AIDA64 apps which reveals detailed specs on the new Tensor G3 chip.
Google Pixel 8 Pro running Device Info HW app
Tensor G3 features a 9-core CPU with a Cortex-X3 prime core clocked at 2.91 GHz, 4x Cortex-A715 cores clocked at 2.37GHz and 4x Cortex-A510 cores humming at 1.7GHz. The other notable bit is the Mali-G715 GPU and 12GB RAM. Tensor G3 is fabbed on Samsung’s...
Last we heard anything about Google's delayed release of Android 14, it was rumored to finally be dropping on the day of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro announcement - October 4. Back then, it was just a rumor. Today, it's sort of confirmed.
Only sort of, because this isn't exactly an official announcement - and we're not expecting one from Google until the day of. What we have is Canadian carrier Telus listing when software update rollouts would commence for the devices it sells. And under all Pixel devices starting with the Pixel 4a, "Android U" was listed as going out on October...
If rumors have been correct, then OnePlus will launch its first ever foldable smartphone, the Open, at some point this month. Today, the company is officially starting its teaser / hype-building campaign for the upcoming device, following the soft start from a few days ago when an Indian actress was spotted rocking the Open in the open.
So, what we have today is a video from Unbox Therapy, in which OnePlus boss Pete Lau makes an appearance in an interview of sorts. He talks up the device's hinge design, on which OnePlus (or more likely, parent company Oppo) apparently holds 35...
The GoPro Hero 12 Black is a variation on a tried and tested GoPro formula. GoPro has an Apple-like ability to refresh its line without overhauling it to great effect, and this year there isn't much that's new in the way of hardware for the 12 Black. That said, familiar hardware might not be an issue given the upgraded software experience, particularly for filmmakers and anyone craving external wireless audio support.
Let's start with what's returning for 2023 from last year's GoPro Hero 11 Black. Firstly, there's that 27MP 8:7 sensor that can capture 16:9, 9:16, and 8:7 footage without needing to reorient your camera. It can shoot at up to 5.3K 60fps and 4K 120fps, and if you want to drop the resolution to 2K, it even captures 240fps, something the DJI Osmo Action 4 can't do.
Next, GoPro's Hero design is back for round six – or is it seven? Seriously, GoPro is very wedded to the style introduced on the Hero 5 Black, so it hasn't deviated too much from its overall aesthetic.
GoPro also brings back the same battery used in past Hero cameras, though, as in the Hero 11 Black, it's the higher-specced GoPro Enduro (1720mAh) cell. And the 12 Black has the same dimensions, processor, and weight as the 11 Black.
Given all these similarities, you might be asking yourself what's new, and whether the Hero 12 Black stands a chance of being rated as one of our best action cameras when its predecessor, the GoPro Hero 11 Black, costs less while offering similar features.
GoPro Hero 12 Black specifications
Sensor: 27MP 1/1.9-inch FOV/focal length: 156 degrees Max photo resolution: 27MP 8:7 (5568 x 4872) Video: Up to 5.3K 60fps / 4K 120fps (16:9) Stabilization: HypserSmooth 6.0 with AutoBoost Front screen: 1.4-inch Color LCD Rear screen: 2.27-inch Color LCD Mount: Action camera + 1/4-inch thread Battery: GoPro Enduro (1720mAh) Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB-C and Wi-Fi
Probably the most instantly useful addition to the Hero 12 Black is the 1/4-inch thread mount between its flip-out feet, perfect for mini tripods. GoPro has also added HDR capture to improve how the camera handles highlights and shadows, and this works to great effect.
Filmmakers who want to dig a little deeper can activate GP-Log capture for even greater dynamic range footage and 10-bit color, so video can be easily spliced into a timeline with clips from other cameras and easily color-matched.
Audio options have also been improved, with the 12 Black now supporting wireless audio from a Bluetooth microphone. This works with any Bluetooth earphones or headphones, so if you've got a pair of the best wireless earbuds available, you can just pair them with your GoPro and hit record – it really is that simple.
Whether you're using an external Bluetooth microphone or the Media Mod, GoPro's modular housing that upgrades audio and connection options, the new Hero 12 Black can also capture two audio channels, which you can access through the GoPro Quik app or in Premiere Pro. What's so cool about doing this with the Media Mod is that it captures the device audio or the Mod's own mini boom mic so that you can mix down directional and ambient tracks for the perfect clip.
In a nutshell, while there are a lot of familiar features, GoPro levels up the Hero 12 Black just enough to meaningfully make it a more versatile and powerful action camera than the Hero 11 Black.
As for how it stacks up against the competition, the Hero 12 Black's stabilization is fantastic, dialing up or down based on what you're doing, thanks to HyperSmooth 6.0 and AutoBoost. It outperforms the DJI Osmo Action 4 in this regard, and I also prefer the tone of GoPro's video versus DJI's. Footage looks more crisp and less subdued – precisely what I want from my action camera. Having said that, the Action 4 does a better job of capturing a wider soundscape from its mics, while the Hero 12 Black focuses more on voices.
Low light is where GoPro has consistently dropped the ball, and while the Light Painting night modes are fun additions, they don't make up for the grainy video when recording in dimly-lit scenes. DJI takes the crown here.
Generally speaking, the action camera race has never been tighter, with DJI and GoPro almost neck and neck with their latest offerings. Whichever you go for, you're getting a fantastic action camera, but the Hero 12 Black edges ahead for anyone who mostly shoots in the day and wants the best stabilization available. It's also ideal for vloggers who want to cut up 16:9 and 9:16 content from the same clip, or GoPro users who already have compatible accessories like the Media Mod, and want to upgrade their camera but not their extras.
GoPro Hero 12 Black: release date and price
Available to buy now for $400 / £400 / AU$650
Accessories bundle costs $450 / £450 / AU$730
Max Lens Mod bundle costs $500 / £500 / AU$820
The GoPro Hero 12 Black is available now, with the lowest-priced Standard Combo package costing $400 / £400 / AU$650 – that's slightly pricier than the DJI Action 4. Interestingly, the Hero 11 Black is still on sale alongside the 12 Black on GoPro's website, and has seen its price drop to $350 / £350 / AU$579.
If you want to pick up an extra Enduro battery, GoPro's Handler grip, a head strap, and a carrying case, then the $450 / £450 / AU$730 accessories bundle is for you, and that price is slashed by around 20% if you have a GoPro subscription.
If you don't need all those extra peripherals but fancy the new Max Lens Mod 2.0, which GoPro announced alongside the camera, for a class-leading wide field of view, the Max Lens Mod bundle costs $500 / £500 / AU$820. Once again, if you have a GoPro subscription, you can enjoy a discount of around 20% on this combo.
While GoPro sold its Hero cameras at a discount with a subscription and a sky-high subscription-free price in previous years, it has simplified things this year. In turn, it's great to see that the standalone 12 Black has one fixed price that's lower than the list price of the 11 Black at launch.
So, while the Hero 12 Black isn't cheap by any stretch, it's great that its value for money isn't held back by what has, in the past, felt like inflated non-member pricing. This subscription-free model makes GoPro's latest camera much more competitive out of the gate.
Price score: 4/5
GoPro Hero 12 Black: design
Identical weight and dimensions to Hero 11 Black
New 1/4-20 tripod thread mount
Waterproof up to 33ft / 10m
At first glance, the GoPro Hero 11 and 12 Black look almost identical, apart from some speckled blue styling that differentiates the latest edition. Both cameras weigh 154g, sport the same dimensions (71.8 x 50.8 x 33.6mm), and have removable doors behind which are a USB-C port, battery cavity, and microSD slot.
The removable lens protects familiar f/2.5 aperture glass that delivers a 151-degree field of view, which is slightly less wide than the DJI Osmo Action 4's 155 degrees. The Hero 12 Black, however, can be bumped up to a class-leading 177 degrees with the Max Lens Mod 2.0.
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On to mounting, and the camera's base features GoPro's familiar flip-out feet that make traditional action camera mounting possible, and this year the Hero line gets a 1/4-inch mount too, so it works with traditional tripods and action-camera mounts alike. This is brilliant for anyone like me, who uses a Manfrotto Pixi or an alternative vlogging tripod with their main camera, saving the need to pack a separate grip when traveling light.
Having tested out the DJI Action 4 and Insta360 Go 3, both with magnetic mounting support, I do miss the feature when using the Hero12 Black. If GoPro manages to fit magnets into next year's 13 Black, then its action camera will have the holy trinity of mounting options; as it stands, though, two out of three isn't bad.
Just like the Hero 10 and 11 Black, the 12 Black has two color displays, one on the front and the other on the rear. Unlike DJI's latest action camera, only the rear screen is touch-sensitive. This isn't the end of the world, but it was handy to be able to vlog on the Action 4 without having to flip it around to make basic shooting adjustments.
The main screen on the rear measures 2.27 inches. It gets bright enough for comfortable viewing indoors and out, and unlike older GoPros, specifically the Hero 9 Black, it's super-responsive.
The 12 Black's physical controls include a record button at the top and a power button on the side. Pressing the record button when the camera is off activates quick-fire recording, and pressing the power button when the camera is on changes modes.
One of the big benefits of picking up a GoPro over a competitor is accessories – both first-party and third-party options. While DJI does a great job with its Action 4, offering an ND filter system and a host of magnetic mount tools, GoPro's ecosystem is richer.
From GoPro's own camp, the Media Mod is the most powerful addition to the Hero 12 Black if you're concerned about sound quality. This upgrades the audio with a directional mic while adding a 3.5mm microphone port for wireless solutions like the excellent Rode Wireless Go 2, as well as a micro HDMI port and an easy-access USB-C port, and there's nothing quite like it in the DJI camp.
Design score: 4.5/5
GoPro Hero 12 Black: features and performance
Excellent HyperSmooth 6.0 stabilization
Super-fast wired file transfer via USB-C
New Bluetooth microphone support
The key advantage the GoPro Hero 12 Black has over the DJI Osmo Action 4 is resolution. Yes, its sensor is physically smaller, but its 27MP stills and 5.3K 8:7 video wipe the floor with DJI's 10MP stills and 4K 16:9 video – on a sunny day when light is abundant, it's unsurprising that the Hero 12 Black's picture is noticeably crisper.
GoPro's 8:7 aspect-ratio sensor is poised to capture footage that's primed for editing. Max out the resolution to 5.3K, capture with an almost square aspect ratio, and your clips can be cropped easily in the GoPro Quik app to 1:1, 16:9, or 9:16 while still retaining a sky-high resolution.
GoPro's frame rates are also best-in-class, with 5.3K footage captured at up to 60fps, 4K footage at up to 120fps, and 2.7K footage at up to 240fps. GoPro even offers this super-fast frame rate with Horizon Leveling active, so you can compensate for tilts without them making it through to your final footage.
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One GoPro Hero 12 Black feature I love is that you can transfer files to your phone using a USB-C cable, so no more painfully slow wireless transfers. This feature is back from the 11 Black, and it's supported by Android phones with a USB-C port, and by the new USB-C-equipped iPhone 15 range.
GoPro includes a 1720mAh Enduro battery with the 12 Black, though the camera is compatible with the standard, non-Enduro variety, albeit with shorter run times. The battery performance best suits anyone who shoots clips shorter than 20 minutes. While there were reports of older GoPros overheating, I had relatively good experiences with the Hero 11 Black, and the 12 Black fares even better.
If you're shooting stationary on a hot day, you may experience overheating, but out and about in the UK and Berlin, in around 70F / 20C ambient temperatures, I shot for over 30 minutes at 5.3K without any issues.
The Hero 12 Black also plugs into the GoPro Volta grip and other power sources when you need more capture time than the battery offers, and you can also pack spares, with an Enduro battery capturing over an hour of continuous 4K 60fps video.
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GoPro has streamlined the interface slightly for 2023, leveling up the Easy Mode, while adding 8:7 capture to all modes.
If you haven't come across GoPro's Easy Mode, it's an alternative interface to Pro Mode, and makes all the decisions for you. All you need to decide is whether you're taking a photo, video, or timelapse, and choose a quality level, and Easy Mode will adjust the settings accordingly.
Pro Mode has a steeper learning curve, but if you want to access GP-Log, HDR capture, or control the stabilization and frame rates, Pro is the mode for you.
I found that results from Easy Mode were excellent in my first few days with the camera, and it's a great way to ease into the GoPro way of shooting. Once I found my feet, though, the mode felt restrictive, and I jumped to Pro Mode.
GoPro's stabilization for 2023 is HyperSmooth 6.0 matched with AutoBoost. This incredible system doesn't just make super-smooth capture possible; it also supports horizon locking, so you can literally loop-de-loop in a plane or on a rollercoaster, and your footage will mask the spins.
AutoBoost dials the field of view up and down based on how much stabilization you need, so you always get the most information in frame. We didn't even notice the feature in action, which bodes well for GoPro's latest iteration of HyperSmooth, and footage always looked well held together.
GoPro also adds Bluetooth microphone support to the Hero 12 Black, with support for a total of four Bluetooth devices, be they a mic, a phone, a wireless shutter, or another GoPro for synchronized capture.
Your microphone will entirely dictate quality from Bluetooth audio sources. We tested the Hero 12 Black with the OnePlus Buds Pro 2, as demonstrated in the sample video, and the audio wasn't impressive. The Huawei FreeBuds 4 did a better job, and a dedicated microphone did a better job still.
While handy for anyone wearing a helmet or far from your camera, Bluetooth Audio will unlikely be able to match the quality of dedicated wireless mics like the stellar DJI Mic, which can be used out of the gate with the Action 4 if you have both gadgets.
What is smart with GoPro's new external audio recording is that it captures two audio channels and bakes them into the video file, so you can access both in Adobe Premiere Pro or another video editor, or through the GoPro Quik app.
It's worth noting, for 2023, that GoPro has ditched GPS, a feature that's been on GoPros for generations. I haven't missed it in my time with the camera, though only you can say how much the lack of geotagging will impact your action-cam experience.
Features and performance score: 4.5/5
GoPro Hero 12 Black: image and video quality
High-resolution 27MP stills
10-bit 4K video quality
New HDR and GP-Log color profiles
While the new 1/1.3-inch sensor is the headline feature of the DJI Action 4, the headline feature of the GoPro Hero 12 Black's sensor is its 8:7 aspect ratio matched with its 27MP resolution.
While DJI has low light covered, GoPro's latest action camera crams in more resolved detail when the light is right. This is evident when playing back 4K video, or grabbing a still from a clip, or taking a photograph.
GoPro's default shooting modes do an excellent job of making daytime footage look zingy, crisp, and smooth. HDR capture is a welcome addition that makes a tangible difference in bright environments, while the GP-Log capture extends the dynamic range further to great effect.
The Hero 12 Black's 10-bit 4K video also looks impressive, with lively colors and extensive scope for editing. The key limiting factor when it comes to any GoPro's camera quality is ambient light, and when the lights drop, the Hero's video quality does too.
GoPro includes fun night modes for light painting-style video capture, and photos shot in dimly-lit scenes and timelapses can look respectable. That said, the 12 Black should be put in a bag and your phone should be taken out if you're capturing candlelit dinner scenes or nighttime strolls on the beach – your mobile will probably cope better.
GoPros are excellent vlogging tools, and handle faces and skin tones better than DJI's Action 3 from experience. The Hero 12 Black's Horizon Lock feature is also more powerful than DJI's, looking great at up to 5.3K resolution, while DJI's caps out at 4K.
As with most action cameras, the GoPro Hero 12 Black has a fixed-focus lens, which means it isn't suited to close-up shots or videos, though there are macro lenses available that can bring this nearest focus distance close if you want to invest in the Hero ecosystem.
With 5.3K 60p 10-bit video, and impressive 120fps 2.7K slow-motion, GoPro brings back timelapse and hyperlapse modes, and some creative photography modes geared to helping the GoPro not become redundant in low light.
The 12 Black's microphones do a great job of capturing voices, making it our choice for vlogging, especially compared to other cameras including the DJI Osmo Action 4, which did a better job of pulling in more ambient sounds.
Image and video quality: 4/5
Should I buy the GoPro Hero 12 Black?
Buy it if...
Don't buy it if...
How I tested the GoPro Hero 12 Black
While it's always ideal to get time off to test an action camera, I wasn't so fortunate in my fortnight with the GoPro Hero 12 Black, so exercised my city adventurer status, taking it on work trips to Berlin and Barcelona, while conducting lab tests on home turf.
I used the Hero 11 Black more like a vlogging and travel camera while out and about, and conducted stabilization tests at home, strapping it onto a remote-control car and taking it on runs. I also tested run times in various temperature conditions.
Having been a Hero 11 Black user, I wanted to focus on the new features for the 12 Black, so captured an abundance of GP-Log and HDR video, and tested it with different Bluetooth microphones, from AirPods Pros to over-ear solutions like the Sony WH-1000XM5.