While any camera can be “worn”, not every camera is wearable. This is an often-overlooked component when cameras are compared on specs alone, yet probably the most important. A better-quality lens and sensor can easily be overshadowed by an inferior attachment mechanism or ergonomic design. Too much jitter or sway in the hinges can make captured video nauseating. If a camera is too heavy it will be uncomfortable to field. We put devices through real-life testing, wearing it with different clothes and in performing various activities such as biking and walking.
Wearable cameras are meant to be used in circumstance when smartphones are too precious – being out on our bodies during bad weather, confrontations, adventures, etc. They are not a consumable product per se, but we believe that people should buy them with the understanding that given enough daily use they will eventually need to replace it. Therefore, the price should be sufficiently palatable for that. If the price of a wearable camera encroaches into smartphone territory, we believe count that as a strong negative.
It goes without saying that the cameras need to capture good video. This should include low light performance, as well as any image stabilization that a device might support.
In order to be useful a wearable camera needs to have sufficient battery life to capture an event in our life – whatever event it is what we are buying it for. We don’t want to be worrying about running out of power halfway through. We do real-life tests to evaluate operational times, along with time that the device can support being in stand-by.
We use this as a catch-all category for unique or nice-to have design considerations. This might include unique design decisions, WiFi compatibility, or other unique functionality.