One of many budget-priced GoPro alternatives, the DroGrace WP350 costs just $60, can record 4K video and comes with a plethora of accessories. Unfortunately, while it may resemble GoPro’s cameras, that’s where the similarities end.
The Drograce WP350 looks very similar to a number of off-the-shelf action cameras available on Amazon. While most major brands will go through the painstaking (and expensive) process to design a product from the ground up, many lesser known internet-only brands will simply go to a factory in China and buy the rights to sell one of their already designed products , be it cameras, headphones or Bluetooth speakers, making only minor changes.
Like the Akaso EK7000, the Drograce WP350 shares virtually the identical physical design, while making some software changes to differentiate it from its competitors.
This camera, like its counterparts, has four buttons: The shutter button starts and stops recordings, takes photos and acts as the select button while in the settings menu. A mode button lets users cycle through video, photo, burst and time-lapse modes as well as settings. It also can power the camera on/off.
On the right side, a pair of buttons are used to cycle through options in the settings and turn on the Wi-Fi for the included remote when in video mode.
On the left side is a micro USB and a mini HDMI port for charging/file transfer and video output, respectively, as well as a slot for a micro-SD card. On the bottom is a removable door for the battery that you need a fingernail to open. Although it works, it could be better designed so that it does not come completely off and risk being lost.
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One of the nice features of all three of these similar inexpensive models is that they come with quite an assortment of accessories. For example, the WP350 comes with about 20 accessories, including various mounts for handlebars, helmets and other surfaces; tethers to ensure you don’t lose the camera if it becomes detached from its mount; and a battery charger with two batteries.
Ease of Use
Using the Drograce WP350 was fairly straightforward, though like the Akaso EK7000, not the most refined interface compared with the leading GoPro and Sony models. All of the camera’s functions are controlled using the four buttons and can be viewed using the non-touch-enabled screen.
The camera has built-in Wi-Fi that can be used with an app. When I searched for the app in the Google Play store, it came up with two app recommendations: the Ez iCam app and the iSmartDV. Although I could connect to the camera’s built in Wi-Fi, when I tried to pair the camera to the app, neither of them worked.
The Drograce WP350 is not natively waterproof; nor is there any way to mount it to any of the accessories unless you use the included plastic waterproof housing or a snap-on frame. The plastic housing is said to make it waterproof to about 100 feet; I submerged the camera to a depth of 5 feet without incident.
The spring-loaded buttons in the plastic housing require a good bit of force to press, which made it slightly harder to interact with the camera. However, the included two-button remote made it much easier to start and stop video and capture still images.
Like the Akaso, the camera’s available resolutions are organized into a list with 1080p at the top, and 2.7k and 4k at the bottom. Unlike the Akaso however, the Drograce has four options for field of view; close, wide, middle and narrow.
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For about $20 more, the YiCam Lite offers a much more refined user interface with a good touch screen.
The video quality of the WP350 is very similar to many other inexpensive action cams we tested. Because they all likely came from the same factory (being so similar in design and function), their image-processing capabilities are probably identical.
Like the Akaso EK7000, the Drograce would benefit greatly from a gimbal. No matter what I was doing — biking, walking or jogging — every step or bump in the road was captured on video and became quite distracting while watching the footage, especially at 4K resolution.
Using the Drograce WP350, I could capture footage at 4K/30 frames per second as well as 1080p/60 fps and 720p/120 fps. Unfortunately, this camera and others like it do not have the horsepower required to capture higher frame rates at 4K resolution, so footage suffered from serious jitter unless I kept still. If you purchase this camera or something like it and plan on using it while in motion, I would recommend using 1080p/60 fps and forget about 4K altogether.
Included in the plethora of accessories is a microfiber cloth that may become your favorite accessory. This camera was subject to fingerprints on both the external housing and the lens if shooting without it, negatively affecting the video quality as well.
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Similar to the Campark, the Drograce cannot match the quality of the Yi Cam Lite, which offers electronic image stabilization (EIS). EIS certainly helps smooth out video from any bumps or jolts and makes it much more watchable.
Using the accessories that come with the camera, I attached the camera to my bike and cruised around the neighborhood, both with and without the plastic housing. I performed the same test as I did with the Akaso, holding the camera about 1 foot from my mouth, talking directly to the camera with and without the housing.
Audio quality suffered when the Drogace was in its waterproof plastic housing. Speech sounded muffled and distant as did passing cars. With the case off, audio quality certainly was not great, but was understandable and significantly louder. If you are not planning on going swimming or getting wet, I would highly recommend the frame accessory to improve audio.
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One thing to note when using the Drograce WP350 is that there is a setting in the menu to enable/disable audio recording. When I first started using the camera, I either unchecked it accidentally or it came in the off position as the default. Without turning this on, you will not get any sound with your video.
Action cameras are rapidly popping up online with many of the same features (on paper) as in leading cameras from GoPro, but for drastically less. The Drograce WP350 ($60) is one such model, and while it’s an OK option for a first action camera for a kid or on a budget, the camera’s lack of image stabilization and poor video quality in all but the clearest and calmest of conditions may give you pause.
For a far better action camera, check out the YiCam Lite ($80), which offers an easy-to-use touch-screen interface and image stabilization. You’ll have to shell out $40 more for its waterproof housing, but it’s still a better bargain.