Noise Play 2 review: Suitable for beginners

Noise Play 2 review: Suitable for beginners
Almost a year after launching its Play action camera in India, Noise recently took the wraps off its Play 2, its new affordable action camera. The Gurgaon-based firm had forayed into the action camera segment with its low-priced action cam Noise Play in 2017 and had marketed it as a decent budget-friendly action camera aiming to undercut the market share captured by GoPro and Garmin. For someone totally ignorant about the world of action cameras, Noise Play 2 is a good product to begin with as it allows the user to shoot in Ultra High Definition or 4K resolution and also provides a handy set of accessories bundled alongside. With Noise Play 2, a full touch-screen comes on-board instead of buttons for menu-navigation and settings-changes seen in its predecessor. The battery capacity has also been enhanced in the new offering, letting you record and playback content for more number of hours.


We have been using the Noise Play 2 since past few days, testing it through thick and thin and in different environments. So does the Noise Play 2 successfully justify the Rs 9,999 price tag and is it the best offering for travellers who have tight pockets? Read the review below to find out.


Design

Noise Play 2 action camera comes in a stylish black cardboard box/case. Inside the box, the camera and its USB charger come safely enclosed within a black protective foam. A quick start guide is included in the box. The camera is cuboidal in shape with its camera lens present on the top left side on its front. It comes with a 5.08 cm touchscreen LCD display on its back-side. There is a built-in microphone that supports External Mic. Built-in Wi-Fi and speakers are also there.

There are 4 LEDs on the camera- one at the top near the shutter button (Top LED), two obliquely parallel LEDs in the front alongside the lens (Front LED 1 and 2), and one at the back in the topmost left corner (Back LED).

The top of the camera has got a shutter button and the top LED.

The front of the camera houses the 7G glass camera lens and the power /mode button to its bottom right.

On the left side of the camera frame, three external ports- mini-USB, micro-HDMI and micro SD-are provided. The mini USB and micro HDMI are housed in parallel while the micro SD card slot is located separately. The three ports are provided without any kind of protective cover or flap. Cooling holes are present near all the ports.

The mini USB port supports composite A/V cable and 3.5mm mic adapter. The micro SD slot supports cards up to 128GB. For the micro SD card slot, it is recommended to use a microSD card of Class-10 or UHS-I rating.

The back of the camera is taken up fully by the touch display and the back LED at its topmost left.

At the bottom of the action cam, there is a socket for attaching a selfie-stick/tripod stand. The bottom also houses the Li-ion 1200mAh battery that powers the camera.


The Noise Play 2 action camera is a pocket-friendly action cam and considering that it is almost 3-4 times cheaper than its counterparts in the market like GoPro, it can be expected that some sacrifices be made on some features one of which is the build quality. The body of the camera is made up entirely of plastic. The action cam fits snugly into the palm of your hand and is portable and light but since it is made up entirely of plastic, it is also susceptible to damage by falling or getting crushed easily. The build quality is above average.

The camera is not waterproof. To use it in water, you'll have to use it with the waterproof plastic casing available along with other accessories.

Performance

The first step is to charge the action cam battery with the help of the USB charger provided along with other accessories. You could charge the battery by connecting the camera to a computer or other USB charging adapter using the included USB cable. If you are going to charge using a wall charger then wall chargers marked: output 5V 1A are recommended. We used a laptop to charge the battery.

When you plug in the USB cable to charge the battery, the back led starts blinking, the touch screen comes alive with the Play II logo and a sound alert, and you get two options to choose from- 1) Mass Storage and 2) PC Camera.

If you select 'PC Camera", a setup will run on your computer while the action cam screen will turn blue with 'PC Camera" displayed on the screen and the top and back LEDs will stay on.

On tapping to choose " Mass Storage", the camera switches on and asks for a memory card if there is no card in the microSD slot. If there is, then you can straightaway start taking a video or photo. There is no internal storage provided.

While charging the top and back LEDs blink constantly every two seconds. It took 75 minutes to charge the battery completely from zero charge condition. After it is fully charged, the front LED turns solid light green.

To power on, hold the Power button for 3 seconds. To power off, hold it for 4 seconds.

A microSD card with a Class-10 or UHS-I rating is recommended for the camera though we used a Class-6 card and it seemed to work well.
Tap the upside-down triangle icon in the bottom center of the touch display to enter the main menu, system settings and Video/Photo setting. Swipe left to change the capture mode. Swipe down to open the quick settings, enable/disable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. From the settings menu, select an item, swipe down to choose an option. Otherwise, swipe down to return to the main menu.



Three camera modes can be used- Video, Photo and Playback. You can choose the desired camera mode in the main menu by touching the upside-down triangle option at the bottom center of the screen, pressing Power/Mode button once or swiping left on the screen to change the capture mode.

The fastest way to capture videos or time-lapse photo and the best way to conserve battery power is Quick Capture.

To begin recording, press the shutter button. If the camera is off, it turns on and begins recording automatically, and the red LED will be flashing while the camera is recording. To stop recording, press the shutter button again. The video gets saved on your memory card as an MP4 file.

This is an action camera that would suit moto vloggers. While driving or shooting from a moving vehicle, the videos captured during the day are clear, sharp and have good contrast almost at every setting apart from 16 MP like 14, 12 OR 10 MPs. The wide-angle 4K shots are splendid and manage well to capture the surroundings. At night the video quality is a little less satisfying than that at day; the videos are a little less clear and grainy. The camera returned good results for indoor shots at night though.

Same goes for the photos. Brilliant shots during the day, average during the night.

While recording underwater during daytime, the action cam did an okayish job. The video came out somewhat blurry and the clarity was not that satisfactory.

The battery life is good. It took around 75 minutes for the camera to get fully charged. While recording at 16MP 4:3 ratio continuously, the battery lasted for around more than three hours. The battery life gets sapped when using Wi-Fi.

The camera functioning and navigation were riddled with glitches that kept on surfacing every time we used the camera; navigating through all the options is not smooth every time you use the camera. The videos stopped recording midway during some shots. Sometimes the touch screen options became unresponsive during use.

Verdict


Noise Play 2 could be a good action camera for beginners with tight pockets or for people who want 4K recording in a budget action cam. At an asking price of Rs 9,999, it provides ultra HD 4K recording and comes with external Mic, which is a good deal. This action cam is well-suited for vlogging and moto vlogging but does not deliver that well on other fronts.

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