For todays article, we are going to be going over our ultimate Spypoint Xcel 1080 review as we have seen a number of people reaching out with a number of different questions for this interesting little action camera. Now, our regular readers may be aware that we have already covered the Spypoint Xcel 720, the little brother of the 1080 variant of the camera so we have decided to cover the high resolution offering from Spypoint as we have seen a few people reaching out with questions about the camera.
Unfortunately, just like the 720 variant of the action camera, we would recommend that our readers avoid the Spypoint Xcel 1080 too, and just go with either the latest GoPro action camera or something like the Akaso Brave 6 if you are on a tighter budget. In our opinion, the Spypoint Xcel 1080 just falls short in too many areas while also having a price tag that is unjustified for what you are actually getting for your money. Spypoint has tried to bill their Xcel range of action cameras as hunting cameras but in reality, you are able to get the required mounts for any action camera on the market while getting a better image quality, often at lower price points.
Even back when the Spypoint Xcel 1080, it had sub-par technology for the premium price point action cameras on the market and this is the main reason that the Xcel range failed to take off and gain much of a following. Fast forward to today and even the entry level action cameras are able to offer higher video resolutions with a better camera sensor for photographs while being less than a third-of the price. On top of this, the dirt-cheap action cameras such as the Apeman range offer very similar levels of performance of the Xcel range while being much cheaper.
That said though, we will still be going over the various features of the Spypoint Xcel 1080 to explain why we feel you should be going with pretty much any other action camera option that has been released within the last two years over anything from the Xcel range. We feel that this will help to better explain why our readers can save some money while also getting better performance by going with a competing camera body.
Performance And Functionality
As you can probably guess from what we have said already, the performance and functionality offered by the Spypoint Xcel 1080 is definitely sub-par, especially when you factor in its price tag and we are extremely surprised that the camera range has not seen multiple price reductions in all honesty. Although the camera does support both 1080 and 4k video resolutions, the frame rate is low and will often result in very jumpy video footage if you or your subject are moving quickly. Additionally, capturing video content in 4k will drain the battery of the action camera extremely quickly too with the 1080 footage not being much better coming in at just under an hour of recording.
The 12MP camera is extremely dated and even the entry level action cameras offer a 20MP camera as standard now offering much better image quality for any photographs that you may need to take. On top of this, all of the cameras in the Spypoint Xcel range have very bad low light performance for both videos and photographs but it is particularly poor when trying to capture photographs in low light. Although the adjustable 140°-170° field of view that the camera offers is nice, this is standard on the much cheaper, more modern action cameras that come with better camera sensors and battery life.
The camera does come with a build-in speaker for your video playback but as you can probably guess, the cheaper, newer action cameras on the market offer a better speaker while retailing at a fraction of the price. The Spypoint Xcel smartphone app rarely works too and from what we can tell, they have stopped development of the app now and we doubt any new releases to fix its bugs and design issues will be released anytime soon.
Spypoint put a large emphasis on the various accessories that are available for their Xcel range of action cameras to make it the perfect camera for hunting and various other outdoor activities. In reality though, you are able to get the same mounts for your rifle, bow, or any other device for literally any other action camera on the market while still getting the better image quality, general performance, and battery life from the other action cameras out there.
This is why we always recommend that our readers avoid the Spypoint Xcel range of action cameras, especially the Spypoint Xcel 1080 as we feel that it is vastly over priced for what you are actually getting for your money. As we touched on above, the whole Xcel range failed to gain any traction amongst the hunting community or the wider outdoor sports community due to the various issues that we have pointed out throughout the article where as multiple other brands that are alternatives to the more expensive GoPro range have managed to flourish.
A two inch viewing screen is pretty standard amongst action cameras so the Spypoint Xcel 1080 doest gain or lose points for itself when it comes to its screen but in our opinion, this is just too little, too late. Theres no point in a camera having a nice little screen when it fails to capture high quality video or photographs efficiently as the viewing screen just doesn’t get the chance to shine.
Although the navigation menu on the Spypoint Xcel 1080 is pretty basic, it is extremely easy to use and you should easily be able to get used to it if you are new to using an action camera. That said though, in this day and age, we can’t think of a popular action camera brand on the market that does not offer a simple, easy to use navigation menu on their cameras either.
Build Quality And Design
When it comes to the build quality of the camera, we can’t really fault it in all honesty, it is tough and robust although a little heavy for what we would expect but other than that, it would have served well as a decent action camera if the technology inside of the case was up to scratch. When it comes to the design on the other hand, we understand that Spypoint tried to shake things up a little but we just feel that the whole control system should be on the rear of the camera to keep everything easy.
Additionally, for what the camera offers, it is a little large and we have seen a few people complain about it causing problems when aiming due to being such a large action camera. Even back when the Spypoint Xcel 1080 was initially released onto the market, it was large when compared to the competition and on top of this, some of the competing cameras of the time had better specs while also being smaller and lighter too.
That brings our Spypoint Xcel 1080 review to an end and you can probably guess, we would NOT recommend that any of our readers purchase the camera. As we mentioned back at the start of the article, the latest GoPro action camera or something like the Akaso Brave 6 will make much better additions to your gear and offer you much better image quality while potentially having a lower price tag too.