Although there are an absolute ton of action cameras on the market these days, we are going to be focusing on the Spypoint Xcel 720 for todays article as we have seen a number of people reaching out and asking for advice on the camera. Due to this, we have decided to publish our ultimate Spypoint Xcel 720 review to try and help any of our readers who are considering purchasing the camera and to offer our opinion on its performance and how it holds up against the competition on the market right now.
Now, before we go any further, you have to keep in mind that the Spypoint Xcel 720 was initially released in 2016 so it is definitely showing its age. Unfortunately though, unlike some of the competing action cameras on the market right now, the Spypoint Xcel 720 has not received a price reduction so the latest budget friendly action cameras such as the Apeman a79 absolutely blow it out the water while being around the same price point.
In all honesty, we would highly recommend that our readers seriously consider going with something like the Apeman a79 over the Spypoint Xcel 720 as it is a much better camera. It offers better image quality, higher video resolution, and better all round functionality with the latest action camera technology as standard. This is why the Apeman a79 has managed to quickly and easily amongst action camera users where as the Spypoint Xcel 720 has failed to make any real impression.
We know that the Spypoint Xcel 720 tries to bill itself as the action camera for hunters but in reality, it is just a regular entry-level action camera and you can purchase rifle mounts for any action camera and they are very cheap. This means that you are able to go with a better camera option like the Apeman a79 and purchase a suitable action camera mount and then use it as a hunting camera.
If you are set on going with a Spypoint action camera then we would recommend that you go with the Spypoint Xcel 1080 over the 720. In our opinion, the latest GoPro action cameras blow the Spypoint Xcel 1080 out the water too while the entry level GoPro is in a similar price bracket but some people may have brand loyalty to Spypoint and want to stick with one of their cameras. The Spypoint Xcel 1080 is a much better action camera for hunting than the Spypoint Xcel 720 and it will make a much better addition to your gear but as we mentioned, the latest Gopro with a rifle mount will be a similar price and offer much better image quality.
Even though we would not recommend that our readers actually purchase the Spypoint Xcel 720, we will still be going into a more detailed look at the various features for the camera. Our hope is that we will be able to point out why you should be avoiding this and going with a competing camera due to it being sub-par by todays standards and there being much better options on the market.
Performance And Functionality
Even back when the Spypoint Xcel 720 was initially released, it did severally lack in the performance department for its price tag and competing action cameras like the Akaso EK7000 offered better performance and functionality to the user for the same price point. The Xcel 720 offers you a maximum video resolution of 720p where as the EK7000 offers you 4k, 2.7k, and 1080p making it a much better option and the EK7000 also comes with a mounting unit included too allowing you to mount the camera as required for use.
The audio on the Xcel 720 is also lacking but this was common amongst the entry level action cameras released around 2016 and you will be hard pressed to find a camera that offers you better audio for the price. The majority of the entry level action cameras released from 2015 to 2017 all used the same microphone technology anyway meaning they all sound the same. That said though, the newer Apeman a79 is at a similar price point to the Spypoint Xcel 720 but offers better audio quality due to having a newer microphone in it.
Depending on what you are planning to use the action camera for, you may want to be able to capture some decent audio quality of your adventures making the a79 a better option for your. That said though, many people who use action cameras for hunting do tend to prefer to just use the video footage and then either use a music backing track or a voice over track rather than the captured audio.
The Xcel 720 comes with a 20MP camera sensor and again, this is standard for the entry level action camera market back when it was released onto the market. Although we could not find any concrete information on the camera sensor that Spypoint use in the camera, we would suspect it is the same Sony sensor that most of the other cameras produced back then use as it was an excellent, cheap little camera sensor that was a common choice for entry level action camera brands.
The Spypoint Xcel 720 offers you a 140 degree, wide angle field of view that is not adjustable. This is another area where the camera drops points, especially against the more recent action camera releases as products like the Akaso Brave 4 offer you a fully adjustable field of view as standard and it doesn’t cost much more than the Spypoint Xcel 720 while beating it in pretty much every aspect possible.
That said though, the field of view from your hunting action camera will probably not be much of a factor anyway so having a fixed option is not too much of a draw back. On the flip side of this, having the versatility to be able to adjust the field of view offers additional versatility in how you are able to use your action camera allowing you to use the same camera for different tasks.
The Spypoint Xcel 720 support the four standard capturing modes as you would expect. Video, photo, burst, and time-lapse and although they all perform well, especially for an entry level action camera that is almost five years old now, the more modern cameras that are in the same price bracket have better technology making them a better option with a smoother, less power hungry time-lapse mode too.
As you can see, it definitely does seem as though Spypoint Xcel 720 tried thrush the production and planning of the hunting action camera to try and get it to market as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this has resulted in it falling short when compared to the competing products at this price point in the market making it a poor option and any of the alternatives that we have suggested so far will make a better addition to your kit.
Another drawback of the Spypoint Xcel 720 is that is user interface and control system is lacking to say the least. The action camera offers little to no customisation for various tasks pretty much locking it in as a sub-par, overpriced hunting camera. We honestly don’t understand why Spypoint thought that this would be a good idea, even back when they would have been planning the Xcel 720, a basic user interface was standard and all of the competing products on the market offer one.
The 2 inch viewing screen allows you to see the footage that you are capturing when using the camera but this is a very basic feature for a modern action camera. Even the old school GoPros that are over a decade old offered this as standard so it is just too little, too late when it comes to trying to score points for the camera in our opinion and we are not surprised that the Xcel 720 failed to pick up and serious traction amongst the community.
As far as action cameras go, the build quality of the Xcel 720 is standard for back when it was released although it is definitely lacklustre when compared to the newer entry level action cameras on the market right now. The costs of the robust, lightweight plastic polymers have fallen drastically over the last five years or so and these are the standard for the more modern cheap action cameras.
This helps to ensure that they are as tough and light as possible that are both features that you want in an action camera, especially for something like hunting where you may have the camera mounted to a rifle adding additional weight to your set up. In all fairness though, as it is unlikely that a large amount of punishment will be coming the Xcel 720s way during use as a hunting action camera, the build quality should be good enough to prevent any long term damage and to keep it safe.
As you can probably guess at this stage of our Spypoint Xcel 720 review, we would not recommend that our users go with the camera. It is a dated, sub-par, overpriced camera and in our opinion, something like the Apeman a79 will make a much better addition to your gear than the Xcel 720. Although some mounts are included with the a79 as standard, you are able to purchase pretty much any action camera that you could ever need from third-party vendors and use it as a similar price point but better performing Xcel 720 alternative that will provide you with much better image quality.