With its new LTE Action Camera, LG hopes to one-up GoPro and its other action camera ilk. How? This little device has LTE, a waterproof body (you won't need to use extra housing), and you can broadcast directly to YouTube Live.

Built-in LTE is important because it lets you leave the camera streaming under its own 4G power, while you can use your phone to do something else. If you wanted to stream to YouTube Live without an independent LTE connection (as other action cameras use), you'd have to tether the action camera to the phone, much more rapidly draining your battery and slowing processing power while you broadcast live.

(P.S. LG is pretty much alone in offering an LTE-enabled action/lifestyle camera. Samsung tried it out with its connected Galaxy camera, which flopped. Samsung's second attempt was Wi-Fi-only.)

I went hands-on with the palmable action camera at LG's headquarters in Seoul, Korea, where I met with the company as part of a 19-day tech trip around Asia.

The device is coated in rubber, which makes it easy to hold and operate. There are two buttons, which are straightforward, one to record and one to broadcast to YouTube Live. Alternatively, you can manage the whole business of taking photos and recording video through a mobile app.

The camera and app were dead-simple to use, but the conference room where I saw the device wasn't the kind of interesting setting where you'd usually use an action camera, so we'll need to wait to get a review unit to see how it stacks up against rivals like GoPro.


LG's new LTE-enabled action camera tethers to your phone to preview what you're shooting -- or broadcasting live.

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Again, since there's no built-in screen, you'll need to connect to a phone or tablet to see what you're shooting -- that wasn't terrifically convenient.

At the bottom of the camera, a flip-open panel reveals an SD card card where you can stores your photos and videos.

LG says you can record and store over four hours of video and broadcast up to two hours of video at 1080p HD quality over 4G.

You'll have three options for recording resolution and frame rate:

  • HD: 1,280x720 (60 fps)
  • Full HD: 1,920x1,080 (120 fps)
  • 4K: 2,560x1,440 (30 fps)

LG didn't have pricing or availability details for me, but will officially announce its GoPro rival soon -- and hopefully answer those burning questions about when and where it'll be available, and for how much.