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Cameras

GoPro Plus service adds damage replacement, mobile backups

In addition to its other benefits, the service now includes accidental coverage if you break your GoPro.

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GoPro's Plus subscription service now protects your hardware investment. 

Joshua Goldman/CNET

GoPro's $5-a-month subscription service, GoPro Plus, was designed to make it easier to edit and share your adventures from your phone, tablet or computer by automatically sending your photos and videos from your camera to cloud storage. 

For the camera maker's hard-core users, automated backups and the service's handful of other offerings might have made the fee worthwhile. But for more casual users, it appears to have been a tougher sell, so GoPro is reintroducing the service with a couple new benefits while the price stays the same. 

Along with the additions of unlimited photo storage and up to 35 hours of video storage, subscribers can now replace a damaged camera -- up to two cameras per 12 months of a Plus subscription -- no questions asked. The coverage, which is available on Hero6, Hero5 and Fusion models, means you can use the cameras however and wherever you want without fear of totally losing your investment. However, also like the GoProCare protection you can purchase with a new camera, you'll still have to pay a replacement fee that's equivalent to 20 percent of the camera's suggested retail price. 

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In addition to camera replacement and increased storage, GoPro will continue to give subscribers 20 percent off accessories and front-of-the-line priority phone and chat support. GoPro Plus will also soon support mobile cloud backups. Currently, backups are only supported via a Wi-Fi network connection when you plug the camera in to charge. Mobile backups will come to iOS on February 20 and to Android devices in the spring.  

Despite being the leader in the action cam market, GoPro has struggled of late. In its fourth quarter 2017 results announcement, it said it will discontinue its Karma drone and exit the category. In the same announcement, GoPro founder and CEO Nick Woodman said pricing missteps on its older Hero5 cameras resulted in soft demand leading up to the 2017 holiday shopping season. 

The enhanced Plus service is part of the company's moves to return to profitability and growth in the second half of 2018. However, at the time of this announcement, GoPro could not share current subscriber numbers for GoPro Plus.