Removu R1 Wireless GoPro Monitor Review
The Removu R1 is exactly what its name implies: a remote and a viewer for your GoPro. A fairly new addition to the market of third-party GoPro accessories, it sets out to improve upon the idea of wireless control and monitoring that GoPro provides with its smartphone app. Because it transmits through the onboard wifi of the GoPro, the Removu is only compatible with the Hero 3, 3+, and 4. It’s safe to assume that future versions of the GoPro will also be compatible with a firmware update.
Build Quality & Design
The Removu R1 feels well-built. It’s compact and solid in its simple design, weighing in around half a pound. Removu claims the unit is also splash, dust, and shock resistant, which allows you to use it in almost any situation you would use a GoPro. Of course the major exception to this is that the Removu cannot be used underwater.
It takes a bit of effort to initially connect the Removu to your camera through the GoPro app on your smartphone. But once that’s done, operation is a breeze. As long as your wifi is enabled on your camera, it will automatically pair to the Removu when powered on. From there, you will have a live stream and the ability to record and play back remotely. Unfortunately, because the video is streamed over wifi, there is a standard amount of lag from the camera to the live view on the Removu. This is usually between one and two seconds of delay. Despite the inconvenience of the latency, we’ve found that it doesn’t affect usability in most cases. The live view on the Removu cannot accurately be used to make real time framing adjustments during a shot, but still works great for monitoring pre-framed shots.
The Removu’s uses a built-in battery that can be charged via the included USB cable. The battery is rated for about 3 hours of charge, so make sure you have a way to juice the unit if you need to use it for longer than that.
So what about the wireless range? Well, Removu suggests that users will see signal top out anywhere from 30 to 230 feet depending on certain variables. In our testing, we found 30 feet to be a good distance to limit yourself to. Beyond that, a lot of frames start getting dropped. We were able to use the start/stop function at about 100 feet, but the live view would freeze so that we only had a single frame of reference. So, be aware that the Removu is mainly designed for close proximity use. The fact that you can use it as a remote start/stop at longer distances is just kind of an extra bonus.
The Removu R1 can be purchased directly from Removu for $119. This is only $40 more than the basic LCD screen sold by GoPro, so the wireless and remote capabilities are a steal.
Be aware that having the wifi enabled on your GoPro will drain its battery much quicker. You will regain some battery time by not having the LCD on, but it’s worth being aware that your camera will use power faster than you’re used to. This is, of course, the same as when using the GoPro app on your smartphone, so if you’re used to that you shouldn’t have any issues.
Also be aware that this cannot be used in conjunction with DJI Phantom quadcopters because it uses wifi, which can interfere with the Phantom’s operation and cause fly-aways or crashes. Again, this also applies to the smartphone app.
The Removu R1 has some really great pros:
- More compact, durable, and mountable than a smartphone.
- Features physical buttons instead of a touchscreen for increased durability and use with gloves.
- Wearable design for hands-free use.
Fortunately, there are only two cons, and they’re really very minimal:
- Doesn’t really improve on the latency of the smartphone app.
- Internal battery which only charges via USB.
Because it’s a durable, wearable remote control and viewer, the Removu is great for anyone who mounts their GoPro, especially in inaccessible or inconvenient locations. This is great for extreme sports, such as mountain biking or snowboarding, where you could put your GoPro on a helmet or frame mount and leave it the entire time without having to guess at framing or remove it to review footage. If you use your GoPro extensively and don’t like using your smartphone as a monitor, this is a great accessory to own.