PROS / A built-in display makes for easy framing.
CONS / The battery cannot be removed or replaced.
VERDICT / With good image quality, a built-in screen and a non-removable waterproof case, the HERO+ LCD is a good choice for casual users. However, advanced users may find its resolution, frame rate and lack of a removable battery limiting.
GoPro has always been at the forefront of the action camera market. Year after year, GoPro pushes the industry boundaries with larger resolutions, faster framerates and more features. The HERO+ LCD is more akin to a mid-range option. It has good image quality, a solid, familiar design and a comprehensive mount system, but most of its features are simplified in favor of a more attractive price.
Like most action cameras, the HERO+ LCD offers a maximum resolution of 1080p. That's the same resolution found on the majority of today's televisions. Although the new standard of 4K is rapidly approaching, it could be a while before that's a practical shooting resolution for most people. Still, if you need the freedom afforded by larger resolutions, it may be time to look into one of GoPro's flagship models.
The best action cameras offer up to 120 frames per second at 720p or 240 fps when shooting in standard definition. The HERO+ LCD offers a max of 60 fps regardless of resolution. This is enough to capture some good slow motion action, although it's not going to be quite as smooth as competing models.
In our testing, we found the image quality of this camcorder to be very good. Its colors are fairly accurate, and dynamic range and low light performance are also solid. However, it isn't quite up to par with GoPro's flagship models. For most people, it's more than good enough, but for those with a discerning eye and a need for the best image quality, the HERO4 Silver or Black models may be a better choice.
One area where this device doesn't lag behind the higher-priced models is battery life. Battery life on GoPro's flagship models have never been a selling point. At just 90 minutes per charge, they're the lowest on our lineup. The HERO+ LCD, however, offers up to 145 minutes on a single charge, which places it firmly above average.
Within its waterproof casing, the HERO+ LCD matches the waterproof depth of the best action cams at 131 feet. That's twice as deep as the average action camcorder can go. Unlike flagship GoPros, however, the HERO+ LCD cannot be removed from the large plastic case that surrounds it. While this won't be a big problem for the average consumer, those who would like to use specialized mounts or use their cameras independently of a case should look elsewhere.
As its name denotes, the HERO+ LCD includes a built-in a preview screen. Considering that it is geared toward average consumers, this an important addition since the screen makes it easy to frame a good shot. It also lets you review your shots and change settings.
As for features, this camcorder does pretty well; it has nearly all the same shooting modes you'd expect to find in a flagship GoPro. There's a time-lapse mode, built-in Wi-Fi, burst shooting and more. There is, however, one very important feature missing from this action cam: a removable battery.
Removable batteries allow you to supplement the battery life of your camera by carrying extras with you when you shoot. Considering the relatively short battery life of action cameras due to their small size, this has always been an important feature. With device, you get 145 minutes of recording time, then you must plug the camera in for a couple hours before continuing. If you're just shooting in shorter increments, this shouldn't be a massive problem, but those looking to document an entire day of activity or a week of travel should reach for something that offers more freedom.
GoPro's support is unparalleled in the action camcorder market. The website is packed with information, and the helpful support options are impressive. The cameras are covered by warranty for a year after the purchase date.
The HERO+ LCD is a solid camera. It offers everything that the average consumer might need, but it doesn't match the high-end specs of flagship GoPro models. Its non-removable case may prove inconvenient to some, and the lack of a removable battery seriously hampers its ability to shoot for long periods. In short, it's a capable camera for casual action cam users.