I really like the idea of being able to record aspects of my life in a hands-off way. Like what if I could see what I did today, or yesterday, or a year ago — at any moment throughout the day — without ever having taken out my phone or camera to snap a photo or video? That’d be pretty cool, right? Well that’s exactly what this little guy — the Narrative Clip 2 — is capable of doing. Today I’m going to review it, compare to another small wearable camera and I’ll also be giving a brand new one away… so watch the end of the embedded video for a chance to win!
So Narrative calls the Clip 2 the world’s most wearable camera and I’d have to agree. It’s a tiny camera that you can clip to just about anything — including your clothes, your car visor, your backpack or even your pet’s collar — that takes automatic photos. Yep, that’s right: by default the Clip 2 takes a photo every 30 seconds when it’s active, but you can change that interval to as short as every 10 seconds or as long as every 2 minutes.
And it has some pretty respectable specs for being such a small device. It’s got nearly 8 Gigabytes of storage space, takes 8 Megapixel photos and shoots HD video and it’s battery can fully charge in just 1 hour. As you’re probably realizing from all of that, it’s really meant to be able to capture an entire days worth of activity.
The Clip 2 comes with a few clip options and a small lanyard you can use to wear the camera around your neck in case you don’t feel like clippin. And there’s also a few stickers you can use to customize the look of the device, but I don’t really care about those. I like the look straight out of the box.
Now there’s no buttons on the Clip 2 per se. Everything happens automatically, which is the whole point of this camera, with one exception: you can double tap on the front of the camera to manually take a photo or a short 10-30 second video. And I really like this feature. It’s a lot quicker than taking out a phone, launching a camera app and then framing up a shot. If something interesting is happening in front of you, you’re practically guaranteed to be able to capture it.
And that brings us to authenticity. That’s the word Narrative uses to describe the kinds of pictures and video taken with the Clip 2. But what does that mean? Basically, don’t expect to get any award-winning snaps with this camera. Using this type of camera is more about getting a glimpse into any given moment in your past: especially those moments that might’ve otherwise been forgotten. Your essentially trading perfect composition for perfect recollection. And I think there’s something cool about that and definitely a place for it in our lives.
Think about it like this: when you want to take a perfect picture, use your phone or a DSLR. The Clip 2 isn’t meant to replace those types of photos. Instead, it does a good job of filling in the gaps between the moments you would normally go to the trouble of taking a photo on purpose — that’s the stuff that would normally slip between the cracks. And that’s what Narrative is talking about when they mention the ability to take authentic photos. That’s also the gist of the phenomenon called lifelogging.
So what’s the quality like? It’s somewhere between good and great but closer to good. Photos look pretty crispy overall but some detail does get lost in the highlights and dark areas. Videos tend to have some noise and artifacts in them on top of a bit of detail loss. BUT… that’s not really the point. If you wanted amazing 4K video of your life you’d have to wear a flagship phone around on a necklace. Not only would that not look good, but you wouldn’t have to battery or storage capacity to keep all the photos and videos taken. The Clip 2 is practical in everyday from size to media quality with the main goal of letting you replay as much of your life as you’d like to and in that it succeeds.
Of course the Clip 2 pairs with a smartphone app which available for iOS and Android devices. And the app is quite good but could use some polishing. For instance, the interfaces really clean and works nicely but I wish I could swipe on photos or videos to delete them without having to hit play or browse deeper (because there are several times when I accidentally record a 10 second black video when the device is sitting face down on my desk charging and I move it).
Browsing through “moments” inside the app is really slick, fast and fun. Swiping through quickly is almost like seeing a short gif of an entire day or hour except you can stop anywhere you want to spend more time and can easy share or download individual photos or videos.
The Clip 2 also works best when paired with Narrative’s cloud service which provides 10 GB of free storage after which you’ll be asked to pay extra. Alternatively, you can just offload photos to a computer manually, but that’s not nearly as slick or fun or useful.
One thing I really, really wish I could do with the Clip 2 is control it from my phone in a more manual fashion.
One thing that is a bit scary about this device is privacy — obviously. What if you forget to turn it off before you head into the restroom at the airport? Or what if the people around you simply don’t want you to record everything they are doing? Or what if Narrative’s cloud gets hacked? But in the end, this feels like the future and I’m sure society is going to have to find a new set of norms.
A few other things worth mentioning:
- You can change the orientation of media from portrait to landscape by turning the camera.
- The Clip 2 turns off when you set it face down on a surface or place it in a pocket.
- The Clip 2 has a time-lapse mode that activates when places on a fixed surface.
- And finally there are 4 lights on the side that let you know how much battery power is left before it’s time to recharge.
Now if you’re a subscriber you probably remember the video I did on the Qlippie wearable camera just a couple weeks ago. At the time I considered that a small wearable camera: now I think of it as rather huge. Compared to the Clip 2, the Qlippie feels much bigger and heavier. Basically everything about the Narrative Clip 2 is smaller, better and more refined — with the one exception being that I do like that I can control the Qlippie from the app manually and would never have to pay for a cloud service to get the most out the media it captures.
All in all I’m a big fan of the Narrative Clip 2 and I can’t wait to take it on my next vacation because I think that’s really the killer application. Although anytime you go out and do something out of the ordinary, bringing along the Clip 2 could be a great idea.
So this camera retails for $199 and if you want to capture more of your life on autopilot, I definitely recommend it. In fact, if you want one, you might as well enter the giveaway. To enter, you’ve got to be a subscriber to this channel — that’s step 1. Next, just leave me a comment below telling me why you’d like to win. Then, a week from today, I’ll announce the winner on Twitter so follow @dailytekk there as well. That’s it! Good luck and thanks for watching and I’ll catch you in the next video. Later.