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Hands on: Fuhu's new Square HD kids' action camera uses a smartphone as a viewfinder

Mark Hachman | Jan. 5, 2015
Fuhu's new Square HD action cam for kids is an inexpensive, kid-friendly GoPro--and the new version streams live images of what it sees to your phone, allowing you to compose your shots.

A lithium-ion battery (rated at two hours of continual use) charges off a USB 2.0 connection, all housed internally alongside a microSD (up to 32 GB) card slot. And that's all tucked behind a door that closes securely enough to rate the camera waterproof up to 10 meters.

The fixed-focus camera is nothing to write home about, with basic white balance settings and a tendency to blur the image when taking still shots. But video shot with the f2.0 fixed-focus camera was very good: smooth and fairly well exposed, and my kids seemed perfectly happy with the quality. If you'd like, you can even shoot time-lapse video, too. But the lack of a rear-mounted display was a surprising deal-breaker for my six-year-old, who didn't even want to try it out if he couldn't see what he was taking a picture of.

Which, after I thought about it, made some sense. While you may buy an action camera specifically to lash to your mountain bike, your child may have a different concept of what a "camera" entails. A smartphone-toting teen already has a camera handy. But my younger kids -- who loved the other Fuhu tablets, by the way -- seem to prefer a camera that provides some real-time feedback. And "checking" a shot via another device was a bit awkward. My 6-year-old preferred using an old digital point-and-shoot we picked up at a garage sale to shoot his Angry Birds pantomimes.

Modern action cameras that include a rear-mounted display, however, cost hundreds of dollars more. And while I quite liked the Square HD -- and I think many parents will -- it might be best to discreetly ask your child what they want out of a camera before you consider buying one.


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