Abusive Lab Test: iON Air Pro 3
PopularMechanics.com put a selection of action cameras through their paces. The iON Air Pro 3 stood up to the test!
Adventure cameras like the GoPro Hero3+, Drift Ghost-S, and Garmin Virb Elite don’t promise to be indestructible. But we threw them from a speeding car, dropped them from a tall building, and drowned them for hours anyway.
Water Test: We ran cameras on water skis through a slalom course with the University of Michigan Water Ski Team, then stuck them to the side of the team’s Malibu Response tow boat and drove around.
Drop Test: We dropped the cameras off an eight-story New York City building into an empty parking lot. Though all were filming, no video survived, suggesting the SD cards weren’t secure enough. Or, you know, that asphalt is really hard.
Speed Test: We released the cameras from the window of a Lamborghini Huracán speeding at 100 mph around a test track. As it turns out, this is no way to judge a camera.
Bottom Line: While all the companies in this test intend their cameras to get beaten up, none claims to make a product that can withstand the levels of abuse we threw at it. And none of these tests gave us conclusive evidence as to each camera’s video quality or durability over a long period. The ones that fared best certainly impressed us, but to find the right action camera, consider your needs, the price, and its features. Also, avoid tall buildings.
iON Air Pro 3
Video resolution: 1080p
Water Test: 3 Showed a little bit of moisture intrusion on its back cover but no actual water.
Drop Test: Most of the mount connections broke off, and the exterior suffered a few scrapes, but the lens and hardware were intact and recorded new videos immediately.
Speed Test: Started recording a new file when it hit the ground. Lost back cover and scratched front lens cover, but it still worked.