eken h9r 4k action camera - front

EKEN H9R 4K Action Camera Review – A $50 Go Pro Hero 5 Killer

Chinese manufacturers are getting generous these days. First, we saw the cheapest full-screen phone and now the cheapest true 4K camera which is our today’s protagonist. Meet EKEN H9R 4K action camera, the best budget-friendly action camera out there.

But, the question is what makes the action camera worthy of buying. It appears to be similar to every Chinese sports camera. Maybe, the WiFi and 2.4G remote are some highlights. But the selling point and a bet is:

Can You Get a 4K Action camera with Fast Shutter under $50?

EKEN H9R 4K Action Camera – The Cheapest 4K Action Camera

Design & Appearance

The camera molds from plastic which is pleasant to touch. It doesn’t feel cheap at all but similar to all Chinese sports cameras. There is not much to complain about this side (except that no trap does protect the catches which can be a problem when used without a caisson). The texture on the sides is rough, maintaining the rugged look of a sports cam.

eken h9r 4k action camera - front

On the ergonomic side of the menu and functions, everything is very intuitive, and it is easy to find out how to navigate the various modes and modify the options.

eken h9r 4k action camera - side

eken h9r 4k action camera - side 1

Speaking of the button placement, the power button is on the front similar to other cams, and there’s also an LED which turns blue while charging. While at the bottom, we have the housing for the battery. On the right side, we have two navigation buttons.

eken h9r 4k action camera - top

eken h9r 4k action camera - bottom

Meanwhile, the connectivity ports are situated on the left. There are a record button and a LED light which turns on while recording.

eken h9r 4k action camera - compare
(Left) Go Pro 4, (Right) Eken H9R

Eken H9R 4K Action Camera can we classified in the mini sports cameras category as it’s relatively portable and lightweight. It occupies a space of only 5.93 x 2.46 x 4.11cm and weighs only 64 grams. The camera comes in only two optional colors: Black and Silver.

Hardware & Performance

Like it’s older brother ‘Eken H9’, the new ‘R’ version has the same Sunplus 6350 chipset combined with OmniVision OV4689 sensor. It’s the same configuration in SJ4000+ as well, but the price is way lower this time.

eken h9r 4k action camera - back

At the rear, we have the 2.0-inch LCD (non-touch) which has a resolution of 320×240. Remember that the screen quality is not leveled to the real camera pictures quality. So don’t judge the picture by looking at the LCD.

Picture shot from Eken H9R 4K Action Camera

Thankfully, Eken this time with the upgraded version of H9 is not a one trick pony anymore. Remember Eken H9 was tagged as a 4K camera but in reality, it had 4K at ten fps. But Eken covers up the mistake by offering the cheapest true 4K (@25 Fps) camera. With the current hardware, the sports camera can record in:

  • 720P (120fps)
  • 1080P(30fps)
  • 1080P(60fps)
  • 2.7K (30fps)
  • 4K (25fps)
eken h9r 4k action camera – sample 2
eken h9r 4k action camera – sample 1
eken h9r 4k action camera – sample

No doubt, the 4K recording has average frame rates, but that’s appreciable considering the price. Moreover, we have a large 17.4mm camera lens which enables more light intensity and great pictures in low light areas.

Features & Battery

As we said, the resolution of the screen is not very good, but it is sufficient largely to quickly set the camera or to crop it when mounting the camera on its support. The size and quality of the screen are therefore not very important especially as the WiFi connectivity allows to adjust the cam and view the content directly from a smartphone. The name of the app is Ez iCam which is available on Android and iOS platform. The app is compatible with almost every smartphone. However, everything about the app was great, but surprisingly it didn’t show the 2K and 4K resolution option.

eken h9r 4k action camera - apps

Moreover, for a better wireless experience, the camera even has a dedicated 2.4G remote control.

eken h9r 4k action camera - remote control

On the connector side at the left, there’s a mini HDMI jack which allows watching the video on the TV as well as a micro USB port used to recharge and to copy files on the PC. Just below is the location of the micro SD card (support up to 32GB).

At last, underneath is the hatch under which the removable 1050mAh battery is housed which ensures an autonomy of approximately:

  • 50 minutes recording in 1080p at 60 fps and 4K at 25 fps
  • 1.5 hours recording in 1080p at 30 fps
  • 2 hours at 720P at 120 fps

eken h9r 4k action camera - resolution

Concerning the price tag and other Chinese budget action cameras, the battery life of H9R is great. The manufacturer has managed to increase the 1080p at 30 fps from 1 hour to 1.5 hours, from H9 to H9R, respectively. The charging time decreases from 3 hours to 2 hours only.

Also Read: AGM X2 Ready to Pre-Order For A Coupon Price of $478: Totally Invincible

Here are the compared pictures of Eken H9R and Go Pro Hero 5, and at some points, Eken H9R 4K Action Camera beats Hero 5 easily:

eken h9r 4k action camera – compare with go pro 5
eken h9r 4k action camera – compare with go pro 5 1
eken h9r 4k action camera – compare with go pro 5 2
eken h9r 4k action camera – compare with go pro 5 3

As far as photography is concerned, the camera shoots 12MP photos in Single, Burst, and Time Lapse modes. With crystal like waterproof housing and silk-touched buttons, Eken H9R 4K Action Camera waterproof up to 100 feet enables you to capture your incredible underwater adventures. The camera with the waterproof housing does look bigger, but it’s not. Plus, the manufacturer is too generous as it gives every accessory with the camera at such an incredible price.

eken h9r 4k action camera - accessories

It is surprising that under such a low-budget we get to taste features such as EIS (electronic image stabilization) and the maximum 170-degree wide angle view. Still, we would have loved OIS instead of EIS as the video still appears to be bit shaky. Moreover, there isn’t any audio port as well.

The Selling Points

  • 4K at 25 fps
  • 2.4G Remote Control
  • EIS (electronic image stabilization)
  • Cheapest 4K action camera
  • 170-degree Wide angle
  • Great Battery Timing

The Low Points

  • No Microphone port
  • Heating issue reaches to 45 to 50 degrees Celsius
  • No OIS, a bit shaky video

Our Verdict

We can’t say that the camera is perfect. It might not have a 4K recording at 30 or 60 fps, no OIS, and microphone port as the biggest drawback. But under $50 it’s the best Chinese action camera worthy of every single penny. Plus, don’t forget it still has a 4K recording at slightly lower frame rates which are 25 fps. Moreover, we even enjoy the 2.4G remote control, the maximum 170-degree wide lens, EIS, and more. Therefore, Eken H9 4K Action Camera is worth of giving a shot.

Price & Availability

The biggest catch for the EKEN H9R 4K Action Camera is that it can perform like a high-end action camera at the price of a standard digital camera. It is much cheaper compared to the leading action cameras out there in the market today. You can purchase EKEN H9R 4K Action Camera from Gearbest for the best price of $49.99. Here’s the link to the store: