The GoPro Hero 4 Session is the smallest camera of the Hero line, being about half the size and 40 percent lighter than the Hero4 Black and Silver versions. The miniscule camera has a one-button control setup which is used to record videos, take photos or even toggle the power of the device, but despite its simple design it actually requires some tech-savviness to repair in case of a malfunction.
Firstly, the operation to crack the camera open is more delicate than it should be; the lens cover hides an o-ring which needs to be carefully removed before going deeper into the device. Maneuvering space is severely restricted by the device’s rubber cover, making it quite difficult to properly reach inside to more vital components.
There is no easy way to replace the battery in fact; it requires cutting the rubber cover while trying not to damage other minuscule components, an operation which is not only time consuming, but outright not required if you lack experience with finesse jobs. The battery, measured at 1000 mAH, is also glued to a bracket and stuck to the motherboard with soldering – making an already difficult job of replacing it terrible.
The design decision is almost the opposite of the GoPro Hero 3, which simply had a removable cover with a battery pull tab and replaceable juice pack. It might be entirely the case that the fixed battery feature is needed as to not damage other fragile components, which due to the extremely compact design are situated dangerously close one to another, but it still makes it a living nightmare in case the technical part goes wrong.
The worst for DIY repair enthusiasts is the fact that, after digging inside the device, putting it back together is close to impossible due to the numerous cuts and tearing needed for the rubber frame. Admittedly, it could be done if you are accustomed with finesse operations and plan ahead, but there are still too many things which could go wrong with the minuscule components, not to say it would require a lot of time. Ultimately, you remain at the mercy of a $400 device and when it ultimately chooses to malfunction, which simply doesn’t cut it nowadays, even for ultra-light underwater cameras.
Image Source: The Verge