GoPro Hero 5 Black Broken USB Door

Recently I purchased a Hero 5 Black (Amazon) because of some of the excellent features available, including voice control and stabilization. I look forward to working with it more and seeing those features in action. I’m hopeful that it will turn out to be an excellent camera.

Broken Hero 5 Black USB door

Initially though, I’m not impressed.

After being thrilled with my Hero 3, and Hero 4 Session (my review), the mechanical build of the Hero 5 black seems almost unfinished in comparison. Both of those cameras are nicely sealed, but the Hero 5 Black doesn’t seem quite as mechanically sound. It’s tough to put my finger on, exactly, but the Hero 5 almost seems like a collection of parts, where the previous Heroes that I’ve used were distinctly one unit.

Not terrible, just not quite up to the standard that I’m used to from GoPro.

Edit: 1/5/2017 – GoPro decided to send  me a new door, so thanks for that.

What really annoyed me though was the design of the USB door, and to a lesser extent the door for the battery and micro SD card. After charging it, I couldn’t get the door to come open, eventually using a metal ruler to help nudge it out. Compare this to the Hero 4 Session, which flips open beautifully (and can be accessed with a mount attached), and it seems almost unfinished.

The sort-of good news is that you can remove this door if you like, destroying its waterproof rating, but allowing for easy access to the USB and HDMI ports. I attempted to pull this off, and instead of removing it, it just broke off. Perhaps I pushed it in a way that you’re not supposed to, but I’ve yet to find official instructions for this procedure, and I don’t think I used excessive force.

Another view of the Broken Hero 5 Black USB Door

After calling GoPro’s support line (and tweeting to them, which remains unanswered they replied), they referred me to their website, where I could BUY another one, but didn’t offer to replace it. I could (and may) send it back to Amazon, but it seems like it would be much more cost-effective to handle this themselves.

*Edit 1/5/2017 – See note above. Despite this, after using it for a day, I’m quite impressed with the voice control, as well as some other aspects.

Rant over…

This post has obviously been a bit of a rant, but I’ve come to expect much more out of GoPro, especially for a camera costing around $400. On the other hand, the features, such a multiple microphones, image stabilization, a display, and voice control should be quite useful.

In other words, GoPro, I’m still a big fan, but slightly less so than before. I’m looking forward to trying it out, jut a little less than before receiving it! Perhaps I’ll do another review of it after I’ve had some time to see what it can do.