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What is Bluetooth Connectivity? How Does it Differ From Wi-Fi?

by GoPro ‎09-30-2019 07:32 PM - edited ‎03-04-2021 02:24 PM
What is the Bluetooth connectivity on the camera?  Is it different from Wi-Fi?

Where does it apply?
  • HERO9 Black
  • HERO8 Black
  • MAX
  • HERO7
  • HERO (2018)
  • HERO6 Black
  • Fusion
  • HERO5 Black
  • HERO5 Session
  • HERO4
  • HERO Session + HERO4 Session
  • HERO+
  • iOS Devices
  • Android Devices


Bluetooth basics

Bluetooth requires less energy (and therefore less battery) than Wi-Fi to connect the GoPro App to your camera. For most GoPro cameras, the Bluetooth connection is used only for "waking the camera up" from a low power wireless state. After waking up the camera, you still need the camera to connect to the mobile device via Wi-Fi for any additional functionality (preview, start/stop, mode changing, etc.).

Keep in mind if Bluetooth gets disconnected from the camera then the user will need to go back into their mobile device's Bluetooth settings and reconnect.

Bluetooth behavior by camera:

HERO9 Black, HERO8 Black, MAX
HERO4 and newer
HERO3+ and older

HERO9 Black, HERO8 Black, MAX

The GoPro app uses both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to connect to the GoPro camera. However, Bluetooth control is the default connection method between a user’s smartphone and camera.

Live preview and viewing the media on the camera are the only functions Bluetooth cannot support. Thus, Wi-Fi enablement is only prompted and used when a user attempts to use those functionalities. Anytime a user is not using one of those features, the app will use Bluetooth.

Connecting to Wi-Fi to enable Live Preview on iOS

User-added image User-added image User-added image User-added image

Why use Bluetooth control vs Wi-Fi?

Bluetooth control consumes significantly less battery on both the phone and camera.

What features can Bluetooth control NOT support?

  • Camera preview
  • Viewing media on camera (subsequently downloading media to phone as well)
When navigating to these features, the GoPro App automatically changes to Wi-Fi connection.

How can I manually switch between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi?

This is not an option. The app will always default to using Bluetooth unless the user would like to view camera preview or view the media on the camera.


HERO4 and newer

The GoPro app uses both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to connect to the GoPro camera, however both technologies are used in different contexts.  Wi-Fi is still used for connect and control, preview, etc. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is used for initial set-up and staying connected with camera.  The GoPro App can "wake up the camera" over BLE. 


HERO3+ and older

These cameras do not support Bluetooth connection and instead use a Wi-Fi connection only.