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GoPro Hero 9 Black leak suggests it'll pack a new sensor and bigger battery

GoPro Hero 8 Black
(Image credit: Future)

A new GoPro Hero 9 Black could be about to paraglide into our somewhat action-starved lives soon, with a new leak seemingly revealing its packaging and headline specs.

German publication Winfuture has followed up its previous leak, which appeared to confirm a new front-facing screen (the first image below), with a second one that shows the possible new Hero 9 Black packaging (the second image below), and mentions specs including a rumored new 20MP sensor.

If the leak is genuine, this would be a big upgrade from the 12MP sensor seen in previous models like the GoPro Hero 8 Black. It's not yet clear whether or not this sensor is the same size as previous chips, but the increased resolution backs up earlier rumors that the Hero 9 Black might be able to shoot 5K video.

Perhaps even bigger news for those who've felt frustrated by slightly restrictive GoPro battery lives is the claim that the new flagship will have a battery that's 41% bigger than the one in the Hero 8 Black. According to the WinFuture leak, the Hero 9 Black will have a 1,720mAh battery. 

That wouldn't necessarily translate to an equivalent 40% boost in battery life, particularly if the Hero 9 Black does indeed have an energy-sapping front-facing screen, but it should certainly improve its stamina. There will also apparently be a new charging dock that can charge two of the new batteries simultaneously.

(Image credit: Roland Quandt/WinFuture)

GoPro Hero 9 Black

(Image credit: WinFuture)

Smooth operator

So what else can we expect from the Hero 9 Black? Another big feature that's mentioned on the leaked packaging is HyperSmooth 3.0 image stabilization, which should apparently deliver results "like with a gimbal".

We've been hugely impressed by the HyperSmooth stabilization offered on previous models like the Hero 8 Black, so it's possibly that this will be more of an incremental upgrade than a big leap. But the technology would likely benefit from GoPro's recent acquisition of ReelSteady, which makes an excellent motion-smoothing After Effects plug-in. 

Other features hinted at by the packaging leak are TimeWarp 3.0, which is presumably an updated version of the 'moving timelapse' feature seen on previous GoPros, plus a webcam mode and livestreaming in Full HD.

We've already seen webcam functionality come to the Hero 8 Black, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see this on GoPro's new flagship, and it shows how GoPro is looking to adapt its products to make them useful even when our opportunities for capturing action are limited. 

Of course, there are still plenty of unknowns about the Hero 9 Black, chiefly what other accessories it'll have, when it will be launched, and, of course, its price. Given the mounting leaks, it sounds like GoPro might fill us in on these very soon.