Xiaomi Yi Sport Camera unboxed, first impressions
Last March, Chinese device manufacturer Xiaomi, announced their very first ation camera called the Yi (Xiao Yi) with a design and form factor pretty close to the widely popular GoPro Hero cameras. Only this time, Xiaomi’s version of the XiaoYi action cam comes with a very affordable price point — 399 Yuan or around Php2,800.
That sparked a lot of interest, even with regular consumers who’d previously could not afford a GoPro. Even the new entry-level GoPro Hero model is more than twice that price tag. While we have serious doubt that Xiaomi Philippines will ever bring the XiaoYi action camera to the Philippines (perhaps thru another sale via Lazada), we were able to secure a couple of review units from GearBest which shipped it to us from Hong Kong.
The one we got is also the Yi Sports Edition which is a larger box that comes with a really nice selfie stick.
At first glance, the Yi sports camera has that very similar look and form factor as the GoPro and many of its contemporaries. Xiaomi didn’t bother drawing up a new design although they’ve added a number of cosmetic changes to the chassis, like a two-tone finish which makes the Yi look less serious yet fun to use.
For a really in-expensive camera, the Yi has a solid build and a nice colorful design. While it’s all made of type of polycarbonate material, the level of attention and detail is at par with the metal-clad GoPro. In some aspects, the Yi looks much nicer than an equivalent Hero unit.
Just like the GoPro, the power button is right at the front, the shutter button is on top and t dedicated WiFi button is on the left side.
At the back is the compartment for the removable Li-Ion battery alongside the sealed ports for the micro-USB, micro-HDMI and micro-SD card slot. The power button at the front has a concentric LED light that turns red when charging the unit, and green when it’s fully charged. Another smaller light indicator at the back blinks when the camera is recording a video.
The unit has a glossy finish at the front, a matter finish at the back and a tile pattern around the sides.
At the bottom is a standard tripod mount (6mm screw) so you can basically attach this to any standard camera accessory you have around.
What is not included is the protective housing that will allow the device to be subjected to shock and able to be submerged under water for a prolonged period of time. You will have to buy that one separately. There’s also an optional silicone gel case which you can have the Yi wear for regular daily use. The battery is a removable Li-Po with a 1,100mAh rating.
The Xiaomi Yi works with a lot of 3rd-party accessories so even the ones sold for the SJ4000 will basically work with the Yi using the standard mount.
The 16-megapixel sensor is a Sony Exmor R BSI CMOS with 155° wide-angle lens. The built-in Bluetooth allows for the Yi to be operated via remote control while the WiFi is used to connect to a smartphone with the dedicated app for wireless viewing and transfer of media.
We’re bringing the Yi out of town this week-end to test the camera and how it stacks up against the GoPro so stay tuned for that.
Xiaomi Yi Sport Camera features:
72 Grams and made from PC + ABS and metal composite materials
Ambarella A7LS Processor
Sony Exmor R BSI CMOS 16MP Sensor
155° (Mobile Phone 89°) Wide Angle Lens
3D Noise Reduction
WiFi Connectivity (up to 100 meters)
BLE Ultra-low power consumption
Bluetooth and Remote App control
4 Operating modes include; Photo, Time-lapse photo, Timed photo and Video
Share to social media within 10 seconds using the smartphone APP.
Video support: 1080p 60 FPS, 1080p 30 FPS, 720p 120 FPS, 720p 240 FPS
H.264 Video encoding with Sport level image processor providing ultra high-fluency
Urban White and Jungle Green colors
The Xiaomi Yi Sport Camera comes in two editions: the Basic Edition (camera-only) for 399 Yuan or around Php2,800, and the Travel Edition (camera + monopod) for 499 Yuan or around Php3,500.
You can get them over at GearBest straight from HK for $109 with free shipping.
P.S. We’re also giving away one of these after our full review (so bookmark this page).