Xiaomi Yi Action Camera Review

Xiaomi entered the funding action camera market with their product: the Yi Action Camera. Much like most of Xiaomi’s other products, the Yi is priced much lower than the competition — priced at only RMB 399, the Yi definitely is one of the cheaper action cameras now in the industry. However, did Xiaomi compromise quality to get the lower price?

Overall build quality is solid, but the lack of a display is a hassle

If you handled the newer GoPro models you will see the Yi is the same dimensions as the offering of the company. Put side by side, they nearly line up, enough you’ll be tempted to stuff it.

Contrary to GoPro’s somber black colors, the Yi sports vibrant colours that draw as it’s out and about, people’s gaze. The design is no accident — Xiaomi is clearly placing this as a lifestyle product, instead of the Hero line of GoPro that’s targeted toward thrill seekers. We’re already seeing a lot of individuals use action cameras (not only GoPros) as selfie cameras and camcorders, and it seems sensible that Xiaomi would want to tap this underserved market with a bright, attractive design. Xiaomi even ships the Yi Action camera using a optional monopod on their site.

There is three physical buttons round the body, and a total of 4 LED lights of the Yi one embedded in the power button, one near one for the WiFi the shutter on top and yet another one on the bottom of the device. The power button has been placed using the shutter right on top, in the Yi’s front. The change for the WiFi is located on the medial side.

The Yi compared to GoPro’s offerings’ difference is the absence of a LCD display. Since there’s no display, you’ll need to command and set the movie shooting modes through the Android app which you’ll need to set up from Xiaomi (it isn’t in the Google Play Store). You have limited control over the activity camera. Modes that are shooting can change out of video to picture by pressing the power button while the device is on, flip off and on WiFi and that’s it. The two LED lights around the top and bottom tell you if you are in video or photo style — you’re in video style, if they are on. The Yi is recording if they’re flashing.

The Yi does not ship with a watertight case. This limits the Yi’s use to no contact sports and actions, lest you break the lens from those Yi accidentally.

Mobile app is easy to use, if you can find the English version

The app that controls it is in Chinese, as of yet, since the Yi isn’t being marketed. Thankfully, the folks at the Xiaomi MIUI forums created an English translation to it, though for some reason that we downloaded is no more in the thread. We are re-uploading the app here within our Dropbox so it can be grabbed by people.

The program is simple to use, and shows each the modes of the camera. When compared with the GoPro that the Yi has significantly less shooting modes (no more 4K recording) although it can do superb slow-mo recording at 240FPS at reduced resolutions. It may also do 60 FPS recording on HD and HD resolutions .

The biggest problem we have with all the app is that there’s a lag between pressing the Yi actions camera and the button actually responding, which can be annoying especially when you’re trying to time your shots

Image quality is very good, particularly compared to other economical action cams

Picture quality for the Yi is rather good, with excellent balance, sharp contrast and good color reproduction. We shot the image above at night time, and the quality is good considering the cost as you can see.

While they shot and captured good, we had issues trying to view in slow-mo, as VLC showed them at normal speed while using a PC.

Worse, when trying to edit the video on Vegas, you’d have to adjust the slow-mo time. You are actually not seeing the slow-mo shot above’s true FPS, just our approximation of what it must look like.

Image quality is very good as well today, and it can go toe-to-toe along with action cameras out in the industry.

Battery life goes fast, especially when you’re shooting WiFi on

We had been disappointed with the overall battery life of the Yi, especially on. Our battery drained . The Yi’s 1010 battery pack isn’t up to the task of keeping the lights on with the WiFi on. Together with WiFi away, we managed to get 40 minutes of recording time around before the Yi gave up the ghost.

Verdict: Get it if you’re looking for an affordable action cam for everyday life

The Xiaomi Yi Action Camera is a fantastic device for people searching that they can take with them they’re out on a trip or with their significant other. Its own modes are fairly comprehensive, and it is a selfie machine that is great and cover nearly all usage scenarios. It is definitely not a rough and tumble action camera like the Hero show of GoPro is, even though it can rough it out if you purchase it a separate case.

While Xiaomi has priced the Yi Action Camera at just RMB 399 for its simple version, you are going to have to pony up more than that here in the Philippines. Since Xiaomi’s not officially offering it, it is being offered by online sellers at about Php 5K for the bottom product. At that price, its a little harder to justify since other devices are priced similarly, with instances to boot.

But if the Yi Action Camera is offered by Xiaomi Philippines officially, you better snap one .

 

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