Xiaomi, a Chinese company that manufactures smartphones, has unveiled an action camera, called Yi, which looks like a GoPro Hero, but outperforms its rival at a fraction of the cost.
GoPro introduced an entry-level action camera, called Hero, along with the Hero4 Black and Silver editions at the end of September 2014. The low-end model has just gained another competitor, which is coming from someone you would not expect: Xiaomi.
The Chinese smartphone maker, which is also the third world’s largest smartphone seller, has recently expanded its product line-up to other areas, such as air purification, blood testing, or living room entertainment, courtesy of a Smart TV.
Now, the company has decided to enter the action camera market using Yi, a compact and lightweight shooter with looks inspired by the GoPro Hero.
Xiaomi Yi action camera unveiled as a cheaper, lighter, better alternative to the GoPro Hero
Usually, consumers purchase an action camera other than the Hero because it sports a different design and because it is cheaper. In this case, only the latter applies, as the Xiaomi Yi action camera has the same rectangular shape as GoPro’s shooter. As for the price, the Yi is actually a lot cheaper than the entry-level Hero, which costs $129.99. The Chinese manufacturer will see the Yi for only 399 CNY, which translates to about $64.
Moving further, the Xiaomi Yi action camera is more powerful than the low-end GoPro Hero. The new model features a 16-megapixel Sony Exmor R BSI CMOS image sensor, which captures 16-megapixel stills and full HD videos at 60fps. On the other hand, the Hero comes with a 5-megapixel sensor and full HD video recording at up to 30fps.
Furthermore, the Yi employs a 3D noise reduction technology, which cuts down the noise in your photos and videos, and a digital image stabilization technology.
To top it all off, Xiaomi’s action cam features 64GB of storage and weighs only 72 grams, while the Hero offers only 32GB and weighs about 111 grams.
There are some important downsides to the Xiaomi Yi camera
Xiaomi has confirmed that its action camera is waterproof down to 40 meters / 130 feet, just like the entry-level Hero. However, an extra, more durable case is not available.
In the accessories department, the company is offering a selfie stick for the Yi and a harness for your cat or dog, which captures the adventures of your pet from its perspective.
Unfortunately, the manufacturer will only release the action cam in its home country. Most Xiaomi products are available exclusively in China, so there is a small chance that the Yi will make its way across to the US and other markets.
Either way, the shooter comes with built-in WiFi and a smartphone application lets you control the Yi and edit your photos or videos. If you are from China, then you can find out more at the company’s official blog.