Xiaomi YI review, the camera which frighten the GoPro

Xiaomi YI review, the camera which frighten the GoPro

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No, no  I do not exagerate …

I do confess that my heading is a little bit sensationalist but it is justified.:-)

I have received some days a go the Yi sport camera from the Chineese manufacturer  XiaoMI and you will see that you will be blown away !

This name perhaps doesn’t mean anything to you but Xiaomi is the biggest smartphones’ producer in China and is in third position worldwide  behind Samsung and Apple. We immediatly understand that it is serious.


Even if it has the same general outlines of the GoPro, the Yi is not just a clone and offers some differences and a touch of originality.

Already it is available in two color, white or green.



The Yi is not the first camera competing with the GoPro which we have tested but usually we are rather facing a GoPro cheap price quality.This time ,when you read the technical data sheet, there is no doubt, Yi is targetting the top of the range!

  • Sensor Sony Exmor R BSI CMOS 16Mpx
  • Processor Ambarella A7LS
  • Aspherical lens vision angle 155°, F2.8
  • Waterproof 40M (with the casing “non supplied)
  • Codec vidéo MP4 (H.264)
  • Vidéos formats
    • 1080P(60fps/48fps/30fps/24fps)
    • 960P(60fps/48fps)
    • 720P(120fps/60fps/48fps)
    • 480P(240fps)
  • Photo 16Mpx (4608*3456)
  • Time-lapse 0.5s, 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, 30s, 60s
  • Self-timmer (3s à 15s)
  • Battery Li-ion 1010mah
  • Storage micro SD (64Go max class 10 recommanded)
  • Connection Wifi and Bluetooth
  • Application Android and iPhone

Concerning the characteristics, the Yi stands between theGoPro Silver and Black édition. It has a 16Mpx sensor and you can shoot in1080p with 60 images per second and until 240 frames per second in 480p !

The image treatment processor is the same as the GoPro 4 silver but the sensor has a wider resolution.

The mode 1080p 60fps is ideal for shooting from a drone as the increase in image numbers per second has several advantages:
– More fluid movements at high speed
– Higher quality of the slow motions
– Reduction of the Jello effect (interferences due to vibrations)

Apart from the GoPro 4 Black Edition, the Yi surpasses all the other cameras.


For this  test I have been able to register a small sequence with the Xiaomi Yi and the GoPro 3 Black Edition in order to compare the performances of the YI with one of the best GoPro.

As you can see it, the YI has a wonderful behaviour, the image is splendid, the blacklit effects are well managed and it is difficult to differentiate the two cameras.

The only perceptible difference when the two images are side by side stands at the colors level, colors which are slightly more pale on the Yi but I find that they are more natural and less exagerated than on the GoPro.

Frankly speaking I am staggered … I was already satisfied with the ratio price versus quality of the Mobius camera which is at the same price as the Yi but this is unexpected.

The YI offers an irreprochable image quality and is close to tickle the higher range camera from GoPro which is indeed 7 times more expensive  !!!

It is really the first time that a competitor of GoPro is able to reach this quality level and we will not complain about it.


The Yi is very simple to use. One switch to start, one switch to activate the recording.

A long pressing on the recordingswitch allows to go from the photo mode to the video mode and vice versa.

The  YI is compatible with Wifi and Bluetooth which allows you to control it by means of a smartphone (Android or iPhone).

The application is already available on Apple Store but not on the Android market.Meanwhile you will have to connect directly with your Android smartphone to this adress to install the application.


Actually the application is in english and operates perfectly. There are some remaining texts in chineese but the application is fully usable if you understand a liitle bit the english language. We can expect a translation in the following weeks but the manufacturer has not confirmed anything for the time being.


XiaoMI is making a resounding entrance in the world of the mini cameras. It is difficult to find any manufacturing defects to this Yi… The image quality is identical to the best GoPro for a ridiculous price.

This camera has already caused sensation and it’s only the beginning. GoPro managment will have to react quickly, because apart of the higher range model (GoPro 4 Black), the YI surpasses all its competitors and is about to take major shares of the market in the following months.

The XiaoMI YI is available at Banggood for approx US$79.

XiaoMI YI HD camera – US$79



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