Xiaomi Mi Drone Review
Xiaomi Mi Drone is a new 4K drone that was recently announced by Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi. Here’s our review.
What is the Xiaomi Mi Drone?
The Mi Drone is a new drone released by one of China’s most popular consumer electronics brands. It’s a quad-copter drone with a three-axis gimbal and a 4K camera. There’s also a remote control that uses your Mi smartphone as a viewfinder.
The 4K version of the drone is priced at around $460 USD, while the 1080p version costs $380.
That pricing is important: other 4K drones on the market today typically retail at over $1,000. DJI and Yuneec, two of the largest drone manufacturers, both sell their 4K drones for over $1,000.
The Mi Drone also promises to be modular and serviceable. So if you want to upgrade or replace a part, you just swap it out. The drone has a 5,100 mAh battery that can also easily be replaced. According to Xiaomi, you can expect to get 27 minutes of flight time on a single charge – which is more than most drones in the industry.
The drone positions itself using GPS and GLONASS. It also has a visual positioning system on the bottom designed to help it fly stably over terrain at low altitudes (where it may not be able to get a satellite signal).
There are also the drone-standard features you would expect, including takeoff, landing, return to home, waypoint navigation, and orbit functionality.
One thing we don’t see on all drones, however, is the ability to create a geofence to limit the movement of your drone. If your drone strays beyond that geofence, then it will automatically return to its home base.
Available at the End of July
The Xiaomi Mi Drone launched its crowdfunding campaign for the 1080p version of the device on May 26, 2016, when the campaign appeared on the Mi Home app.
The 4K option, meanwhile, will be available for testing through an open beta program that will launch at the end of July 2016.
You can contribute to the crowdfunding campaign and secure a Mi Drone for yourself today by visiting Mi.com.
Xiaomi Mi Drone Pricing
As mentioned above, the Xiaomi Mi Drone is priced at around $460 USD (4K version) and $380 (1080p version).
Both prices were initially listed in yuan, so it’s unclear what the exact US price will be. In China, Xiaomi has announced the devices will retail at 2,999 yuan (4K version) and 2499 yuan (1080p version).
Here’s what the BBC reported about that price:
“The feature set between the Mi Drone and DJI's Phantom 3 is almost identical – they can both be made to return home and circle around a point of interest – but Xiaomi's product is so competitively priced you have to wonder if it can make much profit,” Engadget's Chinese editor-in-chief Richard Lai told the BBC.
As mentioned above, 4K drones on the market today typically cost over $1,000. The DJI’s cheapest 4K model is priced at $800. In the product launch event for the Mi Drone, Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun said they wanted to make a drone not just for rich kids: they wanted to democratize the world of drones and give them to everyone.
To contribute to the crowdfunding campaign and buy your own version of the Xiaomi Mi Drone, visit Mi.com today.
Xiaomi Mi Drone Features
- Flies for 27 minutes straight on a single charge
- 5100 mAh battery
- Flies to a range of up to 3km away
- 360 degree camera capable of shooting 4K video
- Handheld remote that can use your smartphone as a live streaming device
- Modular and replaceable pieces
Who Is Making the Xiaomi Mi Drone?
Xiaomi Mi Drone is being crowdfunded by Xiaomi, although like other Xiaomi products, the company isn’t actually making the hardware itself.
Instead, Xoami is contracting the work out to Chinese manufacturer Flymi.
It seems like it was only a matter of time until a lower-cost manufacturer undercut DJI’s high prices on drones. You have to wait a couple more months before you see the Xiaomi Mi Drone on the market. However, you can order one today by visiting Mi.com.