4K video for $450? Xiaomi’s drone hits DJI where it hurts
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Photo credit: Xiaomi

Photo credit: Xiaomi

It looks pretty awesome

Tech in Asia

Xiaomi on Wednesday revealed its Mi Drone, the company’s first entry into the drone market – and it came out swinging. The drone features a 4K camera and plenty of specs that should make the competition nervous.

The Mi Drone’s camera is made out of ultra-light carbon fiber and shoots 4K resolution (3840 x 2160p) at 30 fps. It also features a 12-megapixel still camera, and can shoot 60 fps video at 1080p resolution. The camera is mounted on a stabilized arm beneath the drone.

Below the $450 4K version is a 1080p HD shooter drone for just $380.

Xiaomi’s drone duo includes features like automatic obstacle avoidance, and they’re programmed not to fly in certain areas – like near airports or government facilities.

The Mi Drone has a 5100mAh battery, and the company says it can fly for 27 minutes per charge. DJI’s Phantom 3 Standard sports a 25-minute fly time.

The drone’s camera and controller. Image credit: Xiaomi’s Weibo.

The drone’s camera and controller. Image credit: Xiaomi’s Weibo.

The drone is controlled with a remote that looks a bit like an XBox controller, and includes buttons for features like automatic landing and automatically following pre-programmed routes. You can also strap your phone into the remote for a live stream through the drone’s camera. It can control the device for up to 3 kilometers.

A view of the drone from above. Image credit: Xiaomi’s Weibo.

A view of the drone from above. Image credit: Xiaomi’s Weibo.

Begin, the drone wars have…

This puts Xiaomi in direct competition with China-native DJI, the world’s most well-known producer of civilian drones. In this price range, the Mi Drone is up against DJI’s Phantom 3 Standard, which takes 2.7K video and goes for $500. DJI’s cheapest 4K offering, the Phantom 3 4K, goes for $800.

This year has shown that Xiaomi is looking to expand far beyond its smartphone roots. In just the past few months, the company has dropped everything from a crowdfunded smart bicycle to a smartphone-controlled rice cooker. Most of the non-smartphone devices with the Xiaomi logo are actually produced by companies that Xiaomi has invested in – the drone was produced by a company called Flymi.

The Mi Drone will go on sale in mainland China sometime in July.

Editing by Steven Millward

This post was originally published on Tech in Asia

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Erik Crouch

About Erik Crouch


Erik is an American living in Shanghai, where he follows start-ups, rides the high-speed rail, and buys too many new phones. He specializes in Chinese tech, and what that means for the rest of the world.

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