When Xiaomi released their very first Yi action camera, I was really amazed with the quality and price value. And not just me, it reached the top of many action camera charts. Then they released the Xiaomi Yi 4K, their very first 4K action camera. Which again is amazing and still the best bang for buck action camera available. Now, because the technology keeps evolving and the competition isn’t sleeping, Xiaomi has released their newest flagship action camera: Xiaomi Yi 4K+.
When we compared the Xiaomi Yi 4K with GoPro Hero5 Black and Sony FDR-X3000, we discovered that it just wan’t quite up there. It had some lacks in video quality etc. The Xiaomi Yi 4K+ has however received some massive upgrades. The first, and most important in my opinion, is that it can record 4K videos at up to 60 frames per second! For comparison, both the GoPro and Sony can handle up to 30fps. This also makes it the only 4K 60fps action camera available. Another improvement is also the bitrates. Xiaomi Yi 4K+ can now record at 120 Mbps (previously 60). Sony can handle up to 100 Mbps and GoPro 60 Mbps. All of this should mean a massive improvement in video quality. But more about that later on in my Xiaomi Yi 4K+ review.
- Dimensions: 65x42x30mm / 2.5×1.6×1.2″
- Weight: 96g / 3.4oz
- Chipset: Ambarella H2 SOC
- Sensor: Sony IMX377 12MP 1/2.3″
- Angle Of View: 155º
- Video resolutions: 4K 60/50/30/25fps; 2.7K 60/50/30/25fps; 1440p 60/50/30/25fps; 1080p 120/100/60/50/30/25fps; 720p 240/200fps
- Bitrates: 120Mbps
- Photo: 12MP
- Modes: Time Lapse Video, Slow Motion, Video + Photo, Loop, Burst, Time Lapse Photo, Shutter
- Features: 2.2″ LCD touch screen, WiFi & Bluetooth, Voice Controls, Electronic Image Stabilization, External Microphone Support, Gyroscope/Accelerometer, 1/4″ Tripod hole
- Ports: USB-C, MicroSD card slot
- Memory: MicroSDHC and SDXC cards, up to 128GB
- Battery life: 105 minutes of 4K 30fps recording
In The Box
- Xiaomi Yi 4K+ action camera
- 1400mAh battery
- USB-C cable
Design & Accessories
The new Xiaomi Yi 4K+ action camera has basically got the same modern design as the previous Yi 4K. It’s made out of decent quality plastic that doesn’t feel cheap at all in your hands. Nor does it feel like it’s about to break. They have also kept the same dimension of 65x42x30mm / 2.5×1.6×1.2″. So if you have any of the Yi 4K accessories, then you can also use those with the Plus version. So overall a good work from Xiaomi in the design department.
They have changed the front panel though. It now has like a textured look to it, which is quite nice in my opinion. It makes the camera more interesting. There are also less slots. So the front side of the action camera has the lens and a small LED light. The back side has a very nice 2.2″ LCD touchscreen for changing settings and viewing live footage. The top part has only one button, which is used for turning it on, recording and taking photos. Bottom of the camera has a 1/4″ threaded tripod hole and a compartment for the battery and a microSD card. Right side has the new USB-C port. Don’t worry, you still get the standard USB to USB-C cable as well. It’s just a new USB standard that’s being pushed hard by companies all over the world.
I’m really happy with the overall design. The 1 button feature makes it super easy to record with the action camera. Plus the 2.2″ LCD touchscreen which does make your life easier. The touchscreen is also covered with gorilla glass so it’s strong. My only wish would be if the outside plastic was made like out of a rubberized material, well at least the sides. That would really improve the grip and make it easier to hold the camera. Everything else is good though.
If you looked at the In The Box section then you probably noticed that you don’t get any accessories with the camera. That’s definitely a negative part in my opinion. While I understand that the Xiaomi Yi 4K+ is more designed for the urban/travelling environment, it’s still an action camera. But even then, getting accessories isn’t an issue. You can get a special waterproof case for around $25. I do recommend getting it as it also protects the camera. Bare in mind that the sound quality will hurt from it. You can also use the threaded tripod mount to attach a GoPro adapter. That will open up the action camera to a huge range of different GoPro mounts and accessories.
Video & Features
The Xiaomi Yi 4K+ is the first action camera that can record 4K videos at up to 60fps. Now that’s huge as even the Sony FDR-X3000 maxes out at 30fps. You can also record Full HD 1080p videos at 120fps, which is quite standard with the flag ship action cameras nowadays. So that’s obviously great news, as the 4K 60fps definitely means smoother videos.
And talking about smoother, the Xiaomi Yi 4K+ has also got a next generation image stabilization system. Most available systems only work with a resolution up to 1080p, Except for Sony FDR-X3000, which was the only action camera to have support for 4K as well. Well Xiaomi has brought the same system to their Yi 4K+ as well. However it works up to 30fps at 4K so no support for 60fps yet. Even so, having it work will definitely make it more desirable to record at 4K. Even if you don’t have a 4K monitor to view it in. The higher resolution just opens up to so many more possibilities later on when editing.
The video quality on Xiaomi Yi 4K+ is simply amazing. It’s literally as good as I was hoping for when I first read the technical specification. The 4K video is amazingly crisp. It’s so sharp there is zero amount of blur. Also the colors, which look so natural and also vibrant. I’m really blown away by the new action camera. It’s fantastic. It’s definitely the best action camera I have reviewed in a long time. I’m pretty sure that it’s better than any GoPro as well, I’m going to compare the two soon but I’m pretty sure the Yi 4K+ is better.
Xiaomi has also included the new digital image stabilization system that also works with 4K video resolution. I’m not sure if it’s the same but it’s similar to the one we saw on the Sony FDR-X3000 action camera. So those are the only two action cameras currently available that have a digital stabilization system for 4K videos. Besides that, Xiaomi Yi 4K+ also supports external microphones. Just make sure that you have the correct USB-C adapter. All of these features can allow you to record even higher quality videos. It’s truly amazing for $310. Oh and Xiaomi has also promised voice commands. It will be available with the coming firmware updates.
And the action camera has also got a WiFi & Bluetooth connection available. Just pair the Yi 4K+ with your phone, open the iOS or Android app and you’ll have full control over the camera from a distance. Their app is easy to use and it works really well. After all, they have had years to make it better and better. So as much as I’d like to find at least one negative part about the action cameras features, I can’t really find any.
The Xiaomi Yi 4K+ is most definitely the very best action camera I have ever reviewed so far. Xiaomi has managed to create the full package. The Yi 4K+ has the best video quality on both paper and in real life. And the most surprising part is that they haven’t forgotten the features. It has just as many as the GoPro Hero5 Black. And the Xiaomi is still somehow cheaper. It blows my mind how Xiaomi has managed to pull this off. Despite my love for GoPro, I have to say that Xiaomi has managed to out do them this time. If you are looking for a new action camera and you want the best, then get the Yi 4K+. It’s amazing.
The best action camera available in 2017! Fantastic 4K video quality at 60fps for just $310.