Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi has officially unveiled its entry into the drone market today.
Drones are one of the hottest in tech right now so it’s no surprise that more and more companies are giving it a shot.
“We want everyone to be able to afford good products. That was why I set up Xiaomi in the first place,” Xiaomi CEO, Lei Jun, said.
Xiaomi is well known for its excellent smartphones and products with an affordable price tag. With its entry, it puts itself as a direct competitor to DJI, a fellow Chinese manufacturer which specializes in Drones. In typical Xiaomi fashion, it borrows a lot from the looks of the Phantom series, the most popular quadcopters right now.
The Mi Drone is a quadcopter that comes with a ball-shaped 360-degree 4K camera and a remote which use a Mi smartphone as its viewfinder. It uses a Sony 12.4-megapixel sensor that can take RAW photos as well as 3840 x 2160 30fps videos.There’s a detachable gimbal that has 3-axis stabilization and optical flow sensor to help the camera better shots.
Xiaomi boasts about the Mi Drone’s modularity, and because some parts are detachable, it makes it easier to repair.
The Mi Drone’s remote controller is said to be nice to hold and it comes with a built-in smartphone holder. It can control the drone for up a distance of 2km while continuously streaming HD video. The remote is beginner friendly as it comes with a dedicated button that will be used for both take off and landing. There’s also a switch that will tell the Drone to go back home and it will also be triggered if the 5100mAh battery is running low on power.
Xiaomi claims that the Mi Drone can last for up to 27 minutes non-stop flying. Like other drones, it can autopilot itself to a certain place, follow a route, and move around a subject while filming.
- 4-propeller system with detachable shields
- 17.4V battery 5100mAh, 27 minutes non-stop flying
- 1080p or 4K UHD camera, with 104° wide-angle lens
- 4K camera at 3840 x 2160 pixels; supports recording of stills in RAW format
- 720p live video with low latency from up to 2km distance
- Camera attached to a 3-axis gimbal, stabilizes up to 2000 vibrations per second
- Unbelievably lightweight design
- GPS + GLONASS + vision-based positioning for max precision
- Autopilot options: automatic take-off + landing, waypoint flight path planning, tap to fly on map,
- Circle an object on the ground
- Intelligently detects low battery and returns home automatically
- Real-time location tracking for easy retrieval even post-crash
- Hovers automatically at the edge of no-fly zones
- Built-in PCB antenna array in remote control for maximum reach
- Modular design and foldable landing gear
There will be two versions: a 1080p and a 4k model. The base 1080p variant will cost 2,499 yuan (~$380) while the 4k is priced at 2,999 yuan (~$460). The high-end model will enter an open beta program by the end of July while the full HD version will be crowdfunded starting tomorrow through the Mi Home app.