Photography Tech

Mi Drone

For those of you who are into drones and photo/videography but don’t have deep enough pockets to splurge on the latest DJI Phantom 4, here’s an alternative from Chinese electronics and smartphone maker, Xiaomi.

Having teased about it for some time now, the new flying product unveiled on Wednesday (May 25) is called the Mi Drone and on first look, the resemblance is no coincidence, it clearly is a competitor to DJI’s Phantom series.

The Mi Drone major features include a modular design with foldable landing gear, a 4K UHD resolution 108-degree ultra-wide camera with 3-axis stabilisation that corrects itself 2,000 times per second, 5,100mAh battery for an almost 30-minute flight, GPS + GLONASS + vision-based positioning for maximum precision and uses a smartphone as a remote control and viewfinder.

Most of the specs put out during Mi Drone’s launch is similar to the Phantom 4 but DJI edges slightly with smarter tracking and obstacle sensors, making it a better machine to fly indoors.

The only winning and perhaps an important buying factor is Mi Drone’s price. At only ¥2,999 (est. ~US$455.09) for the 4K model, it costs less than half of what DJI is offering with Phantom 4 (US$1,399). The only question that remains is how well Mi Drone performs in real life and whether it will put it anywhere close to the Phantom 4, a beast of a machine with more than 10 years of UAV-building experience and research under DJI.

Xiaomi did not mention if Mi Drone will be released into markets worldwide but it definitely won’t stop enthusiasts from buying them off Taobao.

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