Gadgets for humans

Xiaomi takes on DJI with the official launch of its $450 Mi Drone


Xiaomi’s first drone is official, and you can probably guess what its name is.

The Mi Drone features a 104-degree wide angle lens camera capable of taking 1080p or 4K image-stablized video, and can stream 720p live video. Specifically, the camera use  a Sony 12.4 megapixel sensor, which captures video at 3,840 x 2,160 and 30 fps.

The battery life is estimated to last up to 27 minutes of continuous flying, and has automatic lift-off and landing modes. Other autopilot functions include flight path planning, circling around an object on a map, and targeting a place on a map to fly.

A sample of Mi Drone's camera.
A sample of Mi Drone’s camera.

Of course, it being Xiaomi, price is very competitive with others in the high-end drone space: The HD version starts at $380, and 4K video model at $450. But don’t get too excited – the lower-end version will launch through a crowdfunding model on Xiaomi’s site, and the 4K model will arrive later this July in an open beta.

If you’re able to wait a bit, it’s a steal compared to DJI’s drones.

Published May 26, 2016 — 09:12 UTC

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