YI technology – YI 4K Action Camera review

Xiaomi-Yi-2-4k

The brand new Yi technology Yi 4k is finally available from July 20, 2016. This professional action camera has excellent features, that will compete with Gopro 5 black. It features Ambarella A9SE chip and Sony IMX377 sensor, so a top quality hardware to record stunning 4K@30fps and 1080P@120fps video, and 12MP pictures.

It also features a 2.19″ touchscreen display where you can see what you are recording or shooting, change options and features just touching it, and playback videos. Besides, it has a wifi 2 times faster than the gopro one, that reaches 3MB/s download speed, a 1400mAh battery that allows to record up to 120 minutes at the maximum 4k@30fps resolution, and above all a 6-axys Gyro stabilizer that removes vibrations and unwanted movements – and GoPro 4 doesn’t have one -. Talking about the audio, Xiaomi Yi2 mounts 2 microphones for a superior stereo audio quality. It has bluetooth and you can control it using the YI RC remote control (I personally tested it and it works perfect). And all of this for 249$! (206.99$ now for Christmas at Gearbest!).

We tested our cam and will provide in this review pictures and video samples.

Gearbest white 206.99$ Gearbest black 219.99$ Amazon US Amazon UK

Coupon code for Gearbest (222$ instead of 249$): GBYI2 or GBCE (-13%) or GBconsumer11 (-11%)

Join our Facebook group dedicated to Xiaomi Yi 2 with news, tests, comparisons, videos and firmware updates: Yitechnology Yi 2 on Facebook


Yi technology Yi2 4k video review

Finally I received my YI 4K from Gearbest (in just 8 days) and as soon as I started testing this cam I’ve been surprised. 4k videos are astonishing, sharp, bright, clear and crisp. It seems like to watch high quality pictures moving. I took my cam to the mountais near my city, and took some picture and 4k video.

Pictures

I started testing some pictures and things are really good also here! I’m not used to see such good quality in pictures shot with a action cam. Git2, Sj5000X makes good photos, but these are excellent! Maybe even better than gopro 4 black, or at least of the same quality. You can watch with your eyes, these are compressed photos but I will upload the original version soon. Colors are natural, images are sharp, the sun never creates much problems, even if it’s in the frame. The sky has an intense but natural blue color, there’s no aliasing at the boundaries of object even of the trees, objects are well defined.

Picture quality: 9.5 / 10

yi_6 yi_5 yi_4
yi_3 yi_2 yi_1

4k Video

As I said the video quality at 4k is excellent. If you playback one video shot with YI 4K it seems like you are watching a still picture. Videos are bright and sharp, like I’ve never seen before (probably only in the Gopro 4 black). Even with low light it captures a good amount of light and images are not pixelated like you would expect. No problem even when you frame the sun, the sensor and the ambarella chip can manage this situation and bring you a good video with a nice blue sky. I’ve noticed no flare in every situation. The fish eye effect is not so annoying – probably because I was filming in open air with no near objects.

Colors are natural, not over saturated like in many action cams, and fluid, it is a real 4K action cam, at 30 fps. In the next firmware Yitechnology will introduce a “Flat mode” to record videos with low saturation and brightness, so that you can color correct every frame with your needs (like with Gopro’s Protune). It is for sure the best action cam I’ve ever tested, only Gopro 4 black can compare with this cam, but it has a price of 500$, while you can get the Yi 4K for 229$.

I put the cam on my helmet and let it record videos without stopping it. I could record almost 2 hours of 4K video and still have battery to shoot some picture.

4K Video quality: 9.5 / 10


You can download a bunch of sample clips of Xiaomi Yi 4k here.

Video reviews

This is the first video review of the Xiaomi Yi 4k. This video covers nearly everything you’d basically want to know about the Yitechnology Yi 2 Action Camera: under water, color profile, bit rate, video quality, stabilization, battery life, and tons more. With a lot of sample videos in many different situation of light and stabilization. So here is the Xiaomi Yi2 review:


And this is another complete xiaomi yi2 review in english in 4k:


You can download a bunch of sample clips of Xiaomi Yi 4k here.

Yi technology Yi 4k overview

The brand new Yi technology Yi 4k has the same video resolutions than GoPro 4 black, max 4k @ 30fps, but it uses the new Ambarella A9SE chip – while Gopro 4 mounts the older A9 – and the new performing 12MP Sony IMX377 sensor  with a dimension of 1/2.3″.

It has a big 2.19″ touchscreen display, where you can see what you are recording or shooting, change options and features, and playback videos.

Besides, it has a wifi 2 times faster than the gopro one, that reaches 3MB/s download speed, a 1400mAh battery that promises to record up to 120 minutes at the maximum 4k@30fps resolution, and above all a 6-axys Gyro stabilizer that removes vibrations and unwanted movements – and GoPro 4 doesn’t have one -. Talking about the audio, Xiaomi Yi2 mounts 2 microphones for a superior stereo audio quality. And all of this for 249$! (222$ with coupon code below)

Xiaomi Yi 2 is on sale at Gearbest right now at 249$, the best price of the web. But if you use the coupon code GBconsumer11 during the pre-sale period you will pay it just 222$!

Pre-sale on Gearbest Amazon US Amazon UK

Coupon code for Gearbest (217$ instead of 249$): GBXiaoyi2 or GBCE (-13%) or GBYI2  or GBconsumer11 (-11%)

Xiaomi_Yi_2_4k

First video of Xiaomi Yi 2 where we can take a look at the menù and the touch screen display:

Yi technology YI 4K features

These are the features of this new action cam:

Sensor:

Yitechnology Yi 2 features the new Sony IMX377 sensor with 12,35 MP.
It has less MP than the Xiaomi Yi that mounts a Sony Exmor IMX206 with 16 MP , but the IMX377 is faster and have better performances and can record with a resolution of 4k @ 30fps with a bitrate of 60mbps.

Compared with previous versions, it captures high resolution image but consumes less power and also deliver better image quality at low light. IMX377 sensor supports 3840*2160 ultra-clear 4K video resolution and 12M pixel photo. It has 1.55um high sensitivity large sensor pixel size which helps produce bright images with clear details and less noise even in poor lighting conditions.

Xiaomi_YI2_sensor

Chip:

The new Xiaomi Yi 2 4K Action Camera features the last version of the new Ambarella A9SE75 chip. GoPro Hero 4 black edition uses the older Ambarella A9 chip. This chip allows better performances with lower power consumption, allowing the battery to last for up to 2 hours at the maximum resolution. The core of YI 4K Action Camera is Ambarella A9SE75 SoC, 28nm CMOS technology, 800MHz dual core Cortest-A9 ARM processor and high-efficient Digital Signal Processor (DSP), supports H.264 BP/MP/HP first class encoding, low-power consumption even at 4K/30fps. The upgraded SoC supports Len Distortion Correction (LDC) to correct image distortion due to wide-angle lens; built-in Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), 3D noise-cancellation and 48000KHz stereo audio.

Xiaomi_Yi_2_review

Video resolutions & Frame Rate:

4K – max. 30fps (bitrate 60 mbps)
2.5k @ 30fps
2k @ 60fps
1080p @ 120 fps as gopro 4 black
720p @ 240 fps

Lens:

Glass lens with 7 layers , aperture f/2.8. YI’s 7 layers of optical glass lenses, combined with an F2.8 large aperture, increases light intake to capture crisp and detailed footage, anytime, anywhere. Field of view is 160°.

Xiaomi_Yi_2_review4

Display:

Xiaomi YI 4K Action Camera 2 will have a 2,19″ retina LCD display, with a resolution of 640 x 360 pixel and 330PPI, with Gorilla Glass.
It is a touchscreen display, very easy to use when changing settings. Customized with a 330ppi high resolution and high-sensitivity retina touchscreen for an intuitive experience. 2.19 inches of Gorilla Glass to resist scratches and daily impact. Viewable from a 160° angle. You won’t miss the perfect shot with the 640*360 widescreen for quick and easy previewing and shooting. Control YI 4K at your fingertips. No extra hands needed.

Xiaomi_Yi_2_review2

Battery:

Battery has 1400 mAh at 3.8V and should allow 110 min. recording at 4K @ 30fps. GoPro 4 records up to 55 minutes at the same resolution.

Xiaomi_Yi_2_review3

Gyro stabilizer

Yitechnology Yi 4K also features an electronic Gyro stabilizer embedded that removes vibrations and undesired movements. We need to try it to see if it is effective like the one of Git2 and Sony AS200v, but if it is, the Xiaomi Yi 2 will be soon the real Gopro Killer!

Action videos usually require post-production to reduce shakiness. With YI 4K Action Camera, you can avoid extra time spent editing due to the camera’s Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) feature. EIS uses built-in gyroscope and accelerometer sensor to detect position and motion change. When the camera tilts, moves, shakes or experiences impact, the sensors will send data to EIS and EIS will use image a cross-border compensation algorithm to compensate the change to produce stable videos.

Xiaomi_Yi_4k_gyro

Audio

360° omni-directional dual microphones produce studio sound quality.
Xiaomi Yi records stereo sound in 48kHz with dual microphones. High-sensitivity and high signal to noise (SNR) microphones capture crystal clear sound even in noisy environments. Built-in highly optimized AAC encoder to record every detail of the sound.
Xiaomi_Yi_4k_audio

Lens Distortion Correction (LDC)

With wide-angle lens comes along lens distortion. Fortunately, the powerful A9SE75 SOC can correct the distortion in real-time. You can save your distortion free image/video directly from your camera. Skip unnecessary editing, simple as that.
Xiaomi_Yi_4k_LDC

Connectivity & Ports:

Wifi
Yitechnology YI 4K Action Camera 2 uses a dual band wifi network to allow faster download speed. It mounts a Broadcom BCM43340 dual-band, 802.11a/b/g/n, 2.4GHz/5GHz, with up to 3MB/s download speed.

Bluetooth
Xiaomi Yi 4k features also bluetooth, so as in the previous model it will be possible to use a remote control to command the cam.

Ports
It has microUSB e microHDMI port.
Than a door for the removable battery and the micro sd; on the bottom it has a 1/4″ hole for tripod mounts.

Xiaomi_Yi_4k_wifi

Memory card

Yitechnology Yi 2 uses Micro SD cards. What micro sd card brand for yi cam 2 should you buy? Read our article about the best micro sd cards. We suggest a U3 micro sd, with a writing speed of at least 40MB/s.

App

This video is a tutorial on how to use the Yi 2 app:


Colors:

It will be released in 3 elegant colorswhite, black and pink.

Xiaomi Yi 2 4k_colori

Pre-sale on Gearbest Amazon US Amazon UK

Coupon code for Gearbest (216$ instead of 249$): GBXiaoyi2 or GBYI2 (or GB16sale until June 30)

 

Join our Facebook group dedicated to Xiaomi Yi 2 with news, test videos, firmware updates: Xiaomi Yi 2 on Facebook

Xiaomi Yi 4k Accessories

Waterproof case

Xiaomi Yi2 has an optional professional waterproof case up to 40m (132 feet)

Ultra durable and waterproof up to 132’: Waterproof grade IP68 to protect your camera from up to 132’ under water. Specialized design delivers sharp images above and below water.

Ultra-white glass B270: German Schott glass used on Waterproof Case lens, 98.5% on light transmittance
delivers high definition images above and below water.

Sturdy spring latch to prevent accidental opening Friendly spring latch to lock case: Waterproof to 132’ | Hermetically sealed | ¼ Internal Thread Connection | Friendly Spring Latch | Ultra-white glass B270 | Tool free

Get the waterproof case

Coupon: GBXYWF (39.99$)

Xiaomi_Yi_4k_case

YI 4K Action Camera Protective Lens + Leather case

European PU leather magnetic snap case: Hand selected high-quality PU leather from Europe, superfine fiber lining, meticulous in protection and delicate in design

Japanese ultra-white AGC soda lime glass: Japanese ultra-white AGC soda lime glass for increased sharpness and optical performance

YI UV protective lens: Ultra thin UV lens frame processed by Seamless aluminum alloy material to prevent glare for optimal viewing.

Get the leather case

Coupon: GBXYPU (20.99$)

Xiaomi_Yi_4k_leather_case

Pre-sale on Gearbest Amazon US Amazon UK

Coupon code for Gearbest (216$ instead of 249$): GBXiaoyi2 or GBCE (-13%) or GBconsumer11 (-11%)


Yi 4k video review

This is the first xiaomi yi 4k review in english:


Xiaomi Yi2 4k video tests and samples

Here we will collect some yi2 video test, yi 4k sample, comparative videos of the new Xiaomi Yi 2 with other cams like Gopro. We will update this page often with new tests and videos until we will receive our sample test of the Xiaomi Yi 4k to complete the review.


Xiaomi Yi 2 vs Gopro 4 black: video test

There’s already this video with Xiaomi Yi 4k vsGopro 4 black, where we can see how the stabilizer work:

Xiaomi Yi 4k stabilizer works pretty well removing vibrations and unwanted movements shooting steady and smooth videos, while the Gopro 4 doesn’t have a stabilizer and its videos are shaky.

Besides, Gopro 4 battery with 1050mAh can record 50 minutes videos while the Xiaomi Yi 4k has a 1400mAh battery that can record up to 2 hours video, 117 minutes to be precise, thanks to its high capacity of 1400mAh and to the low power consumption of the new Ambarella A9SE chip.


Long exposure

In this video there are some shots made with a long exposure, a feature of the new Xiaomi Yi 2. To to that with the previous YI you should write scripts, while in the new Xiaomi Yi 4K you just need to set it from the menù to make this wonderful night shots:


Night test

I think the quality of this video at night is superb:


Drone Test

If you have a drone (in this case a DJI Phantom with 2 axis gymbal) and would like to use the Yi 2, it will be a good choice:

(select 2/2 on the left corner to see the drone video)


Official video


Conclusions

We really need to test the Xiaomi Yi 4k to see how it behaves and the quality of the videos, photos and above all the stabilizer. We are quite sure the video quality will be good, thanks to the Sony sensor and the Ambarella chip, and also because the previous Yi can record really nice videos.

The price is higher than Git2 and SJ5000X but half the Gopro 4 Black, but it has a better chip and sensor, a rear touchscreen display and a stabilizer, so it will probably be a real Gopro 4 killer. And you will just need to take it on your trips, as it records nice smooth and steady videos, excellent photos with a touchscreen display to frame the shot. It will also have a Bluetooth remote control for selfies or to control the cam on the helmet or bike, and a waterproof case to use it underwater.

Now it is on pre-sale on Gearbest for 249$ but with coupon code GBXiaoyi2 or GBYI2 you will pay it just 216$. Xiaomi Yi 2 is in our list of the best action cams of 2016, and is already a best seller.

Pre-sale on Gearbest Amazon US Amazon UK

Coupon code for Gearbest (216$ instead of 249$): GBXiaoyi2 or GBCE (-13%) or GBYI2 (or GBconsumer11)

 

What do you think about the new Xiaomi Yi2 4k, will it be the GoPro killer?

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20 Comments

  1. CH

    is it possible to switch between video recording and photo mode using the button and not the touchscreen?

    Reply
    1. mork

      We still don’t know, but I think it will be possible, for example with a long pressure. We’ll see as soon as we get one sample

      Reply
      1. mork

        You should be able to monitor it with your phone and the app. For further informations I suggest to ask to Gearbest (write a comment in the end of the product page)

        Reply
        1. CH

          Thank you.
          I asked to Gearbest and they said they didn’t know yet, then I asked on YI Camera Facebook page and they said yes!

          Reply
    2. Mostafa

      yes, it’s possible. you should enable housing mode in the setting and then when you hold the shutter button for a few seconds, a menu popup that you can select modes, without using touch screen.

      Reply
  2. oluv

    does image stabilization also work in 4K or only in 1080p?
    if only in 1080p is the 4K output taken as source, stabilized, cropped and finally downscaled to 1080p or is this performed on the already downscaled 1080p footage which means the final output would be upscaled again because of cropping?
    what about lens distortion correction? does this work together with stabilization?

    Reply
    1. mork

      With the first firmware it works only in 1080p. We will test as soon as we get it, but you can watch the video review in the top of the article in the meantime.

      Reply
  3. riad

    tho, too small questions 🙂

    1) can the screen always be on while recording to see what your recording?

    2) can you do long exposure photos in timelaspe mode too?

    thank you and great review and write up, enjoyed reading 🙂

    Reply
    1. mork

      Hello, thanks!
      1) yes you can keep it always on
      2)no, you can only set Metering mode, ISO and EV. But probably if you set ISO 100 it will take long exposure shots if needed

      Reply
  4. Mostafa

    I have a problem with my YI 4k. when camera get hot after a while, if I turn it off and turn it on again, the SD card can’t be recognized. I should let it get cold and ready to use again. sometimes no need to get warm even, SD card not recognized after a restart.
    anybody has this problem.
    Firmware: 1.2.3
    SD card: SANDISK EXTREME microSD UHS-I CARD 64GB

    Reply

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