GoPro might rule the action camera market, but that hasn’t stopped competitors from trying to dethrone the king. Xiaomi announced the YI 4K Action Camera 2, their latest attempt to undercut GoPro with an action camera that combines the best of what GoPro’s Hero4 lineup has to offer at almost half the cost.
Updated on July 11, 2016: The camera will be available directly from YI via Amazon.
Unlike its predecessor, which targeted GoPro’s lower-level cameras, the YI 2 has its sight set on the big guns — GoPro’s Hero4 Silver and Black editions. Inside, the YI 2 contains an identical chipset to the one found in Ambarella’s A9. This chipset powers a IMX377 1/2.3-inch image sensor capable of capturing video with 4K resolution at 30 frames-per-second, as well as stills with its 12-megapixel sensor. In front of the sensor is a fast f/2.8 7-layer glass lens that offers a 155 degree viewing angle.
On the rear of the camera Xiaomi includes a touchscreen, with 330 pixels-per-inch and 160 degree viewing angles, for controlling settings and reviewing images. The company has also included a 6-axis electronic image stabilization as well as a built-in lens distortion correction tool that automatically removes the distortion caused from the wide-angle lens.
In terms of connectivity, the YI 2 includes both WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0, meaning getting the footage from the camera to your smartphone should be as simple how it works on a GoPro.
If you’re interested in the gritty details, below is a comparison chart showing the Yi 2’s specs side-by-side with GoPro’s Hero4 Black edition.
Powering the camera is a 1,400mAh battery that Xiaomi claims is capable of lasting for two hours, if you’re filming in 4K. You’ll get 8 hours in standby mode. If Xiaomi’s claims are true, the YI 2 is quite the battery improvement over GoPro’s Hero4 Black edition, which only has a shooting time of 55 minutes.
The Yi 2 is currently up for pre-sale on Gearbest for $250, a steal considering GoPro’s Hero4 Silver and Black editions come in at $399 and $499, respectfully. It’s available in black, white, and rose gold. Android Police is reporting that the camera will also be available through Amazon on July 12, and pre-orders are being taken now.
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