Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is bringing its attention to the camera world with results that would make even the most die-hard GoPro fan think twice about their next purchase.
The Yi Action Camera has comparable photo and video taking capacities to an entry level GoPro, despite its smaller size. The new Chinese camera is priced at 399 RMB (about $65, AU$85 or £40). This is half the price of a GoPro Hero.
Both cameras share a lot of features: built-in Wi-Fi for file transfers and a remote control via companion apps, similar battery life, identical waterproof depth, and the handy option of bracket-mounting the device on your chosen helmet, pet harness, or vehicle.
Shockingly, the Yi actually pulls ahead in video quality. The GoPro Hero shoots at a 5-megapixel resolution and records 1080p video at 30fps or 720p video at 30fps. The Yi Action Camera is powered by an Ambarella A7LS image processor paired with Sony's back-illuminated Exmor R BSI CMOS image sensor, which enables it to shoot photos at 16 megapixels and record 1080p video at 60fps, outclassing the GoPro. The Yi is also a great deal lighter at just 72g, versus the 111g GoPro Hero.
The GoPro Hero fights back with a wider viewing angle: 170 degrees against the Yi's 155 degrees. Not to mention that the GoPro's brand has a range of accessories and transparent plastic camera housing, which Xiaomi lacks. The Chinese action camera does come with an expansion option (a selfie stick, along with a choice of white or olive colored camera body) at 499 RMB ($80, AU$105, or £55).
The numbers certainly suggest that the GoPro could have a worthy rival from Xiaomi, but check out the comparison video above (with footage of the video quality from both cameras) to make your own decision.