Yi 4k action cam
YI 4K+ Action Camera
YI 4K+ Action Camera | Overview
Introducing the world’s first 4K/60fps action camera. Upgrade your world.
A Phenomenal 4K/60fps WorldYI 4K+ has twice the frame rate of its previous model. It shoots 4K video at an incredible frame rate of 60fps, which makes it the world’s best action camera.
Upgrade Your WorldWith incredibly advanced features ever seen in an action camera, you'll want to take your YI 4K+ on every adventure, to capture every moment. Nothing but positive feedback from acclaimed digital reviews. Upgrade your world and see different.
Low Power High PerformanceYI 4K+ uses the newest Ambarella h3 SOC, the first 14nm video processing/encoding SOC. It is a significant upgrade from the successful A9SE SOC featured in the YI 4K. It consumes extremely low power while still delivering 4K Ultra HD video.
Stay Steady Even on Rocky RoadsElectronic Image Stabilization (EIS) helps the footage stay clear and stable in situations where the camera is subject to knocks and bumps. For the first time, 4K/30fps video supports EIS support. Keep doing what you’re doing and let the EIS take care of stabilizing your footage.
Hands-free ControlThe amazing voice command technology (available soon via firmware update) with the improved outdoor audio quality gives you hands-free control over your YI 4K+ camera. You are free to enjoy your adventures.
State of the Art Mechanical DesignYI 4K+ packs many advanced technologies inside a tiny camera. It comes with an IMX377 12MP image sensor, 7 glass lens, Ambarella h3 chipset, quad-core Cortex-A53 ARM processor, high capacity battery, 2.19” retina touch screen and much more. Your YI 4K+ can produce image and video of the highest quality you can imagine.
WiFi & Bluetooth
Photo + Video Playback
For consistently reliable and high quality 4K recording, we highly recommend using the microSD cards (16GB~64GB) shown below. UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) at least.
Yi 4K+ Action Camera review
This is TechRadar’s review summary that gives you all the key information you need if you’re looking for quick buying advice in 30 seconds - our usual full, in-depth review follows.
The Yi 4K+ Action Camera is just as good as the GoPro Hero6 Black, but it's not identical. The Yi 4K+ Action Camera is just as portable as its more well-known rival – and with just as poor a battery life (less than two hours), while the Yi 4K+ Action Camera can record in 4K at 60fps, just like the top of the range GoPro Hero6 Black. That's more detail and smoothness than you probably need to capture your adventures. For those who want to shoot stills, its 12MP photos are great, too – sharp and colorful – and it also shoots in raw (though not natively in HDR).
Read more: TomTom Bandit review
Where the Yi 4K+ Action Camera gets one over on a GoPro Hero6 Black physically is with its weight (93g vs the GoPro Hero6 Black's 117g) despite having a slightly larger touchscreen. It's also easier to use, thanks to a super-fast processor and an impressively simple user interface your granny could master.
However, the Yi 4K+ Action Camera is more affordable than its rival, and that comes with a few cut corners. Unlike the GoPro Hero6 Black, the Yi 4K+ Action Camera is splash-proof, not waterproof (not without adding a separate housing, though these are pretty affordable), while it also lacks GPS, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope. Are any of those omissions deal-breakers? Probably not.
So if you're aquatic-minded, or you need to know exactly where you were, and how fast you are going when you took a video, buy a GoPro Hero6 Black. However, if you're more interested in saving a few quid on features you didn't even want, the Yi 4K+ Action Camera is one of the simplest and best designed gadgets around. Everyone considering buying an action cam should have a look at the Yi 4K+ Action Camera because it's almost exactly the same and, in some ways, even better than a GoPro.
Who’s it for and should I buy it?
If you have your eye on a GoPro for some time, but haven't yet investors in one, is a great opportunity to save a bit of cash. Almost as good as its more famous rival in almost every way, the Yi 4K+ Action Camera is nevertheless not natively waterproof. Do you care? Action cameras like these tend to be used sporadically, and how often any of them actually get taken underwater is anyone's guess. However, simplicity is the Yi 4K+ Action Camera's biggest attribute, and if you've no need for the GPS, accelerometer and gyroscope found on the GoPro Hero6 Black, why pay for them?
Lightweight, easy to use and producing great quality 4K video and stills that's so easy to transfer to a phone for sharing, the Yi 4K+ Action Camera is an impressive way to save a substantial slab. However, this follow-up to the Yi 4K Action Camera is more tweak than overhaul, with the main improvement being that the Yi Technology 4K+ Action Camera can film in 4K at 60fps, so if you've already got Yi's first action cam, skip this second version and wait for the third.
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Yi 4K+ Action Camera price
- Current price: £299/ $339.98 (both prices include waterproof case)
An action cam that's much better value than a GoPro
4K video: up to 60fps
1080p video: up to 120fps
Still images: 12MP (JPEG and raw)
Rear screen: 2.2-inch touchscreen
Image stabilization: 3-axis up to 4K/30fps
- Built-in image stabilization
- Not natively waterproof
- Recharges via USB-C port
The Yi 4K+ isn't incredibly different to the original Yi 4K, the main addition being an ability to shoot video at 4K at 60fps, just like a GoPro Hero6 Black. Requiring a U3 class microSD card to be used, shooting in 4K/60fps does mean a maximum bitrate of 120Mbps, which is double what the Yi 4K offered. It's also worth bearing in mind that although the Yi 4K+ does have electronic image stabilization onboard, it only works up to 4K/30fps.
Inside is the same 12MP Sony IMX377 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor with Exmor R as on the Yi 4K, but this version has a new Ambarella h3 + Quad-core ARM Cortex A53 processor. They work terrifically well together, allowing the Yi 4K+'s operating system to work fluently and without a hitch despite the bigger bitrate.
You're probably not going to use the Yi 4K+ much for photography, but you can. It shoots very usable 12MP images, and it's possible to save in JPEG or keep the raw files, which is outputs as universal .DNG files. It doesn't deal in HDR, as the GoPro Hero6 Black does, but since it shoots in raw that's no big deal.
Unlike the original Yi 4K, this new version recharges via USB-C port , and in the box is an adaptor for hooking-up an external microphone. It takes a microSD card up to 64GB.
So why would anyone buy GoPro? There are a few tiny corners cut on the Yi 4K+. Unlike the GoPro Hero5 Black or the new GoPro Hero6 Black, the Yi 4K+ is not natively waterproof, although a separate Waterproof Case Kit – which is also apparently 'dustyproof' – is available. However, the only really noticeable difference between the Yi 4K+ and GoPros are that the Yi 4K+ lacks the GPS, gyroscope and accelerometer sensors, so your videos don't include tags for geographical positioning, direction and speed. You either care about that, or you don't. Unless you're a performance athlete obsessed by data, it's probably irrelevant.
However, what is annoying – and it's exactly the same with all GoPro products – is a short battery life. The Yi 4K+ has a 1400mAh battery that lasts for just over an hour in 4K mode, a little longer if not.
A small, portable and money-saving design
- Weighs just 93g
- Not waterproof
- Corning Gorilla glass
Aside from its attractive, subtle checkerboard pattern on its font, the Yi 4K+ looks exactly the same, physically, as its forbear, the Yi 4K.
It weighs just 93g, and it's rectangular little 65 x 42 x 30mm body hosts a 2.19-inch colour touchscreen coasted in tough Corning Gorilla glass. Better still, that touchscreen – as well as being a large – is of excellent quality; it's colorful and contrasty, with a great viewing angle, and it's extremely sensitive to touch. That makes the clear, concise operating system a breeze to use; I would go as far as to say that the Yi 4K+ has among the simplest and speediest user interfaces I have come across in the last 15 years.
Its new voice control software does add to that, though results are mixed despite having to first have the Yi 4K+ record a voice sample. Shouting 'Yi Action take photo', 'Yi Action record video' and 'Yi Action turn off' (among other voice commands) at the Yi 4K+ does herald results, but it doesn't work too well if you're outdoors … which is kinda's all what this camera is for.
Linking reliably to a smartphone via Wi-Fi on either 2.4GHz or 5GHz, the app can access all the settings on the camera, and hosts an almost instant live feed
The Yi 4K+ has a standard tripod thread on the bottom, which is a boon for anyone wanting to connect it to the plethora of mounts available (as well as a standard camera tripod). Despite the natively easy to use Yi 4K+ not requiring a good app to make the device usable (which is so often the case), its free Yi Action app is impressive.
Linking reliably to a smartphone via Wi-Fi on either 2.4GHz or 5GHz, the app can access all the settings on the camera, and hosts an almost instant live feed. Once you're done, you can transfer images and videos to your phone, apply some filters and image effects (from HDR and a the 360-degree camera-style 'Tiny Planet' and 'Spial Galaxy' to more run-of-the-mill 'vintage', 'nostalgia' and 'romance'), and share to Facebook, Instagram and – showing its Asian heritage – Line.
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To battery life, which on the Yi 4K+ we measured at around an hour on 4K/60fps, and almost two hours on Full HD 1080p, which is relatively good compared to the GoPro Hero6 Black. However, that doesn't mean such a super-short battery life is acceptable, and seems to me to signal that the Yi 4K+ is too small for its own good.
- Clean but jumpy 4K/60fps
- Smooth but noisy Full HD
- Good wide-angle JPEG and raw photos
The Yi 4K+ does 4K at 60fps. Great, but in practice that headline-grabbing feature does come with a few caveats. For example, its 4K Ultra 4K mode – its most detailed – tops-out at 30fps. So does its 4K HD mode (which contains 4000x3008 pixels instead of the standard 3840 x 2160 pixels). However, stick it in 4K mode and the Yi 4K+ can record in 60fps (or 48fps, or 30fps).
At 60fps the results are impressively sharp and contrasty, with well saturated colour. Video can be a little choppy if you hand-hold, which is a result of the low frame-rate (particularly noticeable on camera pans) and the fact that Yi 4K+'s electronic image stabilisation only applies to 4K/30fps and below. Still, that's something for the follow-up from Yi, and besides, image stabilisation can be overdone (see the Sony FDR-X3000R review for proof of that).
Those after the smoothest possible video from the Yi 4K+ should consider shooting in Full HD 1080p, which can be done in all kinds of frame rates, from the 'cinematic' 24fps right through to 120fps, which is good for slow-motion footage. That jumps to 240fps if you shoot in 720p. It's also worth knowing that if you shoot in 4K/24fps it's possible to use an ultra wide field of view mode, which stretches the sensor.
The Yi 4K+ also takes good still images, albeit all in a wide-angle. That means you have to get really close to your subject – uncomfortably close, sometimes – though it produces a reasonably sharp images nevertheless. I didn't notice too much fisheye effect and, besides, it can be easily removed later. However, the finished JPEGs often appear very compressed, contrasty, and with over-exposed areas.
Image 1 of 2This JPEG straight from the Yi4K+ doesn't appear to have much fisheye effect, but does seem very compressed. Luckily, the camera can also shoot in raw as a .DNG fileImage 2 of 2
The Yi 4K+ can also shot in raw; the image on the left is the original JPEG, and on the right is the same image processed in Photoshop from the .DNG file
As well as producing JPEGs, the Yi 4K+ records raw images at DNG files. However, shooting in raw does require a little patience, with an approx. 10-seconds wait between each shot. It also doesn't produce the cleanest raw photo you'll ever see, but they're good enough to produce some much better-looking results through Photoshop.
Not convinced? Try these
If the Yi 4K+ action camera isn’t for you, here are three excellent alternatives for you to consider...Image 1 of 3
The only other action camera to achieve 4K/60fps, the market leader is also natively waterproof without any casing needed. It also adds GPS, gyroscope and accelerometer sensors, and slightly better voice recognition that the Yi 4K+.
Read our in-depth GoPro Hero6 Black reviewImage 2 of 3
Although it maxes-out at 4K/30fps, Sony's 4K shooter does have some unique features, most notably a smart-watch contraption that allows a remote live view, and control. It's also got almost dream-like image stabilization.
Read our in-depth Sony FDR-X3000R reviewImage 3 of 3
Stylish like the Sony, and also offering 4K/30fps, this first action cam from Olympus has the GPS and motion sensors the Yi 4K+ lacks, though using them does drain its battery quickly.
Read our in-depth Olympus TG-Tracker review
Xiaomi Yi 4K+ Review
When Xiaomi released their very first Yi action camera, I was really amazed with the quality and price value. And not just me, it reached the top of many action camera charts. Then they released the Xiaomi Yi 4K, their very first 4K action camera. Which again is amazing and still the best bang for buck action camera available. Now, because the technology keeps evolving and the competition isn’t sleeping, Xiaomi has released their newest flagship action camera: Xiaomi Yi 4K+.
When we compared the Xiaomi Yi 4K with GoPro Hero5 Black and Sony FDR-X3000, we discovered that it just wan’t quite up there. It had some lacks in video quality etc. The Xiaomi Yi 4K+ has however received some massive upgrades. The first, and most important in my opinion, is that it can record 4K videos at up to 60 frames per second! For comparison, both the GoPro and Sony can handle up to 30fps. This also makes it the only 4K 60fps action camera available. Another improvement is also the bitrates. Xiaomi Yi 4K+ can now record at 120 Mbps (previously 60). Sony can handle up to 100 Mbps and GoPro 60 Mbps. All of this should mean a massive improvement in video quality. But more about that later on in my Xiaomi Yi 4K+ review.
- Dimensions: 65x42x30mm / 2.5×1.6×1.2″
- Weight: 96g / 3.4oz
- Chipset: Ambarella h3 SOC
- Sensor: Sony IMX377 12MP 1/2.3″
- Angle Of View: 155º
- Video resolutions: 4K 60/50/30/25fps; 2.7K 60/50/30/25fps; 1440p 60/50/30/25fps; 1080p 120/100/60/50/30/25fps; 720p 240/200fps
- Bitrates: 120Mbps
- Photo: 12MP
- Modes: Time Lapse Video, Slow Motion, Video + Photo, Loop, Burst, Time Lapse Photo, Shutter
- Features: 2.2″ LCD touch screen, WiFi & Bluetooth, Voice Controls, Electronic Image Stabilization, External Microphone Support, Gyroscope/Accelerometer, 1/4″ Tripod hole
- Ports: USB-C, MicroSD card slot
- Memory: MicroSDHC and SDXC cards, up to 128GB
- Battery life: 105 minutes of 4K 30fps recording
In The Box
- Xiaomi Yi 4K+ action camera
- 1400mAh battery
- USB-C cable
Design & Accessories
The new Xiaomi Yi 4K+ action camera has basically got the same modern design as the previous Yi 4K. It’s made out of decent quality plastic that doesn’t feel cheap at all in your hands. Nor does it feel like it’s about to break. They have also kept the same dimension of 65x42x30mm / 2.5×1.6×1.2″. So if you have any of the Yi 4K accessories, then you can also use those with the Plus version. So overall a good work from Xiaomi in the design department.
They have changed the front panel though. It now has like a textured look to it, which is quite nice in my opinion. It makes the camera more interesting. There are also less slots. So the front side of the action camera has the lens and a small LED light. The back side has a very nice 2.2″ LCD touchscreen for changing settings and viewing live footage. The top part has only one button, which is used for turning it on, recording and taking photos. Bottom of the camera has a 1/4″ threaded tripod hole and a compartment for the battery and a microSD card. Right side has the new USB-C port. Don’t worry, you still get the standard USB to USB-C cable as well. It’s just a new USB standard that’s being pushed hard by companies all over the world.
I’m really happy with the overall design. The 1 button feature makes it super easy to record with the action camera. Plus the 2.2″ LCD touchscreen which does make your life easier. The touchscreen is also covered with gorilla glass so it’s strong. My only wish would be if the outside plastic was made like out of a rubberized material, well at least the sides. That would really improve the grip and make it easier to hold the camera. Everything else is good though.
If you looked at the In The Box section then you probably noticed that you don’t get any accessories with the camera. That’s definitely a negative part in my opinion. While I understand that the Xiaomi Yi 4K+ is more designed for the urban/travelling environment, it’s still an action camera. But even then, getting accessories isn’t an issue. You can get a special waterproof case for around $25. I do recommend getting it as it also protects the camera. Bare in mind that the sound quality will hurt from it. You can also use the threaded tripod mount to attach a GoPro adapter. That will open up the action camera to a huge range of different GoPro mounts and accessories.
Video & Features
The Xiaomi Yi 4K+ is the first action camera that can record 4K videos at up to 60fps. Now that’s huge as even the Sony FDR-X3000 maxes out at 30fps. You can also record Full HD 1080p videos at 120fps, which is quite standard with the flag ship action cameras nowadays. So that’s obviously great news, as the 4K 60fps definitely means smoother videos.
And talking about smoother, the Xiaomi Yi 4K+ has also got a next generation image stabilization system. Most available systems only work with a resolution up to 1080p, Except for Sony FDR-X3000, which was the only action camera to have support for 4K as well. Well Xiaomi has brought the same system to their Yi 4K+ as well. However it works up to 30fps at 4K so no support for 60fps yet. Even so, having it work will definitely make it more desirable to record at 4K. Even if you don’t have a 4K monitor to view it in. The higher resolution just opens up to so many more possibilities later on when editing.
The video quality on Xiaomi Yi 4K+ is simply amazing. It’s literally as good as I was hoping for when I first read the technical specification. The 4K video is amazingly crisp. It’s so sharp there is zero amount of blur. Also the colors, which look so natural and also vibrant. I’m really blown away by the new action camera. It’s fantastic. It’s definitely the best action camera I have reviewed in a long time. I’m pretty sure that it’s better than any GoPro as well, I’m going to compare the two soon but I’m pretty sure the Yi 4K+ is better.
Xiaomi has also included the new digital image stabilization system that also works with 4K video resolution. I’m not sure if it’s the same but it’s similar to the one we saw on the Sony FDR-X3000 action camera. So those are the only two action cameras currently available that have a digital stabilization system for 4K videos. Besides that, Xiaomi Yi 4K+ also supports external microphones. Just make sure that you have the correct USB-C adapter. All of these features can allow you to record even higher quality videos. It’s truly amazing for $310. Oh and Xiaomi has also promised voice commands. It will be available with the coming firmware updates.
And the action camera has also got a WiFi & Bluetooth connection available. Just pair the Yi 4K+ with your phone, open the iOS or Android app and you’ll have full control over the camera from a distance. Their app is easy to use and it works really well. After all, they have had years to make it better and better. So as much as I’d like to find at least one negative part about the action cameras features, I can’t really find any.
The Xiaomi Yi 4K+ is most definitely the very best action camera I have ever reviewed so far. Xiaomi has managed to create the full package. The Yi 4K+ has the best video quality on both paper and in real life. And the most surprising part is that they haven’t forgotten the features. It has just as many as the GoPro Hero5 Black. And the Xiaomi is still somehow cheaper. It blows my mind how Xiaomi has managed to pull this off. Despite my love for GoPro, I have to say that Xiaomi has managed to out do them this time. If you are looking for a new action camera and you want the best, then get the Yi 4K+. It’s amazing.
The best action camera available in 2017! Fantastic 4K video quality at 60fps for just $310.
9 Total Score
The best action camera available in 2017! Fantastic 4K video quality at 60fps for just $310.User Rating: 2.6 (100 votes)
Yi 4K Action Camera review
Everyone knows that GoPro makes the best action cams (or POV cams) for extreme sports enthusiasts, and that the GoPro Hero5 Black is what everyone’s using to shoot 4K at 30fps. Everyone, that is, except Yi, which is tackling GoPro head-on by matching a lot of the specs of its rival.
Ultra-detailed 4K at 30fps and smooth 1080p at 120fps? Yup. 12-megapixel stills? Check. And, at around $169 / £159 it's almost half the price of a GoPro Hero5 Black. Has the Xiaomi-backed Yi done the impossible with the simply named Yi 4K Action Camera?
- 4K video capture at 30fps
- 2.19-inch touchscreen
- 12MP still images
With a touchscreen user interface, one-button control, Wi-Fi Direct for connecting to a Yi Action phone app, and plenty of video resolution options all the way up to 4K at 30fps (for 120 minutes continuously), the Yi 4K Action Camera is an appealing all-rounder.
The fixed lens offers a wide field of view and a fast f/2.8 aperture, and you can also take photos while recording video (though only via the app), cue up 4K timelapses and slow motion sequences, and loop record for a specified time. Manual adjustment options are exhaustive, but it's generally easier to ignore most of those and just go with the default settings.
Not surprisingly the Yi 4K Action Camera is all about taking on GoPro, but it slightly pre-dates the GoPro Hero5 Black; this effort is about matching the GoPro Hero4 Black spec for spec. In some areas it’s a little behind the times when you look at the very latest features found on the Hero5 Black, although we’re talking about features that you may not even want (step forward, voice control).
And depending on your preferences, the YI 4K still has some notable advantages over the GoPro Hero5 – it’s got a larger touchscreen at 2.19 -inches (that's 330 pixels per inch), it's 22g lighter at 95g, its battery lasts much longer, and it's cheaper.
Design and accessories
- Black, white, and rose gold color options
- Large battery
- Not waterproof
Aesthetically, the matchbox-sized Yi 4K Action Camera is conventionally sleek in either of the three color choices: matte black, white, and rose gold. A tough plastic look is the order of the day here. On the right-hand side as you look at the front of the camera is the lens, which slightly protrudes. On the underside is the lid for accessing the battery compartment – this houses a 4.4V lithium-ion 1400mAh power pack, which compares well to the 1220mAh inside the GoPro Hero5.
Alongside it is a microSD card slot; YI recommends a variety of U3-class micro SD cards, though Class 10 and U1 cards work just as well in practice; a 64GB card will give you about 80 minutes of 4K recording.
The extra real estate offered by the 2.19-inch screen does make onscreen menus easy to navigate. It’s also reasonably sharp. It offers readouts on the shooting mode it's in – video or photos, with an indicator of the resolution, too – as well as an icon for the remaining battery charge. Along the top, sandwiched between two microphones, is a single button that both switches-on the YI 4K Action Cam, and activates and deactivates recording.
Accessories appear to be widely available online. You can also protect your YI 4K Action Camera with a leather cover and lens cap cover bundle for $19.99/£16.99, though only the lens cover is practically necessary; the native casing itself is sturdy enough.
Semi-pro users might want to consider the YI Handheld Gimbal ($280/£225), which offers three-axis pan/tilt/roll through 320 degrees. Pet owners may want the YI Pet Mount for US$33.99 (Ali Express shows the YI 4K strapped to a cat).