Xiaomi Mi drone: 4k drone for a small price?

Entertainment factor
Flight behavior
Material quality
Recording quality
Price quality
Overall rating 4.4 / 5

The Xiaomi Mi drone is now finally also available in the USA and with a 4K (Ultra-HD) camera offers very good, if not the best value for money for the 4K drone currently on the market.

The drone comes with Fight Rice for just under € 550 (there is also a cheaper version with a Full HD camera in the 4k version) and should be the next DJI killer.

The drone has many specifications and is very similar to the DJI Phantom 3 Professional. Xiaomi is usually better known in the mobile phone market and is also very successful in this sector. The discounted model should now work in the drone market as well.

But the fact that it says 4k does not mean that the quality is good! Therefore, we took a closer look at the drone and will inform you in detail whether it is really worth buying a drone.

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Xiaomi Mi Drone – Unboxing, Design and Quality

The parcel arrives after a while because it needs to be sent from a warehouse in China to the USA, but it still arrives at us in 15 working days. The packaging is of high quality and shines when unpacked. The scope of delivery includes:

  • The drone itself
  • Two sets of propellers
  • remote control
  • Battery and gimbal with camera
  • Charger

We think it’s great that the Mi drone can be folded and unfolded so that it can be easily transported and save space in the included case.

You can do all of this with the two sliders located on the underside of the drone. You can either drag the drone back and forth in your own backpack, or use an alternative from Xiaomi that offers a backpack for € 30 that is perfect for the drone. made to order.

As usual, screws from other manufacturers are gray and orange. Accordingly, they can only be attached to the wings provided for them.

What strikes us most is that the sleek and high-quality design is very similar to the DJI Phantom 3 series. The DJI Phantom 3 Standard has similar dimensions, but does not have the same specifications (more on that below).

The battery shows the current charge status (white LEDs light up) when you press the button with your finger. In addition, it has 5100 mAh and an effective flight time of just under 25 minutes, although the manufacturer also indicated a time of 27 minutes, so in our battery test of the Xiami Mi drone we were only able to achieve 25 minutes (which of course is still very important !).

Of course, you can also see the current battery level in the smartphone app. When the battery is discharged, it takes about 3 hours to fully charge it. An additional battery currently costs around € 100.

The Smart Remote Controller fits very comfortably in the hand, it is very light and significantly smaller than the Phantom 3 series remote controller. Xiaomi deliberately avoids overloading the controller so that only the most important buttons can be found.

There are two joysticks on the front panel on the left and right, with which you can control the drone up or down and in all directions.

The front panel houses two separate antennas that support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz signals for real-time image transmission to the mobile phone.

Your smartphone connects to the remote control via a USB cable (it is not included in the package!). The battery cannot be removed from the remote control because it is permanently installed.

There is an on and off button on the left front panel of the remote controller, as well as a button with which you can automatically launch the drone from the ground. On the back panel on the left there is a button with which you can start a video, and on the right there is a photo button.

In addition, there are two wheels on the left and right, with which you can tilt the camera up and down (left wheel), as well as adjust the brightness of the LED headlights located on the front of the drone.

Now you are probably wondering what the LED lights on the front of the drone are for. They can cause light to enter the camera in low light conditions so that the image is not too dark or rustles.

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Flight behavior and technology

Before you can take the drone into the air, you need to register via the Mi drone app, which you can download for free from the Google Play or iOS store. Unfortunately, without this step, you will not be able to lift the drone into the air.

If you don’t speak Chinese, it is recommended that you switch the app to English. This is a small hurdle to overcome, but then you can get started right away.

After installing the app, you need to connect your mobile phone to the controller and connect the two devices to each other using a USB cable. Then you can turn on the remote and the app will automatically connect to the remote and the drone.

For the drone to remain calm and stable in the air, at least 13 satellites must be available. Xiaomi uses the Russian Glonass satellite system and GPS signal.

If you want to fly with a drone in your home (i.e. indoors), then it is possible, but it is especially difficult because there is no radio communication with 13 satellites. However, the size of the drone is not designed to fly a lot indoors.

When you go outdoors with the drone for the first time, make sure you have established communication with the satellites mentioned above.

This ensures you a smooth and safe first flight, so when you’re ready you can press the button on the front of the remote and the drone will automatically mount.

The Mi drone takes off and rises to a height of 4 meters. There she awaits further instructions from you.

Unless you set it differently, then you are in beginner mode, in which the drone is throttled to a speed of 22 km / h and you can fly at a maximum height of 50 m and at a distance of 150 m. Then you will receive a warning signal. and the drone will stop flying.

To turn off this mode, you need 300 minutes of flight. This is not bad, especially for beginners, but very, very annoying for already experienced drone pilots or those who, after a short time, feel confident in handling a quadcopter.

The Mi drone is really good at flying and even with stronger gusts of wind, the quadcopter lies calmly in the air. When you finally get into professional mode, the drone will fly at speeds up to 65 km / h and can reach a range of up to 500 m.

In our practical test, the range of up to 450 m was not a problem, after which sometimes there were problems with radio communication between the drone and the remote control.

In any case, you will not be allowed to fly much further in the USA, as the drone must always be in the pilot’s field of view. In addition, you must never fly above 100m or you will be in violation of applicable drone law. A fireproof license plate is also mandatory and mandatory in case of damage.

The drone responds very directly to your commands and immediately implements what you give through the drone controller. This is especially commendable compared to some of the other models. The Return to Home Mode works very reliably thanks to the dual satellite connection (GPS and Glonass).

The drone landed just half a meter from our starting point and performed better than some of the more expensive competing models.

If you want to land with the drone on your own, then this also works very well, because two ultrasonic sensors are attached to the bottom, which calmly and relaxed land the drone on the ground.

It is important that the ground is relatively straight, because otherwise the aircraft may tip over to the side (this has not happened to us yet, but we want to point this out as a precaution).

The distance between the camera and the ground is also not particularly great, so if you want to land in the grass, individual stems can touch and rotat
e the camera.

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Photos and videos

The photos are good, even if the depth of field didn’t knock us off our feet.Color contrast is excellent at both good and bad exposure and produces great photos.

Photos can be saved in JPG format with a resolution of 12 MP. Unfortunately, there is no way to save images in RAW format for further processing.

Recording 4k video at 30fps is really cool and definitely inspires the professional filmmaker. The gimbal system works reliably and recordings are never blurred.

The transfer to the mobile phone is smooth and very fast. Thus, the drone is also suitable for flying with FPV goggles. However, please note that you must always have another person with you, otherwise you will not receive a cent of your insurance in case of damage (according to German law!)

Conclusion on the Xiaomi Mi drone

With their very inexpensive drone, the manufacturer offers a great product that is an absolute blast for this price.

The only thing that can be improved is the application and the sometimes slightly pale color contrast in photos and videos. Otherwise, this is an absolutely recommended drone that offers many drones for a low price!

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