OFF INTO THE WILD WET YONDER How does this...
GoPro Hero Seems Somewhat Less of One Now?
In Xiaomi Inc.’s latest push to develop affordable products beyond its line of smartphones, the Yi Action camera has emerged, once again confirming the company’s status as a major player in the tech gadget world.
This is more-or-less the Chinese version of the entry-level GoPro, but comes with some specs which look a bit more impressive on paper, given that the price tag starts at 399 Chinese yuan (CNY) (US$64):
- Records 1080p video (60 frames per second)
- 16-megapixel camera, featuring Sony’s “Exmor R” BSI CMOS sensor
- 64GB memory
- Weighs 72g
- Rated to 40m underwater
By comparison, the cheapest GoPro Hero records at 1080p (30 frames per second), has a 5-megapixel camera, weighs in at 111g, and has significantly less built-in memory.
However, a significant disadvantage of the Yi Action camera is that it does not come with the more substantial integrated protective case that GoPro is known for. For many, this may be a deal breaker. Also, GoPro is bundled with more accessories than Xiaomi’s camera, unless you pay an extra 100 CNY (US$16) to have a selfie stick thrown in with your purchase.
Will this latest competitor pose an actual threat to GoPro? Doubtful at this point but who knows? Until recently, the Yi Action camera was only available in China. Of note, though, they have started popping up on amazon at a slightly marked up (but still affordable) US$85.
Xiaomi has also recently stated that they plan to open a U.S. store that, surprisingly, will not offer the company’s smartphones, but rather its numerous other products.
While this writer has yet to test the camera, one will probably be picked up soon enough. At such a low price, you have to wonder just how durable it actually is.
Other products that Xiaomi has already rolled out are a line of air purifiers, a smart TV, and even a blood pressure monitor. It will be interesting to see if Xiaomi’s next product release is also something “inspired” by a leading brand name gadget.