Xiaomi marked its foray into the high-end drone market with the launch of the Mi Drone. Xiaomi CEO and founder Lei Juna, announced the product via a live stream event that was broadcast over 20 live streaming platforms in China.
Mi Drone is easy to operate, has a long battery life, shoots extremely clear images and videos, is convenient to carry around, and is very safe. Mi Drone comes in two variants — the 4K version retails at RMB 2999, while the 1080P one is priced at RMB 2499.
Drones are the gathering lots of momentum. Everyone from a small child to a 70-year old gets equally excited at the prospect of having their own drone. The Mi Drone has automatic take-off, landing and return modes, as well as functions for flight path planning and circling around an object which can be easily accessed through the buttons on the remote control. It uses both GPS and GLONASS for accurate positioning. In the absence of satellite signals, Mi Drone uses vision positioning and can continue hovering even at low altitudes (below 2.5 metres). The gadget also has four layers of built-in security — real-time location tracking to allow users to retrieve the drone easily even if it has crashed, real-time computing power to enable it to return on low battery levels, automatic hovering at the edge of no-fly zones, and the use of a remote control with a PCB antenna array to avoid losing contact with the drone.
Aerial photography is one of the most important features of any drone, and the quality of images determines a good flying experience. The Mi Drone comes with either a 1080P or 4K camera. The 1080P camera sports a 16-megapixel Sony backside illuminated CMOS sensor and has a 104- degree wide-angle lens. The 12-megapixel 4K camera shoots video at a maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels and supports recording still images in RAW format. For stable footage, the camera on Mi Drone is attached to a highly sensitive three-axis gimbal that stabilises up to 2000 vibrations per second.
A major pressure point of high-end drones is that they are bulky and extremely inconvenient to transport. Mi Drone has a modular design and foldable landing gear, enabling users to easily carry it around in a backpack.
The 4k Mi Drone will be available in late July in an open beta testing while the 1080p variant will be crowdfunded on the Mi Home app starting 26 May 2016,