It seems that an alternative to the DJI Mini 2 will soon be on the market, in the form of the Xiaomi Fimi X8 Mini. The specs don’t lie: weight around 250 grams (depending on the version), a 4K camera, flight time around 30 minutes, and a controller with a range of around 8 km. In addition, the Fimi X8 Mini offers a number of intelligent flight modes that the DJI Mini 2 does not have.
Xiaomi presents Fimi X8 Mini as alternative to DJI Mini 2
From Mi to Fimi
The last time drone manufacturer Xiaomi was featured was in 2016, with the introduction of the Mi drone. At the time, that was more or less an alternative to DJI’s Phantom line. Later, the company came up with an answer to the popular DJI Mavic, in the form of the Fimi X8. It later received an update in the form of the Fimi X8 SE 2020.
Xiaomi Fimi X8 Mini
The growing interest in very compact and lightweight drones has led to Xiaomi also launching a new drone in this segment, the Fimi X8 Mini. The weight depends on the battery you choose: with the slightly cheaper Standard battery, the drone comes to 258 grams, with the Pro battery the device weighs 245 grams. The flight time is not very different: 30 minutes with the Standard battery and 31 minutes with the Pro battery.
Judging from the product images and specs, the Fimi X8 Mini seems like a straight answer to DJI’s popular Mini 2: fold-out design, gimbal-stabilized 4K camera, flight time around 30 minutes, maximum flight speed 16 m / s (just under 38 mph). And, if you opt for the slightly lighter Pro battery, just under 250 grams.
If you take a closer look at the specifications, there are still a few differences visible with the Mini 2. First, Xiaomi uses a slightly different sensor, namely a Sony 1 / 2.6 ”CMOS sensor (the Mini 2 contains a 1 / 2.3 ”Sensor). A more important difference is that the Fimi X8 Mini offers a number of intelligent flight modes that the Mini 2 lacks, such as tracking, timelapse, and waypoint flying.
The camera specifications of the Fimi X8 Mini are directly comparable to those of the Mini 2: up to 4K resolution at 30 fps, maximum bitrate 100 Mbps, photo resolution 12 megapixels. The Fimi X8 Mini also offers the possibility to take panoramic photos and it is possible to photograph in the DNG RAW format.
The Fimi X8 Mini uses GPS, Glonass, and Beidou for positioning. If the connection is lost, the drone will automatically fly back (return to home). There is also a camera at the bottom for precision landings on the supplied landing pad. There is also a database with no-fly zones. As with the Mini 2, obstacle detection is not an option.
The included controller uses TDMA to transfer data, Xiaomi’s answer to OcuSync from DJI. The maximum range would be 8 km. It is unclear whether the controller also has a CE mode with a smaller range. Xiaomi has developed a new app for operation, which makes all features accessible in a user-friendly way.
It is also possible to use the drone without the controller and control it directly from the smartphone, using virtual sticks on the screen. Then Wi-Fi is used for the signal transfer, with the result that the maximum range is a few hundred feet at most.
Price and availability
Currently, the Xiaomi Fimi X8 Mini can only be reserved through Banggood. There, the drone with a Standard battery costs $450 USD. Mind you, the weight will be just over 250 grams. The slightly lighter (<250 grams) version with the Pro battery cannot be ordered yet. Orders placed will be delivered from April 6.
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