Xiaomi has announced its Mi drone, a photography drone that will come in at the bottom of the pricing scale.
The dragonfly-like flying machine was actually constructed by a third party developer rather than the Chinese smartphone manufacturer itself, although it will enter the market under the Xiaomi name.
Designed to be controlled with a remote control that connects to the Mi smartphone, it features a three-axis gimbal and a camera capable of shooting 4K videos, putting it in the same league as the more expensive DJI set of photography drones.
One big advantage of the Mi drone is that it’s easy to fix if anything goes wrong. For example, the camera and rotors of Xiaomi’s new drone are all detachable, while the 5,100mAh battery can also be replaced easily if it runs out of juice or breaks somehow.
This battery is one of the drone’s finest features, allowing it to run for 27 minutes per charge, which is pretty impressive for a recreational drone.
Xiaomi’s drones are some of the cheapest on the market, with the 4K UAV available for 2,999 yuan or about £315, while the 1080p version will cost 2,499 yuan or £260.
24/05/2016: Chinese technology manufacturer Xiaomi has announced it will launch its first consumer drone in the coming months, hinting that it will take inspiration from a popular Chinese children’s toy.
However, the company is keeping very quiet about the drone’s features or even what it’ll be called, but initial suggestions include that it will be inspired by a game that comprises feathers and a stick. Confused? Yep, we are too.
“Something wonderful and cool is flying to us very soon,” the company said on its blog. “A Bamboo-copter? In China, it’s the earliest flying toys consisted of feathers at the end of a stick, which was rapidly spun between the hands and released into flight. Shall we discover the world with Mi_________________________ ?”
However, a video purporting to be a teaser of what the drone will offer has popped up on YouTube, showing what looks like the quadcopter’s propellers spinning and a camera head, which resembles a CCTV camera rather than a drone cam.
In usual Xiaomi style, the whole video looks very Apple-esque, with stark colours, jingly music in the background and closeups of the drone’s design.
Initial rumours suggest said camera will be able to record 4k video and a number of different variants will be available, with the most expensive costing around £420.
It wouldn’t suprise us if this drone looks like an Apple product – although one thing is guaranteed – the Xiaomi drone is likely to have a very agressive price, just like its smartphones, which are known for their top features at a reasonable price.