Xiaomi has just taken the wraps off its very first drone and it looks set to take on DJI by being an incredibly affordable and capable machine. The Mi Drone boasts a bunch of features you’d expect to find in a modern-day quadcopter and its most expensive version costs just ¥2999 (~$460).
Xiaomi‘s Mi Drone features a number of impressive features and is built by Flymi using carbon fiber materials, and weighs just 140g. What’s more, it has a 5,100mAh replaceable battery which should see it last up to 27 minutes per charge and a range of up to 3km.
The powerful antennas in the remote should mean you rarely lose control of the drone, and if it does lose signal, there’s a built-in ‘auto return’ feature to bring it back to you automatically. There’s also real-time battery and position monitoring, with a built-in alert to tell you when to fly it back if battery levels start getting too low.
As well as having powerful antennas, the remote control has an optional cradle which you can slot a smartphone in to and view a live feed of the video footage.
There are two versions of the Mi Drone. One features video recording up to 1080p resolution, while the other offers 4K resolution. The former costs ¥2499 ($380), while the other costs ¥2999, both significantly cheaper than high-end DJI Phantom drones. Whether or not it’s as as impressive is yet to be seen.
The drone will enter a crowdfunding phase in Xiaomi’s Mi Home app from tomorrow, but an open beta tester program will be launched in July. Sadly, as with many of Xiaomi’s products, we have no idea if/when the drone will be available outside of China.