FIMI, a Chinese company that is part of Xiaomi’s ecosystem, recently released a direct competitor to DJI’s Mini line of drones. The X8 Mini weighs less than 250 grams when a ‘pro’ battery is installed and boasts a similar compact, foldable frame. In the United States, a drone weighing less than 250 grams does not need to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration.
A camera with a 1/2.6” 12MP Sony CMOS sensor, an 80º Field of View, and 26mm equivalent focal distance, is mounted on a 3-axis gimbal. It is capable of capturing up to 4K/30p HDR footage at 100 Mbps with an H.265 codec. JPG and RAW photos along with F-log video are available options.
FIMI uses the HiSilicon professional AI algorithm for noise reduction in low-light and evening imagery. The camera is also able to zoom in up to 3x, lossless was not specified. Pilots can create panoramas, time-lapses, and share live streaming videos to social platforms. A remote with 5.8GHz allows up to 8km transmission.
Smart tracking modes are available though it’s not clear, from the website, what they are. Users can also pre-plan flights, a photo from FIMI’s spec page indicates that one of the modes available is Waypoint. WIMI also claims that small magnetic gap motors and ‘silent’ propellers give it Level 5 wind resistance – meaning it can withstand gusts up to 22 mph.
The X8 Mini is 165x89x47mm folded and 200x145x56mm unfolded, almost identical in size to DJI’s Mini 2. It weighs 258g at takeoff with a standard battery and drops to 245g with a ‘pro’ battery installed. The 200mAh difference accounts for a one minute difference in flight time, as well, as the standard battery allows for up to 30 minutes flight time while the pro gives you up to 31 minutes. The X8’s Mini’s maximum speed is 16m/s (35.8 mph).
There are other similar features that X8 Mini offers that can can be found on DJI’s Mini or Mini 2 drones including Return to Home, GPS real-time tracking, no-fly-zone protection (similar to DJI’s geofencing), high wind warning, and low battery warning. A downside camera can be found on the bottom of the aircraft to aid with precision landing.
Orders can be placed starting April 6th. The X8 Mini will officially be released on the 18th for a starting price of $449 through retailers such as Banggood and AliExpress.