Unboxing of Xiaomi Yi Action Camera

I just got a Xiaomi Yi Action Camera – while not as high end as what you can get from GoPro, it offers pretty good results for it’s price.

Xiaomi Yi

Xiaomi Yi


First up, the box, it’s quite a compact package :

Cutting through the plastic wrap and lifting the cover, you get a nice presentation of the Yi :

Xiaomi Yi Cover Removed

Xiaomi Yi Cover Removed

The Xiaomi Yi

The Xiaomi Yi

And underneath is the instruction manual (in Chinese) :

Xiaomi Yi Box Bottom

Xiaomi Yi Box Bottom

The instruction manual also has a QR code for a link to the Xiaomi Yi app on the Google Play Store, which you’ll need if you want to change any settings on the Yi.

The whole thing is pretty nicely packaged. My only thought was it would have been nice to have a pull tabs since the packaging fit so snugly, it was difficult to separate because of the vacuum effect.

Inside the middle section are the battery and a short USB cable :

Closer look at the battery, which has a strap so you can pull it out of the Yi easily :

And here’s some views of the Yi :


After charging, you just press the power/mode button on the front of the Yi. The status light starts blinking and it takes a few seconds to start up. When it’s done, the front LED glows blue. It also tells you the status of the battery :

  • Blue : 50 – 100%
  • Purple : 15 – 50%
  • Red : 0 – 15%

When it’s on, it defaults to start in photo mode, which you can tell be its status LEDs :

If you press the power/mode button, it’ll change from photo to video mode and vice versa. Video mode is indicated by the status LEDs turning red :

From here you can take a photo or start/stop video recording on the App itself or using the shutter button on the Yi.

To change any settings besides photo/video mode, you’ll need the Xiaomi Yi app on the Google Play Store. It’s only available for Android devices. I installed the app on my Nexus 5 and 7. This connection is made with Wifi, where the Yi acts as the access point. The Wifi button is on the right and turns blinking blue if Wifi is on :

Then it’s just a matter of initiating the connection on your Android device by pressing the connect button in the Yi App (that camera circle at the bottom) :

Yi App

Yi App

I’m slightly annoyed that the app also ties into it’s social media network. However it does not require an account to connect to the Yi. The Yi App failed to connect to my Yi on the first attempt but it connected on the second attempt :

And then I was in !

Connection Established

Connection Established

Bad Battery Connection

When I first popped the battery in and tried to charge it, it didn’t seem to charge, even after an hour or so. On closer inspection, the battery contacts on the Yi were flush against the chassis and were not making contact with the battery.

I bent the pins back a little with a set of tweezers and the Yi started charging properly.

Initial Thoughts

I started experimenting with it and am pretty impressed with the quality of the video and photos. There’s also an option to do lens correction which drastically cuts down on the fish eye effect.

Build quality-wise, it’s pretty good. It feels solid and isn’t creaky. The battery compartment is really snug for the battery – I’m really glad there’s a pull tab for the battery. The compartment lid itself is a bit tricky to get off but I think it’ll get better as the edges get worn down.

The USB/Micro SD card cover looks like it’ll get lost in no time as it’s only held on to the Yi by friction. Every time I take off the cover to charge my Yi I have to be careful where I keep it :

Yi Covers Removed

Yi Covers Removed

I’ll update this more as gather more thoughts, but for it’s price – about $125, it’s pretty decent compared to a GoPro.

Check out a video I recorded with it over here, also featuring one of my favourite songs :
Piano Cover of Flower Dance.

And a night-time clip :
Xiaomi Yi night bike ride test

Posted in review, tech.

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  1. […] experimented filming it with the Nexus 5 (upper corner) and my new Xiaomi Yi (main feed). I’m pretty happy about the Yi’s quality and I think I’m going to use […]