Xiaomi Yi 2 and also Xiaomi Yi 4K have become two of the most popular action cams on chinahandys.net. The reason for that is simple and holds true for most Xiaomi devices: Yi 2’s video quality and usability can keep up with the latest GoPro while costing just half. Instead of launching a completely new model, Yi Technology decided to produce a small but great upgrade of the Xiaomi Yi 4K action camera. The changes made on 4K Plus are rather discreet, but noticeable in practice.
Because of the new Ambarella H2 processor, Xiaomi Yi 4K Plus (4K+) is now able to record 4K videos with 60FPS. Also the bitrate of the recordings was increased to 120Mbps. It is now possible to use image stabilization also with 4K recordings (only with 30FPS) and the USB Type-C port is new as well. It’s great that you can continue using all of the old accessories like Yi Gimbal, batteries or even the underwater-casing. You should consider, however, that Xiaomi Yi 4K is sold for about 160$, but its successor now costs 280$. Whether the new features and functions are worth their money you’ll find out in our review.
Design and build quality
The plastic body of Xiaomi Yi 4K+ has the same dimensions (22 x 42 x 65mm) as its predecessor. The surface has now a slight rubber coating and is therefore resistant to scratches. Furthermore, the camera now fits perfectly in the underwater-casing and it sits extremely securely so that you have to almost beat it out of the casing. The USB Type-C connection was moved to the left to make room for a second microphone on the right side. Also Yi 4K housed 2 microphones, but they were located both on the top. Now you have one microphone at the top and one at the right side.
The power button at the casing’s top has a notification LED, and there is again an LED on the front side. Xiaomi Yi 4K Plus now has a carbon look at the front, and the lettering was shortened to “4K+”. Below the camera, you can find a tripod socket and the opening for the 1400mAh battery. The batteries of both Yi 4K and 4K Plus are identical.
User interface and app operation
Video and image quality
For video recording, the camera still uses a Sony IMX377 12MP 1/2.3-inch sensor. Just like it was the case with the predecessor, the new Ambarella H2 processor has low energy absorption and heat development. Now it is also able to record 4K videos with 60FPS. Is this really the justification for the 100$ extra charge? It depends on what you plan to do with your action cam.
Compared to the 4K/30FPS recordings of the normal Yi 4K, the 4K/60FPS recordings now seem a bit more realistic and colors are represented better (stronger). In twilight and generally in bad lighting conditions, more image noise occurs with the 4K/60FPS recordings than with the 4K/30FPS recordings of the normal Yi 4K. However, the 60FPS recordings have the advantage that faster movements are captured with more sharpness. A great update for action-lovers!
The second new feature is much more relevant in my opinion. Image stabilization can now be used with 4K/30FPS recordings as well. Moreover, you can now activate the automatic correction of the fisheye-effect with 4K. These two functions are the most important improvements compared to Xiaomi Yi 2. In terms of stabilization, you should consider that it works well, but can never achieve the same results as a gimbal. You can order a Yi 4K with the gimbal for 260$ from Aliexpress. All other recording modes stay the same. Of course, Yi 4K+ also takes great pictures. You can now take photos with the camera software in the RAW format without editing.
Xiaomi Yi 4K is well-known for its excellent battery life, and this hasn’t changed with the upgrade. Changing between 4K and 1080p recordings and tapping on the screen for a bit, you get unbeatable 2 hours of run time. Theoretically, the 60FPS should consume more energy, but it wasn’t noticeable in practice. When recording with 4K/60FPS without interruption, the camera lasted for 1 hour and 40 minutes. It lasted just 10 minutes less than the predecessor. Heat development was minimal. The battery is fully charged in 2 hours.
Conclusion and alternative
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