Best Entry Drone with Camera, DJI Phantom 3 Standard vs XiaoMI MI Drone

(Last Updated On: March 2, 2017)

At present, the drone market is still in the stage of oligopoly, DJI accounted for nearly 70% of the world’s consumer class drone market, and this advantage has been expanding. Until the launch of Xiaomi mi drone ( unmanned aerial vehicles ).

Xiaomi has always been to “price butcher” identity, has become an important “spoiler in the market”. They launched the MI mobile phone in 2011, with a strong price quickly to seize the market, become a new force that can not be ignored in the mobile phone sector. Then they continue through investment, with a strong “price” route, the rapid development of router, TV box, mobile power, headset, camera movement, hand ring, air purifier, electric rice pot and other market. Now, come to the drone. DJI, are you ready?

xiaomi mi drone 9

Design: Good Workmanship, Lack of Detail

Xiaomi’s biggest weapon, in addition to a strong price, there is their reference style, especially refer to Apple.
Although, even in the form of Xiaomi MI Drone is still a very common four axis aircraft, but its appearance is not particularly like other brands, completely original. However, it still has a strong traces in many details, including modular design of DJI battery module and Yuneec CGO3 removable spherical Gimbal, and XIRO Xplorer (pictured below, including folding machine, foot on the remote control of mobile phone support etc.).

xiaomi mi drone 8

However, Xiaomi “reference” often will also significantly improved the design of others, such as folding foot type design MI Drone can completely fold flat, can through small locking machine feet, than the XIRO Xplorer more perfect; and spherical lens assembly is better than Yuneec Q500 more easily. Therefore, although the MI drone wheelbase than Phantom 4 and XIRO Xplorer longer, but MI drone is indeed much more portable.

In addition, many people feel that the appearance of MI drone looks ugly, but saw the real machine, it should also agree that the drone is still a good job. In any case, the UAV can not use aluminum alloy shell, so thick plastic smell of MI drone is not a problem, but as long as careful look, they will find the shell is indeed a good job, feel very good.

xiaomi mi drone 6

Hardware: Low Level Price, Midrange Hardware

In the performance, Xiaomi drone is just similar to the DJI Phantom 3 specifications. No dazzling computer vision, no automatic obstacle avoidance magic. It provides automatic flight capabilities, almost all of the old technology to achieve GPS last year.

Of course, this is not the fault of Xiaomi, but currently on the ship has been unmanned aircraft, have not been able to approach the level of DJI Phantom 4. Xiaomi can not, but also ZeroTech, 3D Robotics, Yuneec can not. Xiaomi rival is not the latest and most high-end Phantom 4, well, even last year’s top 3 Phantom Professional and Advance is not easy to catch, so their goal is: DJI most low-end Phantom 3 Standard / 4K, and at the same time the same backward with other sniper.

Detail Features Compare Table:
Amperae Drone DJI Phantom 3 standard 1 xiaomi mi drone 9 xiaomi mi drone 9
Check Amazon Phantom 3 Standard MI Drone 1080p MI Drone 4k
AIRCRAFT
Weight (Battery & Propellers Included) 1216 g 1376 g 1443 g
Diagonal Size (Propellers Excluded) 350 mm 434 mm 434 mm
Max Ascent Speed 5 m/s 6 m/s 6 m/s
Max Descent Speed 3 m/s 1.5 m/s 1.5 m/s
Max Speed 16 m/s 18 m/s 16 m/s
Max Service Ceiling Above takeoff point 120 m 120 m 120 m
Max Flight Time Approx. 25 minutes 27 minutes 27 minutes
Operating Temperature Range 32° to 104°F (0° to 40°C) 0° to 40°C 0° to 40°C
Satellite Positioning Systems GPS GPS/GLONASS GPS/GLONASS
Hover Accuracy Range Vertical:
±0.1 m (when Vision Positioning is active)
±0.5 m
Horizontal:
±1.5 m
Vertical:
±0.1 m (when Ultrasonic working range)
±0.5 m
Horizontal:
±1.5 m
Vertical:
±0.1 m (when Ultrasonic working range)
±0.5 m
Horizontal:
±1.5 m
GIMBAL
Controllable Range Pitch: -90° to +30° Pitch -90° to 0° Pitch -90° to 0°
Stabilization 3-axis (pitch, roll, yaw) 3-axis
pitch:-120° to 35°
roll:-35° to 35°
yaw:-65° to 65°
3-axis
pitch:-120° to 35°
roll:-35° to 35°
yaw:-65° to 65°
VISION SYSTEM
Vision System
Velocity Range
Altitude Range
Operating Range
Operating Environment
CAMERA
Sensor 1/2.3” CMOS
Effective pixels:12 M
1/2.3” CMOS
Effective pixels:16 M
Sony EXMOR R 1/2.3” CMOS
Effective pixels:12 M
Lens FOV 94° 20 mm (35 mm format equivalent) f/2.8 FOV 104° 23 mm f/2.6 FOV 94° 20 mm f/2.8
ISO Range 100-3200 (video) 100-3200 (video) 100-3200 (video)
100-1600 (photo) 100-1600 (photo) 100-1600 (photo)
Electronic Shutter Speed 8 – 1/8000 s 1/6 – 1/8000 s 8 – 1/8000 s
Max Image Size 4000×3000 4608 x 3456 4000 x 3000
Still Photography Modes Single Shot
Burst Shooting: 3/5/7 frames
Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3/5 bracketed frames at 0.7 EV Bias
Timelapse
Video Recording Modes 2.7K: 2704 x1520p 24/25/30 (29.97)
FHD: 1920x1080p 24/25/30
HD: 1280x720p 24/25/30/48/50/60
1920 x 1080p 60fps
1920 x 1080p 30fps
1280 x 720p 120fps
3840 x 2160p 30fps
2560 x 1440p 60fps
1920 x 1080p 100/60/30fps
Max Video Bitrate 40 Mbps 20 Mbps 65 Mbps
Supported File Systems FAT32 (≤32 GB); exFAT (>32 GB) FAT32/exFAT FAT32/exFAT
Photo JPEG, DNG (RAW) JPEG JPEG
Video MP4, MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264) MP4 MP4
Supported SD Cards Micro SD Card 8 GB included Micro SD Card 8-64 GB Micro SD Card 8-64 GB
REMOTE CONTROLLER
Operating Frequency 5.725 – 5.825 GHz, 922.7 – 927.7 MHz (Japan) 2.4 – 2.483 GHz 5.725 – 5.850 GHz
Max Transmission Distance FCC: 1000 m
CE: 500 m
(outdoors and unobstructed, aircraft’s altitude at 400 feet (120 m))
FCC: 1000 m FCC: 4000 m
Battery 2600 mAh LiPo 18650 5000 mAh LiPo18650 5000 mAh LiPo18650
Transmitter Power (EIRP) FCC: 19 dBm
CE: 14 dBm
20 dBm 33 dBm
Operating Current/Voltage 600 mA@3.7V
CHARGER
Voltage 17.4 V 17.4 V 17.4 V
Rated Power 57 W 46.4 W 46.4 W
INTELLIGENT FLIGHT BATTERY
Capacity 4480 mAh 5100 mAh 5100 mAh
Voltage 15.2 V 15.2 V 15.2 V
Battery Type LiPo 4S
Energy 68 Wh 77.52 Wh 77.52 Wh
Net Weight 365 g 450 g 450 g
Operating Temperature Range 14° to 104°F (-10° to 40°C) 0° to 40°C 0° to 40°C
Max Charging Power 100 W

Indeed, Xiaomi never to “strong technology” well-known, but the “price strong” well-known. They have put the industry through the procurement technology, are placed on the table on the UAV: 4K camera, 2 km transmission, light flu reactor, 4.35v high voltage electrical pool etc.. We can see from the above table, Xiaomi is not inferior to the low-end in the parameters of DJI drone, while the price is only about 2/3.

xiaomi mi drone 13
Flight: Hardware is Good, Lack of Experience

In addition to the advantages of Xiaomi supply chain, we still see the lack of experience in the flight, there are a variety of products in the use of adaptation.

Xiaomi may be a potential advantage, but they do not have the experience of consumer level uav. They can not compare with the 3D Robotics, ZeroTech, not to mention the same level of consumption and leading DJI. In fact, when customers encounter a variety of situations in the application, but also in the face of a variety of system bugs, including cell phones and remote control can not be connected, even on the fly, GPS anomalies.

Even if the exclusion of the problem of the system bug, the quality of the flight is not as good as Phantom 3. Although Xiaomi drones have used longer axial length than DJI, but in self stability when external forces is still not stable. And the machine at the end of the ultrasonic high general effect, but the wind is not the case, still often appear vertical drift over 0.5 meters (known as the official website in ultrasonic the scope of work / accuracy of 0.1 meters). In addition, it is also more sensitive to dynamic flight, flight control intervention is not natural; if the flying hand operation is not smooth, the body will swing.

Then, they launched a three firmware update within a week, quickly made a number of improvements. The new firmware in the stability has improved, even if the ultrasonic is still higher than the Phantom 3 Advanced, but has been in the low altitude control, better than the Phantom 3 Standard which has no ultrasonic.

It is also worth mentioning that, the endurance of Xiaomi UAV 4.35v high voltage battery components is really good. Because flight life can be affected by many factors, it may not be able to fully can fly for 27 minutes; but in the test flight situation, its endurance is very close to Phantom 3, better than many other brands.

xiaomi mi drone 4
Camera: Excellent Lens

The camera is a strong one of Xiaomi Mi drone. They through their supply chain advantage, for the resolution of the 4K /30 frame photography portfolio, until now able to provide this combination just the DJI and Yuneec. Xiaomi MI drone can provide 4K and 1080p two versions of the lens.

Although there is news that the three axis gimbal is not purchased from Yuneec, but its design is very similar as Yuneec CGO3 three axis tilt camera: both spherical camera removable, it may also apply to the handheld PTZ and UAV. The performance of Xiaomi three axis tilt was quite perfect as Yuneec platform, or DJI’s.

Xiaomi did not use 130 degrees above the wide angle like motion camera, but 104 degrees, lens distortion is very slight.

xiaomi and phantom 3

The performance of Xiaomi in the image algorithm, is completely different as DJI Phantom 3 . Xiaomi camera traces of the latter is more intense, higher saturation, higher contrast, more positive to increase the brightness of the ISO to provide the benefits of the image, users do not have to deliberately post.

However, during the filming of the shortcomings of Xiaomi no machine is also very obvious: the imaging painting line is not sharp, high contrast to dark details missing, noise more, taking into account the aerial machine often to be shot in the light environment, will bring a lot of difficulties for the aerial fancier.

In contrast, DJI Phantom 3 imaging lines more sharp, dark detail is more abundant, the after system is also better tolerance. In other words, Xiaomi UAV is aimed at the general white users, while DJI drone is more serious for the aerial user.

xiaomi mi drone 3

Image Transmission : Above Average

The person who don’t know much about the aerial novice, may not be  concerned about commonly known as “real time image transfer capability figure biography”. But for the proficient aerial for image transmission distance is about to buy the most important factors of the UAV, because it determines the UAV flight safety distance. Over the past year, DJI Phantom 3 in case of no interference, image transmission can be up to 5 kilometers from the spectrum, make it dominate the UAV sector last year.

Despite the strong supply chain capabilities of Xiaomi, they still can not get the big proud of the Lightbridge map biography of DJI, can only get the Phantom 3 Standard / 4K using the first generation of Wi-Fi version of the pass version. Although the most advanced technology of Xiaomi UAV is not the latest, , but the current UAV industry best version.

Of course, we are often encountered in flight signal interference, often impossible as far as 1 kilometers, and we also do not recommend you to fly and fly away. So we feel that the map of the UAV anti-jamming ability, maybe more important than its distance. Xiaomi UAV with HD image transmission is 5.8GHz signal, rather than the Phantom 3 version of the Standard/4k 2.4 GHz, under moderate interference test, Xiaomi drones also can transmit HD images within 400 meters, the distance is similar than Phantom 3 Standard/4k.

xiaomi mi drone 5

Summary

In the future, whether they can grow into a team can threaten the DJI dron team? It is too early, the hardware has been done, but the flight experience is lack. Moderate competition, the market is always healthy.

Pros:
  • Very high cost effective
  • Portable design, easy to receive
  • Excellent endurance
Cons:
  • Poor flying quality
  • Poor system stability
  • Massive flight restrictions
What people should buy?
  1. Funds are not sufficient for aerial enthusiasts
  2. Often travel, hiking, the pursuit of portable aerial enthusiasts
Buy At Amazon.com
What people should not buy?
  1. Experienced flying hand
  2. Precise flight, rich video post production of professional aerial person

 

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