Yi Technologies (a.k.a XiaoYi), the subsidiary of the Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, recently launched a new VR camera called ‘Yi 360 VR Camera’. A couple of months back, Xiaomi unveiled its first ever VR camera called Mi 360 Panoramic Camera in China. It came from it’s another subsidiary called Mijia which mostly manufacture home appliances that are limited to the Chinese market. The new Yi 360 VR Camera is now available to pre-order outside of China for $399, and the shipping starts later this month.
Compared to the $250 360 VR camera from Mijia, the Yi 360 Camera justifies its higher price tag by offering much superior specifications and features. The Yi 360 Camera can record videos upto 5.7K (5760 x 2880 pixels) resolution at 30 fps. It sports a pair of 1/2.3-inch 12MP Sony IMX377 sensors with 220-degree lens and f/2.0 aperture. However, the only downside recording at the maximum 5.7K resolution is that the stitching of the two videos has to be done manually and from 4K (4096 x 2048 pixels) and below, the stitching will be taken care by the camera.
It houses the latest Ambarella H2V95 SoC which was designed by mainly focusing on the VR cameras. With the companion app, the user can even directly live stream at a maximum of 2.5K (2560 x 80 pixels) resolution on Facebook or Youtube. With the auto sync mode turned on, all the photos can be saved directly on the connected smartphone for easy sharing through Instagram or Facebook. According to the company, the 1,400mAh ultra high-density battery on this Yi 360 VR Camera can give 75 minutes of battery life while recording at 4K resolution.
The dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz & 5GHz) on this VR camera allows for the seamless sharing of the 360-degree content on the go. It also has a built-in OLED screen (96 x 64 pixels) for choosing different settings and for wireless captures, we can also use the remote controller or the smartphone. It measures 102 x 53.2 x 29.6 mm and weighs 170 grams. To match the 360-degreee video, the Yi 360 VR Camera can record 360-degree audio using the omnidirectional microphone. On the I/O side, there is a Micro SD card slot, HDMI port, and USB 2.0 Type-C port.
There is also a 1/4 inch standard screw on the Yi 360 VR Camera for mounting on the regular tripods. It also has Bluetooth 4.2 support for connecting with the remote controller included within the package. While the Mijia’s 360 VR Camera measures 12mm thickness and weighs just 108.3 grams, the Yi 360 VR Camera is 29.6mm thick and feels bulky by weighing 170 grams. Compared to the $399 price tag outside of China, the Yi 360 VR Camera is retailing at 2499 Yuan (approx $365) in China and comes bundled with the Xiaomi’s VR headset and Yi selfie stick. Stay tuned on Phone Radar for more details!