It's been coming for a while, but the Xiaomi drone is finally here! And the 4K Mi Drone, has a comprehensive feature set for a fiercely competitive price

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Following the recent news that Xiaomi will be entering the action camera market with one of its trademark cut-price offerings, the much rumoured Xiaomi drone has now arrived.

Xiaomi’s Mi Drone, set to take on the big players in the market such as DJI and the forthcoming GoPro Karma, sports a ball-shaped 4K-shooting camera on its underside.

Xiaomi Mi Drone

The camera uses a 12.4MP Sony sensor that shoots 4K at 30 fps, while the detachable gimbal keeps things smooth with 3-axis stabilisation. Xiaomi says this stabilisation system corrects itself 2,000 times per second, and is further aided by an optical flow sensor positioned behind the camera.

Xiaomi Mi Drone

The controller can communicate with the Mi Drone at distances of up to 2km, and is designed with user-friendly simplicity in mind, with one-button take-off and landing, and a dedicated shutter button.

It will automatically return home when its battery runs dry – Xiaomi says the drone should be good for about 27 minutes of flight time.

Those who shoot stills as well should take note that the Mi Drone’s camera can also capture Raw images.

Xiaomi Mi Drone

If you like the sound of an affordable drone and aren’t fussed about 4K then it’d worth noting that Xiaomi is also crowdfunding a cheaper version that shoots 1080p at 60 fps. More details on its website 

Those who are interested in the 4K version however are going to have to wait a while, as the drone will only be entering open beta in July.

Key Specs:

– 4-propeller system with detachable shields
– 17.4V battery 5100mAh, 27 minutes non-stop flying
– 1080p or 4K UHD camera, with 104° wide-angle lens
– 4K camera at 3840 x 2160 pixels; supports recording of stills in RAW format
– 720p live video with low latency from up to 2km distance
– Camera attached to a 3-axis gimbal, stabilizes up to 2000 vibrations per second
– Unbelievably lightweight design
– GPS + GLONASS + vision-based positioning for max precision
– Autopilot options: automatic take-off + landing, waypoint flight path planning, tap to fly on map, circle an object on the ground
– Intelligently detects low battery and returns home automatically
– Real-time location tracking for easy retrieval even post crash
– Hovers automatically at the edge of no-fly zones
– Built-in PCB antenna array in remote control for maximum reach
– Modular design and foldable landing gear
– RMB 2499 for 1080p, RMB 2999 for 4K UHD version

The Xiamoi Mi Drone carries a recommended price of 2,999 yuan (about £310), which is considerably cheaper than even the most budget similarly-specced models from the likes of DJI. This will be one to watch.

Watch our preview of the DJI Phantom 4: