Xiaomi is no stranger to imaging drones, or should I say, no stranger to imaging drones with a striking resemblance to the world’s biggest consumer drone maker, DJI, with the specs too boot and at a manageable price point The China’s “provision of gadgets” latest imaging drones are no different. The duo, namely FIMI A3 and FIMI X8 SE, shares some rather close resemblance to DJI’s Mavic 2 and Spark. Clearly, the pair have their sights set on DJI Spark and DJI Mavic Air, and they even have pricing and specs that could do some serious bite off the consumer drone cake.
It is worthy to note that though both imaging drones are NOT Xiaomi’s branded products. FIMI A3 and FIMI X8 SE comes under FIMI (飞米), a company founded and inducted as a member of Xiaomi ecosystem in 2014. The FIMI Technology is also responsible for Xiaomi’s first two drones, including the much lauded 4K system and the mini drone – both which also sold under FIMI, as well as Mijia 4K action camera launched in 2017. Now that we have clear the air about who’s who, lets get on with these two DJ alternatives.
Key features of the FIMI A3 include FIMI 3rd-generation flight control algorithm platform that packs a GPS-GLONASS dual-mode module and a more powerful Cortex M7 platform. Interestingly, the A3 comes with a so-called DIY port for powering a servo, LED light, color smoke cartridge, and even fireworks. Imaging is via a 8 MP Sony CMOS sensor, bolstered by an Ambarella ISP processor and a thing it calls “mixed 3-axis gimbals” which is essentially a hybrid of a 2-axis mechanical gimbal and a 3-axis electronic gimbal.
Other highlights include FHD videoing, quick-release propellers, one-key sports mode, GPS precision hovering, a variety of flight modes (such as follow me, orbit, fixed-wing mode, selfie mode, one-key return to home and more), support 5.8G FPV flying, automatic return upon lost connection in GPS mode, automatic hover when entering no-fly-zone, low battery warning, a 3-cell 2,000 mAh lithium polymer battery, 25 minutes flight time, maximum speed of 18 m/s (65 km/h or 40 mph), maximum range of 1 kilometers (0.62 miles) and maximum altitude of 500 meters (1,640 feet).
FIMI A3 comes with a remote controller with built-in 4.3-inch (480 x 272 resolution) screen that boasts AV output for external monitor and/or video goggles, as well as built-in DVR.
FIMI X8 SE is a higher spec’ed alternative to the A3 with 4K/30fps 100 Mbps videoing capacity, coupled with 3-axis mechanical gimbal, a farther range of 5 kilometers, and a longer flight time coming in at 33 minutes. On the imaging department, it touts a large 1/2.3-inch 12 MP Sony IMX378 sensor with 1.55um single pixel size for better low-light imaging and paired to a f2.2 aperture lens. The FIMI X8 SE does TDMA HD real-time transmission, F-log mode, DNG RAW, and offers a variety of camera settings demand by professional aerial imaging folks.
Other noteworthy details include GPS+GLONASS dual-mode positioning, a variety of flight and shooting modes (Cine Shot, flight planning shooting, panoramas, hyper-lapse, orbiting and more), automatic hover when entering no-fly-zone, low battery warning, a 4,500 mAh “Intelligent Battery,” 5 km (3.1 miles) range, 500 meters (1,640 feet) flight ceiling, maximum speed of 18 m/s (65 km/h or 40 mph), and a quieter flight with noise decreased by 7 dBm compared to the Mi Drone 4K.
What we highlighted here does not quite do the FIMI X8 SE justice as far as flying and shooting modes are concerned. If it delivers as promised, this little guy should be as capable as DJI Mavic 2, if not more capable. FIMI even go as far as to say X8 SE is suitable for Search and Rescue missions out-of-the-box which kind out pits it against the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise. One thing about FIMI X8 SE is, the accompanying remote controller does not have a built-in. Instead, it has a horizontally expandable design to fit a smartphone or tablet for real-time flight video.
Source: Drone DJ.