Xiaomi Fimi X8 Mini – DJI Mini 2 Alternative
The Fimi X8 Mini is a high-quality mini drone with a 4K camera, 3-axis gimbal and long flight time. The compact quadcopter is a real alternative to the DJI Mini 2 and comes with an Active Track function, a feature sorely missed on its DJI counterpart.
Design and weight
The similarities between the Xiaomi Fimi X8 Mini and the DJI Mini 2 are immediately apparent at first glance. Both models hardly differ from each other in terms of size and shape.
With the arms folded, the Fimi X8 Mini measures 14.5 x 8.5 x 5.6 cm. When unfolded, it measures 20 x 14.5 x 5.6 cm. By the way, the little brother of the Xiaomi Fimi X8 SE is available in two different colors (white or orange) and with two different batteries.
With the standard battery (Li-Ion), the X8 Mini weighs just 245 grams and thus remains below the magic 250 gram limit. With the Pro battery (LiPo), the drone weighs 258 grams.
Currently, the Fimi X8 Mini is only available in the version with the standard battery. The Pro battery is expected to be available by mid-May 2021.
Xiaomi Fimi X8 Mini vs. DJI Mini 2
As already mentioned, the Fimi X8 Mini has a 4K camera and a mode for tracking people and objects. Unfortunately, neither of these can be found on the Mini 2.
The Xiaomi Fimi X8 Mini offers these advantages over the DJI Mini 2:
- 4K HDR videos at 30 fps.
- Smart tracking (people and object tracking).
- Waypoint mode
- Night mode
- Timelapse function
Positioning & Speed
The Fimi X8 Mini not only has a GPS module, but can also communicate with GLONASS and Beidou satellites. Of course, it has a Return-to-Home and can return to the start position at the push of a button.
In addition to the GPS, an optical flow sensor and two TOF sensors ensure stable flight attitude and altitude and position control. TOF stands for Time of Flight and is a relatively new method of measuring distance.
The two TOF sensors emit light pulses at regular intervals and measure their time to the ground and back to the sensor (time-of-flight method). The frame rate is up to 512 frames per second. The system works at distances from a few decimeters to about 40 m away.
At 35.8 mph (57.6 km/h or 16 m/s), the Xiaomi Fimi X8 Mini is just as fast as the DJI Mini 2.
Flying time & range
The flight time of the Fimi X8 Mini is up to 30 minutes with the standard battery. This is a 2400 mAh, 7.2 V Li-ion battery.
With the soon to be available Pro battery (2100 mAh, 7.7 V LiPo), up to 31 minutes of flight are possible.
The control range of the foldable drone is up to 5 miles (8000 meters) (FCC space) thanks to the new TDMA transmission system. In Europe, the maximum possible flight distance is slightly less, but still amounts to a few kilometers.
By the way, the quadcopter can also be controlled only with a smartphone, but the range is then reduced to just 110 yards (100 meters).
The remote control of the FIMI X8 Mini
The 5.8 GHz remote control has a weight of 260 grams and fits well in the hand. Unlike almost all other camera drones, the smartphone is not clamped at the top or bottom, but in the center of the controller.
There are two fold-out antennas on the top, which can be pointed in different directions. The dimensions of the remote control are 16.5 x 8.9 x 4.7 cm. Inside you will find a 3500 mAh battery, so no extra batteries are needed for operation. The two control joysticks can be conveniently unscrewed for transport and stored in small compartments on the controller.
There are only two buttons on the front. One to activate the Return-to-Home mode (right) and one to turn the drone on and off (left).
The right shoulder button is occupied by a button for triggering photos. Videos are started and stopped via the left shoulder button. Right next to the video button is a small wheel for adjusting the gimbal angle between 0° and -90°.
The FPV live image of the camera can be transmitted up to distances of about 0.62 miles (1000 meters). The image signal is transmitted in a resolution of 720p.
Unlike DJI, no registration is required to use the app. Various settings for the drone and the camera can be selected via the user interface. Everything is clearly arranged and easy to find.
During the flight, all necessary flight parameters are displayed. You get information about the current flight altitude, distance and speed of the drone. The number of currently connected satellites is also displayed.
You can also switch between the different flight modes in the menu, which we will discuss in detail in a moment.
The camera of the Xiaomi Fimi X8 Mini
The camera of the Xiaomi Fimi X8 Mini has a 1/2.6″ CMOS sensor from Sony and can record 4K videos with 3840 x 2160 pixels. The frame rate is a maximum of 30 fps. 24 and 25 fps are also available. In Full HD, even up to 120 fps is possible.
The aperture is f/2.0 and the equivalent focal length of 26 mm creates a FOV (Field of View) of 80°. Thus, the captured image is wide-angled, but does not have a fish-eye effect.
Videos are saved as MP4 files in the H.265 codec. The new video codec ensures the most efficient use of memory. You can use microSD cards between 8 GB and 256 GB.
Thanks to the mechanical 3-axis gimbal, which can be tilted vertically between 0° and -90° during flight, photo and video recordings are optimally stabilized.
The 3x digital zoom also allows enlarging the recordings, albeit with loss. Due to the high data rate of 100 Mbit/s, the quality of the videos is generally very high. By the way, those who want to can even make HDR recordings and F-Log is also available. The resulting higher dynamic range thus offers more leeway in post-processing.
Photos are taken in up to 12 MP. The ISO range is 100 – 3200 and can also be selected manually. Photos are saved either as JPG or JPG + DNG RAW. Thanks to the raw data format, you can edit pictures wonderfully afterwards. Available photo modes include a continuous shooting mode as well as a panorama function with up to 360° all-around view in addition to single shots.
With the One-Tap Videos, you can also choose from pre-programmed flight maneuvers, which are comparable to the Quick Shot modes of the DJI Mini 2. Other highlights of the Xiaomi Fimi X8 Mini include a live streaming function and a night mode.
The Xiaomi Fimi X8 Mini has various intelligent flight modes that help you create impressive short videos.
A kind of follow-me mode is available for tracking people and objects. The so-called smart tracking function allows you to track moving objects at speeds of up to 22 mph (35 km/h). A classic trace mode, a profile mode (parallel recording) and a lock mode are available for selection.
The Orbit function allows circling an object at an adjustable distance and has Free and Center sub-modes.
In Spiral mode, the drone gradually spirals upward while keeping the object to be captured in the center.
A waypoint function (Flight Plan Shooting) is also available for selection. Here you can set multiple waypoints on a map in the app to plan a flight route, which can even be saved. The drone will fly over each point in turn.
Other flight modes include a SAR (search and rescue) mode and a TapFly function. In the latter mode, you can send the Fimi X8 Mini to a specific location using a touch command on the display.
Last but not least, there is also a Timelapse function that allows you to make time-lapse recordings.
Scope of delivery
- FIMI X8 Mini
- Remote control
- Battery (standard)
- USB Type-C charging cable
- Spare propeller
- Gimbal protector
- 3 x connection cables for smartphone (microUSB, USB-C, Lightning)
The Xiaomi Fimi X8 Mini is an excellent mini drone with excellent 4K camera, long flight time and high range. The compact quadcopter transmits the live image to your smartphone in real time (FPV) and impresses with easy control and great flight characteristics.
4K recordings at 30 fps and a data rate of 100 Mbit/s, together with the mechanical 3-axis gimbal, ensure higher-quality videos. The 12 MP photos are also impressive and can be edited well afterwards thanks to the DNG RAW format.
With the standard battery, the Xiaomi Fimi X8 Mini weighs less than 250 grams. Other highlights include HDR, F-Log, a night mode, and a variety of flight modes.
Compared to the DJI Mini 2, with the Xiaomi Fimi X8 Mini you get a drone that is just as technically advanced at a similar price. In addition, however, you still get an HDR mode as well as a Follow Me tracking function and a waypoint mode.