We knew that Xiaomi was getting into drones, but now the tease has turned into a full-blown announcement as the Chinese phone maker unveiled the Mi Drone – a fully featured unmanned aircraft for an entry-level cost.
The Mi Drone comes in both a 1080p resolution model marked at ￥2499 (about $380, £259) and a 4K version for ￥2999 (about $456, £310).
The price tag for Xiaomi’s machine is considerably lower than that of other professional-quality drones, such as the DJI Phantom series, which can start anywhere between $700-$1,500.
Though it’s cheaper, the Mi Drone doesn’t skimp on features, as the official forum thread touts a 3-axis gimbal for image stabilization, GPS position tracking, and smart battery detection that makes sure to conserve enough juice to return to its pilot.
The Mi Drone is also built with a modular design, with foldable landing gear and detachable rotors – allowing the machine to fit comfortably in a backpack with minimal risk of damage during transit.
While aircraft enthusiasts may be itching to try out Xiaomi’s recent divergence from smartphones, the Mi Drone is still in development. The beta is reportedly opening up later this summer, but there’s no confirmation yet if the UAV will be released outside of China.
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