China-based Yi Technology is flooding the market with killer products, in-home security to action cams. The Xiaomi-backed company continually impresses with solid gear at an affordable price, and there latest addition to the line is the Yi 360 VR Camera, a capable device that comes in at a much lower price than its competition, namely the GoPro.
Yi 360 VR Design
The Yi 360 VR Camera is somewhat rectangularly shaped, and feels substantial and strong in the hand despite being made of a rubberized plastic material. The front and back cameras look identical, and they both feature an LED status light, a microphone and a 220-degree f/2.0 lens.
On the side includes a single power button, while the other side has a cover that hides the battery, USB Type-C port, Micro HDMI port and the MicroSD slot. The top of the camera has a pair of up/down buttons and an OLED screen used to navigate the settings and shooting modes. The interface of the camera is super easy to use. While the buttons on the top are used to switch between the menu settings, pressing the power button on the side selects the options presented. On the bottom of the camera is a ¼”-20 tripod mount for almost unlimited mounting options. And when used without a smartphone, the camera still functions very well.
Specs and Features
The internals of the camera are pretty impressive as well. Behind the two eight-element lenses are a pair of Sony Exmor IMX377 sensors and an Ambarella H2V95 processor designed specifically for 4K footage. Together, these two components output full 360-degree video in 5.7K resolution at 30 fps. If you want to live-stream or share 360 video on the fly, the Yi 360 VR Camera includes in-camera stitching for 4K video, also at 30 fps.
The 5.7K resolution is impressive, and the video wraps to create the immersive experience. While this lowers the pixel density, it still looks awesome when previewing it on mobile devices or when uploaded to social media. Connectivity-wise, the Yi 360 VR includes 2.4GHz and 5Ghz WiFi connectivity, which makes for incredibly fast transfers, as well as Bluetooth 4.2, which connects to the optional Bluetooth remote.
The Yi 360 VR Camera can be used as a standalone device, without the help of a smartphone, but the experience is much better when paired to a smartphone. The app is available in on both Android and iOS platforms, and through the app, you’re given complete control over every camera function and settings available.
The app UI is very intuitive and includes five viewing modes: Dual VR View, Panoramic View, Round View, Little Planet View and Stretched View….each giving a different viewing style.
The Yi 360 VR Camera is a very sweet little 360 camera with very high-end specs and features. And while you won’t get professional-level VR video footage, it is still really good quality for the average user, and it has editing features to really pretty it up. Whether you’re looking for 360 home movies or want VR content production, the Yi 360 VR Camera is perfect, and at a steal of a price tag at $399 vs the GoPro Fusion camera, which weighs in at $699. You can purchase the Yi 360 VR Camera here.