Yi 4K+ Snap Verdict
The Yi 4K+ has more on offer than any action camera in its price range – so much so that it rivals the GoPro Hero6 Black when it comes to pure specifications, yet it costs half the price.
4K at 60fps, slow motion, voice activation and touch screen all match the GoPro’s features, but then it goes further with a feature that people have been screaming for: live streaming to Facebook and YouTube.
When it comes to specifications, the Hero6 and 4K+ are close, but while the GoPro will remain the choice for the extreme sports enthusiast, the Yi 4K+ could well become the choice for everyone else.
- 60fps at 4K
- Voice activation
- Live video streaming
- Requires waterproof case
- Limited to 120fps @ 1080p
- Social side not as slick as GoPro
The world of action cameras is changing, in as far as it’s no longer about hurling yourself off the nearest cliff or capturing your latest spectacular stunt. Instead, it’s now all about reporting on life.
Companies such as Yi have opened the floodgates, and unlike other action camera manufacturers, they have made little attempt to chase the action dream, instead aiming their cameras at everyone else.
Now the Yi 4K+ has arrived, and although the price tag is almost half the price of the GoPro Hero6 Black the features and quality appear at least on paper to be very similar.
The Yi 4K+ is one of the only action cameras out there that doesn’t attempt to challenge the number 1 placing of the GoPro as the ultimate action camera, but rather like the Sony RX0 aims to offer something very different.
Like all the latest action cameras, when it comes to features there’s far more to look at than just the resolution and frame rate, but as ever it’s a good place to start.
The Yi 4K+ captures full 4K resolution footage at an outstanding 60fps.
Although 1080p might seem a little old school, it’s still by far the most popular format and the Yi packs in a maximum 120fps at this resolution.
As well as video, you can also shoot 12mp images. As with the GoPro, you have a choice of shooting JPEG, RAW or both – which is handy.
Powering this video capture is the Ambarella H2 SOC chipset, Cortex-A53 ARM Processor and Sony IMX377 1/2.3-inch 12mp CMOS image sensor.
On the back of the camera is the 2.2-inch, 330ppi, 640×360 resolution touch-sensitive screen.
Of course, 5GHz Wi-Fi is as standard so you can easily connect to the app.
Connectivity is the significant feature here on the Yi 4K+, and unlike the GoPro Hero6 Black, you can stream your footage directly using the app to either YouTube or Facebook.
On the front of the camera is the small f/2.8 lens that delivers a 155º field of view. This lens features seven layers of glass to maximise the image quality.
The Yi 4K+ features built-in lens distortion correction (LDC) which helps minimise fish-eye distortion of footage (something that is a typical action camera trait).
Ensuring you always have plenty of control over quality there are a series of manual exposure options including Shutter, Exposure Compensation, ISO, Metering mode and White Balance.
There’s also advanced image stabilisation and low auto light built-in.
Powering the new camera is a high-density lithium polymer battery rated at 3.8V 1400mAH. In real terms at 4k 30fps Yi state life expectancy at 88 minutes, and at 1080p 60fps 104mins.
Although not highlighted to any degree in the literature around the camera, the Yi 4K+ does have a built-in G-Sensor. This is a Bosch BMI160, 6-axis gyroscopic that provides acceleration and angular rate data that can be used when editing the footage.
Now onto the two prominent features: Voice Control and Live Streaming.
As with the GoPro Hero6 Black and Garmin Virb Ultra 30, the Yi 4K+ features voice control.
Voice control enables you to take photos, start and stop recording, and switch the camera off. All handy for when you want to operate the camera hands-free.
Each operation is fronted by “Yi Action” followed by the command.
Examples of the Yi 4K+ Voice Control
- Yi Action take photo
- Yi Action shoot burst
- Yi Action begin recording
- Yi Action stop recording
- Yi Action turn off
If you’re sceptical about this new voice control fad, just give it a go. After a while, there is no way that you’ll go back!
Live streaming is the other new (and frankly essential) feature for today’s socially connected world.
I’m still amazed that GoPro failed to add anything along these lines to the Hero6, but again it’s probably more than possible to combine with a slight firmware update at some point in the future.
Live streaming does require a mobile connected phone or tablet and once set up it works incredibly well. It also supports all the major social video platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.