Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has today launched its first action camera. Aimed squarely at GoPro, it beats the Hero on specs and price — although it's not yet clear if you'll be able to buy one in the US or Australia.
The Yi, as it's called, features a 16-megapixel camera which can shoot 1080p video at 60 frames per second. That's better, at least in spec terms, than the $US130 GoPro Hero (which shoots 1080p footage at 30 fps, or 720p film at 60 fps). The image sensor is from Sony, it can be used 40 meters underwater, and it comes loaded with 64GB of storage — twice as much as the Hero. There's also a corresponding apps and a bunch of accessories — such as a pet mount — available.
Of course, it's not clear that all those stats necessarily roll together to produce a final product that will perform better than the GoPro Hero. But it's still an impressive offering considers that the device is set to retail for 399 CNY — which is just $82. While you stand no chance of using a Xiaomi phone in Australia, there is a glimmer of hope that you may, one day, be able to buy one of these. Xiaomi is due to open an online store in the US later this year; it won't sell phones, but it will sell other products. With any luck, this may be one of them.