In this article, we will compare GoPro Hero vs Xiaomi Yi 4K, two action cameras that are standing in the same price range. Everybody is familiar with the GoPro name, and the unnumbered GoPro Hero has been introduced as an entry-level model. However, Xiaomi Yi 4K has attracted quite a lot of attention, and is available for a similar budget.
Continue reading below if you want to find out further about:
- The features and capabilities of GoPro Hero and Xiaomi Yi 4K
- The comparison of their design and build quality
- What accessories that are included with each model
- The performance of GoPro Hero vs Xiaomi Yi 4K
- Which model that has a longer battery life
- Which action camera that is generally more recommended for you
GoPro Hero: Features
GoPro Hero is an affordable model that is targeted at budget-conscious users. It does not have 4K video recording, but it can shoot in 1080p. It can also shoot in 1440p, although this will turn the aspect ratio to 4:3. Unlike its pricier siblings (see also: GoPro Hero vs Hero 7), GoPro Hero keeps everything simple by only offering 30fps and 60fps frame rate options.
Despite being the least expensive model in the line-up, GoPro Hero already has image stabilization to keep your footage stable and steady. It can also capture 10MP JPEG still images and shoot in a 10-fps burst. A timelapse mode is also available, though locked at the 0.5-second interval. Unlike the pricier models, GoPro Hero doesn’t have RAW support or ProTune controls.
Almost like GoPro Hero 5, this unnumbered GoPro Hero is equipped with a 2.0-inch touchscreen on the rear panel. You can also use voice commands to control the camera remotely. One notable difference between GoPro Hero vs Xiaomi Yi 4K is that GoPro Hero has a small vice screen on the front, which can be very useful for people who often put themselves in their videos. Finally, GoPro Hero uses a 1220mAh battery and a USB-C charging port.
GoPro Hero: Design and Accessories
In terms of design, GoPro Hero is really similar to GoPro Hero 5 Black and GoPro Hero 6 Black. Which is a good thing, as those models are among the best designed action cameras in the market.
The casing has a nice, smooth dark gray finish. It feels really solid and robust. In addition, it is already waterproof to 10 meters (33 feet) without requiring an additional housing, which is aweseome. There won’t be a thing to stand in-between the mic and the environment, so the audio quality will be much better. However, the optional Super Suit housing is available as a separate purchase, and will increase the waterproof limit to 60 meters (196 feet).
The box already includes a nice plastic frame for mounting. It fits the camera snugly, and it feels a lot more durable than the ones manufactured by Chinese companies. Anyhow, this plastic frame is compatible with most GoPro-compatible mounts, including the third-party ones.
The 2.0-inch touchscreen is surprisingly easy to use. It is responsive and very intuitive. You only need gentle swipes and taps to navigate through the screens. The menu system is quite straightforward; you’ll be able to reach the settings or features that you want to access in no time. Unfortunately, being an entry-level model, some options or locked to specific values.
You will be able to transfer files from the MicroSD card to your computer. Or, better yet, you can use the GoPro Quik app to upload images while you are on the go. This app will also allow you to control the camera’s settings remotely and run live feeds. The QuikStories can automatically collage your clips into a video, apply transitions, and add soundtracks. Everything is fully editable should you want to make changes.
GoPro Hero: Performance
When choosing between GoPro Hero vs Xiaomi Yi 4K, the lack of 4K video recording on GoPro Hero may seem like a major weakness. It perhaps is, if you really want to make 4K content. However, if you are fine with the 1080p resolution, the overall performance is really good.
The quality of the 1080p footage is very impressive. When viewed on a smartphone or tablet, you will be hard-pressed to find a notable difference between it and the 4K one. The images are detailed with perfect sharpness. With the 60fps frame rate, all motions will appear smooth and blur-free.
The colors are good. They are solid and accurate. Dynamic range is also good, with plenty of details in shadows. The exposure is spot-on and reliable most of the time. Unfortunately, without ProTune controls, you won’t be able to fine-tune advanced parameters like exposure, sharpness, and white balance.
The resolution of the still images is 10MP. Since it shoots in JPEG, there will be some processing for compression and noise reduction. If you want the absolute best image quality, getting a higher GoPro model with RAW support is more recommended.
When shooting continuously in 1080p at 60fps, GoPro Hero can last for about two hours. This is a decent battery life. You can extend it a little bit further to two and a half hours if you lower the frame rate.
Xiaomi Yi 4K: Features
Xiaomi Yi 4K almost looks and feels like a GoPro camera. Almost. To begin with, it comes with dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone. You can use the Yi Action mobile app to control the camera remotely and transfer images and videos. Pairing the camera with a smartphone is a swift and flawless process.
The mobile app does have basic editing functions. Unfortunately, using the editing functions will add watermarks. As the effect, people will prefer to use other editing apps to take care of their photos and videos. Interestingly, the mobile app also has a social media side where you can share your photos and videos, though most people will probably stick with the common social media like Facebook and Instagram.
Additionally, you can see a live preview from the camera through the mobile app. However, there tends to be a slight delay between the sensor on the camera and the display on the mobile app.
On the Xiaomi Yi 4K camera, there is a MicroSD slot for storage and a Micro USB port for charging. Unfortunately, there is no display output port. You also can’t connect an external microphone. As a result, you will need to rely on the built-in microphone, or use a separate audio recorder altogether.
Xiaomi Yi 4K: Design and Accessories
While the rectangular shape of Xiaomi Yi 4K may remind you of a GoPro action camera, it is actually a little bit wider. As the effect, the touchscreen is also slightly bigger. The diameter is about 2.19 inches. The cool thing is that the touchscreen is protected by Gorilla Glass, so you won’t need to worry about minor impacts or scratches.
The display is pretty sharp. There is enough brightness to allow you to see it under direct sunlight. You can adjust the brightness in the menu. One notable difference between GoPro Hero vs Xiaomi Yi 4K in regards of control is, with Xiaomi Yi 4K, there is only one physical button for power, shutter, and start/stop recording.
So, you will use the touchscreen a lot in order to change modes and make adjustments. The camera does support some voice commands, but it is limited to the basic functions.
This becomes a problem when you need to put the camera inside a waterproof housing. Besides the fact that the camera doesn’t come with any accessory (most things need to be purchased separately, including the waterproof housing and the adhesive mounts), the waterproof housing will block your access to the touchscreen.
There is an Underwater mode, which will allow you to swap between still image mode and video mode by holding the button down for a few seconds. Normally, this action would turn the camera on or off. But, in the Underwater mode, you can only turn off the camera by opening the waterproof housing to access the touchscreen.
Xiaomi Yi 4K: Performance
Xiaomi Yi 4K can record 4K videos at 30fps, and this is a notable advantage over GoPro Hero. It can also record in 1080p at up to 120fps, or in 720p at up to 240fps. So, you can create slick slow-mo videos with this camera. The still image resolution is 12MP.
Unfortunately, the image quality doesn’t really match GoPro Hero in terms of detail and color depth. Most images still appear crisp, but colors aren’t as vibrant and accurate. The low-light performance, however, is quite remarkable. It has minimal noise.
Image stabilization is available, but not really powerful. At best, it can minimize the shakiness a little bit when you are shooting while walking. It won’t be able to handle serious vibrations that may come from running or bike-riding.
The biggest problem with Xiaomi Yi 4K is the audio quality. Even without the additional housing, the mic already struggles with sounds that are coming from some distances. Wind noise is also a major problem. With the additional housing, it is almost impossible to get decent audio.
Finally, the battery life is quite comparable to GoPro Hero. When recording in 1080p/30fps, it can last for about 2 hours 35 minutes. When recording in 4K/30fps, it can run continuously for 1 hour 30 minutes.
GoPro Hero vs Xiaomi Yi 4K
In general, GoPro Hero is more recommended because it has better features and audio quality. It is waterproof without requiring an additional housing, hence allowing you to get decent audio. Although the maximum video resolution is 1080p, the overall image quality is excellent.