The Xiaomi Mi A3 is the latest smartphone from Xiaomi running Android One – the version of Android that is supposed to be as close to “Stock” as possible. This phone is pretty flashy given its budget price, but a few issues keep it from being an easy recommend, most notably the low resolution screen and the exceptionally slow and inaccurate fingerprint scanner.
So overall would I recommend this drone? Heck yes. I’ve had a great experience flying with it and although it has some quirks, they’re all little trivial things that can easily be overlooked. I’m happy with the drone, and I think you will be too. Keep in mind brands like Mi do not have much in the way of overseas support so if something goes wrong you’ll be on your own: but the good news is that parts are readily available so if you do break it, fixing it can be fairly straightforward.
If you find yourself in a position like me where you want real 4K footage for your channel and don’t want to spend a ton of money this looks like a good choice.
This is a $200 smartphone so I don’t expect perfection; and in daylight the phone is a perfectly competent shooter with a wide dynamic range (detail in shadows and highlights), accurate color and straightforward user interface. But at night that story changes and if you, like many phone camera users, find yourself shooting the majority of your pictures indoors or in non-ideal lighting, you may want to consider something else. Many older flagship models, such as the LG V20, have far superior cameras to this phone and only cost a few dollars more.
There are a few places that Xiaomi can improve for its next iteration: for example, the camera is virtually unusable in low light due to its lack of optical stabilization. Also, the secondary zoom camera lens does not work in low light; the camera app defaults to the main camera with digital zoom (likely so that it is not as blurry from camera shake). The design could also be refined: thinner bezels, less regulatory text on the back of the phone and no backlight bleed from the hardware capacitive buttons would be welcome changes. Overall this is a decent phone from a company who has experience making solid budget devices.
All of these cameras are so close and the differences in how they process video are so minimal, that what you should look for while watching is which camera processes exposure more appealingly to you, which camera has the most appealing audio to you and which cameras user interface will work best for you. No matter which you buy you’ll end up with a camera that has decent video quality.
English menus are now available on the Xiaomi Mijia 4K action camera, but there are no clear instructions on how to update. Since I don’t speak Chinese it was difficult to navigate the menus and find the right options, so I have written it out in a (hopefully) concise list.
This is one of the first cameras that combine the Ambarella A12 with an 8MP Sony IMX317 Sensor, so it has the possibility of standing out among competing real 4K cams for video quality. It’s got solid 4K video so far. It just needs some refining here and there (and a waterproof case).