YI 4K Review

The YI 4K + is currently available at Geekbuying for 313€ from Germany. This will not cost you any more!
At the CES 2017 YI Technology presented  the world’s first 4K Action Cam with 60 images per second with the  YI 4K + ! Other features include the  voice control and the connection option for external microphones . As with the previous model, the YI 4K , the competitor GoPro was put under enormous pressure.
  • YI 4K + Action Cam
    • At GeekBuying for € 313  (from DE) | GeekBuying for 295,11 € (5 in 1 kit, voucher:  NGKDKTZUAmazon for 389 € (with promotion for free accessories, Prime)  

Specifications: YI 4K +

Video resolution (NTSC) 4000 x 3008 @ 30 fps;  3840 x 2160 (4K) @ 60, 48, 30, 24 fps (4K Ultra @ 30 fps); 2720 ​​x 1520 (2.7K) @ 60, 48, 30, 24 fps (2.7K Ultra @ 30 fps); 2720 ​​x 2032 @ 30 fps; 1920 x 1440 @ 60, 48, 30, 24 fps; 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) @ 120, 60, 48, 30, 24 fps (Full HD Ultra @ 90, 60, 30 fps); 1280 x 960 @ 120, 60 fps; 1280 x 720 (HD) @ 240 fps (HD Ultra @ 120, 60 fps); 864 x 480 @ 240 fps 
Photo resolution RAW , 4000 x 3000 (12 MP) ; 3840 x 2160 (8.29 MP); 3008 x 2256 (6.79 MP); 2560 x 1920 (4.92 MP)
chipset Ambarella H2 SoC (64-bit quad-core processor ARM Cortex-A53)
Image sensor / type / format Sony IMX377 (12 MP); CMOS (Exmor R); 1 / 2.3 & quot;
Acceptance angle 155 °
Focal length 2.66 mm
aperture F / 2.8
ISO Car, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400
Image stabilization Digital (via 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis acceleration sensor)
Video codec H.264 / MPEG-4
display 2.2 “LCD touch screen (16: 9), 640 x 360 pixels (330 ppi), 250 nit, 160 ° FoV
Microphone / Speaker stereo; mono
Connectivity 2.4 / 5 GHz WLAN; Bluetooth 4.0; USB 3.0 (Type C); 1/4 “tripod thread
App available for Android 4.1 / iOS 8.0 or later
Storage MicroSD / microSDHC / mircoSDXC (max 128GB)
Recommended speed class U3 or higher
Battery / Run Time 1400 mAh; 71 min at 4K @ 60 fps, 109 min at 4K @ 30 fps
IP certification No (with case IP68 up to 40 m depth)
Casing plastic
Dimensions 65 x 42 x 21 mm (including lens 65 x 42 x 30 mm)
measure 93.9 g (including battery)
delivery YI 4K +, waterproof case, 1/4 “tripod mount, clamp screw, 1400 mAh battery, USB cable, operating instructions, warranty cards
features Voice control, live streaming, external microphone can be connected

Packaging & Delivery

The YI 4K is supplied in one of the typical white cartons, which is lined with foam from the inside. Unlike the YI 4K, the 1400 mAh battery , the charging cable (USB 3.0, Type C) , the operating instructions and warranty cards are now available for immediate delivery . A sumptuous accessory,: such as the SJCAM SJ5000X (Elite), unfortunately, is out still. If you are not yet equipped, you can buy on accessory bundle.

YI 4K plus packing
As is also known from the YI 4K: A white cardboard with YI logo and image of the camera.
YI 4K plus accessories
Excessive accessories look different, but for the beginning it is enough.

Design & processing

The YI 4K + is almost one to one, and the processing is, as usual, very good. With dimensions of 65 x 42 x 21 mm the dimensions correspond to those of the YI 4K. But here and there are a few small differences. First, the weight of 93.9 g, the checkered surface of the front, and the inscription on the front. Apart from that, however, nothing has changed here: the multicolor LED is in the same place and the lens is also identical with a  155 ° angle of incidence.

YI 4K plus frontal
Externally, the YI 4K + almost resembles its predecessor.

The 2.2 “LCD touch screen (16: 9) has a resolution of  640 x 360 pixels (330 ppi) and is up to  250 nit  bright. In my estimation, but still the same display is used.

YI 4K plus display
Personally, I’d rather not miss a touch screen.

The concrete design innovations

Let us turn to the two most obvious changes. On the YI 4K were the microphones next to the power button, which was in the hands of the right hand with the fingers covered. YI recognized this flaw and moved to the side of the camera. The second change is also a great feature. Instead of a Micro USB port, a USB 3.0 port (Type C) is now used. This allows a faster transfer rate . According to YI it should be nearly 40 MB / s, in my test it was about 27 MB / s . Apart from the transmission rate, the USB C connection also makes it possible to use external microphones . For this, just a type C is needed on a 3. 5 mm jack cable, Amazon lists here different versions, it does not have any cables to be compatible. YI has already announced a RCA cable for the picture output, so far, however, it is only available in the US. The problem of the YI 4K, that the cover of the USB port often hinder the connection of the charging cable what fixed.

YI 4K plus microphones
On the YI 4K +, on the right.
YI 4K plus USB C port and charging cable
The USB 3.0 (Type C)

The waterproof case

The camera itself is not IP-certified, but can certainly cope with a few splashes of water or sweat. However, the IP 68 certification,  so it is dust and waterproof (up to 40 m depth). It is also secured with a button, which must be pushed to the side for opening. SJCAM or GoPro, can do that without problems.

YI 4K plus case closure
The case: Double secured and with IP68 certification.

Since the touch screen is not available, the camera has the “In Housing Mode”, where the control of basic commands via the Power Button runs. Personally, I do not know how to do this. Alternatively, the speech control can also be used, for this purpose.

Are over 150 €?


In the plastic housing of the YI 4K +, the 12 MP Sony IMX377 image sensor is still available, while the  Ambarella H2 chipset with the 64-bit quad-core processor ARM Cortex-A53 , which makes Ultra HD recordings possible at 60 fps. For comparison, GoPros Hero5 Black only 30 frames per second at 4K!

The app: YI Action

YI Action is available for Android 4.1 and iOS 8.0 or higher – who already owns a YI 4K, The connection is established via the 2.4GHz or 5GHz WLAN network by the camera . Functions are, among other things, the image of the camera  and (almost) all settings . There is also a gallery where photos and videos can be viewed, edited and shared on mobile phones.

YI 4K plus App
Only the bad / non-existent translation of the app interferes a bit.

The operation works flawlessly and fast, only the live image is subject to a slight delay. Firmware updates can be downloaded and downloaded directly from the app.

Photos, videos & features

As mentioned above, recordings with up to 4K resolution are available at 60 fps , photos can be shot with up to 12 MP and RAW . The new hardware also allows videos with a data rate of up to 140 MB / s , while YI gives “only” 135 MB / s. This means that we can look forward to particularly sharp pictures!

YI 4K plus RAW photo in Photoshop
Editing RAW photos works smoothly.

Electronic image stabilization Gimbal

Unlike the YI 4K, electronic image stabilization (EIS) and distortion  correction at 4K can now be used – but only at up to 30 fps, but still. Here a comparison (with activated distortion correction) between the EIS and a gimbal:

Dynamic capture: YI 4K vs. YI 4K +

Today was quite good weather to test the dynamic capture of the cameras. If you are wondering what this is all about, here is a brief explanation: The dynamics capture describes how well a camera can simultaneously display bright and dark objects. This can be tested particularly well in the cloudy sky: If the dynamics capture is small, the sky is represented as completely white, but if it is high, the individual outlines of the clouds are recognizable. So here is a short test video, I find the YI 4K + cuts a little better than their predecessor:

Other extras: Voice control & Live streaming

With the firmware version 1.1.7 the language control of  the camera was finally implemented. Here are five commands to choose from, each started with “YI Action”:

  • Take photo (take picture)
  • Shoot burst (take several photos in a row)
  • Begin recording (start video recording)
  • Stop recording (stop video recording)
  • Turn off (turn off camera)

The commands must be entered once. Theoretically, however, it is also possible to create your own formulations, eg in German, but the camera is quickly overwhelmed. Apart from that, the feature (also in the case) usually works reliably. Also a not quite correct pronunciation or other voices are recognized reliably. Really useful is the language control in my opinion however only with Selfies or instead of the “In Housing Mode”.

As a new innovation, live streaming was also  praised, but the YI 4K also has this option.

Battery & Runtime

The battery has a capacity of 1400 mAh identical to that of the YI 4K. In other words, if you already have a spare battery of the YI 4K, you can use it for the YI 4K +. With regard to the accumulator time, with 4K with 60 fps are about 70 min and with 4K with 30 fps about 110 min in it. A complete battery charging takes about 1 1/2 hours.

YI 4K plus battery


That YI is on the rise, they prove by working with Google at the YI Halo, but also here with strong 4K at 60 frames per second. The first impression is, as with the YI 4K, strong! Okay, YI has failed a bit by adding all sorts of features that are only recently available but apart from that I really like the camera. The picture is great, the handling is very pleasant thanks to touch screen and voice control and with the other features, such as the RAW photos or the USB C port, makes the camera just fun. The only real wormwood drop is in my opinion the price. If you consider that too much too high, the 4K capable ThiEYE T5e can be seen.

  • 4K at 60 fps
  • RAW Photos
  • High data & transmission rate
  • Touch display
  • Voice control
  • settings
  • Versatile USB C connector
  • Compatible with YI 4K Case & Battery
  • Little accessories
  • YI USB C adapter not yet available
  • Speech control with its own commands
  • Display brightness when exposed to sunlight
  • price

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