The Essential Review
TechRadar’s summary review gives you the essential information you need to make a quick purchase decision. Our usual in-depth review is next.
Although the Yi 4K+ Action camera is comparable to the GoPro Hero6Black, it is not identical. The Yi 4K+ action camera is as portable as its rival and has a shorter battery life (less than two hours). However, the Yi 4K+ action camera can record at 4K at 60fps just like the GoPro Hero6 Black. This camera can capture more detail and smoothness than most people need in order to capture their adventures. If you want to take stills, the 12MP photos are excellent. They are sharp, colorful, and can also be shot in raw (though it is not natively in HDR).
The Yi 4K+ Action camera has a physical advantage over the GoPro Hero6 Black. It is lighter (93g vs. the GoPro Hero6 Black’s 117g), despite having a larger touchscreen. The super-fast processor makes it easy to use and the user interface is so simple that even a granny could understand.
The Yi 4K+ Action Camera, however, is less expensive than its competitor, but it does have some compromises. The Yi 4K+ Action Camera, unlike the GoPro Hero6 Black is waterproof, splash-proof, and not waterproof (not without a separate housing though these are quite affordable), and it lacks GPS, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and GPS. Do these omissions make the camera a dealbreaker? Most likely not.
GoPro Hero6 Black is the best choice if you are aquatic-minded or need to know where you were and what speed you were moving when you took a photo. The Yi 4K+ Action Camera, however, is a great choice if you don’t want to spend a lot on features that you don’t need. The Yi 4K+ Action Camera is a great option for anyone looking to buy an action camera. It’s nearly identical and in some ways even better than the GoPro.
Who is it for?
This is a great way to save some money if you’ve been eyeing a GoPro for a while but have not yet invested in one. The Yi 4K+ Action Camera is almost as good as its bigger rival, but it’s not waterproof. Are you concerned? These action cameras are rarely used and it’s not clear how many of them get underwater. The Yi 4K+ Action Camera’s greatest attribute is its simplicity. If you don’t need the GPS, accelerometer, or gyroscope on the GoPro Hero6 Black then why spend the money?
The Yi 4K+ Action Camera is lightweight, portable, and produces great 4K video and stills. It’s also easy to share on your phone. This is a follow-up to Yi 4K action camera. The main difference is that the Yi Technology 4K+ Camera can film 4K at 60fps. If you already own Yi’s first action camera, skip this version and wait until the third.
Yi 4K+ Action Camera price
- Current Price: PS299/ 339.98 (both include waterproof cases).
A GoPro-quality action cam with a better value than the GoPro
4K video up to 60fps
1080p video up to 120fps
Still images 12MP (JPEG or raw)
Rear Screen: 2.2-inch touchscreen
Image stabilization: 3-axis up to 4K/30fps
- Built-in image stabilization
- Not natively waterproof
- Recharges via USB-C port
The Yi 4K+ doesn’t look very different from the original Yi 4K. However, it has the added ability to shoot 4K video at 60fps just like the GoPro Hero6 Black. The Yi 4K+ requires a U3 microSD card. This allows for 4K/60fps shooting at 120Mbps. This is twice the Yi 4K’s maximum bitrate. Be aware that the Yi 4K+ has electronic image stabilization, but it can only work up to 4K/30fps.
The inside contains the same Sony IMX377 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor with Exmor R as the Yi 4K. However, this version features a new Ambarella HM2 + Quad-core ARM Cortex A53 CPU. Both work well together and allow the Yi 4K+ to run smoothly and without any problems despite its higher bitrate.
Although you won’t use the Yi 4K+ for photography, it is possible. The Yi 4K+ can shoot 12MP images and you have the option to save as JPEG or keep raw files. This is universal.DNG file. Although it doesn’t support HDR like the GoPro Hero6 Black, it can shoot in raw, so that’s not a big deal.
This new Yi 4K recharges via a USB C port, unlike the original Yi 4K. Also included in the box is an adaptor to hook up an external mic. MicroSD cards up to 64 GB are supported.
GoPro is a great camera. The Yi 4K+ has a few small corners. The Yi 4K+, unlike the GoPro Hero5 Black and the new GoPro Hero6 Black, are not natively waterproof. However, a separate Waterproof Case Kit, which is also apparently dustproof, is available. The Yi 4K+ is not as waterproof as GoPros. It lacks GPS, gyroscope, and accelerometer sensors. Your videos won’t contain tags for speed, geographical position, and direction. Either you care or not. It’s unlikely that you care unless you are a performance athlete obsessed with data.
The only thing that is frustrating – as it is with all GoPro products is the short battery life. The Yi 4K+’s 1400mAh battery lasts just over an hour when in 4K mode. Should you need more time, it will take longer.
Small, lightweight, and cost-effective design
- Weighs just 93g
- Not waterproof
- Corning Gorilla glass
Apart from the subtle checkerboard pattern that it uses on its font, this Yi 4K+ is physically identical to its forebear, the Yi 4K.
It is lightweight at 93g and has a rectangular 65x42x30mm body that houses a 2.19-inch color touchscreen covered in Corning Gorilla Glass. Even better, the touchscreen is large and of high quality. It’s bright and contrasty with great viewing angles and extremely sensitive to touch. This makes it easy to use the simple, clear operating system. I’d even go so far as to say the Yi 4K+ has one of the easiest and fastest user interfaces I’ve seen in the past 15 years.
The new voice control software is a great addition to the system, but results can be mixed even though the Yi 4K+ had to record a voice sample first. The Yi 4K+ can be heard shouting “Yi Action take photos”, “Yi Action record video” and “Yi Action turnoff” (among other voice commands), but this doesn’t work well outdoors, which is where the camera is designed to be used.
The Yi 4K+ comes with a standard tripod thread at the bottom. This is great for connecting it to any of the many mounts and standard camera tripods. The Yi 4K+ is extremely easy to use and does not require any special apps.
The app connects reliably to your smartphone using Wi-Fi at 2.4GHz and 5GHz. It can access all settings on your camera and host a live feed almost instantly. With the app, you can transfer images and videos to your smartphone, use HDR filters to enhance the images (from a 360-degree camera-style “Tiny Planet” and “Special Galaxy” to more familiar “vintage” and “nostalgia”), and share to Facebook, Instagram, and – showing off its Asian heritage – Line.
Battery life was measured on the Yi4K+ at approximately an hour on 4K/60fps and nearly two hours on Full HD1080p. This is a good result compared to GoPro Hero6 Black. But that doesn’t make the Yi 4K+ too small.
- Clean and jumpy 4K/60fps
- Full HD Smooth, but Noisy Full HD
- Excellent wide-angle JPEGs and raw photos
Yi 4K+ can do 4K at 60fps. This headline-grabbing feature is great, but there are some caveats. It’s 4K Ultra 4K mode, which is it’s most detailed, tops out at 30fps. The 4K HD mode, which has 4000×3008 pixels rather than the 3840×2160 pixels standard, also features the 4K HD mode. The Yi 4K+ can record at 60fps (or 48fps) or 30fps if you stick it in 4K mode.
The results at 60fps are sharp, contrasty, and rich in color. The video can sometimes be choppy when you hand-hold it. This is due to the low frame rate (especially noticeable on camera pans) as well as the fact that Yi 4K+ only offers electronic image stabilization for 4K/30fps or below. However, Yi will continue to monitor the situation and, besides, image stabilization is not always necessary (see SonyFDR-X3000R review).
If you want a smooth video from the Yi 4K+, then Full HD 1080p is the best option. This can be shot at any frame rate, including the cinematic 24fps through to the slow-motion 120fps. If you shoot at 720p, this jumps to 240fps. You should also know that you can use an ultra-wide field of view mode if your camera is capable of shooting in 4K/24fps. This will stretch the sensor.
Although the Yi 4K+ can take still images, it does so in wide angles. This means that you need to be very close to your subject to capture sharp images. It was not noticeable and can easily be removed later. The final JPEGs can look distorted, compressed, and overexposed.
Yi 4K+ can also produce JPEGs. It can also record raw images at DNG file. Shooting raw requires patience. It takes approximately 10 seconds to wait between each shot. Although it doesn’t produce the best raw photos, they are good enough to be used in Photoshop to create better-looking images.
Are you still not convinced? These are some other ideas
The Yi 4K+ action cam is not for you? Here are three great alternatives…
GoPro Hero6 Black
This action camera is the only one that can achieve 4K/60fps and is natively waterproof, so no casing is required. The Yi 4K+ has slightly better voice recognition than the Yi 4K+, which adds GPS, gyroscope, accelerometer, and accelerometer sensors.