Fimi X8 Mini Drone Short Review
The Fimi X8 Mini is a small and lightweight drone that weighs less than 250g and comes with some fantastic features. The drone comes with an excellent camera that can capture images in 12MP in both JPEG & RAW format and records video footage in 4k at 30fps. The camera is stabilised by a 3-axis gimbal for smooth and stable videos and transmits live video feed in 720p. Its GNSS module can connect with 3 satellite systems for better coverage, and it comes with 3 GPS-enabled intelligent flight modes. It also has a very good flight time and has a control range of 8km.
- 1/2.6 -inch CMOS sensor
- 12MP still images (RAW+JPEG)
- 4K@30fps video footage
- HDR support
- 720p live video feed
- 3-axis mechanical gimbal
- Hisilicon SoC
- Autonomous flight modes
- Automatic return to home
- 30 minutes of flight time
- 8km transmission range
Welcome to this review of the Fimi X8 Mini drone, one of the most advanced mini drones on the market right now and a legitimate alternative to the DJI Mini 2.
Fimi have released several advanced drones and the most popular is their Fimi X8 SE, which comes with some amazing features and is a direct competitor to the DJI Mavic Pro.
The Fimi X8 Mini drone comes with many similar features but comes in a more compact and travel-friendly design and weighs less than 250g. Drones that weigh less than 250g are becoming very popular because they do not need to be registered with the FAA. Click here to see what the requirements are to register a drone in the USA.
It’s a fantastic little drone that is fun to fly and suitable for drone photography and comes with intelligent flight modes, a feature that is not available with the DJ Mini 2.
Fimi X8 Mini Drone Review
The first thing you will notice is that the drone is very similar in design to the Mini 2, which is a good thing as it is very aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. Its small compact and foldable design allows you to easily carry it around with you and makes an excellent choice for a travel-friendly photography drone.
One thing I have to note is that there two types of batteries that are compatible with this drone. The standard battery which you get the drone package is a lithium-ion battery that provides a flight time of around 30 minutes, which is pretty good. However, the standard battery puts the overall weight of the drone at 258g, which will require you to register the drone with the FAA.
The Pro battery is a lithium polymer battery which more energy efficient, provides a minute longer flight time, and puts the overall drone weight at 242g, which will not require any registration.
A couple of other points to note here is that the no-registration rule only applies if you plan on flying this drone for just recreational purposes. If you want to use it for commercial reasons, you will need to register and get a drone license. This is for residents of the USA, if you live in any other country, please check what the rules are and make sure you comply with them.
The drone has a triple GNSS module that connects with GPS, GLONASS & BeiDou satellites system for far greater coverage and the ability to track the drone on your smartphone with better accuracy. It also allows for the drone’s flight to be more stable and allows the drone to fly autonomously via its intelligent flight modes.
As the drone can connect with so many satellite systems, it will be rare that you will find an area that has a weak signal, however, the drone also comes with an optical flow sensor that will allow you to fly the drone if there is no GPS signal. As it is a very small drone, you can fly it indoors, however, make sure the area is large and spacious with little to no obstructions.
There is a memory card slot on the back of the drone, it advised that you purchase a fast memory card, preferably U3 or above. This is so that you can record 4k video footage, which you will not be able to do if you were to record videos over WiFi on your smartphone. Also, something else worth noting is that the card will have to be formatted to the FAT32 file system so that it records properly.
There is a small LED light on the back of the drone that will flash in certain ways to indicate things like compass calibration, low battery, internal error, ready to fly, and if its firmware is being updated.
Despite being a small and lightweight drone, the Fimi X8 Mini actually holds up well in windy conditions. One of the reasons for this is because it comes equipped with powerful brushless motors that have a high KV rating and allows for the drone to hover relatively well, fly smoothly, and fly at a top speed of 35 mph.
As for the drone’s remote controller, it follows a similar design pattern to the original Fimi X8 controller but this one is a lot smaller. To attach a smartphone, the left-hand side of the controller is extended which allows you to slot a large smartphone in the middle. You can fly the drone without a smartphone but then you wouldn’t get access to the drone’s FPV feature or its intelligent flight modes.
To access these features, there is a new app that has been developed specifically for the Fimi X8 Mini drone. It’s called the Fimi Navi Mini and is available for both Android (5.0 or higher) and iOS (9.0 or higher) devices. Its interface is very clean and easy to navigate and allows you to control many aspects of drone flight as well as give you more control over the camera settings.
Fimi X8 Mini Drone Review – Camera
There is no doubt that one of the main driving factors of the popularity of drones is because many of them come with very good cameras. The Fimi X8 Mini drone is no different, its camera is one of the best in its price range and is comparable to the DJI Mini 2.
The Fimi X8 Mini has a Sony 1/2.6-inch sensor that can capture 12MP still images in both RAW and JPEG. It has an f2.0 fixed aperture lens with an 80° FOV, ISO range of 100-3200, and is stabilised by a 3-axis mechanical gimbal, which is impressive for such a miniature drone. The camera also incorporates a Hisilicon SoC for higher-quality images and also helps with noise reduction for night-time photography.
Videos are recorded in 4k at 30fps or 2.7k at 60fps and the live video feed is transmitted 720p at 30fps. The video quality, when recorded on a fast memory card is very smooth and of exceptional quality. The camera also supports HDR for videos and comes with a decent digital zoom function.
Overall, a very impressive drone camera and definitely one of the best in its price range. Something you have to remember is that you will need a fast memory card to record videos and photos in their highest resolution.
Fimi X8 Mini Drone Review – Intelligent Flight Modes
One of the complaints (if you can call it that) against the original Mavic Mini and especially the Mini is that they do not come with autonomous flight modes like most of the other DJI drones.
This is where the Fimi X8 Mini has an advantage over the DJI Mini 2 and may be the reason why many people will opt to get it instead of the Mini 2. Autonomous flight modes are fun to fly and allows you to concentrate on capturing better quality videos and photos.
The Fimi X8 Mini comes with the same intelligent flight modes as the original Fimi X8 drone. It has Active Track, which will allow you to lock on to a moving target and follow it from behind, parallel or from a stationary position.
There is also an orbit mode that will allow you to circle a point of interest and Tap Fly mode in which you just tap anywhere on the map (within the app) and the drone will automatically go to that position.
It also comes with an automatic return to home feature (which most drones over $200 seem to come with now). This is automatically activated if the drone battery gets low on charge or it loses connection with the controller.
So, what’s it like to fly this mini drone? Well, it has shown to be a very good drone with excellent flight performance and even does well in windy conditions despite its small size and weight. It’s a fast drone, especially in its sports mode and the brushless motors provide it with more stability and better hovering capability. Its easy to control (as most advanced drones are) and the intelligent flight modes are fun to play around with. Its official transmission range is 8km, although I don’t think anyone will need to fly it that far out, and also most laws will require you to keep the drone well within your line of sight. Flight time is around 30 minutes with the standard lithium-ion battery, although, if you don’t want to register the drone and plan on just flying it for fun, you should consider purchasing the pro lithium polymer battery.
There are not too many drone brands that can compete with DJI’s range of drones, however, I think the Fimi X8 Mini drone is a fantastic alternative to the DJI Mini 2 and it does come with intelligent flight modes such as active track and tap fly, something the Mini 2 is missing. The Fimi X8 Mini is an excellent drone, one of the best for under $500, and is definitely worth considering as an alternative to the DJI Mini 2.