“Not even five years old, China’s answer to Apple has become the cool tech brand for Chinese youth,” Fast Company wrote last month when we named Xiaomi one of the most innovative companies in China in 2015. By selling phones at razor-thin margins and then reaping rewards from app purchases, Xiaomi grabbed marketshare from Samsung, Apple, Lenovo, and LG and in October 2014 became the world’s third largest smartphone maker. The company is now hoping to carve out a share of the action camera market, currently dominated by GoPro, with a new feature-rich model that is half the price of GoPro’s cheapest camera.
Despite its $64 introductory price tag, the Xiaomi YiCamera’s specs are pretty impressive. According to TechInAsia, the YiCamera shoots in 1080p at 60 frames per second, takes 16-megapixel still photos, is waterproof down to 40 meters, and can support up to 64 GB of memory–all comparable or superior to the features on the base $130 GoPro Hero. Yet the YiCamera is currently on a flash sale for $64 (with an unspecified non-sale price).
What you won’t get with the YiCamera is GoPro’s existing suite of clamps and accessories, all battle-tested. Instead, the YiCamera’s current accessories are very domestic–a selfie stick and cat harness (seriously) with more handlebar and helmet clamps to come. While the GoPro has its own app, Xiaomi’s app expertise might give YiCamera an edge, along with whatever smartphone integration Xiaomi might include next.