Xiaomi makes good devices, including flying drones that have gained a good reputation for little money. In this review, I would like to talk about the new budget drone called Xiaomi FIMI A3.
This is another masterpiece that wants to tell everything at once. But it is difficult because there are many nice details that should not be missed.
Well, the first is the price of $278.99 and very good specifications, such as 1080p camera resolution, Remote Control with its own screen, a long flight time of about 20 minutes with a 2000mAh battery.
In our review, we have now recorded all the important facts about the Xiaomi FIMI A3 for you and tested it extensively!
Let’s proceed to a full review of Xiaomi FIMI A3 and, as usual, we will do this with a brief specification table.
Xiaomi FIMI A3: Specifications
|Xiaomi FIMI A3 Drone:||Specs|
|Built-in Gyro:||3 Axis Electronical Gimbal|
|Battery:||2000mAh and 2950mAh (Remote Control)|
|Charging Time:||About 120 mins|
|Video Resolution:||1920 x 1080 30/25fps|
|Size (L x W x H):||28.50 x 22.90 x 6.90 cm|
|Remote Control:||WiFi Remote Control|
Xiaomi FIMI A3: Design and Appearance
We really like the design of the Xiaomi FIMI A3 in our test. The white coating is reminiscent of a white car paint with pearlescent effect and leads in the sunlight to a shimmering drone.
The Xiaomi FIMI A3 Drone is of high quality and the accurately fitting parts allow easy assembly and disassembly.
With her just under 560g, it is anything but a lightweight companion. Although the gimbal can be unscrewed, the propellers removed.
The battery removed and the landing supports folded in – a flexible transport option such as that found on the DJI Mavic Pro, however, has not yet been achieved.
I will not draw much attention to design, let’s move on to the drone itself and its functions.
Xiaomi FIMI A3: Install and Connect
First of all, you have to create a Mi account. We recommend you to register this on the PC, as you must enter your password and e-mail address and then confirm the account via the activation link. This is theoretically synonymous in the app itself on the remote control with own screen.
This is now also available in English and simplifies the communication and setting options considerably.
Then you just have to follow the steps in the app. This means in detail:
- Turn on the controller
- Turn on the drone
After the controller has been connected, you have to go back to the FIMI A3 app and this usually restarts. This then checks the hardware and update options.
Also, the red right LED changes to a white light when the controller has connected to the drone and sufficient GPS signals are available for the drone to take off.
Xiaomi FIMI A3: Remote Control
The drone can only be flown via the remote control. A controller control as one is used to, for example, the DJI Spark, there is not.
If you press the on-button (bottom left) once and then hold it for 1.5 seconds, then you turn on the controller. The button to the right has the same mechanism and leads to an automatic takeoff or landing of the drone.
Above is an eyelet to safely hang the controller. A carrying strap or chain is not included in the delivery.
On the bottom, there is a USB and a micro-USB port, which are protected by a rubber closure.
The inclination of the gimbal can be adjusted via the left-hand wheel. The EV (Exposure Value) is changed by default on the right-hand wheel. However, it is also possible to change the brightness of the front LEDs of the drone via the right wheel.
Via the two buttons on the back, you can either directly record videos (left button) or photos (right button).
The joysticks are relatively long, allowing accurate control. Many pilots fly their quadcopter by holding the joystick between two fingers, which is difficult to achieve with the Mavic Pro, for example. In addition, the sticks provide accurate, tactile feedback, allowing precise acceleration and direction changes.
The processing, the good ergonomics, but also the relatively high weight of the controller show that this is anything but a toy. We are here in the semi-professional Quadcopter area!
Xiaomi FIMI A3: Menu
Let’s get to the heart of the Xiaomi FIMI A3 controller. In addition to the conventional information about the current airspeed, altitude, distance, signal strength, and battery status, the app has numerous settings options.
It is now possible to manually switch off Beginner mode. If you were still forced to fly 300 minutes in the absolute beginner mode (maximum height: 30 meters, maximum distance: 50 meters) in the 1080p version, this is now – thank goodness – can be switched off!
The left button (location icon) can be used to switch between live view and map view. In the map view, the map can be displayed in the conventional 2D street name view or as a satellite image.
Although the Xiaomi FIMI A3 in the analisis has no different speed modes, the maximum speed can be adjusted in the settings.
The choice of flight modes is a bit cumbersome because you first have to switch to map mode to select them and then switch back to live view mode to record a video. This is easier with the DJI Mavic Pro, for example.
Furthermore, the resolution of the rotated videos or the image format of the photos can be changed and these can also be accessed directly via the smartphone.
Xiaomi FIMI A3: Camera
The Xiaomi FIMI A3 has an 8.0-megapixel camera with f/2.. aperture, so the field of view is 80°. The sensor is a /3.2 inch CMOS.
The camera takes the videos in MP4 format and allows the following resolutions. The 1080p resolution at 30 fps and 25 fps.
For the photos, you have the option to choose between the 4: 3 and 16: 9 format.
The 3-axis gimbal is basically doing a good job, yet in some parts of the video (40%), micro-vibrations still occurred despite careful scrutiny.
Why is that, we can not say exactly at the moment. It seems to us that the Xiaomi FIMI A3 in the analisis has problems with medium winds and the gimbal cannot compensate for all movements.
Xiaomi FIMI A3: Flight modes
Although the flight modes of the Xiaomi FIMI A3 are not as numerous as in DJI, meaningful and well-functioning modes have been developed.
This is a review of the different flight modes of the Xiaomi FIMI A3:
In orbit mode, a point of interest (POI) must first be set. In most cases, this might be a specific object such as a person or a sight.
You can then adjust the altitude, speed, radius and gimbal incline. It does not matter where the drone is currently, as it automatically flies to the desired distance (radius) and only then begins to make its rounds.
There is no time limit for an orbit, or in other words: If you do not stop the Xiaomi FIMI A3 manually, it will fly around your POI until it runs out of battery power.
Unlike the DJI drones, the Xiaomi FIMI A3’s waypoints can be determined via GPS and automatically flown off. Simply type in the desired waypoints on the display without having to leave them first.
Pressing on Start, the Xiaomi FIMI A3 in our test will automatically fly away from these waypoints.
However, it always keeps the same direction and also the gimbal and the alignment cannot be changed. For example, if a waypoint is west of the previous waypoint, the drone will NOT make a turn and fly straight out, but simply maintain its frontal alignment and hover against the west.
The tap-fly or tap-to-fly mode basically works like the waypoint mode except that only one waypoint can be assigned at the same time. You can click on the desired direction in both map and live mode and the quadrocopter will then move there.
The following 4 modes are not really separate flight modes, but we would like to mention them for the sake of completeness.
In this mode, you only have the optical sensors but no GPS tracking available. This mode was designed for indoor flights and the optical sensors should stabilize. But this also means that the farther you move away from the ground, the tracking becomes less accurate and the drone starts to drift more.
So you have to be prepared to correct the drone’s course.
Anyone who says he does not need all the bells and whistles, that’s right in ATTI fashion. No optical sensors help you here and the GPS is off. Here you are completely on your own.
Due to the lack of GPS stabilization, you can expect the drone to drift and you have to counter it several times to stay on course. No risk no fun!
Xiaomi FIMI A3: Battery
The 2000mAh LiPo battery is charged using the included cables. The design of the charging cable and the connections may initially seem suspicious, but the battery is fully charged after 1.5-2 hours.
The momentary status can be estimated via the LED display on the front of the battery (1 illuminated LED corresponding to approx. 25%). A precise determination of the battery status is only possible via the FIMI A3 app.
The manufacturer indicates a flight duration of 25 minutes, which we could not achieve in reality. After 7 test flights, we were able to determine an average duration of flight between 18 – 20 minutes, which roughly corresponds to the flight time of a DJI Phantom 4 or DJI Mavic Pro.
The low battery indicator is triggered at a 30% battery level and prompted to land the drone immediately. However, the quadrocopter can still fly normally.
Only starting from a critical value of 16% the automatic landing is initiated. Here the drone loses altitude and wants to land. You can still counter-steer and gain height again, but you really can not fly it anymore because the speed is throttled as well. At least now you should look for a good landing site!
Xiaomi FIMI A3: Conclusions and Reviews
Who would have thought a few years ago, that you currently get $270 a drone with a 1080p camera? Finally, DJI has gotten tough competition from Xiaomi. The Xiaomi FIMI A3 Drone convinced in the test by a good flight duration and good stabilization.
The installation is relatively straightforward, but not as easy as with DJI due to the account compulsion and the connection.
The numerous flight modes and the precise and simple controls increase the flying experience enormously.
The recorded 1080p videos at 30fps, thanks to the 3-axis gimbal, usually work well, although small micro-vibrations can be seen.
What really appealed to us is the good speed and cornering of the drone. It’s just fun and looks awesome as the Xiaomi FIMI A3 flies and masters the turns!
Xiaomi FIMI A3: Price and Where to buy cheaper?
As I mentioned above, the price is budget, that is, you can already buy Xiaomi FIMI A3 drone at a good and low price for only $278.99 at a 25% OFF discount.
Therefore, if you do not want a big drone for yourself or your family videos, or even just take up a new hobby, it will be an interesting and cool device that will please you for a little money.