If you’ve been caught up in the realm of drones, then you’ve probably heard about the Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE. Many experts hail it as the cheaper alternative to the Phantom and Mavic ranges from DJI. It is a relatively new entry into the world of drones as it was introduced in 2019 but has been kicking up a lot of storm among drone enthusiasts.
There is no doubt that DJI rules supreme in the world of drones. But they are also very expensive, which has been a hurdle for many. For some years, investing in a $1,000 drone was only an option that was available for professional photographers.
But it looks like Xiaomi has fulfilled the dreams for many drone pilots with this particular drone. At a glance, it is set with impressive features that can rival a lot of high-end drones. But does the FIMI X8 SE from Xiaomi really measure up to all the fuss it has created?
We find out everything about this drone in this comprehensive review.
Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE Review
The FIMI X8 SE from Xiaomi has a compact foldable design. Its dimensions are 73x106x204mm when it is folded. This makes it very transport friendly. Weighing in less than 800g, this drone is also one of the most lightweight ones in its category.
The drone is also very well built, which adds to its sleek and slender design. This drone, in particular, has undergone a lot of design improvements from the other drones from the manufacturer.
It is available in two colors – white and black.
The most impressive feature of the Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE is the 4K camera. It records crystal clear pictures and videos at 30FPS. This feature alone makes the FIMI X8 SE a great contender for the best drones for photography.
The 12MP camera also comes with a sensor from Sony. A 3 axis mechanical gimbal stabilizes this fantastic camera setup. You will have no problems taking pictures with this drone even when there is a decent amount of wind. But if the wind gets too much, you get a notification, and you can fly the drone back home as well. The gimbal can also rotate up to 90o so you can record from different angles as well.
Apart from taking distortion-free images and videos, you can also stream the videos straight to your smartphone. Editing and sharing recorded videos with your friends or on social media are effortless.
Capturing realistic and lifelike aerial pictures is a piece of cake with this drone. If you are a professional photographer or someone who enjoys taking high-quality photographs, you will love piloting this exceptional drone.
Flight modes and features.
The FIMI X8 SE is second to none when it comes to flight modes. This makes the drone very easy to fly, even for those who are new to the world of drones. The intelligent flight modes include:
- Waypoint – This is a flight mode that is unique to the FIMI X8 SE. Here you can set specific points as well as the action of the drone on Google Map. After the drone takes off, it executes the tasks automatically.
- Smart Track – This is another flight mode which differentiates between a high-end and a toy drone, and the X8 SE does not disappoint. Through this mode, you can track a target and its movements.
- Orbit – As the name suggests, the drone orbits the target as it keeps it in view. This flight mode takes a bit of getting used to, but it works great nonetheless.
- Dronie – Taking selfies with your drone can be effortlessly performed with this mode.
- Spiral – This mode is quite similar to the Orbit mode. However, this mode allows you to view your objects a lot better.
- Tap Fly – Tap anywhere on the screen, and the drone flies to that place.
- Tripod – This mode allows you to fly the drone very slowly. Another advantage of this mode is that even beginners can use it with ease.
- Cinematic lock – In this mode you can make the controls of the drone run a lot slower than average. You can also turn the gimbal a lot slower using this mode.
- Fixed wing – This is another mode that is unique to the FIMI X8 SE. You can fly the drone and watch scenes as if shooting from an actual plane. The gimbal also moves in a different angle so you can have lots of fun flying this mode.
- Course lock – Irrespective of whether you change the direction of the drone or not, this mode locks the drone’s flight path, so it flies in one direction. While recording videos, you get a lot of versatility using this mode.
- SAR – Use the search and rescue mode to search for a lost key or something. You can also zoom in using the slider on the screen.
When it comes to flight behavior, the FIMI X8 SE does not drift to a great extent on takeoff. In fact, it remains at a height of about 1.5 m. The brushless motors play a significant role in the flight behavior of the drone.
The FIMI X8 has a top speed of 64 kmph, which is impressive, considering that it is not a racing drone. Another feature that you will love about this drone is the LED lights in the rotor arms. You will have no problems flying it in low light conditions or even at night.
If there is one feature which the FIMI X8 could have improved is the addition of obstacle avoidance. This might be a concern if you fly your drones in places that are densely populated.
However, it has several safety features so you can keep track of your drone. This includes dual GPS as well as the automatic return function and the two IMU systems. You just have to be extra careful while flying the drone at night or in areas that have a lot of obstacles.
Controller and app.
The FIMI X8 SE comes with a well built remote control. The controls are smooth and effortless. It also has provisions for holding any smartphone as well. Controlling the landing, taking off, take pictures, and shoot videos using the controller. There is a separate dial through which you can control the gimbal as well.
You can also use it with tablets as long as it is not a massive size. The range of transmission is a neat 5 km, which is better than even other high-end drones. You don’t necessarily have to use a smartphone to use the drone, but you will be missing out on the whole different experience without it. It all comes down to personal preference.
The Navi App of the FIMI X8 SE works seamlessly with both iOS and Android devices. This makes controlling the drone very intuitive, and you will have a lot of fun piloting this drone.
Additional information about the Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE
The FIMI X8 has a maximum flight time of 30 to 33 minutes. But of course, this will be affected by factors such as video recording and enabling flight modes, among others.
A 4500 mAh intelligent lipo battery powers the drone. It is rechargeable, of course. On delivery, the drone comes with a charger as well as an AC cable. But you might want to have a spare battery on hand if you fly your drone very often.
You will also get a pair of spare propellers. But this can depend on the seller, so double-check before you complete the transaction. A small screwdriver also typically accompanies the drone in the box.
- Excellent design and built quality
- Outstanding camera and optical assembly
- Multiple flight modes including exclusive ones as well
- Compact and transport friendly
- Excellent stability and flight time
- Very fast
- Affordable price range
- Does not have an obstacle avoidance feature
- Getting your hands on one can be a struggle
The FIMI X8 SE from Xiaomi is touted as the cheaper alternative to the DJI Mavic series of drones. After flying the drone and testing it for a whole week, we can’t agree more. Of course, they are from two different manufacturers, so there are subtle differences. There are also some areas where one reigns over the other.
But overall, the Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE is an excellent drone that will take care of your piloting desires without breaking the bank. It is a well-engineered quadcopter that packs a punch for recording stellar videos and still photography. It is also a joy to fly the drone. You will not be disappointed at all.
You do have to calibrate it before you can fly it to the skies. But it can be done quite easily and does not require a lot of time or expertise. If you have been considering getting this drone, it is worth every penny.