Xiaomi Yi action cam gets a 4K upgrade

Xiaomi, popular Chinese electronics maker, has released an updated version of its Yi action camera, but unlike the first one, it doesn't come with a budget-friendly price tag. The new model brings a nicer design and some updated features, namely 4K video recording and dual-band WiFi, but the new features will come at a much higher cost...one that makes the Yi a less attractive GoPro alternative.

The new Xiaomi action camera is simply called the Yi II, and it is available internationally as the latest item to round out the company's outside-of-China offerings. For the price of $250 USD, buyers will get a small action camera able to hold a 64GB microSD card and record up to 120 minutes of 4K footage per battery charge. Transferring content off the card to a camera or other device is now faster thanks to the dual-band WiFi.

Content can be viewed directly on the camera, though, via a 2.19-inch touchscreen display on the back. A waterproof housing is available for using the camera in wet and underwater conditions, as well, making for an all-around well-matched GoPro HERO competitor. Is it enough to lure in North American buyers, though?

Xiaomi has been increasing its presence in the U.S. and Europe, but it's still relatively unknown amongst western buyers. The company launched its Mi online store for Europe and the U.S. a year ago, and through it users can buy a decent array of devices — the Mi Band fitness wearable, Mi Power Bank, and, of course, the Yi cameras.

As for the new model, the Yi II is currently for preorder on GearBeast; orders are expected to start shipping "after June 30."