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Package and build
The Yi 4K+ comes with a more complete package. In addition to the action cam, and the Type-C cable (used to be a micro USB one), we find a very nice waterproof case, which you can take up to 40m (130ft) deep. The case is also equipped with a base with the standard bolt for a tripod.
Functions and quality
The Yi 4K+ is based on the new Ambarella H2 chipset, with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit processor, which allows it to go up to 4K at 60fps. The sensor is a SONY IMX377 with 12 megapixels of resolution.
Looks don’t really change compared to the old one, just the front carbon fiber cover makes it seem a little more aggressive, but for the rest, it’s the same action camera as before, at least on the outside.
Videos are encoded in H.264 mp4 and go up to a maximum resolution of 4,000×3,000 pixels. However, there are so many supported resolutions, corresponding to different framerates/field of view that we report directly the table below just for reference.
In addition to photos and videos, it is possible to shoot in time-lapse up to 4K@30fps, slow motion up to 720p@240fps, photo burst (up to 10 poses per second), video+photo (i.e. recording video and taking time-lapse photos at the same time), and loop, a continuous video that lasts up to a maximum of two hours and then it overwrites itself (handy when used as a dashcam). Oh, there’s also a timer function.
The touchscreen display on the back is still 2.2 inches wide with a resolution of 640×360 pixels. It has good brightness (250 nits), and is readable outdoors, although not under direct sunlight. It has fairly good responsiveness, albeit not perfect, and thus sometimes misses an input.
Also present is the electronic image stabilization, an area where the old cam presented many flaws, and where this 4K+ actually manages to justify the “plus” sign. The EIS does not go beyond 4K at 30 fps with a wide field of view (not ultra-wide).
The user experience is exactly the same as with the old model: simple and snappy. Controlling the action cam via the display is very user-friendly, and the various menus, are well-designed and you will learn to navigate it in no time.
Nothing to lament about the shooting modes: devices capable of recording in 4K at 60 frames per second are a rarity, and this 4K+ doesn’t skip a frame. Of course, definitions and details are not always flawless. Color reproduction is quite faithful, maybe just with a slight tendency to cooler tones. In general, we were very satisfied with footage quality, which is the best one can ask of an action cam these days.
The handling of areas with different contrast is also one of its selling points, having a dynamic range not easy to find in this size. As the sun goes down, however, issues start to creep in, not only in terms of noise and color reproduction, which turn to yellow. One could argue that action cams are not intended for use at night (but this is not necessarily obvious).
The audio is also better, with the various microphones recording consistently from all directions, and providing a satisfactory result for this type of device, although not the best.
Battery life is also excellent. Shooting at 4K, if you do not have a large enough microSD card (64GB) it is easy to run out of memory before running out of juice.
The best action cam so far then? It is certainly a top-of-the-line and it does offer a really good all-round experience. The Yi 4K+ is definitely for those who don’t want to make any compromises.
The app is exactly the same, that has been with us since the first Yi cam, and has been, of course, developed over time. Pairing is fast and simple, and the app provides you with a host of other people’s content, shot with the Yi 4K+. Then there is the possibility to update the firmware of the action cam via the app, and this is perhaps the real reason that from time to time it might prompt you to use it. For the rest, the Yi 4K+ is completely self-reliant. The second reason to use the app is to use it as a viewfinder when you might not be able to take advantage of the action cam’s display.
The app provides you with all the control and options available on the action cam with an interface designed for smartphones. You can switch between different shooting modes, adjust ISO settings, white balance, exposure, etc. and of course shoot and review content.
The Yi 4K+ has a cost of (Check on Amazon.com), which considering overall quality is still a good deal.
The Yi 4K+ offers one of the best experiences we’ve ever had with an action cam. “Powerful”, thanks to 4K@60fps shooting, easy to use, with a good app and good autonomy, and with a display that makes it completely independent of a smartphone in everyday use. In order to find a real flaw, you will have to dig deep; starting with your pocket, because the price is high, although honest.