Meet Xiaomi’s First Tricopter — the Xiaoyi YI Erida

Xiaomi may be famous for their smartphones but not many know they also produce good quality drones. In fact, Xiaomi has already released two drones with the Xiaoyi YI Erida tricopter being the second model it released recently (the first was the Xiaomi Mi Drone quadcopter).

This time around Xiaomi has partnered with YI — a renowned manufacturer of action cameras and other products) to produce its new tricopter. Indeed, this is a very promising partnership between the two companies. So, how great is this drone?

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Well, the Xiaoyi YI Erida is a premium quality tricopter (that’s “three-rotor drone” for the uninitiated). It is ideal for outdoor flying and is specially designed for sport flying due to its impressive top speed of 75 mph (120 kph) and an equally impressive claimed flight time of 40 minutes.

Yes, you read that right! The Xiaoyi YI Erida can fly at 75 miles per hour for and up to 40 minutes thanks to its tricopter design which uses less power (compared to quadcopters) to stay in the air. In fact, 40 minutes is way above the average flight time of quadcopters within this price range.

That’s not all. It can also shoot 4K video! Xiaomi YI Erida tricopter comes with a 4K action camera paired to a 2-axis gimbal that can be remotely controlled — allowing the pilot control of the camera’s pitch and yaw angles. The action camera is manufactured by YI and is a very promising alternative to the more expensive GoPros (YI has been releasing premium action cameras that compete directly with GoPro).

The Xiaomi Xiaoyi YI Erida also has an FPV (real time video transmission) function with Live Video transmitted via WiFi directly to the pilot’s smartphone or tablet. The free app used to view this Live Video feed is available for both Android and iOS. Displaying Live Video is not the only feature on the app. It also enables the pilot to have full control of the tricopter and its functions.

The Erida does not come with a remote controller. Instead it makes use of the pilot’s smart device as a remote controller. Now you may be wondering — if it’s a sport camera drone aimed at recording outdoor sports such as snowboarding, mountain climbing and surfing, among many others, it must be built to be very durable.

Well, you guessed that right! The Erida’s body is made of carbon fiber — one of the strongest and lightest material available today. This reduces the amount of damage to the tricopter when crashing or hitting an object. Although carbon fiber is very resistant to impact, don’t expect it to be bulletproof — treat the Erida with care.

The Erida’s arms can be easily be folded in, allowing it to fit into a small backpack. This is great for traveling! Besides the previously mentioned 40-minute flight time, the Erida also has other top notch specifications such as a maximum range of 4KM. What about the features? Xiaomi YI Erida comes with a nice set of features including:

  • Automatic Takeoff
  • Three Flight Modes (Manual, Circle and Hold)
  • Follow Me
  • Flight Data

It also has other useful functions that can be accessed from the app.

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To conclude, the Xiaomi YI Erida has a lot of potential and it is undoubtedly one of the best Ready-to-Fly drones with 4K video on the market in the $500 price range. To release a consumer drone with a tricopter design is a bold move by Xiaomi, considering that other established players such as DJI and Yuneec focus mainly on the quadcopter platform. Indeed, this is a smart move by Xiaomi as the Erida currently has no rivals.

If you’re keen on getting a tricopter with an amazing 40-minute flight time and is capable of taking 4K video, the Erida will be available soon for pre-order at GearBest.

What did you think of the upcoming Xiaoyi YI Erida? Will the Xiaomi and YI partnership be a success in the drone business? Is this drone capable of competing with the newly released DJI Mavic Pro and GoPro Karma? Let us know in the comment section below!



Julio Ventura

Julio Ventura is the co-founder of dronesworld.net and writes prolifically about drones and UAVs. Besides managing his own website, Julio also contributes to various other high profile drone websites and publications.

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