Xiaomi subsidiary YI Technology is launching a new 360-degree VR camera described as the first high-end live VR camera “for everyone.” It’s called the YI 360 VR Camera and is now available on pre-order terms for the price of $399. The unit is equipped with two 220-degree lenses with an f/2.0 aperture, backed by two of the same 12-megapixel Sony IMX377 image sensors employed by the YI 4K+ Action Camera launched in March.
As the moniker suggests, the YI 360 VR Camera is primarily designed for VR and 360-degree content, and thus it features a VR-ready Ambarella H2V95 system-on-chip. The unit is able to record videos in a resolution of up to 5.7K (5760 x 2880) at a rate of 30 frames per second and is capable of capturing and automatically stitching 360-degree VR videos in 4K resolution at 30 frames per second without requiring an external computer or added software. Coupled with the companion app for smartphones and 100mbps high-speed Dual-Band Wi-Fi support, the YI 360 VR Camera can also live stream videos with a maximum resolution of 2.5K directly onto platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. In addition to that, while the camera is connected to a smartphone, users can make use of an auto sync feature that will automatically save the photos captured with the device to the connected smartphone, ready to be shared on social media. YI Technology also said that the YI 360 VR Camera is equipped with a small OLED display which can be used to control it in conjunction with its physical buttons, and alternatively, users can also control the unit remotely via Bluetooth.
The YI 360 VR Camera is powered by an ultra-high-density 1,400mAh battery and the manufacturer promises up to 75 minutes of battery life while recording content in 4K resolution. The package itself is rather lightweight, tipping the scale at only six ounces (170 grams), meaning that the camera at hand is lighter than some of the larger smartphones currently on the market. The product is now available for pre-orders and unlike the Xiaomi Mi 360° Panoramic Camera launched a couple of months ago, the YI 360 VR Camera can be acquired online outside of China. Pre-orders are expected to start shipping to customers by the end of June.