Beginning of February 2018 within Yi Action App on Android some infos on a new Yi Technology Action Camera showed up. Later some pictures went public and the camera showed up on Amazon shortly after. With YI Discovery Yi Technology seems to build a new entry level action camera, priced lower than YI Lite. Let’s take a look at the very similar specs:

Yi Discovery - lowest priced action camera from Yi Technology

Yi Discovery – lowest priced action camera from Yi Technology


YI Discovery

YI Discovery features the 8 MP Sony IMX 179 sensor. Be careful it’s not the same 8 MP Sony sensor from Xiaomi Mijia or Sony FDR-X3000, they use the superior IMX317 sensor. The Sony IMX 179, found in Yi Discovery, is used in cheaper action cameras like MGCOOL Explorer and many smartphones, as their front camera. For 4K video an 8 MP sensor (if 16:9 format) would be enough, but photo resolution is definitely lower compared to the 16 MP Sony sensor used in Yi Lite.

The processor used in YI Discovery is also known from budget action cameras, it’s an Allwinner V3. The advantage of using this lower spec (and priced) processor is of course the lower overall price of the camera. We have to see how the camera performs overall, since the processor is quite old.

Yi Discovery - Allwinner V3 processor

Yi Discovery – Allwinner V3 processor


While Yi Lite features a 150 ultra wide angle lens with F2.8 aperture, the new YI Discovery uses F2.4 aperture. That means the new lens is more light sensitive and should be better for low light situations, although the difference is nothing much.

Video Resolution & Frame Rates

  • 4K – (3840 x 2160 – 16:9) -max.  20fps
  • 1080p – (1920 x 1080 – 16:9) – max. 60 fps
  • 720p – (1280 x 720 – 16:9) – max. 120 fps

The sensor used in YI Discovery can’t deliver native (real) 4K resolution, it is interpolated from a lower resolution recording (3280 x 2464 effective pixels). Furthermore the camera can only do 20fps which is quite low for an action camera. If you are looking for a 4K camera go for YI 4K, YI Discovery is a low priced entry level camera.

Image Stabilization
YI Discovery won’t feature EIS, if you are looking for that feature you have to go with (at least) YI Lite.

Recording Format
Format: .mp4 file; Codec: H.264

Photo Resolution
Yi Discovery features an 8 MP sensor, hence the largest native photo resolution is 8 MP. That’s half the the max. resolution of YI Lite. Since YI Lite also doesn’t offer RAW photo so far, I guess Yi Discovery will also only feature .jpg photos.

Yi Discovery also shows a 2″ display and since it doesn’t offer additional buttons on the body it will be a touchscreen. I’m not sure if it might have a lower resolution or will exactly be the same screen also used in Yi Lite. Btw. YI 4K and YI 4K+ offer a slightly larger 2.12″ wide screen – see below:

2.19" YI 4K vs 2" YI Lite Display

2.19″ YI 4K vs 2″ YI Lite Display


Yi 4K and YI 4K+ offer a 1440 mAH battery. Yi Lite was released with a slightly lower capacity battery: 1200 mAh. The new Yi Discovery seems again to have a lower capacity: 900 mAh. I’m currently not sure if it has the same size as the others.

YI Lite Action Camera vs YI 4K Action Camera - Battery

YI Lite vs YI 4K – Battery


Connectivity & Ports
In contrast to original YI camera, the new Yi Discovery has no micro HDMI port. In fact the original YI was the only YI action camera to feature HDMI.
Yi Discovery features a microUSB port, but in contrast to all other YI models, it is not covered with a door/flap.
External microphone won’t be available due to the microUSB port (see this article for more info). YI Lite also doesn’t offer A/V out via USB (the only YI model so far). I don’t have info on YI Discovery about that so far.
YI Discovery supports microSD cards up to 128GB and class 10 is required. Interestingly the slot of the microSD card was shifted from below the battery door to the side of the camera. Unfortunately the slot is not covered anymore.
Of course the new cam features Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to connect with remote controller and YI Action app on your smartphone.
Note that YI Discovery has no 1/4″ photo tripod mount on the bottom compared to the other Yi cameras.

YI Discovery - new location of microSD card slot and microUSB without cover.

YI Discovery – new location of microSD card slot and microUSB without cover.


Size of YI Discovery is: 65 mm x 30 mm x 42 mm (same as YI Lite, YI 4K and YI 4K+)
Weight is 79 g.





Comparison YI Lite vs YI Discovery


Demo Video


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