The Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE is a sweet gift from the stables of Xiaomi to drone lovers and photography enthusiasts everywhere.
Xiaomi is, of course, the famous Chinese company that has ambitions to change the world and is currently dabbling in everything from smartwatches and gaming monitors to smart bulbs and screwdrivers.
Xiaomi has a well-deserved reputation for offering class-leading products at bargain prices and this seems to be the case with their FIMI X8 SE drone.
The flashy white drone appears to be aimed at those who regularly go outdoors in search of fun and action that can be recorded for posterity but don’t want to pay through the nose for the privilege.
It has been panned as a DJI Mavic Air copycat, but we think that is an unreasonable criticism.
Alright. Time to get this Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE review underway. Hang tight and keep alert as we see what this drone is made of!
FIMI Stands for Giddy Fun!
From a distance, it is rather easy to mistake the Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE for a premium DJI drone. Thankfully it isn’t or it would cost twice as much as it currently does!
The FIMI X8 SE drone sells for under $500, which is a steal if we do say so and is a well-made, feature-laden toy that lets users soar on high and scratch the face of God himself!
It is foldable and compact, which means it can be carried up hills and dales with nary a discomfort and at under 800 grams, it weighs less than a full plate of your favourite noodles!
The drone has a 4K camera peeking out from its front end, and this has a three-axis mechanical gimbal stabilization system that does its job better than we were expecting. A 4500mAh battery gives the FIMI X8 SE drone all the power it needs to defy gravity and when drained can be fully charged in less than 4 hours.
The FIMI has LED lights that should come in useful for nighttime flying and can take very acceptable night shots. It is rather fast and agile in the air, boasting a top speed of over 64 kilometres per hour, with this putting it in racing drone territory. Just don’t expect to outrace a Bugatti Chiron or an alien spaceship with it!
- Well put together
- Fun to use
- Speedy enough to amaze
- Potent 4K camera that takes a variety of shots
- Perfect for everyone, from beginners to pros
- Compact and easily transportable
- Cheaper than comparable drones
- Long flight time (35 minutes)
- Enhanced safety features and intelligent flight modes
- No obstacle avoidance mode
Features Not to be Missed
Crammed to the rafters with features, the Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE sure is fun to fly! Folks will surely love its agility and up to 35 minutes of flight time. This lets you range the drone far and wide, taking it high and low without worrying much that it will run out of power after a couple of minutes.
The considerable flight time is combined with a stated maximum range of 8000 metres. This is around 8 km and is amazing by every conceivable measure. But need we say that flying the drone at its extreme range is not something to be recommended, except perhaps if you are spying on a North Korean nuclear facility!
We also love the look and feel of the remote controller. It like the drone it controls is well made and expansive enough to accommodate all smartphone sizes and even tablets like the iPad Mini. We tried the Xiaomi Mi Max 3 on this controller and it fit just like it belonged there.
The FIMI X8 SE drone is also admirable for its 4K stabilized camera. While this shooter won’t be winning any design awards anytime soon, it is solid, reliable, takes great photos and videos, and is excellently stabilized.
Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE Specifications
- Dimensions: 204 x 106 x 72.6mm
- Diagonal size: 372mm
- Item weight: 765g
- Hover accuracy Vertical:
- ±0.1m (Within the ultrasonic detecting range)
- ±5m (when GPS Positioning is active)
- Hover accuracy Horizontal: ±1.5m
- Max ascending speed: 5m/s
- Max descending speed: 4m/s
- Max cruising speed: 18m/s
- Flying limit altitude: 500m
- Maximum Flight Time (no wind): About 35mins (at 8m/s constant speed)
- Charging Time: 3.5h
- Wind resistance: ≤50kph
- Satellite positioning systems: GPS+GLONASS+BEIDUO
- Operating frequency: 5.725-5.850 GHz
- Package Weight: about 1.97KG
- Package Size: 287 x 247 x 96mm
- Lens: FOV 80°
- Aperture: f2.0
- Focal distance: 3.54mm
- Equivalent focal distance: 26mm
- Sensor: 1/2.6″ CMOS
- Effective pixels: 12M
- ISO range: 100 – 3200 for video 100-1600 for still
- Shutter speed: 32 ~ 1/8000S
- Video resolution:
- 4K UHD: 3840×2160 30/25/24fps
- 2.7k: 2716×1524 60/50/30/25/24fps
- 1080P: 1980×1080 90/60/50/30/25/24fps
- 720P: 1280×720 120/100fps
- File system: FAT32 / exFAT
- Image format: JPG; JPG+DNG
- Video format: MP4
- Memory card type: Micro SD (U3 or above) 8 – 256GB (Sandisk/Kingston U3 recommend)
- Max bitrate: 100Mbps
- Rated output: 13.05V -3A
- Rated power: 39.15W
- Rated input: 100-240V~50/60Hz1.5A
- Charging limit voltage: 13.05V-3A
- Capacity: 4500mAh/51.3Wh
- Voltage: 11.4V
- Weight: About 270g
Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE Review
FIMI X8 SE Design
The Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE is clearly a thing of beauty.
The white colour makes it stand out and it is nearly as foldable and portable as a Swiss knife.
The drone is rectangular, measuring a positively petite 73*106*204 mm when folded up and is so lightweight it can be carried about in a small to a medium-sized bag with practically no stress.
When looked at from the front aspect, the drone mimics the look of Star Wars Storm Troopers, particularly their outlandish helmets, but that might just be our eyes playing tricks on us! Now, the design is minimalistic and sleek, with four foldable motor arms.
When folded up the FIMI X8 is barely bigger than your hand and is a streamlined piece of perfection that tugs at the heartstrings with a will!
The drone has four propellers that can be easily removed and reinstalled as needed.
These propellers collapse when they hit an obstacle, rather than try to puree it, as is often the case with other quadcopters. This feature ensures the propellers on the FIMI X8 is unlikely to be damaged during collisions.
FIMI X8 SE Camera Quality
The camera in the FIMI drone, which is a Sony IMX378 12MP sensor exceeds expectations. The same camera setup can be found on such formerly ludicrously expensive and high-end Google phones as the Google Pixel and the Google Pixel XL.
Data storage is performed at a bit rate of 100 Mbps and content can be stored either in the 64GB internal memory or on an SD card. The camera sensor is fully capable of producing 4K content and makes it possible for folks to zoom up and see the world below in incredible quality.
Images and videos are stabilized via a 3 axis mechanical gimbal. The gimbal can be adjusted 90° either side, which means you can take the FIMI X8 SE drone up and see a new angle to things.
Considering its price tag, we think the Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE and its camera performance deserves some accolades. So get clapping! Be sure to check out the images below.
FIMI X8 SE Battery, Flight Time, and Performance
Powering the Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE is a 4,500mAh intelligent lipo battery that ensures a maximum of 35 minutes of flight time. That’s almost an eternity where drones are concerned!
The battery charges from empty to full in three and a half hours, which is reasonable.
Ascend speed is 5 m/s, while descent speed stands at 4 m/s.
The top speed is pegged at 18 m/s, which is almost 65 kph.
The drone zooms and speeds along with a will and obeys commands on the double. It is a joy to fly and seems to love being in the air.
FIMI X8 SE Remote Controller/Transmitter and Mobile App
A remote controller is bundled with the Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE. It looks much like other standard controllers, is intuitive to use, and readily contours itself to the hands.
Getting it in action requires unfolding the dual antennas and turning on the unit. The controller itself has a 3900mAh battery that is chargeable via USB.
Buttons on the remote controller grant control access to the mechanical gimbal, let folks take images and video and otherwise get the drone dancing in the air just how they like.
The FIMI controller can be used as-is, without being attached to a smartphone or tablet. However, using the controller in such a barebones fashion means the user will miss out on features like intelligent flight modes and FPV.
The FIMI X8 SE controller has a plug in the middle that attaches to the smartphone or tablet being used to watch live views of the drone in action. Such a tablet or smartphone is securely held in the middle of the controller/transmitter by a spring mechanism.
The mobile app -the FIMI NAVI- for this device is free to use and download. It makes it possible to connect the drone controller to any mobile device, with OTG support being enabled by default.
With the app in place, users can share live videos and stills on social media as easy as anything. App support is for both Android and iOS devices.
Intelligent Flight Modes
The FIMI X8 SE has a slew of intelligent flight modes that make it super-easy to fly, even for noobs to the drone world.
These modes also come in handy when taking photos and videos, as they maximize usability and control.
In no particular order the intelligent flight modes on this flighty piece of fun are as follows:
Cine Shot – This mode refers to cinematic shots. Once activated, it makes it possible to record images and videos suitable for a variety of occasions.
Dronie – In this mode, the drone maintains an unbreakable lock on a target and takes shots of it while flying backwards and upwards.
Spiral – Here the drone moves in a spiral manner all round the identified target and films it.
Rocket – With its 4K camera pointed downwards, the FIMI X8 SE rockets upwards as if kicked in the fanny, continuously taking shots like a reconnaissance jet over hostile territory.
Circle – The drone circles the target while taking images or videos.
Smart Tracking – This mode has an AI behind it running things in the most optimized manner. Once enabled it allows the drone to track the operator and shoot photos and videos from a wide variety of heights, angles, and perspectives. With Smart Tracking, the FIMI MX8 SE works almost like your own personal angel, except this one takes the best shot of you that it can, which you will no doubt use to dazzle social media with!
Flight Planning – The FIMIX8 SE adopts a flight planning mode that is common in a large majority of drones. Using this mode, the drone operator can draw a flight path that the drone will religiously follow and once done autonomously return home.
Sure, we have seen this kind of feature plenty of times, but it still gives us goosebumps on the regular! Flight playback is supported in this mode.
Panorama View – This drone from Xiaomi has a Paranoma mode that can be triggered by a single click. When activated, the drone performs multi-angle recording, aided by the stabilizing gimbal. This most often produces the most soul-lifting panorama shots imaginable.
The FIMI X8 SE rocks a variety of safety features, some of which are normally found on more expensive quadcopters.
Dual GPS, for example, permits better tracking, lets you know where the drone is at all times, and practically guarantees against loss. This safety feature also makes it possible for the FIMI X8 SE to connect to satellites faster and more securely, and fly better.
Another safety feature automatically sends the drone home once the battery is very low or connection is lost, perhaps at extreme range. This automatic return home feature is most welcome and should give operators the courage to explore the limits of their world, secure in the knowledge that the FIMI X8 SE would always come back home to mama, so to say!
The automatic home return feature can also be activated on very windy days. So, folks would do better to check the weather outside before going flying.
Last but not least in the array of safety features this Xiaomi drone brings to the table is not one but two IMU systems.
The two Internal Measuring Units work hand in hand, with one replacing the other in case of failure. This prevents the drone from suddenly falling out if the sky as if struck by lightning.
FIMI X8 SE Critical Q&A
❓ How much does it weigh?
The Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE weighs 765g, with the supplied remote controller weighing 370g.
❓ What is the GPS accuracy?
The FIMI X8 SE uses GPS+GLONASS and Beidou and has a vertical hover accuracy of 0.1m, plus a horizontal accuracy of 1.5m.
❓ Does it come back when the signal is lost?
Yes, the drone has an autonomous return to home feature that kicks in once the signal is lost or flight parameters are exceeded.
❓ When the battery gets low does it return home?
Yes, it does.
❓ What is the maximum flyable height?
Maximum allowable flight altitude is set at 500m.
❓ Does it have optical flow stabilization?
Yes, the Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE has optical flow positioning. This enables the drone to hover motionlessly, at a maximum altitude of 30m, regardless of the GPS system activation status.
❓ Can it take DNG RAW photos?
Yes, the FIMI X8 can shoot DNG RAW stills.
❓ What camera resolutions does it support?
The supported 12MP camera can shoot 4K videos at up to 30fps, 2.7k videos at up to 60fps, 1080p videos at up to 90fps, and 720p videos at up to 120fps.
❓ How fast can it fly? How fast is it in the sport mode?
The maximum cruising speed is 18ms, which translates to around 64.8 kilometers per hour. The maximum ascending and descending speeds are 5ms and 4ms respectively.
❓ What flight modes those the FIMI X8 SE come equipped with?
There is a beginner mode with speed and distance restrictions, a normal mode and a sports mode where all limits are removed.
❓ How to fly the FIMI X8 SE?
The drone can be flown with a controller. A smartphone or tablet can be hooked up to the controller, and this provides access to features not otherwise available.
❓ What phones does it work with?
The FIMI X8 SE works with all modern mobile devices, from smartphones to tablets, and supports both Android and iOS devices.
FIMI X8 SE Parts & Accessories
Included in the box are the FIMI X8 SE quadcopter camera drone, the controller/transmitter, the 4,500mAh drone battery pack, 3x USB cables, 6x propellers, an AC cable, a charger, and two instruction manuals.
We recommend buying a hard case, a couple of extra batteries and some spare propellers. The cost of all these are very reasonable and make it possible for folks to play with their drone for much longer.
Who Should Buy the FIMI X8 SE?
The Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE drone appears to be squarely aimed at travellers and adventurers, for whom its long flight time and portability are bound to be godsent.
It is also cheap, and sturdy enough to be excellent for beginners, with its docile handling and solid feature list making it a compelling purchase.
Even professional photographers/videographers are bound to get some solid use out of this drone, which costs much less than others in its class and takes solid stills and videos.
The FIMI X8 SE stuns with its features, usability, and price point and might well be the tool Xiaomi needs to bulldoze away the competition and establish its dominance in the drone sector.
The FIMI X8 SE like other products from Xiaomi shows lots of forethought and care, looks good, does its job with glee, and costs way less than other similar drones on the market.
Sure, it might not have the appeal of the Mavic Air, or the aftersales support, but that is something we are prepared to overlook and so should you if you are serious about getting value for your money and soaring for the skies, unhindered by earthly worries and cares!
FIMI X8 SE Alternatives
Alternatives to the FIMI X8 SE range from the DJI Mavic Air, and the Parrot Anafi to the Hubsan H117s Zino.
The Xiaomi drone is most often compared to Mavic Air, which costs almost twice and has less flight time. However, The Mavic Air is overall more polished, has easier access to spares and support, and rocks the magic DJI name.
The Parrot Anafi is $100 more expensive than the FIMI X8 SE drone and in our view cannot hold a candle to it, though it does very well for itself in the camera department with lossless zoom and 180-degree camera panning. The Hubsan H117S, on the other hand, is a sub $500 flyer that bests competes with the FIMI X8 SE where the price is concerned but is on the whole inferior to it in most parameters.
What we are saying is, if you have the key to Fort Knox and want the best, then buy the DJI Mavic Air or spring for some of its more expensive brethren and benefit from the comprehensive DJI ecosystem.
If you like spending money for the hell of it, then the Parrot Anafi is just the thing for you.
Should you have a strict budget and don’t want to go over $420, then the Hubsan H117S is precisely what the doctor ordered. Add a little more money to that though and the Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE will come and do wonders in your life!