FIMI has released several advanced drones, the most popular being the FIMI X8 SE. With the FIMI X8 Mini, the manufacturer is entering the 4K mini drone market with the firm intention of competing with the DJI Mini series. So how good is the FIMI X8 Mini? Full test.
The first thing you notice when looking at the FIMI X8 Miniis that its design is very reminiscent of the DJI Mavic Mini and Mini 2. Four folding arms, a removable battery at the back, a gimbal-mounted camera just below the nose at the front, a weight of less than 250g… The FIMI X8 Mini has clearly been designed to compete with DJI’s very popular drones.
Its dimensions are 145 x 85 x 56 mm with its arms folded and 200 x 145 x 56 mm when unfolded, making it an ultra-compact and easy to carry drone. One of its main advantages is of course its ultra light weight of less than 250g, which means you won’t need to register it. However, it should be noted that this drone is available with a choice of two different batteries, a standard battery (lithium-ion) and a pro battery (lithium-polymer): you will need to opt for the latter to stay under the 250g mark (approximately 245g), while the former will bring the weight of the drone to 258g.
The battery can be charged directly via a USB Type-C cable, and as the USB-C port is located on the battery itself, it will be able to be charged without being removed from the drone. On the back there is also a micro SD memory card slot, a micro USB port to transfer your images directly from the card to your computer, and a small LED light that will flash in various ways depending on what the drone needs to indicate (low battery, ready to fly, etc).
As for the remote control, it looks very solid, fits well in the hand, and the left side can be stretched to fit almost any size smartphone and even some small tablets. The joysticks can be removed and stored in small integrated slots on the bottom edge. Its dimensions are 165 x 89 x 47mm and it weighs 260g, making it both a light and compact controller.
The buttons on the remote control have a simple layout: the power button and a battery indicator are located under the left joystick, and the auto-return button is under the right joystick. On the top, your index fingers will have easy access to the shutter to take photos and videos, a button to toggle between photo and video modes, and a dial to adjust the camera’s tilt.
First of all, it is possible to fly the drone without a smartphone, but you will of course not have access to FPV and intelligent flight modes. To access these functions, a new application has been created especially for the FIMI X8 Mini: the FIMI Navi Mini application.
The FIMI Navi Mini application is quite well done. The interface is simple and clean, easy to navigate, and does everything it needs to do, such as controlling all flight modes and camera settings. It even features a 5.8GHz WiFi mode flight that creates a direct connection between your smartphone and the drone, allowing it to be flown solely via your phone’s touch screen. However, this is far less comfortable and precise than controlling the camera with the remote control. It should be noted that during our flight tests, it did not crash once.
In terms of intelligent flight modes, the FIMI X8 Mini is no match for the DJI Mavic Mini and Mini 2. It comes with the same flight modes as the original FIMI X8 drone, and this is clearly one of its great strengths.
Among the automatic flight modes offered by the application are :
There is also the automatic return function (Return To Home) which equips most of the drones on the market and which allows the drone to return to its starting point on demand via its dedicated button, if the battery is low or in the event of loss of connection with the remote.
The FIMI X8 Mini features real-time GPS tracking with a triple GNSS module that connects to the GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou satellite system for much wider coverage and the ability to track the drone on your smartphone with greater accuracy. This system also allows the drone to be more stable in flight and fly autonomously via its intelligent flight modes.
The application also uses geofencing of no-fly zones to prevent it from flying near restricted areas, such as airports.
The drone is also equipped with downward-facing sensors, making it easy to take off and land. On the other hand, it does not have forward facing anti-collision sensors, so avoid sending it towards a tree or wall, it will not be able to stop itself.
We were curious to see how the FIMI X8 Mini would perform in flight. In fact, we were not disappointed. It proved to be a very good drone with excellent performance, and despite its small size and light weight, it performed well in flight even in windy conditions.
On paper, it offers the same level 5 wind resistance as the DJI Mini 2, i.e. winds of around 30 to 38 km/h. And our tests have confirmed that this is true in practice. It proved stable, even withstanding the stronger winds we encountered on a stormy day.
The device is easy to control and can be taken anywhere you want. It is responsive and fast: it can reach a speed of 57.6 km/h in sport mode.
Another point we noted during our tests: we never lost the connection between the drone and our smartphone. Although we didn’t fly it that far, it’s worth pointing out that its official transmission range is 8km, slightly less than the DJI Mini 2’s 10km, but that doesn’t matter as it’s obviously more than enough.
The manufacturer claims a flight time of 30 minutes with the standard battery, and an extra minute, or 31 minutes, with the pro battery. To achieve this performance, you need to be in a windless environment and fly the drone at 6 m/s. Obviously, things are a bit different in the real world, but we had no complaints about the range, getting flight times of about 20 to 25 minutes depending on the session.
The camera is undoubtedly one of the main factors in choosing a drone and many drones on the market are now equipped with very good cameras. This is also the case with the FIMI X8 Mini, whose camera is certainly one of the best in its price range.
It features a 1/2.6-inch Sony CMOS sensor capable of capturing 12MP still images in JPEG and RAW formats. With its 3-axis mechanical gimbal, fixed f2.0 aperture with 80° FOV and ISO range of 100 to 3200, they form a solid foundation for aerial photography and video, allowing capture 4K footage at up to 30fps, 2.7K at up to 60fps, 1080p at up to 90fps and 720p at up to 120fps.
In addition to standard AVC/H.264 encoding, HEVC/H.265 encoding is supported and the option of shooting with a flat F-log profile will provide colour grading in post production. The camera also incorporates a Hisilicon SoC for better image quality and also contributes to noise reduction for night shooting.
The footage we shot in 4K gave us some very nice video with fine detail, although the images lacked a little dynamism, a point that will be useful to improve in post-production. However, this is not surprising given the tiny size of the sensor, and for a camera of this size, the results are more than acceptable, although not, in our opinion, as impressive as those obtainable from a DJI Mini 2.
The FIMI X8 Mini is available on the official FIMI shop from $329 (about €307) at the time of writing.
4 packs are available:
All packs come with the drone, remote control, battery (standard or pro depending on your choice), 4 spare propellers, a Type-C charging cable, 3 data cables with different connectors, and a protective cover for the gimbal.
The price of a drone is often a determining factor when making a choice and these prices clearly make the FIMI X8 Mini an affordable alternative to the DJI Mini 2. The Mini SE may be priced like the X8 Mini, but it is not a 4K drone.
You can of course find accessories for the FIMI X8 Mini on their dedicated page in our shop.
The FIMI X8 Mini is a drone with serious qualities. It is compact and lightweight, performs well in flight even in windy conditions, has excellent battery life, has a range of 8km and its camera supports 4K and captures images with remarkable sharpness and stability. All this with a simple and effective application and a well-designed remote control.
For just over £300, it’s a great deal, and the X8 Mini could be the perfect 4K mini drone… in a world where the DJI Mini 2 wouldn’t exist. If price is a consideration for you, the FIMI X8 Mini is a great alternative to consider and you won’t be disappointed, but if you want the best drone in the mini category, the DJI Mini 2 is worth the extra money as it outperforms the X8 Mini in build quality and camera performance.
DJI has since raised the bar even higher by releasing the DJI Mini 3 Pro (we dedicated a full review to it), but we won’t include it in the comparison because its price is much higher, almost as expensive as a Mavic Air 2.
… you want the best value 4K mini drone on the market. The FIMI X8 Mini is clearly the cheapest drone on the market in its class and is well worth it for the image quality and flight performance it has to offer.
… you want the best drone under 250g. The DJI Mini 2 is superior, both in terms of build quality and camera. It is also safer to fly. And of course, the DJI Mini 3 Pro has pushed the limits of what you can expect from a mini drone.