FIMI X8 SE 2022 : our complete test

fimi x8 se 2022 test

With the FIMI X8 SE 2022, FIMI is releasing the third generation of its foldable drone series. What’s new in this new edition? And most importantly, should it be purchased? All the answers in our full test!

FIMI X8 SE 2022 features

First, let’s take a look at the main features of the FIMI X8 SE 2022:

  • 4K camera with SONY 1/2 inch 48 MPx CMOS sensor
  • F1.6 aperture and 79┬░ FOV
  • 3-axis mechanical gimbal
  • Level 8 wind resistant
  • Rain and snow resistant
  • Intelligent flight modes
  • Battery life up to 35 minutes
  • RokLink transmission with 10 km range

FIMI X8 SE 2022 vs FIMI X8 SE 2020: comparison

The new version of the FIMI X8 SE comes with several improvements, the most important of which will certainly be its Sony’s new and larger ┬Ż inch CMOS sensor, the aim being of course to offer improved image capture that is more up to date with the advances made by the competition in this area which remains essential for all drone enthusiasts.

This is complemented by a new transmission system with an extended range.

The following table shows the main technical differences between the 2020 version and this new 2022 version:

 FIMI X8 SE 2020 FIMI X8 SE 2022
SensorCMOS 1/ 2.6 inchCMOS ┬Ż inch
Lensf/2.0 with FOV80f/1.6 with FOV79
Focal length (equivalent)26mm25mm
ISO100-3200100-6400
Transmission systemTDMA 2nd generationRokLink 3rd generation
Range8km10km
Maximum altitude500m800m
Wind resistanceLevel 6Level 8
Resistance to rainLight rainModerate rain

FIMI X8 SE 2022: design and remote control

fimi x8 se 2022 design

Design

The 2022 version of the FIMI X8 SE has the same physical appearance as its predecessor, the 2020 edition. So we find the same design with folding arms, as well as the same measurements: dimensions of 204 x 106 x 72.6 mm for a weight of765 grams with the battery and the propellers. These are also always quick-fit folding propellers, easy to install and remove.

The bottom of the drone is completely covered by an aluminium heat sink with an ultrasonic and optical flow sensor and six rubber landing pads. On the side of the drone there is a rubber cover under which the reset button, radio link switch, USB port and memory card slot are located. The latter can accommodate micro SD cards up to 256 GB.

As far as we are concerned, we have always liked the clean design of the FIMI X8 SE series drones. Their design gives an impression of quality where everything feels solid and well constructed.

fimi x8 se 2022 remote control

Remote control

The remote control also looks exactly like the old versions. The controller has extendable handles that can accommodate smartphones or small tablets up to 20cm in length.

On the left side there is a power button, a red RTH switch and a battery level indicator. On the right side, there is a mini 5D joystick and a Takeoff/Landing button. On the top of the controller there are two knobs: the one on the left controls the gimbal tilt and the one on the right is used to set the ISO.

For camera control, we have two dedicated buttons on the back of the remote: one for taking pictures on the right, the other, on the left, for starting/stopping video recording. Finally, on the bottom there is a rubber cover that protects access to the USB charging and data ports.

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FIMI X8 SE 2022: features and performance in flight

Intelligent flight modes

The FIMI X8 SE 2022 features several intelligent flight modes, automated flight modes that allow you to create cool videos without having to worry about controlling the drone:

  • Flight Planning: In this mode, you draw a flight path on the FIMI Navi application and the drone will automatically fly along this preset path until it returns to its take-off point.
  • Smart Tracking Modes: here, the drone can track a target (presumably you ­čśü) in three different ways: from behind (Trace mode), in parallel (Profile mode), or from a fixed predefined angle (Lock mode).
  • Circular Flights: As the name suggests, your drone will fly in a circle around an object.

The X8 SE 2022 also features a suite of QuickShots modes similar to those offered by DJI on its drones, with identical names such as Dronie, Orbit and Spiral. If you are used to DJI Mini or Mavic drones, you won’t be disappointed.

Flying distance

With the X8 SE 2022, FIMI decided to change the communication system of the series by integrating a third generation RokLink system, whereas the previous model, the 2020, was equipped with a second generation TDMA system. As a result, the transmission range increases to 10km(instead of 8km on its predecessor), and latency is reduced to 130ms (instead of 220ms on the 2020).

fimi x8 se 2022

Flight performance

A few figures to start with: the FIMI X8 SE 2022 has not gained in speed over its predecessor, but its top speed is still more than sufficient as it can fly up to 18m/s, or about 65km/h. On the other hand, the new edition gains in altitude since the drone is now capable of flying at 800 metres highwhere the 2020 model stopped at 500 metres.

FIMI also claims that its new baby is resistant to (moderate) rain and snow, and we’re going to trust it because we unfortunately couldn’t test it in these conditions.

However, we were able to test it in moderate wind conditions and the drone was unimpressed, proving to be very stable and easy to control. Theoretically, the X8 SE 2022 is capable of withstanding a level 8 wind. A wind of this level is classified as a storm and reaches a speed of 17.5 to 20 m/s, which is no mean feat.

We also found its triple satellite positioning system (GPS + GLONASS + BEIDOU) to be very effective, with the drone quickly finding several satellites when we were not even outside yet.

There is also a precise landing function with a ground-facing camera that allows the drone to recognise the shape and colours of a landing area so that it can land safely.

This is a nice feature but brings us to the main regret: the lack of obstacle detectors. Indeed, FIMI has still not equipped its flagship drone with a safety system worthy of the name. In 2022, it is quite incredible that the company has not yet integrated this essential element into its drones. In this respect, FIMI is clearly behind DJI, its main competitor.

Battery and flight time

The 2022 version retains the same batteryas the previous model, a 4500mAh LiPo 3S battery with four indicator lights that show the remaining charge level.

FIMI states that the maximum flight time with this battery is 35 minutes, provided you fly at a speed of 8m/s and without wind. Of course, you know the drill, we rarely fly in ideal conditions to get the most from the battery. In the tests we carried out, we had a bit of wind and taking into account the automatic return function which is triggered when 30% of the battery remains, we obtained flights of between 23 and 25 minutes.

FIMI X8 SE 2022: the camera

fimi x8 se 2022 camera

The 2022 version may look very similar to its 2020 predecessor, but the camera is one area where FIMI wanted to make a significant improvement. The new camera is larger (1/2 inch versus 1/ 2.6 inch) and the quality is better.

The new 4K camera features a 48 MPx Sony image sensor with a fixed f/1.6 aperture, a 79 degree field of view and a full frame equivalent focal length of 25mm. It can record 4K video at up to 30fps, 2.7K at up to 60fps and 1080p at up to 90fps.

The new sensor is capable of ISO 6400 and offers better performance in low light conditions with a higher dynamic range. The images obtained in daylight are really good, and this new camera can also capture very clear and detailed night images.

Regarding the 3-axis mechanical gimbal, FIMI says it has high precision control to within 0.005┬░. In use, we had nothing to complain about, the camera is controlled with accuracy and vibrations are perfectly eliminated: the videos we obtained were very stable.

FIMI X8 SE 2022: the price

The FIMI X8 SE 2022 is available on the official FIMI shop from $449 (about ÔéČ426) at the time of writing. There are also two versions including a memory card (64Gb or 128Gb depending on the pack). All packs include the drone, remote control, battery, charger, propellers and data cables.

Importantly, FIMI has also released a V2 version of its drone: the FIMI X8 SE 2022 incorporates an additional module underneath the drone that allows for the installation of additional accessories such as a megaphone or an airdrop system.

This V2 version is available on the FIMI shop from $499 (about 473ÔéČ) and also exists with packs including 64Gb and 128Gb memory cards. The packages for this new version include the same set of accessories, with the added bonus of a protective cover for the nacelle and, most importantly, the famous megaphone that attaches to the module included on the underside of the drone and can project sound up to 100 metres away.

It should also be noted that FIMI, like DJI and its DJI RC Pro and DJI RC remotes, has released an intelligent remote control with an integrated 5.5-inch screen: the FIMI TX10. The latter is 100% compatible with the FIMI X8 SE 2022 and allows you to control your drone without having to use your smartphone. This controller, which looks interesting but which we did not have the chance to get our hands on, is available at a price of 299$ (about 283ÔéČ).

Finally, don’t forget that you can find all the accessories for the FIMI X8 SE serieson their dedicated page in our shop.

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Conclusion: should you buy the FIMI X8 SE 2022?

The FIMI X8 SE 2022 is not a game changer, but it does bring its significant improvements over its predecessors: better flight performance, an improved transmission system, and above all, a better camera with a larger sensor for better quality images. All in all, it’s a very good 4K drone with which you can make great aerial videos.

If you are hesitating with a drone from the competitor DJI, its main advantage is its price: the X8 SE is clearly a low-cost alternative to the DJI Mavic series, which must be taken into account when making a purchase decision. In addition, many accessories from previous versions are still compatible with the 2022 edition, which can save you money if you have an older model.

However, FIMI is still behind DJI. Its slogan “Keep Evolving” is nice but the evolution is a bit slow to follow the steps of its main competitor. Of course, we regret the absence of an obstacle detection system, which should be mandatory on a drone of this category and price range. And while the new camera does very well, it still falls short of what DJI is capable of in terms of aerial imaging.

Buy it if…

… Looking for an affordable 4K drone: the FIMI X8 SE 2022 may not be up to the level of some DJI drones but it offers great performance at a reasonable price. Also, if you have the 2020 version or an older version, the improvements in this new edition are worth upgrading to.

Don’t buy it if…

… You want to have the best drone in this category: if budget is not (too) much of a concern, it will be more interesting to put a few extra bucks into a much more powerful drone like the DJI Air 2S (our full review here), or even the latest DJI Mini 3 Pro (full review here).

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