Review YI Discovery Action Cam for $59.99

Hey, guys! Just a heads up: The linked offer is already a bit older and the price of the gadget might have changed or it might not be available anymore.

It’s no secret that the YI 4K is one of our favorite action cams. Quite rightly, because here you simply get good quality at a good price. Does this also apply to Discovery? With this, the Chinese manufacturer is launching a new 4K camera on the market, which is even cheaper. We take a close look at what you can discover here.

YI Discovery Action Cam

Technical specifications

Video Resolution (NTSC) 4K @ 20 fps, 1080p @ 60 fps, 720p @ 120 fps
Photo resolution 8 MP
Chipset All Winner V3
Image sensor/type/format Sony IMX179
Shooting angle 150°
Display 2 “LCD Touchscreen
Connectivity 2.4/5 GHz WLAN; USB 2.0 (Micro); 1/4″ tripod screw
Memory microSD (max. 128 GB)
Battery 900 mAh
Dimensions 65 x 42 x 30 mm
Weight 67 g (incl. battery)

Packaging and scope of delivery

We don’t have to say a lot of words here. The camera comes in the typical square YI box. It doesn’t take up much space and there are hardly any accessories. Only the battery and a very short 20 cm micro-USB cable are included. In addition, you will find the multilingual instructions and warranty information in the box.

YI Discovery Action Cam Scope of Delivery

Further accessories

Since the camera is identical to the YI 4K (+) in appearance, all accessories are of course compatible with the camera. For example, if you own the waterproof case of the YI 4K, you can use it here as well. Cases from different manufacturers are also available, if you have to buy more.

YI Discovery Action Cam Waterproof case Yi 4K+

Important: The YI Discovery has no screw mount, so it cannot be easily screwed onto a tripod, for example. Here a case and corresponding brackets become obligatory. You can use the same accessories as for the other Action Cams.

Design and processing

The YI Discovery has the same dimensions as the YI 4K, namely 65 x 42 x 21 mm, with the typical slightly rounded sides. The cameras differ in their imprint; on the Discovery there is only a white “YI” and the barely visible lettering “Discovery” under the lens. The display measures two inches diagonally and as with the more expensive models, this is a touchscreen.

YI Discovery Action Cam Front

YI Discovery Action Cam Bottom

YI Discovery Action Cam Side

YI Discovery Action Cam Side Connections

There is only one button, the power button on top. This is then also used during operation to start recording. Next to it are loudspeaker and microphone. On the right-hand side are the Micro-USB port and SD slot, both of which are not covered. Below, as usual, is the slot for the battery with a less well-engineered cover. The screw thread on the underside is also missing. Those little details that end up explaining the lower price.

YI Discovery Action Cam Battery Comparison
The YI 4K+ with metal closure; Discovery with rubber band

All in all, however, there is little to complain about the quality of the workmanship. There are no disturbing gap dimensions and the touch screen is still a pleasant improvement over key operation. Scrolling through the main menu could be a bit more precise, but apart from that (and the missing screw thread) I have nothing to complain about.

YI Discovery Action Cam Display Comparison
The YI 4K’s display is larger and the resolution higher, while the Discovery display is brighter.

video recording

Let’s start with the biggest point of criticism: it’s not a native 4K. The all-winner V3 chipset has been built into many budget action cams advertising the alleged 4K resolution. However, this is only achieved by interpolation. In addition, the frame rate at 20 fps is quite low, the recordings are no longer perceived as fluid. Those who expected to get a full-fledged 4K camera will be disappointed.

As a Full HD camera, however, it’s not that bad. Recordings at Full HD at 60fps look good, with natural colors and a good dynamic range. One notices, however, that there is no image stabilization, and jolts like here in the picture on the handlebars are obvious. But that’s just a small drawback, especially in the price range, and apart from that, the camera takes quite nice pictures.

Youtube Video Preview

In addition to “normal” recording, slow-motion video is also possible at 720p and 90 fps, and the camera supports functions such as burst mode and, of course, timelapse recording. The possibilities range from two images per second to one image every 60 seconds. Due to the loop function, it is also possible to use it as a dashcam. The screen turns off automatically when recording to conserve power, but the function can also be disabled.

Youtube Video Preview

In the absence of daylight, however, the camera reaches its limits and high levels of image noise occur. However, this is to be expected for a camera in the price range and not really a point of criticism.

Pictures with 8 or 16 megapixels

Even if it is primarily a video camera, the photos are still presentable. In addition to native 8 MP, 16 MP are possible by means of interpolation.

YI Discovery Action Cam Picture 8 Megapixel

YI Discovery Action Cam Picture 16 Megapixel

Battery

The battery has a capacity of 900 mAh. This is also significantly less than in the YI 4K, although it is also less demanding at full HD and 60 fps. We were able to film several times for one and a half hours with one battery charge. Switched on WLAN reduces this by about 20 minutes.

YI Discovery Action Cam Battery

App & Firmware

There are no firmware updates yet. The camera is not even listed on the official YI Technology website, and is therefore not available in the download section. Should there be any changes here, we will update this section.

YI Discovery Action Cam Firmware Update
There is no firmware update for Discovery (here the YI Lite)

The app is the same as with the other YI cameras. YI Action is available for Android and iOS. So whoever has one of the other cameras will know the interface. Above all, you can follow the live image of the camera via the app, but you can also make almost all the settings that are available to you via the camera itself. In the gallery you can see the pictures of the camera. All in all, the app is well designed and works perfectly.

YI Discovery Action Cam App Screenshots
Clear menu navigation: all camera settings can also be found in the app.

Conclusion on the YI Discovery

Considering the price difference, one has to acknowledge that YI Technology delivers the same quality of workmanship and image quality as the other models. The fact that the cameras are now offered throughout Amazon and warranty makes them even more interesting than other Chinese cameras.

Small disadvantages are the useless 4K shots, the missing image stabilization and the missing screw thread. But if you can do without these features, the YI Discovery is a very good action cam in the price range. In my opinion, the touch screen makes it even the most beginner’s and user-friendly of all cameras.

To the gadget
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Maike

I love Gadgets destined to ease your everyday life - e.g. smart home gadgets. I own a few Xiaomi Gadgets (Xiaomi Mi A1, Xiaomi Yeelight Bedside Lamp, Xiaomi Wifi Repeater etc.), and would consider myself a fan :) 

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Comments (4)

  • 21.03.18 um 21:32

    Damian

    I cant pair the camera with yi remote. I think yi Discovery dosnt have bluetooth module but remote icon is available in menu…

    • 23.03.18 um 10:28

      Maike Editorial staff

      Hey Damian, I think you’re right and the Discovery does not have Bluetooth. Sorry for the confusion. Have you tried connecting via Wifi?

  • 15.05.18 um 14:29

    Matthew Harvey

    With the battery fully charged, can you start filming until the battery dies? Or can it only record for certain lengths of time. I have never owned any type of action cam see. And I have just found this site, and I like what I see so far. Matt

    • 16.05.18 um 11:05

      Maike Editorial staff

      Hello Mathew,
      in general the action cam should be able to film until the battery dies. But we would not recommend you to do so, as it could be possible to skip the saving of your data or the cam could run too hot 🙂

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