Xiaomi Fimi X8 SE ULTIMATE review (still good in 2021?)

camera icon small

4k

small battery life icon

35min

distance icon smal

8km

drone gimbal small icon

3 axis gimbal

xiaomi-fimi-x8-SE-drone-review.jpg

In this article we're going to cover a complete Xiaomi Fimi x8 review as well as answer if it's worth getting in 2021 (I have the DJI Mini 2 and the Air 2 at my disposal).

Here's what this article will cover:

  • How is it versus the DJI mini 2 (I'll make a more in-depth separate article for that)
  • Is it still worth it in 2021?
  • In-depth specs
  • Footage comparison
  • What are the best accessories for it
  • Where to buy it from

And much… much… more

P.S. Stick around till the end to get some of my tips on it.

Xiaomi Fimi x8 Specs and Features

specs camera drones

In this section we're going to go over what its main specs are and how it is relevant in the current context of drone technology?

Is this still good enough for the price? 

We'll see…

To spoil things a bit, I do consider the Fimi X8 a very relevant drone for 2021 and beyond, as it has some serious specs for very low prices.

It may not be under 250g like some of the latest hotshots ( cough…. dji…cough) but considering I haven't sold it yet (even though I own all the DJI drones it must say something about it.

But what?

The difference between standard, SE and 2020 Fimi X8 SE versions

Xiaomi makes things a bit complicated with their multiple versions, as always (see their phones). 

And this is no exception.

The Fimi X8 SE differs a bit from the newer SE 2020 model and they both differ a bit from the original version, but overall it's pretty much the same capable drone.

Let's see how they compare:

fimi x8 se 2020 vs fimi x8 se original

FImi x8 SE Battery life

The battery for the FImi x8 was always very good (at least 30 minutes), but with the newer versions it got even better.

The newer battery of the Fimi x9 SE 2020 model has a 35 minute flight time compared to the 33 minute flight time of the 2019 model.

It's not a lot more, but it shows Xiaomi Is indeed improving.

I think this might just be the best battery life to price ratio on the market right now.

Range (Flight Distance)

The newer models of the XIaomi Fimi x8 SE ( the 2020 model) has almost doubled the range from 5000m to 8000m making it one of the longest range drones you can buy. 

This also means the live feed quality stays without interference better in the city and with a signal booster you can do even better.

GPS stability (2019 vs 2020 SE models)

I recently added this new section because the new Xiaomi Fimi x8 models have an additional satellite system making it a more precise flyer.

Besides the GPS and GLONASS systems, they also added BEIDOU, a Chinese satellite system that will increase the total number of possible satelites up to over 20, making it more stable than even some of DJI Drones.

Does it come back after losing signal?

Yes, the Fimi x8 does have the Return To Home feature when it loses signal.
 
I experienced that myself when testing the maximum range.
 
Lost the transmission at about 4 km or so and it started returning by itself. I could see that on my screen shortly after I got the signal back.
 
The drone gets up in the air 30m from the level it was launched at and comes straight back home. That is to avoid any obstacles on the way.

How much does it weigh?(is it under 250g?)

The Fimi x8 weighs 765g, which is over the 250g maximum to fly in the US without a permit.

Getting a US flying permit is quite easy and cheap though, and because it's so tiny when it's folded down It really doesn't get in the way while transporting it.

Funny enough, with the 2021 version of the drone the weight of the FImi x8 has decreased from 790 grams to 765g, but it's still heavier than most drones released by DJI recently.

Fimi X8 SE max height

This quadcopter can fly up to 500m in height, but you can limit this setting from the app too.
 
There's also beginner mode that will limit both height and distance, in case you want to practice without making any mistakes.

Does the Fimi X8 SE have obstacle avoidance or follow?

No, the Fimi X8 SE doesn't have obstacle avoidance or follow me more, only flight stabilization.
The sensors underneath help a lot with making it fly really steady when closer to the ground ( up to 10m height) and this means it can also be flown indoors.
 
Besides the camera for horizontal stabilization, it also has a sonar for height stabilization. This sends a signal to the ground and bounces it back to help detect how far it is.

Get my Free “Before flight” drone checklist

reviews

Xiaomi FImi x8 vs DJI Mini 2 vs Air 2

drones-comparison-table-graphic.png

There is plenty of competition for the price category of the FImi X8, but the most popular ones are the newly released DJI Mini 2 and the Mavic Air2.

So let's get a bit into detail how they differ and which one should you buy (with a table too).

Let's start with a simple table where we compare the 3. But as you might know, specs aren't everything, so I recommend you check the camera section for some real-world footage.

Fimi X8 SEDJI Mini 2Air 2
drone-image-icon.pngxiaomi-fimi-x8-SE-drone-review.jpgdji-mini-2-photo.jpgdji-mavic-air-2
camera-icon.png4k 30p4k 30p40 60p
battery-drone-icon.png35min31min34min
range-wifi-icon.png8km10km10km
gimbal-stability-drone-icon.png1 / 2.6“ sensor1 / 2.3“ sensor1/2" sensor
drone-price-dollar-icon.png Check Price Check price Check price

As you can see in the table above, they're all amazing, and pretty close in terms of raw specs.

One feature I haven't shown in the comparison table is the weight and size difference.

I'll have to cover that in a youtube review soon.

The Mini 2 being a drone under 250g has to win this by a long shot. It's also more portable and quite resistand in the wind.

I do feel the Air 2 and the Fimi x8 SE to be a bit better in wind and with a more solid build though.

In terms of range, you really won't notice the difference between these 3.

Really I think you can't go wrong with any of these, but you need to take price and size into account, of course.

Xiaomi Fimi X8 Camera, Footage and Photos

drone-camera-specs-section.png

The camera on the Fimi X8 is quite stunning for the price, and the fact that it comes with a smooth 3 axis gimbal is simply amazing.

This might just be the best low budget competitor DJI has had in a while.

And what's best is that they improve on it with every new year!

The Xiaomi fimi x8 SE has a 4k camera that records 30p in 100MBPS and rocks the Sony IMX378 image sensor.
 
It won't compare to the night-time capabilities of the huge 1-inch sensor of the Mavic 2 Pro, but it's not so far that you can justify paying 3 times more unless you really need it.
 
What's a thing that I like a lot about it is that they had an issue with the camera in the 2019 version where it 

How good is the footage?

fimi x8 se footage sample

During day time, it's really hard to tell the difference between this footage and any other high end drone.

You can even use ND filters for keeping a proper shutter speed, so it's quite well equipped for being a professional drone that can be used at weddings or events with total success.

Here's a video that shows sample footage and photos I took with the Fimi X8 so you can convince yourself about the ability of this quadcopter.

There was a problem initially with the footage having a slight blue tint, but I haven't seen it recently. It's probably gone since the last update.

Also, you can just as well adjust it in post-production.

Camera Settings

The ISO can manually go up to 3200 or you can let it set on auto.

You can fully control every standard camera setting like shutter speed, EV, and more.
There's also white balance and color to play with.

Does it come with D-Log? (flat color profile)

There's an F-Log mode to record in if you want a flatter image that you can play around with more in post-production.

xiaomi-fimi-x8-camera-settings.jpg

Can you take DNG Raw Photos with the FImi X8?

Yes you can!
And while taking them it also takes a JPG version for easier processing.

First of all, make sure to take photos in 4 by 3 format so it uses the whole 12 mp sensor.

What camera resolutions does the FImi x8 record in?

The FImi can record in

  • 4k (3840×2160) in 30/25/24FPS
  • 2k resolution ( 2560×1440) in 60/50/30/24FPS
  • 1080p up to 100FPS
  • 720p in 200FPS

    Yes, you can actually film in slow motion with this drone if you so wanted.

Parts and Accessories

parts-and-accessories

There are quite a few accessories online for the Fimi x8, which means it can be used more professionally as a main drone and use it as an asset for your business.

Or at least I recommend getting a spare battery if possible.

I mentioned the ND filters earlier being some of the most important accessory that you actually need to record smooth footage during daytime.
 
Other than that, if your package doesn't come with a case, I strongly recommend getting one.
 
There are more accessories than usually including:
  • car battery charge (multi charger)
  • ND filters
  • antenna signal range boosters
  • floating kit
  • multi-charger
  • GoPro Drone attachment
  • spare batteries
  •  LED landing gear

Design and Unboxing

xiaomi fimi x8 package unboxing
The drone comes both in white and recently there's a black version that's coming too, links at the end of the article.
 
The FImi X8 SE is only 73x106x204m.
 
It has been reduced by 42.8% and the storage space reduced by 70.2% compared to the older Xiaomi MI 4k drone.
 
Xiaomi never disappoints when it comes to design, as it's sleek, made with high-quality materials, and a solid overall build.
 
It's definitely on par with DJI if not better.
  • Battery (multiple, depending on the package)
  • Charger
  • Screwdriver
  • Remote
  • Spare props
  • Drone
  • Manual

Transmitter and mobile app

drone-transmitters

The Xiaomi drones transmitters have always been really high quality, since the Xiaomi mi 4k, the Fimi a3 and now the X8, the same high quality design with hobby-grade sticks and an intuitive button scheme.

xiaomi-fimi-controller-ipad-mini-size.jpg

This time, the transmitter doesn't come with an included screen anymore, but it does connect to the phone though a cable.

It comes with the following button functions:

  • RTH return to home button
  • 5 Directional Joystick
  • Scroll wheels for gimbal and exposure
  • Auto Land and launch button
  • Photo and video buttons in the back

What phones/tablets work with the FImi X8?

The extendable phone holder can fit absolutely any phone size that you can find on the market!

There are also connection cables for any type of phone, including apple, micro USB, micro USB C.

What size of tablet can fit in the controller?

The controller can safely fit an Ipad mini at the maximum range, which is about 8 inches.

The Fimi Navi App

xiaomi-fimi-app.jpg
The drone app is quite similar to what you find on DJI Drones with a ton of settings and options to choose from.
 
You can obviously see things like:
  • distance
  • height
  • speed
  • number of satellites connected (btw, you need to have more than 7 if you want positioning to work)
  • micro SD storage space indicator
 
It is recommended first to do an RC stick and scroll wheel calibration so you make sure the drone flies straight where you point it at (I actually had an issue before doing that).
 
You can do the RC calibration from the “transmitter section” in the menu by going to the RC Calibration tab.

How fast can the Fimi x8 fly?

There's a flight speed limitation in the app main menu that will let you fly up to 16m/s or 57 km/h.

You can lower that value if you want a smoother flight or if you're a beginner.

There's also height and flight distance limitations you can set from the app, as well as the Height of RTH.

xiaomi-fimi-x8-speed.jpg

How fast is it in sport mode?

Xiaomi FImi x9 does actually come with a sport mode that you can enable from the menu and it can allow you to go to up to 65km/h, it can be very useful if you want to get to a location fast, but remember it consumes the battery much faster than normal.

So if you want to conserve your battery when returning to home, make sure not to do it in sport mode.

The 5D joystick button

The Five-Directional button can be customized from the app with a ton of different options.
I mainly use mine to reset the camera angle either facing down or forward

There's also the option to calibrate the gimbal and change the sensitivity settings by changing the pitch speed to lower so you get a more cinematic feel.

You can also change the low battery warning and set the RTH for when the battery is calculated to be enough only for Return to Home

What flight modes does the Fimi X8 have?

smart flight modes for the xiaomi fimi x8
This drone definitely comes with a lot of flight modes, the only concern before I bought it is if they work properly and are actually helpful.
 
I'm going to present them bit by bit down bellow and my own experience on each of them.
 
Waypoints
This is a standard Waypoint flight mode where you put the waypoints on the map with your finger and the drone will fly to them one by one. Unlike DJI does most of the time, you dont' actually have to fly to each of those places beforehand, which is nice.
 
Smart Track
This is the mode that you'll probably use the most, as it can follow anything that you select with a box on your phone screen.
It does this very well, smooth and precise.
I tested this follow me mode by hopping on my Xiaomi Scooter, believe it or not and letting the drone follow me around.
 
And it worked amazing, until I tested it even farther and  went underneath it  and it didn't keep following me.
 
Later I found out that I didn't activate the “Fly backwards when in follow me” option so it stopped when going backwards.
follow-me-on-scooter-test.jpg
Orbit
The orbit mode works just as it should, but it's a bit of a hassle to have to go above the object and then reposition the drone  at the distance you want the radius to be at.
This time DJI has the upper hand, as they can orbit around an object you directly select on your screen.
 
Tap- FLy
This mode is just as you know it, you tap on your screen somewhere and the drone will fly in that direction.
 
Dronie
The classic dronie mode where the quadcopter flies up and away from you revealing the landscape in the meantime.
 
Spiral
The spiral si basically an orbit mode but variable, ending up by doing a spiral around the subject of interest.
 
Cinematic Mode
This is the standard Cinematic Mode where the drone controls will slow down, allowing you to fly smoother and turn the gimbal slower.
I prefer to change the gimbal speed from the settings directly though.
 
Tripod
A mode perfect if you want the drone to move REALLY slow or you want to give it to a beginner to test it (even kids).
 
Course Lock
This might actually be the most useful flight mode in my opinion, as it can allow cinematic composition like no other.
 
Course lock basically sets you up flying in a certain direction and whenever you press the forward stick, it will still fly in the initial direction, although you might have changed the drone orientation in the meantime.
 
This can give a glide cam effect that's very speciffic to movies and mixes the old boring camera shots a bit with some more directional complexity.
 
This might be the most fun mode out of them all, as you can actually fly like a plain and tilt the image to the sides.
It can be really fun especially if you fly it with some goggles on you.
 
SAR
The Search and Rescue Function is mainly used for zooming in up to 3 times yet id doesn't really lose that much of the quality, considering it goes for 4k to 1080p, which is still a good resolution to have.
xiaomi-fimi-flight-modes.jpg

Fimi X8 Price, Manual and Instructions

affordable-drone-by-price

In this section we're drawing the conclusions and reaching out to tutorials on how to fly it, where to buy it (cheapest or fastest) and much more.

I suggest you read till the end.

How to fly it

Before flying, make sure you have the Fimi Navi App installed, being available for both Android and Apple devices.
 
  1. Start the drone and transmitter by pressing once and then quickly press again and hold until the drone turns on.
  2. Connect your phone/tablet do the controller by the included cable and open the app.
  3. The remote and drone have been connected already before shipping
  4. I recommend also doing a compass calibration
    1. select the compass calibration option from the menu on the top right
    2. rotate the drone as per the instructions
  5. Make sure to go though all the settings and set up things like
    1. return to home height
    2. gimbal sensitivity
    3. auto RTH on low battery
  6. Wait until you have at least 7 satellites connected (preferably over 10) and then press the launch button on the bottom right corner of the controller

Who should buy it?

I own this drone myself and am not going to sell it even if I have a Mavic 2 pro, so I hope this says something about the reliability of it.

I think this quadcopter can fit in a wide range of uses and some people that could benefit from having it are:

  • If you're taking photos/videos at weddings ( This is quite a high quality adition to your gadgets without breaking the bank)
  • If you're a hobbyist and want a very reliable drone to play around with and experiment filming
  • As a next step from a beginner drone
  • For Travel
  • Real Estate
  • Home Inspection

Where to buy it from?

There are a few places I recommend getting this drone from in this article and down bellow, they're all reliable, in my experience and I haven't had any issues with them so far.
The 3 most used ones by me personally are Amazon, Banggood and Geekbuying.

If you get it from Amazon it's going to be faster, but it's also usually more expensive. check the updated prices down bellow.

Paul Posea
Paul Posea

Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.

Get my Free “Before flight” drone checklist

reviews
ONLINE FAA PART 107
Test Prep Course

Get $50 OFF Bellow

part 107 course benefits

Xiaomi fimi x8 black version - Where to get it?

xiaomi-fimi-black-version-voyage-where-to-get.jpg

At the moment of writing this article, there is a black version of this drone coming soon.

On Geekbuying they call it the voyage version, as it also comes with an additional case and its' even cheaper than the standard one.
The same drone can be found on Banggood too.