Yi LITE Action Camera Review: Is The Upgrade Worth It?

yi lite review

Yi are becoming well known for high quality action cameras at very competitive prices. And the Yi Lite is their latest upgrade of the original Yi camera.

The higher end models from Yi like the 4K and Yi 4K+ are a lot better suited to 4K video (the Yi Lite can only do 15fps) but the lite has a few nice upgrades from the original for not a lot more money.


The main Improvements of the Yi Lite over the Yi are:

  • A 2" screen (made of scratch resistant Gorilla glass)
  • 4K video (only at 15fps)
  • A larger battery (nearly 200mAh more)
  • More photo burst modes (3P/s,5P/s,10P/s,10P/2s,10P/3s,20P/2s,30P/3s,30P/6s)
  • Larger memory card capacity (up to 128M)

Other important features include:

  • 16MP photos (Jpeg)
  • Video stabilization (EIS)
  • Video modes: 4K @ 15fps, 1440p @ 30 fps & 1080p @ 60 fps
  • Wifi & bluetooth connection
  • Use of other Yi accessories (or GoPro via adapter, 

Now that I have highlighted the main features, let me show you some in more detail...

Yi Lite Features

Video & Images

The Yi Lite is really for the casual user who wants good quality images (16MP is very high) but does not care so much about 4K video. 

The still photos on the Yi Lite are 16 Megapixels which is quite a big sensor (same size as the Yi, but 4MP more than the Yi 4K series). But if you are a pro photographer you will be disappointed this camera does not shoot RAW. For everyone else, it is usually not a problem as JPEG is what we expect :>

The Yi Lite has gone a little further than the Yi original and now has up to 4K but only at 15fps which is a little slow.

You might be able to shoot some acceptable video at this frame rate, but if things start moving faster (action shots) you will certainly run into problems.

It also comes with built-in stability (EIS it's called) which is great for helping remove that annoying shake we all have when filming handheld (which you will most like do with the Yi Lite).

Here are some examples from Yi of how the stabilization helps (and crops the image a little - that is how it works, cutting out the edges to remove the shake).​

Yi Lite Video Resolutions

4K (3840x2160) @ 15fps

1440p (1920x1440) @ 30 fps

1080p (1920x1080) @ 30 or 60 fps

720 (1280x720) @ 30, 60 or 120 fps

Yi Lite With Stablization

Yi Lite NO Stablization

Size, Weight​ & Construction

The Yi Lite is more or less on par with all the other models from Yi (and the GoPros).

Dimension: 2.56 x 1.18 x 1.65 inches (65mm x 30mm x 42mm​)

Weight: 2.54 oz (72 grams)

If you want to see how those dimensions look on the actual camera you can see them in the image below:

Yi Lite Dimensions

Yi Lite Dimensions

The body of the Yi Lite exactly the same size as the Yi 4K and 4K+ which is great for using any accessories you may already have. This might include GoPro accessories because 

Yi Lite Waterproof Case

Yi Lite Waterproof Case

Is The Yi Lite Waterproof?

So, no, the Yi Lite on it's own is not waterproof like the ​the Hero 5 from GoPro, but then none of the Yi models are. You always have to get the Yi waterproof case which uses the standard GoPro attachment.

This gives you the added bonus of being able to use any other GoPro accessories you might already have (as the Yi otherwise has the standard camera/tripod screw adaptor on the bottom).

Camera Screen

Like the earlier GoPros, the Yi original did not come with a screen. Which, in today's day and age is a real pain in the butt. You often want to see exactly what is in the frame so you know you have a good shot. Not having a screen was a huge issue.

A screen also makes ​it a lot easier to control the camera because now you can use it for that too.

Yi Lite 2

Yi Lite 2" Screen

The Yi Lite has a 2 inch screen which is more than enough to see what's going on and control th​e camera easily. The screen is also made of Gorilla glass which we all know is one of the best scratch resistant options out there.

If you want even more screen real estate (and the more 4K options) you might want to consider the Yi 4K+. Just be aware, it's a lot more expensive.

Yi Action App

Yi Action App

Connectivity

There are lots of options for accessing your images or even controlling your phone.

Yi Lite comes with a standard USB connector for downloading, but you can also access images over wifi at 50MB/s which is pretty fast.

There is also a Bluetooth 4.1 connection which is great for connecting with the Yi Action App or even the YI Remote or the Selfie Stick (with build-in remote). If you have ever used an action camera without a remote you know how painful it can be (ie. start recording, then move the stick away from you, try to get it in frame etc. Lots of editing afterwards!).

Color Choices

A lot of the Yi products don't have any choice in color, so you are going to be pleased that there are three choices with the Yi Lite. You have black to please everyone, a light blue and a bright yellow/green (which is the original Yi color). You can see them all below:

Yi Lite In Black

Yi Lite In Black

Yi Lite In Blue

Yi Lite In Blue

Yi Lite In Yellow/Green

Yi Lite In Yellow/Green

Price​

The Yi and Yi Lite are very affordable entry level model action cameras around the hundred dollar mark. The Yi Lite is supposed to retail for about 30 bucks more than the Yi, but you might be able to find it discounted.

Either way, it is far more affordable than the Yi 4K+ (which does have way more features, but it's around the three hundred mark) and the GoPro Heros (especially the later models). 

Note: If you want to see how this compares, check out this article on the GoPro 5 and Yi 4K+

Is It Worth Getting?

If you just want a simple camera that does 1080p and good quality stills, then the Yi Lite is a great option.

If you need pro level images (RAW format) or 4K video, then you are better off checking out the Yi 4K+ or Hero 5

This is a decent option for an affordable price and includes lots of great tech (app access, stablilizer, 16MP sensor).