Mega Chinese Electronics Manufactuer Xiaomi Yi Camera Tested

Author: John Scanlan, Published on Feb 05, 2016

Xiaomi's revenue is 4 to 5 times larger than Hikvision's. Only in business for 5 years, Xiaomi has rocketed to be one of the world's most formidable electronics and smartphone manufacturers, with an astounding $45 billion valuation.

Their ambitions extend to the IP camera market, with their Xiaoyi Yi smart camera. We bought one from Amazon for ~$50 to see how well it performed.

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Comments (18)

Your addition of the use of Wireshark in your tests is illuminating. It parallels the old "follow the money" saying in crime or politics.

Doex the Xi in Xiaomi refer in some way to Chairman Xi?

My Mandarin is a bit rusty but I believe a functional U.S. translation would be Obamera.

There is no such person as Chairman Xi, it is Chairman Xu. You obviously have no clue about Chinese. It is Xiao Mi, two characters. Xiao means little, Mi means rice. So direct translation is actually little rice, or millet.

"There is no such person as Chairman Xi, it is Chairman Xu."

You better tell that to the Chinese government's PR agency:

John, I was being facetious. Of course we all know Xi, Xu and Xi sounds about the same in Chinese. Amongst Chinese who are critical of the new cult of personality that is Xi JinPing, we refer him as the fake Chairman. Xu (虚)in Chinese means fake. The only Chairman there ever was of course Mao.

I was being facetious.

I confess as well; I didn't really think Obamera was a good translation of Xiaomi. Sorry that wasn't clear.

...we refer to him as the fake [Xu] Chairman.

Apparently you yourself have no qualms about making fun of Xi's name. Maybe you objected to the Obama pun?

Xu in Chinese means fake.

And yet there was a (Vice) Chairman Xu, who clearly lived up to his name:

Xu was detained and put under investigation on suspicion of bribery in March 2014, in one of the highest profile corruption investigations in PLA history, and was expelled from the Communist Party in June 2014.[3] It was alleged that Xu had traded "massive bribes" for the promotion of officers under him during his time as Vice-Chairman of the CMC.

So, a Xuaomi = Dummy Camera? ;)

I've got a serious question for you, how do you pronounce Xiaomi anyway?

I always like to check a company's official Youtube page to see how they pronounce their name. Xiaomi doesn't make it easy by having a bunch of videos with no speaking, but where I found them it sounded like "Shau me" where shau rhymes with cow.

The BBC actually posted an article on the proper pronunciation of this company with videos of different employees using different pronunciations. Their conclusion for English speakers was a quote from Xiaomi's global VP who said "Think of 'show me', and then pronounce the first word as if it was 'shower.'"

interesting quesstion. I checked Xiaomi's Chinese website, "Yi" here means ant. Maybe Xiaomi wants to brand this camera as a product that's "small but powerful".

BTW, Obamera sounds like a good name

It evidentially means "Smart Ant".

The camera contacts a few IP addresses in China initially, seen below. These addresses do not appear to be publicly registered to a specific entity, simply shown as "Chinanet" in various lookups. Most traffic once connected was between the camera and Amazon Web Services.

I have been saying that for about 2 years now what should worry you more is the server that are here in the US they ping that china owns..... like the " it will automatically register to US based server for easy remote viewing" translation you are being watched and recorded by whoever has the best hackers

Translation you are being watched and recorded by whoever has the best hackers.

Or the worst.

As far as data goes, residential video footage may be the absolute poorest bang for the buck to a gainfully employed hacker.

Why? It's got almost zero actionable information and the files are enormous.

Credit card numbers/Social Security Numbers/Bitcoins, these are high density targets.

You could easily have a petabyte of video data that didn't contain a single piece of information that a hacker could profit from. Even if it did, how would you find it?

Security Icon Paul Blart prefers Xiaomi gear.

Nice article, thank you!
Does this camera record only in 720p@20fps and motion detection, without able to change resolution, fps, set motion&audio detection or nonstop recording?

Does it have Substream?

XiaoYi is actually one of the small companies invested by XiaoMi, but XiaoMi only holds some share but does not control this company. The reason why XiaoMi does not want XiaoYi to use their "Mi" brand, is because they are not very sure they can control this company, also they are not sure the value of "Yi" can be consistent with "Mi". Apparently, they are not.

"Mi" brand started from copycat of iPhone and sold at a unreasonably low price, to let young Chinese people to feel they have an almost identical phone as iPhone, so it was extremely successful. Until they got a quite big market share in smartphone industry, and then slowed down the pace to grow again. It has been very funny always, because the big boss of "Mi" , who is Lei Jun, is always trying to imitate Steve Jobs, and he is trying to be considered as Jobs by Chinese people, their fans. but he is not. He has been always trying to copy other successful products, and he has no souls, if there is, it is low price and sell it fast, and also do a lot of fake advertisements. so now "Mi" phone users in China are considered to be losers, or "diors" .

"Yi" brand was started by XiaoYi, but not XiaoMi, but they are no better than "Mi". They have some ambition to be another "Mi", but they also beg from "Mi" to make a living. "Yi" is also trying to exploit the ecosystem, to cost down,cost down and cost down, and then sell at a non profitable price for a very big , good looking revenue, but they are also destroying the ecosystem. And soon "Yi" users are also labelled to be losers again.

The economy winter is coming, and liars will die, or they will change their lies. but please trust me, good companies that product good product will survive. but not "Mi" , or "Yi".

The reason why XiaoMi does not want XiaoYi to use their "Mi" brand, is because they are not very sure they can control this company...

Though it would seem that Yi is using Mi's brand. Everywhere this camera is listed as the Xiaomi Xiaoyi Mini...

Is that proof that Mi can't control Yi?

You may say so. But there are many different small companies under "Mi" , they invest in all of them, but do not control them. It's more because you cannot put all eggs into one basket. People think these small "Mi" subsidiary companies are hi-tech , no, they are not, they just pretend to be hi-tech, any of them can be successful and get money from VC, means "Mi" 's investment has some fruits.

Do they make any money for investors ? No, not yet, they make money for their boss only.

...they make money for their boss only.

Which boss? Mi, Yi, or Xi?

Yi's boss. You think too much. :)

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