Xiaomi MiTu: A Tello Competitor for Less
Xiaomi MiTuStarting under $80
Ease of Flying/Stability9.0/10
- Onboard memory
- 720p camera
- Very stable
- Lack of physical remote
- No EIS (electronic image stabilization)
- Range: 100 meters
- Flight Time: 10 minutes
- Camera: 720p 2 MP
The Xiaomi MiTu is a small drone that was built to compete with the Ryze Tello. The MiTu has a 2 MP HD camera, optical flow, and some interesting flight modes. Unlike the Tello, the MiTu offers onboard video storage. Does that mean the MiTu will beat the game-changing Tello in the under-$100 category? Keep in mind the MiTu also checks in at only $79, so you can save $20 by choosing the MiTu. Let’s take a closer look.
While we do really like this little quad there are four issues Xiaomi needs to address before we would recommend it to you.
1. The app and direction are all in Chinese. Now if you are fluent in Mandarin, no problem but for those that aren’t it could be problematic.
2. It requires you to log in to the app. This is a pain. Why do you need my email or Facebook info?
3. It seems to be only partially iOS compatible. We had no problem flying on our Android phone, but getting it going on an iPhone was harder. Maybe I just need to brush up on my Chinese…
4. Downloading videos is a pain! A 5-minute video took about 10 minutes to download to my phone. What’s up with that? I needed to restart the drone 3 times just to complete the download.
Some of the issues with the app are being resolved, but our patience wore pretty thin with the MiTu.
The Xiaomi MiTu is a very stable indoor drone. Its altitude hold works in conjunction with optical flow to help keep it steady. While it won’t do well outdoors in a heavy wind, it certainly can be flown outdoors on good days. The stability is good, but does not keep up with the Tello.
Xiaomi MiTu Camera
The camera on the Xiaomi MiTu is a 2 MP camera. It may not have the optical image stabilization that the Tello does but it can still take quality pictures and videos. Video is recorded in 720p and you’ll have to fly slow and steady to get good footage.
The MiTu can store up to 4GB of video onboard. This is a major advantage over the Tello since the Tello has no way to record onboard the drone. The Tello video is streamed directly to your smartphone, so the recording quality is directly related to the strength of your WiFi signal. There are ways to boost that signal, learn more about that in our dedicated article.
Xiaomi MiTu Features
The MiTu is controlled via an app on your smartphone. You can also control it with a Bluetooth controller if you have one. Like most drones in this price range, you can do flips and rolls, change speeds as well as take off and land with the push of a button. One thing that makes the MiTu unique is its “battle mode”. You can shoot infrared “lasers” at other MiTu drones and have a little mini-drone battle. We’ve seen this before with the Cheerson CX-60 and actually really enjoy this feature. It is a lot of fun but you’ll need two MiTu drones in order to battle.
Xiaomi MiTu vs Ryze Tello
These two drones are very similar, so let’s take a closer look. Let’s start with the cameras. The Tello has a 5 MP camera with optical image stabilization. The Xiaomi MiTu features a 2 MP camera without the ability to stabilize. If you keep the Tello close or add an extender this is definitely a win for the Tello. However, the onboard storage of the Xiaomi MiTu ensures you won’t drop any frames. Verdict: Tello – at the end of the day, stability is critical to great video
The Tello boasts a handful of useful flight modes. You can do dronies, circles and other interesting flight modes in addition to changing speeds and doing flips. The Xiaomi MiTu doesn’t include additional flight modes with the exception of the battle mode, but you’ll need a second MiTu to take advantage of that. Verdict: Tello
The Tello has a flight time of 13 minutes and a range of roughly 100 meters. The MiTu falls short with a flight time of only 8 to 10 minutes. The range will be the same as the Tello. You can easily extend the range of either with this quick hack. Verdict: Tello
The Ryze Tello starts at $99. While that is a pretty solid deal, the MiTu will only set you back $79. Verdict: MiTu
The MiTu suffers when it comes to usability. With poor English support and slow video download, the MiTu can be frustrating. The Tello is a breeze to setup and fly. Virdict: Tello
Should You Get a Xiaomi MiTu?
If you are looking for a fun beginner drone that can take decent pictures and video then the MiTu is worth a look. It compares pretty well to the Tello and at $79 is a pretty good deal. No, it isn’t a Mavic Air, but you knew that when you saw it was $600 cheaper. The MiTu is definitely worth a look, especially if you are considering a Tello. Right now the app is only in Chinese, but it is fairly intuitive and we are pretty confident that Xiaomi will release an English update soon.
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