How would you like to have a drone that has real-time video transmission but does not require you to use your smartphone for the FPV experience? Well, that, and much more is what you get with the Xiaomi FIMI A3, one of the releases of the year 2019. Like the preceding Xiaomi drones, even this one is made to stun and give you a flight experience that you will never forget.
There are some things that we have come to expect from the Xiaomi drones. One of them is high quality camera. Another is the use of hands-free features such as gestures. For example, in the Goolsky VISUO XS812 that we reviewed earlier, you can see that you can take selfies with it, it is foldable and comes with a choice of two cameras. Can you expect the same from the FIMI A3? Well, not really. You can expect much better!
Xiaomi FIMI A3 Features & Technical Details
Style, design and build
This is a good-looking drone, available in white color. It is not a foldable quadcopter, and the size is a bit too big for tucking in your travel backpack. However, it is sturdily built and it can take some abuse. When the drone sets down, it stands on its soft rubber feet. Even during a hard landing, the feet will protect its belly since it does not come anywhere near the ground.
The drone is sold with six propellers. You need four, but you get 2 spare ones – each for clockwise and counterclockwise direction. To fix the props, just match the ones with the red markings to the prop mounts with red markings.
For excellent flight, this drone has brushless motors. It is quieter and can fly longer without the motors getting heated up. Brushless motors require minimal maintenance as compared to their brushed counterparts.
You will have to register this drone with the FAA before you can fly it since it weighs 560g. You can still travel with it if you like, but you will need a sizable carry case. The size is 11.2 by 9.0 by 2.7 inches.
The high capacity 2000mAh battery is one of the outstanding features of the Xiaomi FIMI A3. This 3-cell battery can give you a flight time of 25 minutes according to the manufacturer. If you will be able to order a second battery, you can have double flight time, which means double the fun and thrill of flying this drone.
Something important to note here… the drone battery gives you 25 minutes of flight time when you use a 4.35HV balance charger. If you use the charger that it comes with, you will get 21 minutes of flight time, which is not too bad either.
The FIMI A3 is equipped with a 1080P resolution camera. The video format is MP4, which is ready-to-play on any device. The photos will be in the JPG format, again, easy to be viewed on any device.
In addition to the camera, you get an excellent first person view. For this, you will not need a smartphone. You can view your videos in real-time on the LCD screen that is built-in on the remote controller. This also means that you do not have to worry about downloading apps. You do not need them.
Another thing that we may mention in relation to the camera is that the drone has a slot for a MicroSD card for the storage of your footage.
Even when the drone flight is not very stable, the photos and video footage is quite good. It has a 2-axis mechanical gimbal and a 3 axis electronic gimbal. The latter is particularly responsible for enhancing the footage quality even when the drone flight is not very stable.
It is stylishly built and ergonomic in design. It does not have as many knobs and buttons as we have been used to with other controllers. However, the LCD screen is quite a win. It has a screen resolution of 480 by 272.
It measures 4.3 inches, not as big as your smartphone screen, but it does its job perfectly. It connects to your drone through the 2.4GHz frequency which suffers minimal to zero interruptions. The maximum connectivity range with the remote controller is 1000 meters, quite long.
With the built-in AVout, you can share the footage that you capture with family and friends using a bigger display, from the LCD screen.
Flight and Security Features
The Xiaomi FIMI A3 is GPS/GLONASS enabled drone. This means that it comes with many automatic features and it is not easy to lose this drone. With satellite positioning, this drone can withstand winds of low to medium velocity. You will get very stable hovering mode thanks to the GPS system.
You get two modes with the FIMI A3. One of them is a new style. It is the Dronie mode. When you engage this mode, the drone will fly in reverse at a good speed, giving you a nice footage capturing experience.
The second mode is the regular fixed wing flight mode. In this mode, the drone will fly forwards at 18m/s, will ascend at 6m/s and descend at 5m/s. The maximum height/altitude that this drone can fly to is 500 meters!
It can also fly sidewards, backwards, is able to turn left or right and can also go up and down.
These are many. They include the following:
Headless mode: You will be very thankful for this feature. If you will fly the drone to the maximum flight range of 1000 meters, it is possible to have the drone go out of your sight. When out of sight, it is not easy to tell where the drone heads. With headless mode, you can be assured that the drone is flying in the right direction.
Follow Me Mode: In this mode, the drone follows after you capturing photo or video footage. It will never lose you. If you move faster, it increases its speed and keeps a respectable distance all the time.
Automatic return home: This is a good security feature. It means that the drone turns and returns home if the battery runs low or if it loses signal with the remote controller. This is also a good beginner feature.
Orbit Mode: In this mode, the drone circles a certain person or object, taking footage from all angles.
One key takeoff and landing: This is a common feature on almost all drones. It is a beginner feature. You engage it and the drone either takes off or starts to land. No guesswork!
GPS electronic fence: Also called geo-fencing, you can draw the boundaries within which you want your drone to fly. When you launch it, the drone flies within the electronic fence.
Short Summary of Feedback from Existing Owners
I am glad I bought my Xiaomi FIMI A3 and although I thought the price was too high, it has served me very well. Harrel G.
I love that this is a self-contained drone and I do not have to use my smartphone. Everything that I need is on the remote controller. Andy N.
Great camera quality! I have been capturing awesome video outdoors. I can transmit video over a long distance, enjoying an excellent first person view. Eliud O.
I was looking for a perfect gift for my husband. He has been awesome with me and the kids and I wanted to surprise him. I bought him the FIMI A3 and he loves it and I to bits. Shayne F.
I have never experienced a drone that can fly in reverse but this one does. Good value for money. Abel W.
I bought this as my first drone. It was simple to put together, with the propellers snapping right into place. They are also marked so you can get them right on the first attempt. Jared H.
Brushless motors, nice camera, nice controller and so many more features make this a good drone. However, I think the price is a bit high. Marcus J.
Pros of Xiaomi FIMI A3
- Brushless motors
- High-speed flight at 65km/h tops
- Easy to install and remove propellers
- Different speed modes
- GPS enabled for stable flight
- Good battery life
- Sold with a balance charger
- Advanced remote controller with a built-in screen
Cons of Xiaomi FIMI A3
- Remote controller screen can be hard to see in bright light
- Price is a bit steep on some online marketplaces
Who Should Buy The Xiaomi FIMI A3?
If you would love a good drone built to last, with advanced features such as sideward flight, backward flight, high quality camera and many more, buy the FIMI A3. It is another great addition to the Goolsky family. This is not exactly a beginner drone, but if you are daring enough, go ahead and buy it, but do take the recommendations that we will give you below to heart. With good care and having been designed with brushless motors, this drone can last a long time.
Conclusion and Recommendation
This Xiaomi FIMI A3 drone has many advanced features. As such, it can get a little complicated to fly it for the first time. However, we would recommend that you study the user manual first so that you know how to get it ready. You may also watch a YouTube video (there are many) about how to get the best out of this drone. We do not know whether you can get a spare battery, but keep checking because such would increase your flight time by a big deal.