A favorite among amateur skateboarders and professional video production teams alike, the GoPro family has become the de facto standard for compact action cameras. But not everyone wants to pay a GoPro price. The original Yi camera is still recommended by many, but a far superior alternative is the recently released Yi Lite. And don’t let that “Lite” descriptor hold you back either.

While you can still pick up the Yi action camera for about $70, the newer Yi Lite is only a few bucks more and it unlocks at least two critical features that warrant the small price premium.

First, the original Yi lacked a screen, so the only way that you could suitably frame your shot was by pairing the WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled action camera to your smartphone. You’d have to load up the app and do all your adjustments and previews from there. The display on the Yi Lite isn’t going to win any awards at just 2.0-inches in size with a QVGA (320 x 240 pixel) resolution, but it gets the job done. And it’s protected by Gorilla Glass too.

The other part of the equation is that the Yi Lite is capable of shooting 4K video, if that’s your kind of thing. Video at that resolution is limited to 15fps, however, so you’ll need to downgrade to 1080p if you want 30fps or 60fps. The Sony IMX206 image sensor runs the show, capturing 16MP stills as well.

Yi Lite: The Best Cheap GoPro Alternative?

Yes, you could fork over the bigger bucks to get the Yi 4K to shoot 4K at 30fps (60mbps), previewing on a slightly larger 2.19″ LCD touchscreen (640×360), but that’s almost twice the price as the Yi Lite. And then you’ve got to start asking if you want to spend even more to get a GoPro.


There are other $100 action cameras out there, but it’s looking like the newer Yi Lite is the way to go. Pick it up on Amazon for $99.99 in any color you want as long as it’s black.

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