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Affordable Yi action cam lands on Amazon for the holidays

Originally sold in China under the Xiaomi name, this pocket-sized video camera is now available in the US.

At 2015's Mobile World Congress Chinese electronics brand Xiaomi launched the tiny Yi action cam, a GoPro-like camera with high-end features at a bargain price.

It was only available in China, though you could pick one up easily enough through import sites like and The camera itself is actually made by Yi, and the company is now bringing the camera to the US exclusively through Amazon.

Priced at $99.95, this official US version of the camera is the same as the one we reviewed earlier in the year. You get a nice f2.8 wide-angle lens with a 155-degree angle of view and behind it is a Sony-made 16-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS sensor and inside is a Broadcom wireless module and an Ambarella A7LS system on a chip (SoC) running the show -- all specs you'd find in more expensive cameras.

Sarah Tew / CNET

One thing it is missing is any sort of screen, so to change camera settings or frame your shots you'll need to use the camera's Wi-Fi to connect to an Android or iOS device running the Yi app. (The app is completely in English, as are the inserts in the packaging, which wasn't the case with the Xiaomi version.) Not the end of the world, but if you're the type to actually want to see what you're shooting before you hit record, you've been warned.

You won't find much in the box besides the camera, either, so plan on spending some extra coin on accessories such as a microSD card for storage and a housing to make it waterproof. Fortunately, those are pretty inexpensive, too. You can also opt for a $140 package that includes a Bluetooth remote and selfie stick.