Try using the Yi camera without the app, and you have to have a bit more faith. You're also stuck when it comes to things like knowing how much memory card space you have left for photos and videos, or battery life (other than a very basic indication). It also expands the capabilities of the camera quite a lot.For example, there's an LED that flashes to confirm you took a photo. You can not only change modes, but also fine-tune the settings within those modes.The Yi cam was also initially reported to have 64GB of storage.To clarify, it can read SD cards of that capacity (up to 128GB in fact, according to the official website), but you still need to provide one.I was a bit surprised; I expected it to conveniently slip into the Go Pro dive housing, or the frame mount or... This includes Go Pro's three-pronged connector, and its shoe clip. One fairly big annoyance with the Yi camera is that until you shell out on some accessories, you have to take special care of the naked lens.The Go Pro Hero can be thrown in any bag/backpack without concern.
I ended up carrying it in my hand for the most part, which soon gets frustrating.
Thankfully, some independent retailers are stepping in and making the camera available to US buyers such as Gear Best, which provided the loan camera for this comparison (price at time of writing: ).
It's also worth mentioning that the Yi camera was reported to be waterproof to 40 meters, like the Go Pro Hero is. You need to buy a separate dive housing for that (unlike the Hero, which has one built in).
In photo mode, the Yi has more pronounced colors and sometimes details are sharper.
This, unsurprisingly, translates up into time-lapse videos, too -- which are, of course, just a series of photos.