So any drone under R5,000 is just a kid’s toy that your little brother will fly into a tree and destroy, right? Not if DJI and Ryze Tech’s new Tello collaboration has anything to say about it. The super-affordable new entry from the drone specialist incorporates analogues to some of the more premium drones’ features in a small and inexpensive package. We’re going to break down what this pocket-sized powerhouse has going for it.
A downloadable companion app allows you to control the drone from a tablet or a smartphone, and fortunately, DJI’s influence is all over it. The interface, control, and functionality mirrors what you find on DJI’s higher-end drones, which makes its inclusion for something like the Tello quite impressive. The drone also has two flight modes: slow for more precision, and fast to get from A to B with a bit of haste, both of which can be controlled through the app.
THE 5MP CAMERA
By and large, the toy drones that will compete against the Tello tend to have cameras that often can’t output a megapixel, or have none at all. The Tello will end up outright beating a lot of its competition because it has a full 5-megapixel camera, a significantly more powerful camera sensor that you’ll find in most toy drones; so it’s punching well-above its weight.
POSITIONING SYSTEM FOR FLIGHT STABILITY
Getting relatively good footage means you need a drone that’s as stable as possible, and the Tello will probably beat a lot of its competition in this regard too, since few of them offer stabilisation technology. The Tello has three sensors on the bottom that assist in keeping it steady, so for rising and dropping movements to capture certain shots, the sensors will help mitigate any shaking or shuddering that could ruin the footage.
ELECTRONIC IMAGE STABILISATION
To aid smooth footage even more, the Tello also features electronic image stabilisation. Generally, physical image stabilisation through something like a gimbal is ideal, but that’s usually quite costly, so a digital method is more suited for this price point. Its positioning system means that the body of the drone will be kept stable, and any further movement that the positioning system can’t fix, the digital image stabilisation will catch, keeping the images crystal clear.
AND OF COURSE, THE PRICE
Coming in at only R1,799, the Tello has a toy drone’s price tag, but comes with quite a bit more tech and potential for that price-point. Beyond the features listed above, it also comes with an SDK developer kit using the simple Scratch programming language, so apps or games made for the Tello will likely be developed by the community of owners at some stage. It’s even a great way to introduce someone to coding and programming, offering a little bit more competitive edge.
This drone is by no means going to compete with DJI’s other “entry-level” drones like the Spark, but it’s a dramatic improvement over the average toy drone while coming in at essentially the same price. If you’re interested in getting into the drone hobby and want to do it in the most fun, most affordable way possible check out the Tello on weFix’s site where you can place your pre-order.
The Tello will be available in mid-April, 2018.