DJI TELLO REVIEW
The latest offering from DJI is the Tello – making drones fun again!
DJI Tello Review
DJI are well known for bringing their high end premium UAV’s to market, but the Tello is something different – even for one of the most innovative manufacturers in the world!
The Tello release date has not officially been set yet but we are expecting it to launch in March 2018 in the US and shortly after in other markets across the world. Whilst we haven’t got our hands on one yet we like what we see and we will be updating this review as and when we get our hands on the drone that very much resembles a DJI spark.
DJI can’t actually take all the credit for this one as they have enlisted the help of Ryze Tech – a startup tech firm from Shenzhen. Joining forces with DJI and Intel, this drone looks to put the cat amongst the pigeons in the sub £100 market which is booming right now.
The Tello is set to be priced at $99 in the US and £99 in the UK – whilst UK consumers might be put off by the lack of parity in the pricing in real terms, it is quite a steal compared to some other brands.
DJI Tello – In The Box
You can already find out a lot about the Tello from the DJI website here and you can register for stock alerts if you are desperate to purchase at launch.
From what we can see, it looks like you will get everything you need to get started and a little more with an extra four blades thrown in for good measure. If we know DJI there is also sure to be a range of accessories available for the Tello with various colours already been touted.
Despite the price point, DJI and Ryze have managed to pack some decent technology in to this tiny package and it comes with a 720p HD camera that is capable of transmitting in real time to VR goggles if you so wish and can capture images at 5MP in glorious high resolution. The test shots that we’ve seen look pretty impressive.
Under the hood, the Tello has a 14 core Intel processor (the Movidius Myriad 2 VPU) which was last seen in the Spark and it is this that allows you to launch the drone from the palm of your hand – something that has been replicated in the Tello and that will very much appeal to younger users.
Battery life is one of the areas that the Tello is set to excel with a whopping 13 minutes being claimed from the manufacturers – just 3 minutes less than the Spark. It has a top speed of 8m/s which is one area that the Tello does not particularly impress and we don’t expect it to fare too well in even slightly windy conditions.
Measuring in at 98 x 92.5 x 41mm the Tello fits easily in to the palm of your hand and will even fit in to most children’s palms too. It weighs just 80g making it well under the the 250g that drone owners will have to comply with later this year.
The drone has a vision positioning system which keeps it safe from collision (more so than other drones at this price point anyway) and of course features auto take off and landing with users being able to just throw the drone out from their palms and it automatically taking flight.
The flight and image stabilisation looks similar to that found on the Spark but the Tello does have a few aces up its sleeve too which we will cover in the camera section of this article.
The Tello is very much being pitched at young people and many are already coining it a toy drone – although that may be slightly underselling this lovely piece of tech at this stage. Nevertheless, it does feature some rolls and 8D flips that can be controlled simply by swiping on screen.
In terms of flight range, you should expect to get around 100m for image transmission and the Tello combines the use of 2 antennas to ensure you have the most responsive and interference free flight possible.
In addition to this, the Tello also has a piece of flight mapping software (known as Scratch) which will allow the user to easily plan a flight path and then execute it. Pretty neat and innovative stuff!
It may be too early for us to give a true verdict on the camera but early indications are good. It doesn’t quite live up to the camera on the Spark but 720p and 5MP is a standard we are happy to take at such a cheap price point.
What will really set the camera apart from other sub-£100 drones is the software that comes with the Tello app. This allows a range of different types of shots that are pretty automated and allow you to shoot some incredible photos and videos.
EZ shots is the flagship shot type that DJI and Ryze are pushing allowing 360 degree shots followed by a quick and smooth upward pan out as the drone flies up in to the sky away from you.
For those who are wanting in on the POV experience but have not wanted to invest in the DJI Goggles then there is good news here. The Tello will work with standard smartphone VR headsets meaning you can enjoy true POV for under £20 – this is the first DJI product to ship that can be used with a non-proprietary headset.
Whilst it is too early to get over-excited by this new drone it bodes well for what 2018 should bring. DJI do not put their name to something lightly and the very fact that they are already pushing it on their website shows that they have real faith in this product.
We would even go as far to say that this could be the top selling drone of 2018 thanks to a price point that makes it super affordable and a very good level of tech bring provided. Not to mention DJI’s excellent marketing skills!
The fact that the Tello can handle true POV in a standard VR headset and a 13 minute flight time could be a massive win for the leading UAV brand and the only negative at this stage is that the drone is more likely to be successful indoors than out – but for the drone racers out there this could offer something different – except everyone can get one!
We will bring more on the Tello as soon as we get our hands on one.
The DJI Tello could be the best selling drone of 2018 - that is a bold statement to make when it hasn't been launched yet and probably won't be until Q2 of 2018. However, it looks to have everything it needs to dominate a growing market place of young fun seeking drone owners who want a bit of everything.
POV with non-proprietary VR headsets is a game changer for DJI and a killer app to boot means that this drone could literally be flying off the shelves.