As a person who loves to hike and take videos, this new drone excites me to greater heights: A $99 Drone (more or less 5,500-6,500 pesos) called DJI Tello.
It is produced by a company named Ryze Tech but DJI technology and components are used in creating the drone so quality is no question.
DJI Tello is a very small and lightweight drone in line with those tiny, personal selfie drones but with better technology and overall performance.
What’s in the box of the DJI Tello
Upon opening, the DJI Tello has an instruction manual, extra set of propellers (sweet!), 1 set of battery and a propeller removal tool. The propeller guards are already attached to the Tello upon opening.
DJI Tello Specifications
Battery: It has 13-15 minutes flight time. Not bad for a small drone. Good enough to take those short videos and areal selfies similar to most standard sized drones. The battery is also removable so you can easily replace it with a fully charged one in no time.
Flight Distance: It can cover up to 100 meters flight distance and up to 10 meters flight height same as that of a two-storey building. It may not have the greatest flight distance but for its price and size, it is very capable on its own. With some practice, Tello is sufficient enough to cover that ubiquitous areal video clips that everyone wants to capture.
Processor: The Tello is equipped with Intel Processor for better and faster performance. It is quick to respond to any movement controls made by the pilot so long as you stay within range.
DJI Tello Camera
Tello is equipped with a 5MP camera capable of getting 720p footage which is sufficient enough for social media posts. The best thing about the camera in Tello is its Electronic Image Stabilization. It does not have a built-in gimbal but the digital stabilization of the drone is amazing! It takes steady footage in mid-air without an obvious shake on your video (considering there is no aggressive wind while flying).
DJI Tello Controls
You can control your drone by using a smartphone (Android or IOS) and TELLO app with intuitive User Interface. Most of the controls are 1-click so it is very easy to use even for beginners. You can also have and add on Joystick Controller if you are not comfortable using your phone to fly the drone.
DJI Tello Flight Modes
The DJI Tello can do some awesome flight modes to get those needed cinematic shots in just 1 tap on your controller which makes it very easy to use even for a beginner for drone flying.
Up & Away – The drone will record a short video while flying upward and backward
Circle – It will record a short video while flying in a circle around you
360 – Records a video while spinning 360 degrees in place
Flips – Slide the screen to flip the drone in different directions
Bounce Mode – Fly up ad down on a flat surface
Throw & Go – Toss the aircraft to fly and hover
Hand Landing – The drone slowly hovers downwards to land in your hand
It has auto take off and landing. You can even fly it by throwing it from your hands! It also alerts you if you have low battery on your drone and a trusty fail safe protection wherein the drone automatically lands by itself for instances where connection is lost.
DJI Tello Cons
- Because of it’s small size, the DJI Tello HATES the wind. The drone tends to get swayed a bit if there is a strong gush of wind blowing while in flight. It can still maintain its position but expect the video to be in a shaky quality. Sometimes the drone stops recording if there’s a strong wind.
- Battery life is a bit short to have a good flying session but the good side is the battery is very cheap and you can just swap out empty ones for another round of flight.
- The Tello tends to heat up and gives a 205 error message which prohibits you to fly again. You have to wait for a few minutes for it to cool down afterwards you can use it again.
- 10 meters flight height distance is sufficient for selfies but isn’t that great for cinematic shots. However, you can extend it using a wifi repeater. It can cover up to 30 meters with a wifi repeater.
- There are some slight video lags since it records directly to the phone. A weak phone to drone wifi signal tends to result in frameskipping. It is tolerable but we are hoping TELLO to fix this problem.
For its price, the DJI Tello is a dream come true for those who want to get their hands on a trusty drone with a good price tag. Packed with a capable set of specifications and functionalities for general use it is a bargain for 6,490 pesos, we can call it the new Budget Drone King.