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Drone Reviews / Tutorials

Ryze Tello Drone Full Review | Setup and Test Flight

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At CES 2018 the Tello drone was unveiled and there was a lot of confusion at first as it was believed to be a new DJI Drone called the DJI Tello. However is was soon cleared up that it was in fact a new drone that feature some DJI technology as well as Intel technology inside but was the creation of a company called Ryze. For the most part DJI will be the company looking after sales of this mini drone, even when purchased from amazon the Tello is shipped out by DJI.

Unlike many other toy grade drones at the $100 price point the Tello features sensors on the bottom to help hold its altitude and position when in flight. This makes for a better more stable flight experience whether flying indoors or outdoors. Due to its small size and only weighing 80 grams flying outdoors should only be attempted on days without any significant wind. The Ryze Tello is controlled by your smart phone via its own dedicated app however there is support for some 3rd party Bluetooth game controllers.

The DJI/Ryze Tello ships with one battery that is rated for 13 minutes of flight time. Keep in mind those numbers don’t usually pan out in real world flying conditions and you are more likely to experience 9 to 10 minutes of flight time. 10 minutes of flight time is really not bad for a drone of this size. You can purchase spare batteries however at the time of publishing this article they were still listed as unavailable. The batteries are charged via the aircraft with a micro USB cable which oddly enough is not included. I guess they figure most people had several lying around. There will be a charging hub for sale down the road that can charge several batteries independently from the aircraft which will come in handy especially if you have several batteries to charge.

Ryze Tello (DJI Store) https://goo.gl/Nquebe
Ryze Tello (Amazon) http://amzn.to/2FqSHPH

Tello Bluetooth Controller: https://goo.gl/i67YWk
Tello Case: http://amzn.to/2G9bMml

 

The dedicated app for the Ryze Tello is well designed and intuitive. The layout is well-organized and the learning curve is quite low. Even a consumer brand new to drones will be up and flying quickly. The app offers many smart modes including, throw and go, 360 spin, circle, up and away and bounce. The Tello drone is capable of doing many different styles of flips and I really like how Ryze has implemented them. It’s as simple as going into the “flips” flight mode and swiping on the screen the direction you want to flip. Ryze offers two ways to land the Tello aircraft, one is an automatic landing and the other is palm landing. When you select palm landing you have 5 seconds to place you hand under the aircraft. Once the sensors recognize  your hand the Tello will gently descend until it has landed, the engines will then turn off.

Who is this drone gear towards? Well that answer is subjective. If you’re looking for a good aerial video/ photo platform than this is not the drone for you. It is capable of 5 MP photos and 720 HD video however the results are mediocre at best. There is no gimbal however the video is stabilized by software. I would say this is an excellent drone for those who are looking to learn to fly and don’t what to shell out $1000 for a higher end drone, it’s a nice little drone to learn on. Also it is a really nice drone for kids, you don’t have to worry about them crashing your expensive drone if they want to fly.

All in all a great little drone for its price category, its stable in the air and fun to fly even if used just indoors for those times you just can’t fly outside due to weather or season.

 

The Ryze Tello drone is quite small and only weighs 80 grams.

 

Ryze Tello Drone with the propeller guards removed.

 

A size comparison of the Ryze Tello drone and the DJI Spark.

 

All the contents inside the Ryze Tello drone box.

 

Here is the packaging for the Ryze Tello Drone.

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DJI Mavic Air

Review Of Polar Pro Katana For DJI Mavic Air | Hand Held Rig

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In this video we are taking a closer look at the Katana by PolarPro for the Mavic Air. This unit turns your DJI Mavic Air into a powerful hand-held stabilized camera rig. Now some may ask why you would want to turn you Mavic Air into a hand-held camera, a better question is why wouldn’t you want to! The Mavic air has a really good quality camera on board it records at 4K 60 FPS and at 100 MBS. The Mbits per second is higher that the iPhone and the GoPro Hero 6 so theoretically can capture a higher quality video. With its built-in gimbal for stabilized footage it makes for a great hand-held option and doesn’t require the expense of perhaps buying another camera if you wish to capture ground footage.

One of the really nice features of the PolarPro Katana is the fact that it is expandable. If you purchase a kit for the Mavic Air, but later purchase a DJI Spark the unit will be compatible. All you need to do is purchase the Spark specific mount, you don’t have to purchase a complete kit again. PolarPro also sells separately or in a kit a T-Grip handle that makes it easier to capture low footage. Currently the PolarPro Katana is compatible with the DJI Spark, Mavic Air, Mavic Pro/Platinum and I am confident that as DJI releases new compact drones, Polar Pro will make new mounts for them to make them work with the Katana system.

I have been using the PolarPro Katana for about a month now, I have had a good amount of time to test and play with it. I am really pleased with it performance and ease of use. Mounting the Mavic Air or other DJI Drones is quick and easy. The handles make it comfortable to hold and really helps you grab some beautiful stable footage. It comes apart nicely and easily fits into your backpack until your ready to use it again.

Katana for Mavic Air: https://amzn.to/2KBTzzS
Katana for Mavic Pro: https://amzn.to/2HVEzuA
Katana for Spark: https://amzn.to/2rjunWJ

Katana With T-Grip Mavic Air: https://amzn.to/2KC39CK
Katana With T-Grip Mavic Pro: https://amzn.to/2JTUfPL

Watch our full review on YouTube for sample footage from the DJI Mavic Air mounted in the PolarPro Katana

 


Polar Pro Katana for DJI Spark, Mavic Air and Mavic Pro. Test footage and review.

 

The PolarPro Katana is well designed and comfortable to hold.

 

All the parts included when you purchase the PolarPro Katana system for DJI Mavic Air, Spark or Mavic Pro.

 

DJI Spark mounted in the PolarPro Katana.

 

Mavic Air mounted in the PolarPro Katana.

 

This shows the difference of the DJI spark mount and the Mavic Air mount for the PolarPro Katana.

 

Optional T-Grip for the PolarPro Katana system. Makes capturing low angles easy.

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DJI Spark

Smatree Portable Charging Station For DJI Spark | Review and Thoughts

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One of the nice features of the DJI Spark is the ability to charge it via a USB cable and a power bank. You can plug the Spark into a power bank and it will charge which is great when you out on location and you have burned through all your batteries. The problem is you can only charge one battery at a time and worse your drone is tied up while charging. This is where the portable charging station by Smatree comes in. Essentially this unit is a 8100 mAh power bank with battery charging bays for the DJI Spark built in. This portable charger allows you to charge 3 spark batteries simultaneously in about 45 minutes…that is supper fast. It can charge a total of 6 batteries before the entire unit needs a recharged. There is also a USB port on the side of the unit that can be used to recharge your Spark controller or even your smart phone. The charger does have some weight to it (12.8 ounces) but still very portable and easily packed in a backpack.

Smatree Portable Charger (Updated Version)

I want to point out that Smatree has updated the portable charging station since I filmed my video and what a great update it was. The old version used a micro USB connector to recharge the power bank at (5V/2A) this worked fine, however it takes over 14 hours to recharge at this rate. The updated unit now comes with it own dedicated charger that plugs into a wall socket and directly into the power bank. The new charging specs are (8.7V/4A) and the unit can now be recharged from empty in about 3.5 to 4 hours. Such a welcome upgrade!

This is a fantastic charger and I think it is a must have accessory for every DJI Spark pilot. I really wish all drones would adopt this method of USB charging, It would save a fortune not having to buy so many extra batteries just so you can have a full day of flying.

Updated Charging Station (USA) https://amzn.to/2ql9Gcp
Updated Charging Station (CAN) https://amzn.to/2v6Yp4u

DJI Spark (DJI Website) https://goo.gl/DvoqK1
DJI Spark (USA Amazon) https://amzn.to/2HoDaxi
DJI Spark (CANADA Amazon) https://amzn.to/2GM5eJX


You can charge 3 DJI Spark batteries in 45 minutes simultaneously in the Smatree portable charger.

 

Here you can see the new connector on the updated Smatree portable charger for DJI Spark. Now at 8.7V/4A.

 

The new dedicated charging brick for the updated Smatree portable charging station.

 

A side by side comparison of the old charger vs. the new charger. Updated charger on the left and old charger on the right.

 

Updated Smatree portable charging station for DJI Spark.

 

Size comparison of the Smatree portable charger beside the DJI Spark

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