Every year, drone companies try to outdo what’s been done before, and the drones of 2015 have not disappointed. These new drones will make you think the future is really arriving in earnest. They are sleek, advanced, and, understandably, a little more expensive than your average drone. With drone technology advancing all the time, it will be interesting to see what drones look like just five or even ten years from now.
Here are a few of the drones that have come out already in 2015:
DJI Phantom 3 was released in April 2015. It has two variations: the professional and advanced. Both versions have sophisticated takeoff and landing controls. Just like the previously-released Inspire 1, they have integrated Lightbridge systems, giving them 1.2mi control range. They both come with great cameras, though the cameras are what set them apart the most. The advanced shoots 1080p at 60 fps and the professional shoots 4k video at 30fps. Overall, the Phantom 3 rivals the Inspire 1 in features but comes at a much cheaper price of $999 and $1,259.
Walkera Voyager 3 was also released in April 2015. It costs $1,999 but looks to be the most advanced Walkera drone yet. It comes with a professional camera that shoots1080p at 60 fps. It has a lot of one-key features that allow you to takeoff, land, return to base and more with only the press of a button. It has a unique and intelligent control system and gets in about 20 to 25 minutes of flight time. This is a great competitor.
Hubsan X4 Pro was released around March 2015 though it was supposed to come out in 2014. It costs almost $1,000. It boasts over 40 minutes of flight time, which is absolutely incredible considering that most drones can only get in about half that time at the most. It also has an HD camera, 3-axis gimbal, fail-safe control system, and removable rotor guards for protection. But my favorite part of the X4 Pro is probably the reusable parachute that can be attached and will release in case of collisions. That’s something I haven’t seen before.
3DR Solo was released in the U.S. in May and will be released globally in June and July. Adding on the gimbal and camera, it’ll cost about $1,800. It has a smart battery, external LED lights, a 3-axis gimbal, live video feed, and an onboard computer. The Solo itself doesn’t come with a camera, but it is the first drone designed specifically to hold a GoPro camera, and so gives you complete control of the GoPro. The controls give you full access to all of the GoPro settings. It will stream video live to your mobile device, and you can record while in flight. It even has a follow setting that will allow you to fly hands-free.
Beyond these great new drones, some people will be excited to hear that it looks like GoPro is scheduled to release its first drone in the first half 2016. While there aren’t a lot of specifics on this, I think we’re all excited to see what GoPro comes up with.
- Ashley Smith