Category Archives: Reviews

Yuneec Breeze review: an easy-to-fly selfie cam drone

Yuneec’s Breeze markets itself as a drone that is easy to fly without any experience, a claim that certainly holds up. It’s probably the easiest drone I’ve ever flown, as it took off in my living room and hovered, allowing me to control the direction of the drone.

It has a few different modes: Pilot mode is what traditional drone pilots wold be used to. There is also Follow, Orbit, Journey and Selfie mode.

Yuneec Breeze Size and Packing

The Yuneec Breeze is super light at just 0.81 pounds. I was impressed with how the propellers and legs fold up into about the size of an iPad (though of course slightly thicker). Every Breeze comes with a compact hard case, making it easy to travel with.

The battery took about 45 minutes to charge. You do get two batteries, which is a necessary addition since the flight time goes up to just 12 minutes. Continue reading Yuneec Breeze review: an easy-to-fly selfie cam drone

DJI Osmo Mobile review: bringing smooth video to your smartphone

DJI’s Osmo was an impressive piece of technology when it was first announced — bringing that silky, smooth drone like footage to the ground. Priced initially at $649, it was a huge cost-savings for people who wanted to ditch their $1000+ SteadiCams, but it was still too pricey for most hobby photographers to justify.

DJI is fixing that with the launch of the $299 Osmo Mobile.

For under $300, smartphone photographers can get the footage they are used to from a drone, but now with their smartphone camera.

It’s easy to use — set-up is simply taking it out of your purse (it’s about 6 inches tall) and turning it on. It uses Bluetooth to connect with the phone, and relies on the DJI Go app (the same one you’re used to using on your Phantom or Inspire) to control the settings. Continue reading DJI Osmo Mobile review: bringing smooth video to your smartphone

GhostDrone 2.0 review: too many gimmicks, not enough function

In an era where everyone is trying to be the next hot drone maker, many companies it seems are falling into the trap of a “cool, distinguishing” feature that turns out to be a marketing gimmick and nothing more. Ghost Drone 2.0 VR is no exception.

I was initially really excited about the Ghost Drone 2.0 VR given the hype around its maker, Ehang. (You may recall them wowing audiences at CES 2016 with a  human-sized drone).

The $899 Ghost Drone 2.0 calls itself the easiest-to-fly drone in the world, requiring only an Android or iOS device to fly, and comes with a set of VR goggles.

GhostDrone 2.0 Setup

Setup was extremely easy. All I had to do was screw on the self-tightening propellers. I also had to do a software update on the drone, which could not have been easier. No cords or plugging anything into a computer involved! I had to simply log onto the app and everything was done wirelessly. Easy! Time to go flying.

Drone Girl Ghost Drone
Firmware updated, and ready to go!

GhostDrone 2.0 Flying

Flying is where things went downhill. I live and work in downtown San Francisco, so I typically fly in smaller parks that are sprinkled throughout the city.  I chose one near my office, which is a block long and surrounded by buildings on all sides. I’ve had no problem flying other drones there in the past — very few people are around that area on weekends which is ideal for testing new drones. Continue reading GhostDrone 2.0 review: too many gimmicks, not enough function

Review: MzeroA’s Remote Pilot 101 course

The Part 107 exam availability is about a week away — and it’s not going to be an easy test for people unfamiliar with aeronautics.

If you’re like me and have trouble committing to — and understand — a book, then reading the FAA’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge may not be enough. There are a number of online and in-person training courses to help you learn what you need to know

I tried out MzeroA’s Remote Pilot 101 course, which consist of more than three hours of training videos, as well as 9 practice quizzes to cap the end of each section and one final exam at the end. Continue reading Review: MzeroA’s Remote Pilot 101 course

PolarPro Drone Trekker Backpack Review

Enter to win this backpack! Scroll down for details on how to win:

Looking for a backpack for your Phantom lineup of drones that also doubles as a camera backpack?

I decided to give PolarPro’s Drone Trekker a try.drone trekker

The case fits any DJI Phantom model drone as well as any laptop up to 13-inches in size with a laptop sleeve in the back.

This case seems designed particularly with the photographer in mind. While the main compartment is designed for a Phantom drone, the padded inserts can be removed or reconfigured to store a DSLR camera body and lenses. It also has an external tripod mount, which I find useful when shooting my own Drone Girl videos.

drone trekkerI review quite a few drone backpacks and what I found really intriguing about this one was a TSA approved combination travel lock. I could see this coming in handy not just when you’re traveling, but also in cases where you need to ensure the contents of your backpack are secure — perhaps even just from your kids!_MG_2119

While walking around with this backpack, I enjoyed the form-fitting and ergonomically designed shoulder straps with chest and waist supports that alleviate pressure points.

This drone backpack is 19x13x9.5 inches, so unlike most hardshell cases, this meets most airline carry-on restrictions.  If you need to check your drone in through the airport, I would still recommend a hard shell case. But for carrying your drones on hiking adventures or wherever you like to fly, the ultra-padding on this case makes it pleasant to carry.

If you’re in the market for a Phantom backpack, this one holds up!

You can win this backpack for yourself! Simply ‘Like’ the Instagram photo embedded below and ‘Follow Me‘ on Instagram at @OfficialDroneGirl by Friday, August 26 by 9 a.m. ET to be entered to win!

CONTEST TIME! I’ve partnered with PolarPro to do a giveaway of this Drone Trekker backpack. . To win this backpack, you have to do two things: 1. ‘Like’ this photo on Instagram 2. ‘Follow Me’ on Instagram. . The contest ends on Friday, August 26 at 9 a.m. ET, when one winner will be chosen at random. . The winner will be contacted via Instagram Direct Message and must respond with their mailing info within 72 hours of being contacted or a new winner will be chosen. . WANT MORE ENTRIES?! For every friend you tag in the comments who also likes this photo AND follows this page (up to 10 friends), both of you will receive an additional entry!! . #contest #dronegirl #polarpro #drone #dji #iflydji #tech #ameliadronehart #dronelife #drones #giveaway #win #2inning #droneoftheday #multicopter #p4 #phantom #liketowin #dronersio #dronereviews #quadsquad #UAV #djiglobal #dronesaregood #aerialphotography #dronetrekker

A photo posted by Sally French (@officialdronegirl) on

One winner who both ‘Likes’ and ‘Follows’ will be chosen at random. The winner must respond with their mailing info within 72 hours of being contacted or a new winner will be chosen.

 

Toy drones! Drone Girl reviews TDR’s Spider and Robin

The first piece of advice I will give anyone looking to getting into drones for the first time. Don’t start with an $1,000 drone you will inevitably crash. Pick up a $30 toy drone and start practicing with that.

I got a chance to try out two toy drones — TDR’s Spider Stunt Quadcopter ($39.99) and TDR’s Robin Pro with built-in LCD ($139.99). Continue reading Toy drones! Drone Girl reviews TDR’s Spider and Robin

DJI Phantom 4 review: a drone light-years in the future

The first drone I ever flew (and crashed about 5 seconds later) was a DJI Flame Wheel. The first drone I ever owned myself was an original DJI Phantom.

So it’s incredibly exciting to be a flying a drone that is so far ahead in its technology that it literally can sense and avoid objects in front of it. What’s even more exciting is those Flame Wheel days were only about three years ago. I would have never guessed a Phantom 4 would exist as it does today even a year ago.

For $1,199, you can get a Phantom 4, launched in March 2016, — and it’s truly an incredible piece of equipment.

dji phantom 4 propellers
The propellers auto-lock as an extra safety feature.

DJI Phantom 4 review:

The Phantom is pretty much ready to fly out of the box. There are auto-locking propellers you’ll have to put on. You also will fly with the RC transmitter, but to get that first person (FPV) view, you’ll need to use a smartphone or tablet to see what the drone’s camera sees. You can do that by connecting it to the DJI Go app.

dji phantom 4 sense and avoid sensor
The camera has eyes! Check out those two sensors on the front.

DJI Phantom 4 review: sense and avoid

The real standout point here is two front obstacle sensors combining with advanced computer vision and processing to give the Phantom its “Obstacle Avoidance” feature. Continue reading DJI Phantom 4 review: a drone light-years in the future

Lowepro QuadGuard Kit review: a case for FPV racing drones

If you fly FPV but don’t have a good way to store all your gear, Lowepro just came up with a solution.

The camera bag maker introduced a QuadGuard Kit, which costs $99.95. It’s a 2-in-1 case intended to hold one FPV 250 class racing drone or quadcopter plus parts and accessories, including a transmitter, spare blades, goggles, batteries, charger, manual, etc.

lowepro quadguard controllerOne side is definitely more suited to holding the controller.

_MG_1864The other side has dividers shaped to hold a drone, while also making room for other components. I could imagine putting FPV goggles in the left side divider of this case. Continue reading Lowepro QuadGuard Kit review: a case for FPV racing drones