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December 14, 2015

5 drones flying off the shelf this Christmas

List: Drones are set to top Christmas lists this year and CBR gives you a hand with your drone shopping.


From the experience of remotely flying a drone to viewing what that drone is ‘seeing’ and control the camera via VR headsets, these flying devices have seen consumer interest shoot up in 2015.

CBR lists the top five devices available in the UK market.


1. EHANG Ghostdrone 2.0 Aerial +


Price: £530

Ghostdrone 2.0’s main feature is its 4K spherical aerial filming camera that produces 12 million pixels photos.

The device has a 4500mAh battery that allows for 25 minutes flights. The Ghostdrone 2.0 Aerial + can fly in temperature ranges of -10 to 40 Celsius degrees. The maximum operating distance is 3,900 ft.

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The gadget communicates via Bluetooth, for Android devices, and Wi-Fi for iOS devices.

EHANG has developed the EHANG VR Google, a virtual reality device that allows the user to experience a full immersive experience. The device receives footage within 3,000 feet. The user can also control the angle of the camera by looking up and down, and right and left.


2. 3D Robotics Solo


Price: £979

A drone set to fly through the most hostile environments, 3D Robotics’ Solo is a device that allows users to choose the camera that best suits their needs. It is primarily designed for a GoPro to fit in allowing for videos to be recorded in HD and up to 4K.

Solo’s dual built-in 1 GHz computers constantly monitor flights: 500 parameters of flight data, 20 times a second. The drone has a smart battery with a LED indicator on the top, 880KV motors, LED lights for directional awareness.

The drone has a system of four different types of smart shots. The Cable Cam creates a virtual cable that the drone follows without distorting the picture. The Orbit mode circles an object while the Follow mode flies the device by itself along a visible route. Lastly, the Solo also offers a Selfie mode to take your own picture.

The device communicates with the user’s portable device via D Wireless. The mysolo app lets controllers view a live streaming from the flying device, has a satellite view for location accuracy and one-touch shot control.


3. DJI Phantom 3 Professional


Price: £966

With a maximum flight time of 23 minutes, DJI’s Phantom 3 Professional drone boosts a 12.4M, with 4K videos. Pictures can have a maximum size of 4000×3000.

The camera has a Sony ½.3-inch Exmor sensor, featuring an f/2.8 lens with a 94 degree field of view. The drone supports micro SD cards that can extend storage to up to 64GB.

The device can be controlled with a remote controller, however, Android and iOS devices can be connected to a USB port built on the remote. This will allow users to see real-time footage.


4. Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K


Price: £1050

Yuneec‘s Q500 4K drone has a flight time of up to 25 minutes with an operating temperature range that goes from -5 to 80 Celsius degrees.

With a 12 megapixels photo resolution, the camera shots pictures of up to 4K. It has a transmission band of 5.8GHz, supports a Micro SD card of up to 128GB, and has an aerial optimised fixed focus.

The company has also put out to the market a personal ground station that runs on Android and features a 5.5" screen to help control the drone.


5. Parrot Bebop 2


Price: £370

Bebop 2 is the latest drone by Parrot. The device has a 14 megapixel "fish-eye lens" front facing full HD camera that broadcasts live to the user’s phone, tablet or any other compatible device.

On top of taking vertical pictures, the drone also has an ultrasound sensor that analyses the flight altitude up to 16 feet, completed by a pressure sensor up to that level. The pressure sensor measures air pressure and analyses fight altitude beyond 16 feet.

Parrot has also built-in a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) chipset (GPS + GLONASS) to geo-localise the drone and help measure the speed in order to stabilise the drone in high altitudes.

The firm has also developed the Skycontroller, an optional RC-like remote control that runs on Android and enables an extended Wi-Fi range up to 6 561 ft. The remote can also be connected by HDMI to First Personal View glasses for an immersive experience.

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