3D Robotics has put a lot of effort into this quadcopter, they have developed the best software combined with engineering. The outcome is a Solo, “Smart Drone” designed to be “future-proof” as the company calls it.
3DR Solo Review
- Design - 9/109/10
- Battery life - 8/108/10
- Features - 10/1010/10
- Ease of use - 9/109/10
THE GOOD: 3DR Solos features are accurate and great for aerial photography and videography, even the most beginner of pilots will have no problems using them. The Smart Controller packs all these great features in a simplistic way, while providing important flight data such as altitude, speed and GPS map location. The HD streaming (FPV) works with no delay. Most surprising specification of 3D Robotics Solo, is the speed, 89km/h is amazingly good. The fact both quadcopter and transmitter have its own 1GHz computer boards with Linux make it stand out from other quadcopter systems.
THE BAD: 800 meter range is good, but not comparing to other same price drones. 3D Robotics could have done a better job to increase it. It’s price may not appeal to some users, especially since Dji Phantom 3 costs less.
BOTTOM LINE: Overall Solo is great for capturing amazing aerial shots. Pilot has total control of camera and gimbal straight from transmitter and device’s application. 3D Robotics made it very easy for beginners to take the perfect photo or video. Features as Selfie, Orbit and Follow are very useful and easy to use. Although it may be somewhat of a pricy drone, it promises and delivers great quality. A drone to keep for years to come.
User Review( votes)
Purpose of Solo is not to be outdated. Packing powerful technology, which will supposedly last for years to come. So let us take a journey into our 3DR Solo review and find out what is so great about this drone.
Flight time: 20-25 min
Camera: Compatible with GoPro® HERO3, 3+ and 4; optimized for HERO3+ and 4
Battery: 5200 mAh 14.8 Vdc Lithium polymer
Max speed: 55mph (89km/h)
Range: 5 miles / 800 meters
AutoPilot: Pixhawk 2
Gimbal: 3-Axis Stabilized
Motors: 880 kV
Photography and Videography features: Selfie, Orbit, Follow
Price range: Check price on Amazon
First of all, the transmitter has its own 1GHz computer, this is unprecedented, one of the few drones to have it. This is aimed to simplify flight and give total and easy control of quadcopter even for beginners. Controller has a holder for a smartphone or iPad Mini, through an app (available for both Android and iOS) displays FPV (real time video transmission) on your screen as well as important flight data such as quadcopter speed. Another great info provided by the app is the GPS view. The transmitter itself, besides the useful buttons of auto takeoff and landing. Solo is one of the first drones to allow pilot to have full control of GoPro while flying. Controller’s computer has integrated WiFi to keep you constantly connected and a built-in HDMI port for live broadcast of your GoPro HD long range video feed. Its 1GHz computer also automatically saves flight data along 500 parameters directly to its internal memory.
Battery & top speed
3D Robotics Solo uses a 5200mAh rechargeable lithium battery that is placed on top of the quadcopter, it provides 25 minute flight when not using camera or gimbal. If using both it lasts 20 minute. It is a fairly good amount of time considering all the hardware it has to power. Comparing to other same price range drones it has the average flight time, about the same has DJI most recent product the Phantom 3. It is also important to mention the maximum speed Solo can reach, about 89Km/h, thanks to its powerful battery and 880 kV motors. During our 3DR Solo review we have founded it very fast and easy to fly. We thought Walkera Runner 250 is fast, hah!
Solo’s application makes it easy for pilot to have access to other features such as Selfie (drone will fly around pilot while recording), Orbit (circle an object for a “wrap-around” video shot), Follow (drone will follow person without any control input of pilot). All these features make it a great sporting quadcopter for aerial photography and videography. All Smart Shots use the satellite map view to check for obstacles and facilitate user commands. To have access to this functions you will need an Android or iOS device connected to your quadcopter. The application and updates are free to download.
Solo is “built to evolve”, so it will not be easily outdated as other competitors. Has swappable motor pods, expansion bay to add extras such as a parachute for extra safety, a LED light or an optical flow sensor (all available in 3DR store). Pixhawk 2 flight controller alongside a 1GHz Linux-based computer (and a second computer in the controller) prevent the quadcopter from flying away from pilot. Transmitter communicates directly with the flight controller and pilot inputs are sent via the Linux computer. If the flight controller stops receiving information, it will wait for the Linux computer to reboot and hover in place until it gets more information. If not, it will return to pilot automatically as a safety measure. All in all, amazing software comes with Solo, it reminds me of Walkera Voyager 3.
Although 3DR Solo does not come with a camera, its 3-Axis Gimbal is built for GoPro’s, the best cameras currently in the market. Solo is first in the market to allow in-flight access to GoPro controls, this is due to 3D Robotics and GoPro working together in this drone. The combination gives pilot fine-grain camera tilt control, angle presets and instant speed adjustment.
3DR Solo’s firmware is easily updated through the mobile app, so expect your quadcopter to always be on top of the game. Have you enjoyed our review?