When it comes to choosing an entry-level drone, I don’t think there’s any better product than the DJI Tello.
Sure, there are other manufacturers that offer drones that are cheaper and perhaps, even come with slightly better specs, but can they provide the assurance DJI does?
After all, this company has established itself as a pioneer in consumer and commercial drones.
While the Tello is not perfect, it does have enough features for the average entry-level drone pilot. And having tried and tested countless drones over the past 7 years of my travels, I can safely say that you can rarely go wrong with a DJI product.
But will this drone be the right choice for you? Well, today, I’m here to answer that question and more on this drone that costs less than $100.
Hi, I’m Dhia and welcome to my review of DJI Tello.
Why purchase DJI Tello?
Look, let me start by being completely honest here—DJI Tello is NOT a product that’ll win many awards. It has a low-end camera, low flying limitations, and little to no safety options. But those are not features that you should expect in a drone this cheap, in the first place.
Here are some reasons why you should still consider it:
1. The ‘DJI reliability’ factor
The reason I trust DJI over every other brand is simple—there’s no other company that can match up to DJI’s level of expertise and assurance. Tello, being a DJI product, comes with a tough exterior (despite the looks) and can reportedly withstand a few falls and crashes. Even though I didn’t fly this product extensively throughout my travels, I did manage to get it into trouble a few times.
Once I flew it straight into a lamppost as I forgot that Tello is not a drone that can avoid collisions on its own. And the other time, some tree leaves got in the way as I tried to maneuver the drone in reverse. Entirely my fault in both instances! Surprisingly, the Tello got away with only minor bruises on its body and propeller guard.
It didn’t fall from a height of more than 10 feet, but still…the durability of the components has to be appreciated.
2. A decent camera and video recording features
As I said, you can’t expect world-class anything on a drone that costs less than $100, so the 5MP camera makes sense. I captured many images and found that quality is best during sunny or well-lit conditions. But that shouldn’t come off as a surprise as most low-end cameras tend to be that way.
If I were still in college and wanted to take pictures for a project, then I wouldn’t mind using this camera. But for travel pictures, I wouldn’t recommend it. The maximum video recording quality is 720P, and it’s stored in MP4 format. The video quality is also decent, and I managed to get some good footage here and there.
Since this is a starter drone, I recommend you utilize your time by learning how to fly than try and capture vivid imagery. That way, you’ll be getting the best VFM in the long run.
3. Easy handling and battery life
DJI Tello is best for beginners because it comes with many features that make flying easy as a breeze. It flies away up to 100 meters and vertically up to 10 meters, which means you have enough freedom to let your imagination soar. Thanks to DJI’s advanced flight mechanics, you can be ensured of stable flights in almost every scenario.
However, I recommend not trying your luck when it’s windy as this drone weighs approximately 80 grams, which is incredibly light even for entry-level drone standards. I have to add that wind (however low it was) did play a role in both crashes. Don’t be like me; keep your quadcopter safe.
Also, be mindful of battery life. Even though this baby claims to fly for 13-15 minutes, wind and temperature can significantly alter the maximum flight time. The good news is that when you’re operating a drone, time seems to pass slower than usual, so you’ll get your share of fun time.
4. Exclusive, cool features
This drone has many tricks up its sleeve, which may not be apparent to every buyer. Kicking off, it has features like ‘Throw & Go’, which makes the model start flying automatically when you throw it in the air. Then you have Bounce mode that allows users to launch and land from the palm of their hands.
And if those weren’t enough, Tello also comes with the ability to perform cool aerial stunts, 360-degree circling, and VR compatibility if you ever want to record in First Person view. For the price you pay for this quadcopter, I’d say these features are more than a bonus.
What could’ve been better?
Like I mentioned before, the DJI Tello doesn’t come with obstacle avoidance sensors, making it easy to crash if you’re not extra careful. Starter drone or not, even a frontal obstacle sensor would’ve added more value to the package and helped secure people’s investments a little bit better.
Also, some people have reported their phones getting disconnected randomly from the controller. But I never faced that problem, either with an Android device or an iPhone, so I can’t really say that’s common.
- Excellent value for money for the price it is available
- Decent camera and flight time
- Has quite a few tricks you can perform to impress your friends
- DJI ensures top-notch customer support and warranty terms
- Lack of obstacle avoidance sensors can make flying risky
What’s the verdict?
Well, the DJI Tello is not without its share of faults, but all those can be excused given how every other feature work as promised. I used this drone to learn a few risky moves that I could later apply when flying the more expensive ones. This is not a filmmaker’s drone in any sense, but if you want to learn how to fly like a filmmaker with minimal risks, then Tello is the one to get.
That’s all I have to say about this drone! Try it out and see if you enjoy flying.
Till next time!