The DJI Tello is a small drone with a pocket-friendly price tag that will blow your mind with its wealth of features. It is exceptionally easy to fly and is a great option for kids and perfect for the leaner drone enthusiasts looking for their first drone experience.
We cannot deny that DJI is the ultimate industry leader when it comes to producing quality consumer camera drones. Time and time again, they’ve proven this by rolling out high-performance drones at different price categories. The Tello adds to their stellar reputation in the world of drone making.
However, with this particular drone, DJI partnered with Ryze Tech to bring you a game-changer when it released the Tello . When released it got enthusiasts in the drone world talking. The Tello is compact and lightweight but comes stacked with an abundance of advanced features that will grab your attention from the very get-go!
The best part of it all is that it is extremely budget-friendly, proving to be the ideal choice for kids, beginners, as well as intermediate quadcopter pilots.
1 1/2 hours
5MP, 720p video HD Camera
DJI TELLO AT A GLANCE
The DJI Tello drone is an extremely small machine weighing just 80g. However, it comes with a ton of exciting high-tech features that help to enhance its performance in the air. Let us take a closer look at what it brings to the table.
The DJI Tello quadcopter offers you a flight time of around 13 minutes on a full charge, which is quite impressive for a drone in the under 100 price range. It is powered by a 3.8V, two-cell battery that runs at 1100mAH. The battery will require approximately one and a half hours to fully recharge once it runs out of power, so you might want to get a spare if you don’t want to wait to recharge.
There is a USB port situated on the side of the drone’s frame that is used for charging the battery. An LED light has been placed next to the camera that blinks whenever the battery is charging. The light will turn to solid blue once the battery is full.
The Tello comes with an impressive camera that can record 720p video at 30 frames per second and shoot 5MP stills. It has an 82.6-degree field of view to ensure you get more details in your shots.
The camera quality is not the best out there, but it is enhanced by Tello’s use of a powerful 14-core Intel processor.
An Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) system aids to eliminate blur on your footage. The Tello drone has an interesting feature called EZ shots that enhances the fun and ease of shooting with its camera. It consists of various modes, including Circle, 360, and Up & Away. When it comes to storage, the drone, regrettably, does not have internal storage and neither does it come with a micro SD card slot.
Rather, it transmits photos and videos directly to your smartphone phone or tablet, thanks to the exciting FPV feature. This means you can share amazing photos on your social media accounts as soon as you take them. Another aspect to note is that you can set the quality of your pictures via the Tello app, although the settings are not saved by the app.
The drone is also compatible with a VR headset, allowing you to have an immersive FPV experience.
The Tello can fly to an operating range of 100m horizontally without any interference. But because of interference, especially if you’re flying in urban areas, the typical range is around 80m. Vertically, the drone can reach a maximum of 10m above the takeoff point.
The drone does not come with a dedicated remote control, but it operates on the 2.4GHz frequency, allowing you to fly it using a smartphone, tablet, or even a Bluetooth-enabled remote control. Note that the Tello won’t come back to its takeoff position in case something happens to the flight; instead, it just auto lands.
Two antennas on the Tello drone ensure that you get the best connection possible. Since the drone is not supported by GPS, it employs optical sensors situated at the bottom of its frame for positioning and hovering. Furthermore, the drone uses a similar processor to the ones found on some of its high-end siblings like the Mavic Air and DJI Spark, which enables it to respond to gesture commands.
Thanks to a host of advanced features, flying the Tello makes for a fun experience. Bottom optical sensors, as well as the Vision Positioning System, allow for a stable hovering position. The compact, lightweight, and plastic construction of the Tello allows it to be very agile in the air.
It can perform mid-air stunts like 8D flips, which can make for a thrilling aerial showcase. The brushed motors powering this quad may not be as efficient as brushless motors, nevertheless, they generate enough power to propel the drone to top speeds of 18mph.
Another interesting feature to note on the Tello is that it comes with a collision detection system, which is not something you easily find on a drone this cheap. The benefit is that you won’t keep bumping into obstacles such as electricity cables and trees when you’re flying the quadcopter.
Furthermore, the propellers have been designed to offer maximum thrust while producing little noise. The sturdy plastic body of the Tello protects it against minor crashes and occasional bumps. Flying the drone is an effortless experience.
It's straight forward controls allow even the most novice pilots to fly this drone with ease. You’ll also enjoy the several flight modes that the Tello has been equipped with to add value to the whole experience. Functions like automatic landing/takeoff and altitude hold mode further simplify flying the Tello!
What We Like
There are so many great features on the Tello that made us fall in love with this magnificent quadcopter. One of its major selling points is the price. The drone will cost you under $100 but the performance it delivers is good enough to rival the best drones under 200 dollars.
The drone is equipped with a Vision Positioning System that allows for a stable hover. This is reinforced by the vision sensors located at the bottom of the drone for an easy flying experience. However, the system can only work between altitudes of 1 foot and 32.8 feet, flying the drone beyond these limits renders the feature ineffective.
You’ll have a great time using the FPV feature, which allows you to share real-time footage of the drone’s camera to your smart device. It gets even better when you consider the drone is VR headset compatible; this will take the experience to a whole new level.
Fail-safe features have also been included to ensure that no harm comes to the Tello when there’s a loss of signal or the battery is running low. The Attitude mode lets the drone land quickly and safely to prevent potential hazards.
The drone can also perform 8D flips in the air, which can make for an amazing aerial showcase for friends and family. Three swipes on the smartphone screen are all you need to see it perform a summersault.
There are tons of intelligent flight modes that make flying this drone effortless for users. Functions such as PalmLand and Tap to Land ensure that rookie drone pilots will have an easy time managing the Tello drone when it’s in the air.
The drone is lightweight and at only 80 grams, you won’t need to register with the FAA. Also, the flight time and control range are decent for a drone in the entry-level bracket.
There are three different ways you can control the Tello drone. You can choose to use a remote control or control it on your smart device by downloading the free Tello app. Finally, you can do this through the Scratch programming interface; giving so many options!
The two antennas that have been included on the drone ensure that you get the strongest connection when flying this drone. This goes a long way to guarantee that your flight session won’t be constantly interrupted because of a lost signal.
What We Don’t Like
The DJI Tello’s charging system is built into its body, which means the drone has to be on the ground for you to charge the battery. Luckily, you can buy an optional charging station and an extra battery to solve this little inconvenience.
Unfortunately, the drone does not come with internal storage, and since it not equipped with a micro SD card slot, storing your photos and video can only happen on your smart device.
Also, the Tello app does not support just any smartphone or tablet, so you must ensure that you’re using a compatible smartphone before you can fly the Tello using it.
Advice to Buyers
If you are looking to buy a high-performance quadcopter on a budget, the Tello should be among the top models to consider. It has many advanced features that you won’t find in many drones in the sub-100-dollar price range.
Also, the drone is relatively easy to control, so whether you have never flown a drone or are still getting acquainted with the process, you won’t have a problem with this exciting piece of machine!
Is the DJI Tello worth it?
Definitely! The Tello is worth every dime and among the best cheap drones in the market today! You’ll be lucky to find a drone in its price range that can match or rival the kind of performance it delivers. The drone ticks all boxes when you consider aspects such as the build, flight time, and control range to the overall aerial performance. What makes the Tello drone stand out from the crowd is the many advanced features it is equipped with; which are not common for an entry-level drone. The best part of it all is that the cost of the drone won’t even dent your bank account! So, totally worth it!
Does DJI Tello have GPS?
No! The DJI Tello drone does not feature GPS support, that’s why it won’t return to its takeoff position when the signal is lost or when the battery is running out of charge. This Return Home feature is standard for drones with GPS; no wonder you can’t find it on the Tello. To make up for the lack of a GPS module, the drone instead uses optical sensors at the bottom of its frame for positioning and hovering.
IS TELLO MADE BY DJI?
Yes! The Tello was made by DJI, but they were not the only contributors to the design of this wonderful quadcopter. In fact, the drone was developed and manufactured by Ryze Tech, a startup from Shenzen. However, the company partnered with industry giants, DJI , borrowing a lot of their technology to help create a game-changing product that is far more capable than other low-budget competitors.
The Tello drone uses the same processor such as the one found on costlier DJI drones such as the Mavic Air and Spark. The collaboration between these two manufacturers was a great move ; anyone who’s ever flown the Tello quadcopter can attest to this!
What we concluded from the above DJI Tello review is that the drone boasts everything you could ever dream of in a budget drone. It is portable, agile in the air and comes with features and flight modes that will impress even the most avid drone pilots.
The camera is also decent enough for any hobbyist while the flight time and control range are ideal for a new drone user to learn new flying skills. In a nutshell, the Tello is a pocket Hercules of a drone that offers a great bang for the buck!