SPENDING an absurd amount of cash on a tech item is always a memorable experience, but owning expensive items can make you feel anxious about using them.
Because who wants to drop thousands of dollars on a product only to break it soon after?
Professional drones, for example, cost upward of $A800 — making them very expensive to repair or replace if the worst happens.
And let’s face it, with a drone your flight skills are going to be dubious at best when trying to master the steep learning curve required to fly it properly.
Now one Chinese drone company has developed a genius solution that should be adopted by tech companies across the globe.
Every eHang’s GhostDrone 2.0 comes with a warranty that encourages customers to push its product the limits.
“We will service your GHOSTDRONE 2.0 up to three times in the first year of purchase. Just send it to us and we will fix it again, no questions asked,” the company website explains.
In addition to removing the fear of breaking the product, eHang has worked to make the $899 GhostDrone 2.0 the perfect entry-level product for beginners.
To keep the costs lower, eHang doesn’t include a remote control for flying the drone — instead each action is performed using an Android or iOS device.
Understanding smartphones have relatively weak wireless radios, the GhostDrone 2.0’s one-kilometre range is made possible through a strong Wi-Fi linking pair of VR goggles.
Even more impressive is the goggles also let you look at a view from the perspective and change the angle of the on-board 4K Ultra high definition gimbal camera by simply moving your head.
But be warned — flying a drone and using a headset is illegal in Australia, so the headset will have to worn by a buddy.
On the downside, the product’s companion VR goggles can offer a sketchy connection from time to time — but who really cares when eHang will give you a new replacement if you crash.
In terms of controlling the drone, the controller can set a waypoint on a Google Maps type setting and watch the product automatically make its way to the marker, where it will hover until given a new command.
Alternatively, users can opt for a more manual approach and use either touchscreen controls or the smartphones in-built gyroscope — the ability to control the UAV by simply tilting your phone in the direction you would like it go.
The drone is capable of reaching speeds of 70km/h and comes with a 1,600mAh battery offering 25 minutes of flight time.
Thankfully, if the GhostDrone 2.0 loses connection or runs too low on battery, it will automatically return to the precise location it took off.
I LIKE THE WARRANTY, BUT IT’S STILL EXPENSIVE
Sure, GhostDrone 2.0 makes a convincing argument with its warranty, but its price tag might be a little much for the average punter.
While it doesn’t have a replacement policy, ASX-listed company IOT Group offer a cheap alternative to those wanting to get into drone flying.
The small, $399 ROVA quadcopter is designed for use indoors and has protective casing around the four propellers, with an on-board camera capable of capturing 12MP stills and 1080p high definition video at either 30 and 60fps.
Similar to the GhostDrone 2.0, the ROVA is controlled by an iOS or Android device, although it lacks many of the flying modes offered by the more expensive unit.
The ROVA markets itself as the ultimate selfie drone, although there is no automated camera features meaning you need to both control the unit and camera at the same time.
And while it is possible to hover the drone for the perfect show, you have to ensure there is no strong breeze or the product can drift away.
In saying that the drone comes with a nice carry case, is small and portable and charges using USB — sadly there is only eight minutes of flight time.
While I would be more inclined to recommend the more expensive product, the ROVA could be the perfect stepping stone.
Originally published as The best last minute drone for Xmas
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