DJI Inspire 1 V2 Review
Ok so i wanted to do a review of a higher end drone and right now on this site, the DJI Inspire 1 V2 is the one. This is the flagship of DJI’s lineup and represents all of their current technology. Now this is not a toy and while not the highest end drone on the market, it is a great choice nevertheless.
The DJI Inspire 1 is a dream to fly. It is heavy enough and powerful enough that it can withstand most moderate winds. A great feature that i really like is its vision positioning system. Together with its sonar sensors it can watch the ground and monitor its relative position. Now what this basically means is that it allows you very stable flight and when you let go of the controls, it will simply hold its position, even in a wind. For a perfectly stable shot this is great. Also the sonar sensors will detect when it is close to the ground and lower the landing gear to land. It knows where the ground is rather than simply descending until it hits the ground. In flight it raises the landing gear and rotors for stable flight and to give the camera an unobstructed 360 degree view. Furthermore, in normal conditions, you will have about 18 minutes of flight time and a maximum range of a mile and a half. Now at this distance you will obviously be flying by FPV (first person view), and while cheaper drones often seem to have a lag time, this seems very rare on the DJI Inspire 1. This is because DJI has used what they call a Lightbridge system rather than a typical WiFi system.
Another very cool and convenient feature are the various intelligent flight modes. These are exactly what they sound like. With the Follow Me mode, the aircraft will simply follow you, or rather the controller, at a set distance and catch your every action from a very cool angle. You can forget about the drone and just do your own thing. Another flight mode is the Waypoint mode. Simply enter in various coordinates (this may not actually be simple), and the drone will follow the course you have laid out at your chosen height and speed. The POI or Point of Interest mode allows you to set a certain point or object and the drone will orbit it at your chosen height and distance allowing you to worry about taking you video or still shots.
Obviously a drone this capable better have a great camera and the DJI Inspire 1 definitely doesn’t disappoint. It is equipped with DJI’s X3 4K camera allowing you to take ultra high def video. It can also take 12mp still photos. All this is mounted under an auto correcting 3 axis gimbal, allowing for very stable shots. No matter the orientation of the aircraft it stays level. It can also live stream 1080p back to your FPV device.
The controller definitely looks like a busy place but don’t be overwhelmed. All the controls allow you do do a lot but the DJI Inspire 1 is very forgiving. The controller also comes with a bracket for your smart phone or tablet. It works with either ios or android devices and they have apps for both. The app also allows you to monitor the smart battery. You can view battery life, health and the number of charge cycles.
Up until now i have really just talked about the DJI Inspire 1 but now they also offer the DJI Inspire 1 V2 This comes with upgraded rotors and rotor mounts for better durability as well as more powerful motors, upgraded from 350kV to 420kV. The additional power is not at the expense of flight time. Another change is a bigger gimbal mounting plate which will allow you to upgrade to the larger x5 camera should you choose to. Now these aren’t dramatic differences so the choice is yours.
Now to be impartial i need to include some complaints about this drone as well. Before you fly for the first time you will need to update your firmware. If you neglect this for a few days it will actually lock the device and shut you down until you do. However i seriously doubt it will do this mid flight. Before you fly you will also have to calibrate your compass and IMU (internal measurement unit). Failure to do this can cause flight problems and an expensive wreck. The compass should be calibrated every time you fly and the IMU after every firmware update. Also many people complain about the startup procedure, there is not an on/off switch. You need to hit a few buttons on the controller in a certain sequence and speed. This is definitely annoying but really cuts down on accidental starts, assuming that’s a problem. You can charge the battery and the controller at the same time but many people say that the charger tends to heat up when doing this. Be aware of this and decide for yourself how hot is to hot.
Now most of these problems are really just annoyances and can really be minimized if you read the manual. This drone has a fairly hefty price tag and it would be a shame to wreck it just due to pilot error. It is a significant investment but if you are a serious video blogger or a professional that takes lots of aerial shots it really isn’t out of reach and it really seems to be worth the money. I should add that the difference in prices between the various models is significant. The DJI Inspire 1 V2.0 will cost an extra $500 more than the base version while the DJI Inspire 1 PRO with the superoir X5 camera will add a further $5-800.
See the DJI Inspire 1 V2 at Amazon.com