Disclosure – Tello sent Blog of Dad the Tello, Powered by DJI, for the purpose of review, promotion and inclusion in the 2018 Christmas Gift Guide for Australian Dads. The thoughts expressed in this post are entirely my own, based on my experiences with the Tello drone. For more information, please visit my Disclosure Statement.
When I was a boy, I loved remote control cars. There was something that was pure magic about using a remote to send that little car speeding around a makeshift track. I can still vividly remember the feeling that I would get the moment I wrapped my hands around the controller and pulled the trigger.
While those days are long gone, there is still the odd occasion that evokes that childhood feeling. Take, for example, yesterday, when I flew my Tello drone for the very first time.
Tello, Powered by DJI – The Perfect Beginner Drone?
I have had my eye on drones for quite some time. They have fascinated me and captivated my imagination, just as those remote control cars did as a child. There is something unreal, almost magical about the ability to fly an object through the air and capture images from a completely different viewpoint.
My problem has been deciding which drone to get. The world of drones has been a little overwhelming to this point, not to mention expensive. One day I may be ready for the glorious 20MP, 4K DJI Phantom 4 Advanced, but not just yet. I need something to learn on – something that is small, easy to use and (most importantly) affordable.
The Tello, powered by DJI, is all of those things.
In fact, the Tello is more than those things. It is incredibly easy to begin to use, but it is also packed full of impressive features that I certainly didn’t expect to find in a drone at this price point.
Throw & Go, Auto Takeoff, Auto Landing and Hand Landing make taking off and landing the Tello a breeze (not to mention a whole load of fun). Stunts such as Flips and Bounce Mode add a layer of complexity to the drone, while the entry level (but very competent) camera is enhanced by modes such as Circle, Up & Out and 360.
All of these features are great for keen novices like me, who want to enter the world of drones but don’t know where to start. They definitely provide the Tello with plenty of bang for buck!
The First Flight
Did I mention that I was a little excited when the Tello arrived? It’s fair to say that I couldn’t wait to give it a test run. Unfortunately, I had to wait until Hannah was in bed to undertake the maiden flight. I had visions of firing the thing up, only to immediately lose control and watch on as it made a beeline straight toward her face.
Tello sent me the Tello Boost Combo, which (amongst other things) packs three batteries and a charging hub. With an approximate flying time of thirteen minutes per battery, that is almost 40 minutes of joyous flying time that I can experience between charges. I settled for putting the batteries on charge and familiarising myself with the manual.
Soon enough the toddler was safely in bed and I could unleash the awesomeness of the Tello. I headed to the garage and set it all up. In no time I was connected to my phone (the Tello is controlled by your phone) and ready to fly!
I needn’t have worried about losing control. The Tello is powered by DJI, and that means it is smart. Really, really smart.
For starters, it can be flown indoors. Thanks to the vision positioning system, the Tello is able to accurately hold its position. I can honestly say I held my breath when I pressed the Take off button on my phone for the first time. But then I marvelled as the Tello shot up about two metres into the air, then hovered perfectly in place, awaiting my next command.
With the flight speed set to slow, I tentatively prodded the controls and made a few minor movements. The Tello was extremely responsive and I immediately felt in control. After a few minutes, piloting the Tello felt natural. The controls are intuitive and easy to use, which I found a little surprising given the lack of physical joysticks. Best of all, that childhood feeling of absolute joy had returned. I was beaming from ear-to-ear as I quickly mastered movement.
Landing was just as straightforward as taking off – the auto-landing feature took care of the whole process. Even on my first real flight, I always felt in total control.
Throw & Go, and Hand Landings
The Auto Takeoff and Auto Landing features of the Tello are impressive, but the wow factor rises to a whole new level with Throw & Go, and Hand Landings.
The DJI brains of this brilliant drone enable it to be launched from right out of your hand. Once the setting is activated, a gentle push into the air and the Tello is off. It is truly incredible and I had to give it a few goes, just so that I could marvel at the feat!
Even better is Hand Landings. There are few better ways to instantly feel like an absolute pro drone pilot than to land the thing right in your own hand. But after just a few minutes with the Tello, that’s exactly what I was able to do. I must have giggled like a school child the first time the Tello touched down neatly in my palm. I didn’t quite believe that it could be so simple. As with Throw & Go, I had to try it a few times, just so that I could believe how flawlessly it worked. Each time, the Tello touched down right in my hand. Amazing!
Photography with the Tello
I am a keen photographer. One of things that attracted me to drones was the ability to take photos from a new perspective.
The Tello packs a handy 5MP camera that is capable of shooting 720P videos, with Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS). Even in the less-than-ideal light of my garage, the Tello produced reasonable images. I can’t wait to get it outside in daylight and see just what I can capture (stay tuned)!
EZ shots modes such as Circle, Up & Out, and 360 add an extra dimension to the Tello as a photography and videography drone. It is great to see such creative additions to a drone at this price point!
Tello – A Brilliant Christmas Present Idea
I’m thrilled to say that the Tello, powered by DJI, will be in the upcoming Blog of Dad Christmas Gift Guide for Australian Dads. It is a brilliant product and I am already having a blast with it!
The great news is that the Tello is now on sale (until 31 December, 2018). Now the dad (or anyone else, for that matter) in your life can experience the thrill of piloting a drone for a discounted price! Visit the DJI E-store for 24% off the Tello, or 29% off the Tello Boost Combo! That brings the Tello to just $129 AUD, and the Tello Boost Combo to just $169 AUD! I think that is outstanding value for such a capable drone!