DJI Tello Review
DJI is a drone company that doesn’t require an introduction. The brand includes drones in all price ranges, from beginners to absolute professionals. Well recently a new drone appeared on their online shop: the Ryze / DJI Tello! It’s a new inexpensive option for kids and adults who just want something fun to learn how to fly with a drone.
I have always wanted a small tiny drone that can be flown both indoors and outdoors. Plus my flying skills have gotten quite rusty. Which is the main reason why I recently bought the Tello and why I have put together this review. I can already say that you get what you pay for and not to expect too much from it. It’s still an inexpensive toy drone and definitely not something for aerial photography. Despite that it does come with a built in camera. But more about that below!
- Dimensions: 95×90×35 mm / 3.7×3.5×1.4″
- Motors (Diagonally): 120 mm / 4.7″
- Weight: 80 g / 0.18 lbs (inc. battery)
- Range: 20 m / 65 ft
- Video: 720p 30fps
- Photo: 5 MP
- Flight modes: Circle, 360, 8D Flips, Throw & Go, Bounce Mode, Up & Away
- Features: Electronic Image Stabilization, Vision Positioning System, VR
- Flight time: 11 minutes with recording
In The Box
- Ryze / DJI Tello
- 4 pairs of propellers
- Propeller guards
- Propeller removal tool
The Tello drone is actually made by a company called Ryze Technology. However the inside and the brain of the drone is all by DJI. Which is why it’s sold on their website and why it’s often also called the DJI Tello. And it makes sense. The drone looks exactly like a DJI product! Ryze has done a great job at putting together this drone as it has a fantastic build quality.
Even though it’s a toy drone, it’s definitely got a more sturdy case and stronger parts than any other drone in it’s price range. You can already tell when you first take it out of the package. Which again I want to credit Ryze for. Their packaging was spot on and it kind of felt like an Apple product. Something that DJI is also quite well known for.
Here’s what the Ryze Tello looks like. The overall dimension of the drone is 95×90×35 mm / 3.7×3.5×1.4″. Which is definitely a good size for flying indoors. It’s a bit bigger than the Hubsan X4 series. I also like the propeller guards that Ryze has included. These clip to the arms which makes it easy to take them off. A few other toy drones I have used in the past required taking off the propellers first.
The drone itself is made out of extremely high quality plastic and has a grey finish. The only exception is the top cover, which in my case is white. You can choose between different colors when buying it. The overall design is pretty simple. There’s a small camera on the front of it that records everything. On the right side there is just one button, which is used to switch it on. The left side has a MicroUSB port for charging it. There are also two vision sensors underneath the drone.
The battery compartment is inside the drone and you can access it from the back. The compartment holds it secure and I haven’t had any problems with the battery coming loose. It’s actually quite difficult at first to get the battery out. If you have problems, then you can also remove the top cover which makes it easier.
I also like that there are rubber pads underneath each arm. These are especially useful when landing the drone indoors.
There are a number of extras that come with the Ryze Tello. They have included two extra sets of propellers and a small propeller removal tool. And of course a battery as well. As you can see from the image, there drone does not come with a MicroUSB cable. Which means that in order to actually charge the drone, you need to get one on your own. Which is quite surprising. I had a couple of MicroUSB cables lying around from previous devices, so I didn’t have a problem with that. Perhaps they expect most people to already have them. But still, somewhat strange.
Flying & Features
The Ryze / DJI Tello is an extremely smart drone. Which also means that it’s extremely easy to fly. The drone is incredibly stable in the air, both indoors and outdoors! That’s both good and bad for beginners. It definitely makes it easier to start using the drone. Especially if you have never flown one before. I only wish that they added an option to go fully manual. This would be great for more experienced pilots who want full control over the drone.
In order to fly the drone, you first need to download the Tello app on your iOS or Android device. Next, you need to pair the drone with your device via WiFi. Once that’s done, you can then fly the drone with your phone or tablet. The interface has two areas on either side of the screen for controlling the drone. Pretty much the same as when using a controller. There are actually Bluetooth controllers available as well on the DJI website. I bought the GameSir T1D controller as I found it more comfortable. But you can definitely fly it with your phone as well.
Tello does also come with a support for VR. This requires having a VR headset and a Bluetooth controller. And yes you can also choose the flight speed. Slow is fantastic for beginners as it responds to movements more smoothly.
Here are the rest of the settings you can modify through the Tello app.
The DJI Tello is incredibly fun to fly with but I do have some problems with it as well. Firstly the range is far too low in my opinion. Sure it’s not an issue when flying indoors but outdoors it starts to show. For example, I was already at half of WiFi range when taking the drone to the maximum height of 10 meters. Flying it much further at the maximum height made the live footage jumpy and lose connection at times. I have read that most other Tello users recommend getting a WiFi extender. Apparently it solves the problem. I have yet to test it though.
The flight time on the other hand is fantastic. I managed to get around 11 minutes of constant flying while recording with the camera. Which is fantastic for such a small drone.
Here’s the video I recorded with the drone. It records at a 720p resolution with 30 frames per second. As you can see, the image is quite blurry. Especially the trees, which most cheaper action cameras have problems with as well. I did also notice that it doesn’t work well with changes in the lightning either. For example the image went really dark when I moved the camera more towards the sun.
However, I still find it perfect for FPV feed. You don’t need to have the highest quality image when flying. Just good enough that you can see what’s exactly in the way. And that’s more than enough that the DJI Tello delivers. Which is why I can recommend this drone for learning how to fly. If you are looking for something that you can use for aerial photography, then you need something better.
Here are also some photos that I captured. The original resolution is 2592×1936 pixels.
The Ryze / DJI Tello is a high quality toy drone that’s perfect for learning how to fly with FPV! I do recommend looking more into the WiFI extenders if you plan on using it outdoors. But for indoors, it’s perfect the way it is. Also make sure that you have a spare MicroUSB cable as it doesn’t come with one. I also recommend getting a Blueooth controller for it. It makes it easier to fly the drone, especially when you use the fast mode. They don’t cost much either so it’s a good accessory to have.