DJI FPV Test: The first person experience like never before

Choose a superpower!, I would not even have to blink, I have it very clear: fly! Seeing everything from a bird’s eye view, feeling that freedom of movement, floating through the air etc., I find it so attractive that I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment. And for that reason, the experience with the new DJI FPV drone has seemed incredible to me.

DJI’s new drone promises an intuitive and immersive flight like never before, leaning on all fours: the sensation of a first-person view, the high-speed performance of racing drones, cinematic results and a new controller that allows us to pilot it with only one hand (sold separately). The promise is good and the result too, although with some buts, such as its price: part of 1,349 euros.

 

DJI FPV Datasheet Specifications:

DJI FPV
AIRCRAFT DIMENSIONS 19 x 23 x 13 cm
795 grams
OPERATING FREQUENCY 2.400-2.4835 GHz
5.725-5.850 GHz
DRUMS 2,000 mAh
20 min approx, flight
50 min approx. loading
REMOTE CONTROL WEIGHT 346 grams
WEIGHT MOTION CONTROLLER 165 grams
TRANSMISSION DISTANCE 10km (FCC) – 6km (CE / SRRC / MIC)
GLASSES DIMENSIONS 202 x 126 x 110 mm (with antennas)
420 grams
GLASSES BATTERY 1,800 mAh
MAXIMUM FLIGHT HEIGHT 120m (although it depends on the legislation of each area)
MAXIMUM FLIGHT SPEED 39 m / s or 140 km / h (manual mode)
FLIGHT MODES Normal, sport and manual
CAMERA SENSOR 1 / 2.3 ”12MP CMOS
TARGET Field of view 150º
Aperture f2.86
IMAGE SIZE 4K
VIDEO SIZE 4K at 50/60 FPS
FullHD at 50/60/100/120 FPS
APP DJI Fly (iOS and Android)
PRICE From 1,349 euros

DJI FPV Review

As soon as we open the box of this DJI FPV we are surprised by how it looks , and it is very different from the rest of the drones that the brand has for sale. Nothing to do, for example, with the DJI mini 2 or with the DJI Mavic Mini. But it also has no resemblance to other Phantom series drones.

Personally, I find it very nice thanks to that charcoal gray matte finish, its size and that it has led lights on the sides of the propellers, which in addition to helping it look better, make it very cool. Speaking of propellers, it has four. At first they come disassembled and you have to place them, but it is a very simple process. Also, in the drone kit you get a spare set in case you have an incident. Here we have missed that these propellers fold and unfold as in the DJI Mini 2 because it helps a lot in transport.

DJI FPV is a very compact and sporty device. Weighs 795 grams with the battery attached and measures 19 x 23 x 13 cm. On the front is the camera, which we will talk about later, which is protected by a kind of cap.

At the bottom we find the sensors that help the drone to detect obstacles and a compartment where the microSD card slot and a USB-C port are. The rear is where the batteries fit. Both its placement and its removal is very simple, and the battery itself serves as the drone’s rear legs to support it on the ground before taking off. And finally at the top we have two areas for cooling the drone.

If you are one of those who like to customize their devices, in the kit that they gave us comes a green housing to change it for the one that is included. Apart from the aircraft itself and its battery, the DJI FPV basic kit includes first-person vision goggles (hence the acronym FPV, which means first-person view) with its separate battery, a remote control and all the necessary cables. Of course, we had a control that is sold separately to activate the motion controller mode. But let’s go little by little and let’s start talking about the glasses.

 

DJI FPV Glasses

These first person vision glasses are the main claim of this drone, since what they want from the brand is to bring the fun and excitement of FPV to more people. The glasses are somewhat bulky due to their dimensions but they are comfortable because they are not heavy at all, 420g.

To be able to use them with the maximum guarantees, they come with four antennas to better receive the signal and as we mentioned before lastly, the battery of these glasses comes separately, that is, it is a kind of 1,800 mAh power bank to which you have to connect the glasses, which has a positive and a negative side.

In the first place, the fact that the battery is not integrated in the glasses makes it easier for their weight not to be very high and that therefore they are more comfortable and manageable, but on the other hand having to be hooked with a cable to a power bank does not it is not comfortable at all. Another type of solution would have been ideal.

For the rest, the glasses have three buttons: One to move through the menus, another to go back and a third to record. It also has ventilation systems. And at the bottom it has two levers to help us adjust the lenses of the glasses to the distance that our eyes are.

The adaptation process to wear the glasses will depend on each person. At first it was a bit difficult for me because you are “forced” to focus only on the vision of the drone and not on what is around you, and that is the best and the worst of this experience. But, in my case, once I got used to it, I started to enjoy it and it was very impressive to see what the drone sees at all times without having problems with reflections, or distractions of any kind.

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The glasses screen has a resolution of 1440 x 810, which has been more than enough for me to see everything very clearly. Also, there is no latency problem since it is seven milliseconds (you don’t notice it at all). And finally, comment that the motor of the glasses makes a little noise, but when you wear them for more than a minute you don’t even notice it.

 

DJI FPV Controls

Having seen the glasses, let’s go with the remote. The controller that comes by default in the DJI FPV kit is quite similar to that of other models of the brand. It has two joysticks to control the aircraft, an antenna, and at the top it has several buttons: the button to start and stop recording, a button to select the flight mode, which we will talk about later, another button to force the automatic landing and finally a small wheel that controls the inclination of the camera. Ergonomically it is a very comfortable control, very easy to use and very precise.

But another of the biggest attractions of this drone is that it has a second control that they have dubbed the DJI Motion Controller to be able to pilot the aircraft with only one hand. In addition, it activates a flight mode that is not available with the first command. According to DJI, this mode mixes the emotion of manual mode but being under control and from the brand they advertise it as the perfect command to start in the management of drones. However, I have mixed feelings.

To understand it, I start by explaining the operation of this controller. Unlike the first control that worked with joysticks, with the motion controller it is only necessary to tilt the control to one side or the other to make it move laterally. To go up or down, you just have to move the control up or down and finally to move forward you have to squeeze the trigger.

Although these movements may seem very natural, in my experience they have been more chaotic, especially in the beginning. The controller has a lot of sensitivity, so when I was starting to use it the drone made movements that I did not want. But this, like everything in life, is a matter of practice and I ended up mastering it. Although personally I would stay with the traditional command. You already know, to taste the colors. But it does not end here, and it is that with this command I have had many problems to be able to land the drone.

To take off the drone, just make a short and long press on the lock button and if we want it to land, a long press should suffice again. Well, on many occasions the DJI FPV did not respond to this last command, so I have been forced to deactivate the motion controller and turn on the first control to get the drone to lower. This may be because the firmware version that I have been testing is not the final one, but that has been my experience.

And to end this command, comment that it is not included in the basic kit and is sold separately for a price of 149 euros. Ah! And both controllers are charged by USB-C.

 

DJI FPV App

Now it would be the turn to talk about the application, but it will not be possible in our case. As we have been testing the DJI FPV before its official launch, the app was not available for this drone.

What we can comment on is that it is the same application as for the rest of its aircraft. It’s called DJI Fly and it’s available on both iOS and Android. From what the brand has told us, it will have functions such as ” Find my drone ” in case you need to know where the aircraft is. It seems like a very useful function because it will presumably show you its location on a map and the last 10 seconds of the video can be seen on the glasses before disconnection. A shame not to have tried it!

 

DJI FPV User Experience

All that said we go with our overall experience flying the DJI FPV drone. According to the brand itself, this drone is designed for drone users who want to try the immersive experience offered by these glasses, or for those FPV drone pilots who also want to record their flights in 4K. In short, it is not a drone to start in this world.

The adaptation period at the beginning is a bit complicated because wearing the glasses and being so abstracted from your surroundings is difficult. In my case, at first it was difficult for me not to take them off because I needed to place where the drone was, instead of seeing through its “eyes”. On the other hand, if you are flying it alone or alone and you put on your glasses, you cannot be aware of your surroundings and at first it is a bit unsettling.

But beware, with this we do not mean that we advise against it, rather the opposite. Once you get the hang of it, you live a very exciting experience, and I would even say that it is an activity full of adrenaline. Those of DJI achieve what they propose and you manage to have a very immersive experience, reaching the point that if you have vertigo this may not be the drone for you.

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Regarding the flight modes, it has three: normal, sport and manual. The normal one is perhaps the most advisable if you are starting and if you want more cinematic shots since it does not take as much speed, it stays at about 54 km/h at most. In my case it is the one that I have used the most.

The sport mode allows you a more dynamic experience, with it you can reach 97 km/h, but it is still a controlled flight because it is self-stabilizing. And thirdly we have the Manual mode that gives the pilot complete control of the flight. This mode is designed for people with experience piloting FPV drones, and recommended for use in open areas. With it we would reach the maximum speed that this drone can have, that is, 140 km/h.

The control of the controls, especially the one that is held with two hands, is very precise and makes you feel that you have full control of the drone. This control is also helped by the information you see through the glasses, at all times you know what battery it has, how many satellites are available (the minimum advisable is ten) as well as the position in which you are. Even if you are very far away, the drone marks the position you are in with an H to make it easier for you to orient yourself.

And many of you will wonder, what happens when the battery runs out? Well, a prior nothing happens, that is, it will not collapse to the ground. The drone warns you with enough time so that you can return to the take-off point, and in fact if it has a low battery it will not even let you take off.

When making the return to the starting point you can guide it yourself or you can press the return button, and the drone will do only the route. And I have to comment that this function works better than I expected, although if there are obstacles such as trees and branches, it is always better to control it yourself.

Regarding the signal reception, I have to say that in general terms it is outstanding, and both the communication between the remote control and the drone, as well as that between the drone and the glasses, is very stable. But you already know the saying that there is always an exception that proves the rule and in my case, there was a time when I lost the signal. The reason? That I took the drone very far, so far that between it and I was the side of a mountain. So be very careful with directing the drone to areas where there are obstacles in between.

 

DJI FPV Camera

And we finish with the result of the camera. The sensor of this camera is 12 MP, has a 150º field of view, an aperture of F2.86 and manages to record 4K shots at 60 fps. In addition, the EIS Rock Steady system makes the video quite smooth and stable.

The images that can be recorded are very good, the DJI FPV camera and its 4K recording achieve fantastic results. Very stabilized images are achieved and thanks to the fact that the image reception is of such high quality and that there is no latency, you can capture very precise and high-quality images, that is, when it comes to creating content it is a cool one.

 

DJI FPV Autonomy

We finish this analysis talking about autonomy. The basic kit includes a 2,000 mAh battery that will provide us with an autonomy of about 20 minutes, which may vary if there is wind. To charge that same battery we will need about 50 minutes with the charger that comes in the box itself. However, both the controls and the power bank that gives life to the glasses have a much greater autonomy, being able to make three flights in a row without charging them.

The truth is that having only 20 minutes of flight is short, and that is why we advise having at least one more spare battery, because if you have traveled to a specific point to record or watch something with the drone, those 17-20 minutes will fly by (pun intended). Although everything has its price and there is a DJI FPV Fly More kit for sale, which includes a second smart battery and a special charging center, but costs an additional 279 euros.

 

DJI FPV Final Conclusion

The choice of title for this review sums up the experience testing this drone very well and it ‘s an experience like never before. If you are interested in the world of the drone and how I would like to fly this drone is amazing, as is its price because let’s not forget that the basic set of the DJI FPV costs 1,349 euros.

If you are a neophyte user and you are thinking of buying your first drone, this may not be the best option. However, if you have been using some type of drone for a long time, you are used to the controls and you want to have total control of the aircraft or on the other hand, you want to have a very immersive experience in flight, the DJI FPV is a very good option.

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