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3DR Solo Quadcopter (No Gimbal)
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- Solo’s video game-style controller will feel familiar the second you pick it up, even if you’ve never flown a drone. Pushbutton commands put both camera and copter at your fingertips. Take off, land or instantly pause your flight midair with a single touch. Click to start and stop recording or snap a photo, even adjust camera angle while you fly
- In case you missed it in the picture…that’s a high-quality HDMI port directly from the controller so you can connect Solo to practically any screen you can think of. Refer user manual below
- Full-featured app for iOS and Android puts total craft control at your fingertips.
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From the manufacturer
3DR Solo Drone
The World's First Smart Drone
Solo with Gimbal
Solo’s intelligence unlocks powerful and one-of-a-kind computer-assisted Smart Shots. Just set up the exact shot you want, then tap 'play' and Solo will execute it with a level of precision and a soft touch that even seasoned cinema pilots can’t match.
- Follow Me
- Cable Cam
3DR Solo Drone
Solo, powered by twin 1 GHz computers, is the world’s first smart drone.
The world’s smartest drone is also the easiest to fly. With features like pushbutton flight and computer-assisted Smart Shots, Solo makes it easy for anyone to get professional aerial photos and video. Solo is powered by two 1 GHz computers for the best and smoothest aerial photography experience imaginable, and includes many world-first technologies and a host of built-in safety and support features. It’s also the only all-in-one drone to offer wireless video streaming in vivid HD from your GoPro directly to your mobile device—at ranges up to half a mile.
World's First Features
The first consumer drone with a brain, Solo is powered by twin computers.
Only drone to stream wireless HD video from GoPro direct to iOS/Android devices.
Powerful Smart Shot technology makes capturing incredible cinematic footage easy and automatic.
First with in-flight GoPro access: Start/stop recording and adjust camera settings from the ground (with Solo Gimbal).
Revolutionary, intuitive video game-style controller.
Solo Gimbal (sold separately) delivers smooth footage, GoPro power and control, HDMI video and intelligent camerawork.
Future-proof accessory and gimbal bays make Solo ready for tomorrow’s technology : Concepts under development include LiDAR for super stable indoor flight; ballistic parachute system; flight rewind and more.
Full-featured app for iOS and Android puts total craft control at your fingertips.
Unique safety features like pause and 'safety net' mean you can fly with confidence.
Take to the air in seconds with effortless pushbutton flight.
Free software and feature updates ensure your Solo grows and adapts with advancements in technology.
Get an iconic wraparound shot by locking your GoPro onto any object. Orbit mode puts Solo on a circular track with an adjustable radius. Fly around the circle in either direction and Solo will keep the camera locked on your subject. You can also adjust altitude and flight speed to create dynamic and sophisticated aerial shots.
Go completely hands-free. Whether you’re taking the road less traveled with your friends, cruising our boat around the lake or just out exploring the world, Solo will automatically follow along in the air. This mode keeps the camera centered on you at all times, capturing your every move.
With Solo locked on a virtual cable in the air, you’re free to pan and tilt the camera without worrying about piloting the copter. Solo can even memorize the shot at each end point and fly itself from one frame to the next, while working the camera for you as smoothly and evenly as a seasoned pro.
Put yourself in the center of a scenic aerial pull-out. As Solo flies itself up and back, your surroundings expand, building and revealing more and more of the world around you—it’s a portrait and a landscape all at once. Record the clip directly to your phone for easy saving and sharing.
3DR Solo Gimbal
The 3-axis Solo Gimbal taps Solo’s computers to execute perfectly stable shots automatically. It’s also the only gimbal to offer exclusive in-flight GoPro control, charging and wireless HD streaming from your GoPro direct to mobile.
Designed from the ground up as a companion to the GoPro HERO, the Solo Quadcopter with Gimbal from 3D Robotics features aerial imaging-specific flight modes including Cablecam mode and Follow Me. A quad-rotor configuration, flight stability and autonomous flying are enabled thanks to a twin computer flight control system. The flight controller relies on GPS for navigational coordinates, plus uses data from gyros, accelerators, and other sensors to keep the aircraft safely flying. The Solo includes the Solo Gimbal, a 3-axis stabilizer compatible with the a GoPro HERO3+ or HERO4 action camera. This is a ready-to-fly bundle, featuring a pre-bound transmitter (radio controller) that has been styled after a video game controller for more intuitive operation. In addition to dual joysticks for flying, it features dedicated dials for operating the Solo Gimbal. In addition to the transmitter, there is a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. The app provides full control over the aircraft, gimbal, and even the GoPro itself. A mount is provided so that you can mount your smartphone directly to the transmitter.
Top customer reviews
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Then, on a standard landing after about 10 flights, it jerked sideways and went full speed at a hard tilt and slammed into a tree, snapping off a rotor and nearly hitting someone. It landed upside down, and when I picked it up, all the rotors turned on full blast and nearly sliced my arm open. I managed to turn it off while holding it from taking off like a zombie drone, then went immediately to write the incident to the support email.
I was offered an extremely dry and robotic-toned response of instructions to "download the log files from the vehicle and send them for review". No "sorry, that must have been a scary experience" or "wow, we're going to make this right". It's like the support emails are being fielded by backend software engineers.
Realizing I should take advantage of having made contact with someone (albeit not very helpful), I noted that I had an unanswered ticket on the broken GoPro issue. They said to test it on iOS and Android, as well as prove the GoPro works on a TV. I did all of this, taking a picture of the phone screen showing a magenta screen instead of a live video feed. The guy responded basically suggesting I was lying because he could see ceiling lights in the live feed view, citing that as proof that it's working. I promptly clarified that it was the reflection of the ceiling lights on the glassy phone screen when I took the picture, and that our ceilings aren't solid magenta. Idiot. You'd expect something instead like "I'm sorry to hear it's not working, let's get to the bottom of this to resolve the issue as soon as we can." Nope.
They finally agreed to address it by having me send the vehicle back so they can look at it to determine what's wrong and whether they can fix it for me. Again, no "we'll do what it takes to make up for selling you a broken expensive drone that almost hurt you and didn't work properly from the first use out of the box". Just a "we'll take a look".
They asked for my mailing address to create the shipping label. I sent it. Then they asked again 2 hours later. I sent it again. They said I'll need to go purchase a box to send it back in since I didn't keep the original shipping box. Then the shipping label they sent me has the wrong address under my name (remember how I sent it twice?). I just got their reply that I must have sent them the wrong address. No, I didn't.
Literally every touchpoint with the 3DR team has been absolutely horrible, and it's clear they put all the investment into the product and zero into handling customer support issues. Just no human touch or consideration at all. Cold, suspicious, and unhelpful tone of service.
While I'm at it, it's worth mentioning that after initially purchasing the Solo, they asked me two separate times to take photographs of my credit card to email them proof that I bought it before they'd approve the purchase. That process took about a week. Why they had to do this once is beyond me, and twice is just insulting.
If I were an investor with them, I'd have the ass of whoever forgot to build a support structure for customers spending $1500+ per purchase. If you buy and are lucky to get a great one, I'm sure you'll love it. But if you have 1 single issue to deal with, God help you.
UPDATE: I mailed the drone back to them about 10 days ago and haven't heard anything at all. I emailed today and still haven't gotten a response. Nothing to assure me it's arrived, or in the right hands, or status. Just silence. #thisJustKeepsGettingWorse
UPDATE #2: After 2 weeks of radio silence, I Tweeted the founder and company and the VP of support has commented here assuring it would be sent out the next day. Many days went by and I still haven't gotten the drone. I got an email 6 days after asking for tracking information, notifying me that there was a problem with delivery. Remember above how they botched my address and I corrected it twice to get the right return label? Well they sent the actual drone to the botched address instead of the correct one. They asked me to call FedEx to sort it out myself. I said I'd prefer if they would just fix it. They asked again for me to contact FedEx. I insisted that it's not my problem to fix, and I shouldn't have to spend my time cleaning this up. So he contacted FedEx and learned they'd addressed it incorrectly. Keep in mind, this is the level of service when the founder and VP of support are aware of the situation.
How many thousand of dollars in lost sales because of this review will the company have to eat until they get a single competent person from the support team to take a few minutes to get this right?
UPDATE #3: The unit was sent back to the billing address, which is my office in Los Angeles. I live in San Francisco (remember how I've supplied my address like 5 times now?). I had my office in LA overnight it up to me. A big sigh of relief that I finally had a fixed Solo abruptly ended when I opened the box. The controller screen was all scratched up now. It was missing the charging cable. The bottom of the Solo was also scratched up. The video feed still didn't work. One of the rotors had been replaced and the plastic was left stuck in the seam that I can't pull out. I called the support line and we were able to get the video feed working, though the app no longer had a record button so I couldn't actually capture any of the footage while it was in flight.
I've now asked for an entire replacement unit. We'll see how that goes. Here are the photos of the unit I got back that was "fixed" - (...)
The DJI is looking pretty attractive right about now.
UPDATE #4: I sent the unit back over two weeks ago to be replaced. I was promised that the moment my return shipment was logged by FedEx, they would get the confirmation it was on its way back and immediately ship the replacement overnight. Two weeks later, I haven't gotten an email or phone call, and the replacement hasn't arrived. I just called to see what the hell is going on and they said it hasn't been shipped yet, but they could offer me overnight shipping and send it out today. This is the final straw. I've asked for a full refund and never want to deal with this company again. 2+ months of my time wasted, countless frustrations, $1,500, and both the founder and VP of Support are aware - and this is the result. No human being should have to work this hard to get a company to simply get a working product to a customer who's paid for it.
This company is a nightmare. They'll happily take your money, but clearly don't care about you. KEEP YOUR MONEY AND STAY CLEAR OF 3DRobotics.
UPDATE #5: When I last called demanding a refund because they literally forgot to send me the replacement I'd been waiting for (and was promised would be overnighted as soon as they got tracking confirmation that I'd sent the broken vehicle to them), they confirmed that the replacement wouldn't be sent and instead they would process the refund. Days then went by, and it hadn't come through. I called and learned that instead of issuing a refund, they shipped the vehicle to me, and that I'd have to send it back to get the refund. Seriously!? So I waited a few days and received a small box with only a battery charger. I called and asked what's going on and they said their systems showed that I have received the new drone. I explained that I only got a battery, and they said it must have been (ANOTHER) mistake from the shipping department. So they emailed me a label to send the charger back, and promised the refund would be sent right away. Of course, 6 days later (at the time of this update), I'm still waiting with no update from them.
UPDATE #6: It's been 12 days now since I got the message that the refund was being processed. Still no refund. I'm currently on hold waiting for them to find someone in customer support who can figure out what's going on. This review is turning into a eBook.
Comcast is a customer support dream compared to this s***.
Customer service is another thing that initially sold many people on Solo with their fly away protection that claims 3DR will replace your Solo and GoPro camera in the event of a fly away (thats not pilot error). Although, there are many other things that could cause you to need 3DR customer support which I will get into further down.
Next lets talk flight times. Users were promised 20 minutes on a fully charged battery and when I first purchased my Solo I was getting around 17-18 minutes without a gimbal. 8 months later and I’m only around 11-12 minutes (without a gimbal) and light use.
What’s the range? Solo is the worst drone amongst its competitors in regards to range. Without upgrading to better aftermarket antennas your looking at around 300-500 yards before Solo hits Return To Home mode (known as RTH), results improve if your in a rural area with virtually no wifi interference. If your in a really congested area like NYC, it could be substantially less. Some say you want to always maintain eye contact while flying but depending on the situation for the shot you need, this is a major problem because that range is also the same for altitude but less. You also have to consider limitations when flying a programmed mission.
Upon Solo’s debut 3DR was scrutinized for pushing to release Solo in June 2015 despite complications with their camera gimbal that caused Solo users to wait months before it became readily available sometime in late August 2015, and still had serious bugs to be worked out. Even now users still casually report complications with Solo's gimbal.The major issue with the gimbal is that it produces a large amount of vibration and jello in your footage which is mostly due to the bad factory assembly of the gimbal's HDMI cable, which once in flight, picks up a ton of vibration thats seen in your recorded video footage. The only solution to this problem is to purchase an after market HDMI flat ribbon cable which is thin enough to pick up much less vibration and shake. It's now April 2016 and this issue has yet to be corrected by 3DR themselves. Solo also has an issue that requires it to take a much longer time than any of its competitor’s drones to get a satellite lock, and once again the only solution is to upgrade the satellite chip yourself. Also if you want to fix the range issue internally, you would have to upgrade the wifi card in both your Solo and the controller. Which brings me to my next point, unless you plan to modify/customize Solo to make it better, don't bother buying it. If your intimidated about taking things apart and putting them back together, I do not recommend buying Solo.
3DR also promised the addition of other camera gimbals to enable Solo users to mount other cameras besides the GoPro series action cameras. As we see at NAB 2016, that promise has not been upheld unless of course your looking for a strap on accessory to mount a 360 degree camera setup, or looking for a infrared camera that most civilian users have no use for, or even a commercial camera setup for 3DR's newest commercial software Site Scan, which retails at over $6,837-8,025. 3DR's spokesman Colin Guinn, mentioned several times last year and even at NAB 2015, that Solo users would see a gimbal coming for the new Black Magic Micro cams which has yet to be developed.
As far as customer service, unfortunately for me back around January 2016, 3DR issued an update for the newly added Smart Shots and functionality of controlling the GoPro through the Solo app (which we were promised when Solo debuted in June 2015), after updating my only 5 month old Solo, it wouldn't connect with my controller when I would power up Solo, the controller, and the app. I would have to restart Solo several times before finally connecting, which if out in the field is not good at all, especially with the already long satellite locking times. Also during this same time while out flying Solo upon landing Solo touched the ground and out of no where went into RTH mode and shot straight up into the air nearly crashing into power lines and costing me the $1000 I spent for it. SoI called Solo customer support only to get a message that customer service is no longer available over the phone and is now email support only. Once I submitted a trouble ticket I was contacted two days later by Mike Martinez who required me to first send photos of my receipt, and Solo's serial number despite me having already registered my Solo online, I also had to send a video of the incident (thank God I recorded it), and a log report from the already not connecting Solo. If this wasn't already overwhelming, he said he never received the first 3 times I sent the logs from the controller (of course from the connectivity issue I mentioned), this process alone took a week to complete. I ended up having to do a process that was pretty technical requiring me to connect my Solo controller to my Mac, then enter a series of different code in a Linux based MS-DOS system, which if one character is entered wrong will cause you to have to restart the whole process. This was a very annoying process that was a headache to do, and afterwards Mike simply told me everything looked fine and that there was no issue. I complained that I still had the connectivity problem every time I turn on my Solo but he just continued giving me task to do that were very technical and later passed me on to a engineer named Francisco A.. Francisco was no different than Mike and again after 20 days of dealing with technical support he sent me an email informing that the code looked good and there was no connectivity issue. This infuriated me!!! This problem was never resolved, and I never had my Solo replaced with another one. So there's your report on customer service.
Lastly lets talk about Solo's value, when I bought my Solo, I paid $1000 without the gimbal, and the gimbal sold for another $400. I wanted to shoot in 4k so I payed another $500 for my GoPro 4 Black and another $80 for a high bit rate 64GB SDChip. This doesn’t include the price of upgrades, so you see I spent over $2000 for my Solo. Then 5 months after I purchased it, for $1000 you get the Solo and gimbal, you talk about a punch in the face. Also Solo's resale value is really poor. Word has gotten around about the out of the box Solo performance and gimbal poor gimbal quality, and of course that means trying to sell Solo isn't an easy thing. I see guys online place their Solo's for sale and wait months with no buyer. Just go on Ebay and search used 3DR Solo and watch an item til it sells. You'll see guys selling Solo with a gimbal, backpack, and multiple spare batteries for only about $1100. Used Solo's by themselves are averaging about $500. And there's plenty of them for sale. Most guys put them up for sale on Facebook and forums and they never sell so they are forced to sell for nearly nothing or keep them.
As a Solo user who's apart of all the Solo forums and multiple Solo Facebook groups, if I did it all over again, I would have bought a DJI Phantom 3/4 or Inspire 1 over Solo.