Best Small Commercial Drones for 2017

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What is the best drone you can buy in the UK?

 

Let’s take a look at some of the popular models we are insuring that are being used for commercial use.  The list below shows some great UAVs which seems to be dominated by the Chinese manufacturer DJI.

1. DJI Mavic Pro
2. DJI Phantom 4
3. 3DR Solo
4. DJI Phantom 3 Professional
5. DJI Phantom 3 Standard

 

DJI Mavic Pro – Price Point – £££

 

 

The biggest selling point of the Mavic Pro is its size. Measuring H83mm x W83mm x L198mm when folded and weighing only 743g with a gaming style controller which is equally compact. It is a small but powerful drone with a flight time of up to 27 minutes and a range of 4.3 miles.

Using FlightAutonomy technology, the Mavic can sense obstacles up to 49 feet away enabling it to avoid them and hover precisely except when in Sport Mode. If you do lose signal whilst flying, the Mavic will go into return-to-home mode again avoiding obstacles while it comes back to you. So you know you can always fly safe.

Forward and downward vision sensors mean the Mavic can still hover precisely indoors or outdoors without a GPS signal.

The Mavic supports a high quality 4K video and 12 megapixel camera plus a smartphone app which lets you preview your on-drone camera. The precise 3-axis gimbal is capable of stabilising the camera even at high speed motion for smooth videos and clear sharp photos.

 

DJI Phantom 4 – Price Point – £££

 

 

A very well made and reliable drone designed to be functional but looks cool. With a streamlined body and gimbal design. Other features include battery life of 22 to 28 minutes and push and twist propellers which can be quickly fitted and removed and the motors are more powerful .

Obstacle Sensing System (OSS) allows the Phantom 4 to avoid and manoeuvre around obstacles excluding when in Sport Mode. Flip the switch to Sport Mode and the Phantom will fly forwards and backwards at speeds of up to 45 mph. Ascend in Sport Mode at 20 feet per second or descend at 13 feet per second. So whilst the OSS can keep you out of trouble its still no excuse to fly recklessly.

DJI’s Go mobile app for iOS and Android devices not only allows you to get a view from the drone’s camera but enables you to adjust settings, view important flight data and battery status. The app is how you set the Phantom 4 to fly autonomously using DJI’s Intelligent Flight modes giving you the ability to have the drone follow you using GPS signal from the controller, orbiting around you or another point of interest and arranging waypoints on a map for it to follow.

ActiveTrack uses the OSS to follow a subject. Just draw a box on screen around what you want to track, tap the go button and the drone will follow keeping the camera centred on what or who you have selected.

TapFly does what it says on the box. Tap on a point on the screen and the Phantom 4 will fly there, avoiding obstacles. Tap another point and the drone will pilot its way there plus you can still use your sticks to steer the drone if required. Want to stop then just press “pause”

The HD live video streaming is one of the best on the market.

 

3DR Solo – Price Point -££

 

The 3D Robotics Solo is a functional and easy to use drone not dissimilar to the Phantom 3. But instead of using a built in camera it is designed to use the GoPro Hero 4 which can be removed to use when and where you like. Bear in mind the purchase price for the 3DR Solo does not include either the GoPro hero 4 camera or 3-axis gimbal, so you’ll need to take this into account when costing.

 

DJI Phantom 3 Professional – Price Point – ££

 

 

The Phantom 3 Professional is the best out of the 4 different models in this bracket. It comes standard with FPD waypoints, point of interest, optical-flow and ultrasonic sensors for height and position when there is no GPS signal. Up to 20 minutes flight time and 4k video recording.

 

DJI Phantom 3 Standard – Price Point – £

 

Great value for money and ideal for those just starting out as it is easy to fly. Live streaming from craft to mobile device using WiFi as opposed to DJI’s Lightbridge technology. The connection and streaming isn’t as high quality or as smooth by comparison but overall it isn’t that bad.

So there is a fairly diverse choice of UAV’s on the market at affordable prices and available instore or online. Always shop around for the best price as we all love a good deal.

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