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Suggestion on a drone for my father for Christmas.

JohnDS

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Hello all. I'm looking to get my father a drone for Christmas. I am not familiar with which drones are better than others so I'm hoping you guys can help me narrow it down to meet or exceed the preferences below.

My father likes to explore so I assume speed is not a top priority. What I think would be more important to him is:

- Goggles to see as you're flying around.
- Long distance range
- Long battery life
- Fast charging
- GPS capabilities so if the drone runs out of battery in flight and/or loses signal, it can return by itself without losing it.
- Recording capabilities to watch past flights.
 
Greetings from Birmingham Alabama USA, welcome to the forum! We look forward to hearing from you!

I suggest the Air 3
 
Hello all. I'm looking to get my father a drone for Christmas. I am not familiar with which drones are better than others so I'm hoping you guys can help me narrow it down to meet or exceed the preferences below.

My father likes to explore so I assume speed is not a top priority. What I think would be more important to him is:

- Goggles to see as you're flying around.
- Long distance range
- Long battery life
- Fast charging
- GPS capabilities so if the drone runs out of battery in flight and/or loses signal, it can return by itself without losing it.
- Recording capabilities to watch past flights.
What a great gift!
Most drones have the items you listed.
Except goggles. You don't need them to see what the drone is seeing. All controllers attach to his smart phone and you see what the camera sees, unless you get the controller with the built in screen (My recommendation).
As far as long distance range, we are required to keep the drone within visual line of sight. Long distance rang may not be as big a priority as you may think. I might suggest going to the DJI web site (store) and check out the specs on various drones BATTERY LIFE.
That can be overwhelming with the many choices, but I would start with the Air 3 as GFields mentioned a moment ago.
I'm sure other members will have suggestions to help you in your choice. Once again, WHAT A GREAT GIFT!
 
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- Long distance range
- Long battery life
- Fast charging
- GPS capabilities so if the drone runs out of battery in flight and/or loses signal, it can return by itself without losing it.
- Recording capabilities to watch past flights.
If you're looking for a DJI drone specifically, they all check those boxes. You can compare the available drone models here.
 
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Wow, you guys are quick. Thanks.

I'm going to look at the comparison chart.

So why the Air 3 of all? Just curious.
It answers every area that you listed. The flight time is extremely well with this drone. The fact that is has obstacle avoidance all around makes it even better for a beginner.
 
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It answers every area that you listed. The flight time is extremely well with this drone. The fact that is has obstacle avoidance all around makes it even better for a beginner.
Thanks. That looks like it will do. I see the Air 3 DJI RC2 combo. I believe thats the one with 2 extra batteries and the Remote control with the screen built in. Is having the screen built into the remote itself as opposed to using your smartphone worth the extra cost?

Any other accessories that are a must have now or should this kit do?
 
Is having the screen built into the remote itself as opposed to using your smartphone worth the extra cost?
Opinions will vary on this.

I don't use the smart controllers. I have the Tripltek 8 Pro and use it with all my drones. Furthermore, I can't think of one advantage the smart controller provides, other than set-up time and not having multiple devices.

One of the major drawbacks of the smart controller is it is a closed system and you cannot load any 3rd party apps.
 
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Opinions will vary on this.

I don't use the smart controllers. I have the Tripltek 8 Pro and use it with all my drones. Furthermore, I can't think of one advantage the smart controller provides, other than set-up time and not having multiple devices.

One of the major drawbacks of the smart controller is it is a closed system and you cannot load any 3rd party apps.
Just so I'm understanding you. When you say "smart controller", you're referring to the remote control with the screen that I mentioned, correct?

So it sounds like its not worth the extra cost. That Tritek 8 Pro looks pretty cool that you have, but maybe thats getting a bit more expensive for now.

So he has a Galaxy S23 smartphone currently. Would this phone work well enough for the Air 3?

If so, maybe I'll just get one extra battery instead of the smart controller/2 battery kit.

How long do they take to charge usually?
 
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Just so I'm understanding you. When you say "smart controller", you're referring to the remote control with the screen that I mentioned, correct?

So it sounds like its not worth the extra cost. That Tritek 8 Pro looks pretty cool that you have, but maybe thats getting a bit more expensive for now.

So he has a Galaxy S23 smartphone currently. Would this phone work well enough for the Air 3?

If so, maybe I'll just get one extra battery instead of the smart controller/2 battery kit.

How long do they take to charge usually?
I would get the Fly More Kit with the RC-N2 remote. Here is a quick search on the Galaxy S23
 
One of the major drawbacks of the smart controller is it is a closed system and you cannot load any 3rd party apps
It's probably fair to say the average DJI drone owner would never need/want to install a 3rd party application. However, if the OP knows his father needs to do this, then the RC 2 would not be a good option for sure.

I own both the RC and RC 2 remote controllers (and the Air 3). Love them! It's a far better experience than having to connect a mobile device, figure out how to mount it, etc. And if you're like me and prefer to fly with your phone (when using a remote controller without a screen), it then ties up your phone.

So he has a Galaxy S23 smartphone currently. Would this phone work well enough for the Air 3?
It's not a device supported by DJI (they don't support most), but I think it would work just fine since it exceeds the specs of most devices DJI does support.
 
- Goggles to see as you're flying around.
If using goggles in order to be legal I think you will find he will require a spotter stood beside him.
Also googles are NOT for every one ........ some folks get vertigo? when using goggles.
If he wears glasses they too can be a problem.

- Long distance range
Long range is not all it is cracked up to be, flying the drone out of the range of his eyesight is most likely illegal. I'd guess for most people that is around 600m with a mini sized drone against a suitable background.

- Fast charging
A lot depends on the charger used.

- GPS capabilities so if the drone runs out of battery in flight and/or loses signal, it can return by itself without losing it.
built-in in DJI drones but he will need to read the drone's manual carefully, RTH behaviours are getting rather complicated.

- Recording capabilities to watch past flights.
built-in in the app or upload them to the likes of DJI Flight Log Viewer | Phantom Help or, for just replays, Airdata.

So he has a Galaxy S23 sm
He can download the app FROM DJI, NOT GOOGLE PLAY, instal it and check whether or not the phone and app are compatible, he DOES NOT need a drone to test the compatibility of the app.


Smart controller vs std controller & a phone/tablet.
Personally I prefer a phone and std controller. I can drop and break a phone and just fit a different phone, break the screen on a smart controller and you are a bit beep beeped.


With regards to the choice of drone, where is he likely to be flying this, town, suburbs, rural, back of beyond? That and legislation are factors to consider.
 
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googles are NOT for every one
Great point. I also don't find the experience to be great as it limits your situational awareness since you can only see what's in the front of the drone.
 
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Thanks. That looks like it will do. I see the Air 3 DJI RC2 combo. I believe thats the one with 2 extra batteries and the Remote control with the screen built in. Is having the screen built into the remote itself as opposed to using your smartphone worth the extra cost?

Any other accessories that are a must have now or should this kit do?
I’d second GFields on the Tripltek if you have the cash, around $800. It isn’t a tablet, it is a giant cellphone. As such it is more capable than a tablet and it can be seen clearly with bright sun shining on it. I deny the cell phone part of it so I don’t get calls while I’m flying (smile). Also, I set it up with Verizon for data and storing maps, $20/mo. I can get maps and apps anywhere there’s Verizon access, including foreign. Handy add-on.
 
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@JohnDS welcome to the forum
if you click on the envelope symbal ,next to the bell at the top of the screen you will see a PM i have sent you ,hope it helps with your choice
 
Honestly guys, I'm still a little confused on whether to get the (DJI RC N-2) or the (DJI RC 2). Am I making that much of a mistake if I dont get him the Tripltek?

Maybe I'm not understanding what pieces I need for certain things. For instance, i was watching the video and it looks to me like you can have this thing follow you and take pictures and videos of you. Can that be accomplished with the RC N-2 or RC 2? Or do yiu need the Tripltek do do things like that? I'm sure he would live that feature for when he goes on the boat.
 
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For instance, i was watching the video and it looks to me like you can have this thing follow you and take pictures and videos of you. Can that be accomplished with the RC N-2 or RC 2? Or do yiu need the Tripltek do do things like that?
The flight modes and other features of the drone are the same no matter which remote controller you choose.

If you go with the RC-N2:
  • You'll need connect a phone or tablet (like the TRIPLTEK) to the remote controller with a cable
  • Most phones will fit into the mobile device holder built into the top of the remote controller (it slides up)
  • If using a tablet, you'll need to attach some kind of mount to the remote controller to hold it
  • You can choose a mobile device that has a brighter screen (the TRIPLTEK is 1200 nits)
  • You'll have to turn on the remote controller & phone/tablet separately (minimal extra setup time)
  • You can install 3rd party applications on a phone/tablet (not required to fly a DJI drone)
  • Android DJI Fly updates are not available in the Google Play Store and must be side-loaded onto the mobile device (small learning curve)
  • You'll need to update DJI Fly on the mobile device & firmware on the remote controller separately
  • A phone/tablet can be used with any DJI drone
  • Tablets have larger screens than the RC 2
  • Attaching a tablet to the remote controller will make it top heavy (in most cases) and heavier overall (you could attach a lanyard)
  • A mobile device with an Internet connection could be used (the RC 2 needs to be tethered to a device with Internet)
If you go with the RC 2:
  • The screen might not be as bright (only 700 nits) as some high-end mobile devices, but I rarely (never?) see people complain about the brightness
  • Setup time is a little quicker since you only need to power on the remote controller
  • You cannot install 3rd party applications (not required to fly a DJI drone)
  • Firmware & DJI Fly updates are installed on the remote controller together
  • The remote controller has two connection points at the bottom to attach a lanyard
  • Less expensive than many popular phones/tablets
  • Not compatible with most DJI drones (currently only compatible with the Air 3 & Mini 4 Pro)
  • You can still use your phone when flying with the RC 2 (if using your primary phone with the RC-N2)
FWIW, most people who recommend tablets probably will never be RC 2 users (and vice versa). I tried both and using a separate phone/tablet is less convenient for me. As you can see above though, there are positives and negatives that could make this choice go either way.
 
Honestly guys, I'm still a little confused on whether to get the (DJI RC N-2) or the (DJI RC 2). Am I making that much of a mistake if I dont get him the Tripltek?

Maybe I'm not understanding what pieces I need for certain things. For instance, i was watching the video and it looks to me like you can have this thing follow you and take pictures and videos of you. Can that be accomplished with the RC N-2 or RC 2? Or do yiu need the Tripltek do do things like that? I'm sure he would live that feature for when he goes on the boat.
I have noticed a lot of people here on this forum LOVE to spend someone else's money.
You don't need a Tripltec. Either the RC2 or RC N2 will do fine.
Depending on what kind of flying he will do, either the DJI Mini 3 pro, Mini 3, Air 3 will do fine as well.
It's your money, his gift. Spend wisely
 
JohnDS -
Lots of good advice/info here. Hope you’re not overwhelmed!
Also look at Mini 4 Pro, and FAA “licensing” requirements (wrong word) for under/over 249 gram weight.
Flying from a boat adds several additional challenges. Search this forum.
Merry Christmas to you and your dad!
 
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