The Skydio2+ drone is made in the USA and it is going to set you back slightly more than $1000.
In the past, we have reviewed several high quality drones for aerial photography. These include the DJI FPV Combo, which sells at almost the same price.
None of the drones we have reviewed in the past match the Skydio2 Plus when it comes to the combination of price and features.
The Skydio2+, this is a high quality quadcopter. It comes with many improvements on its predecessor. For instance, it has a longer flight range of 6000 meters. It also has better imaging qualities.
Above all, this drone is equipped with an excellent AI system for obstacle avoidance and autonomous flying.
Like every other drone, this 2022 launch also has its downsides.
For instance, the new features such as the KeyFrame have a medium learning curve. They look so easy to use on paper, but the reality on the ground is different.
Another thing is that a drone with such a long distance range does not have a geofencing feature. This can be troublesome for a beginner because the Skydio2 Plus can fly out of sight really fast.
The saving grace is that it has a built-in GPS so you can always bring it back home. There is really no danger of losing the aircraft even if it flies out of sight.
There are other cons that we shall look at later but the pros are still more than the cons. Keep reading to see its features and smart flight functions
This is an exciting adventure drone, but still, you don’t want to buy it without reading about its physical features, its camera, battery and all of its flight functions.
Here are more details:
Design and build quality
By design, this is not a foldable quadcopter but it comes in a small size. It measures the same size as its predecessor.
The weight of the drone is 771 grams, so you will definitely need to register it with the FAA before you can fly it.
The drone comes with two foldable antennas on the head. These are 5.8GHz WiFi omnidirectional antennas, so they can support all-round movement of the drone over a long distance. They give the Skydio2+ almost double the range that the first drone came with.
The manufacturer has used high quality plastic material for the fuselage for safety. The quadcopter also comes with brushless motors for good flight performance.
Camera and KeyFrame feature
The high quality camera makes this drone a good choice for content creators. It comes with a 4K 60HDR camera.
The most outstanding feature on the camera is the KeyFrame video function. This is a very important feature for video creators.
It enables you to know how a shot will look through various stages. That way, you can see how a certain movement will look when you play it back.
If you want to showcase something, you can define certain moments and on camera, you will see how they will look during playback.
The KeyFrame function is used a lot during filming animations. When making animations, these complex moments have to be drawn. However, with the Skydio KeyFrame, you do not need to make a sketch because the drone will actually fly and capture those moments.
To catch a first person experience, you will need to use the provided USB-C cable to connect your smartphone to a joystick remote controller.
The photo resolution is 4056 by 3040P. The camera is able to capture photo footage at 1, 5 and 10 seconds intervals. For video footage, the resolution is 3840 by 2160P at 30FPS and 1920 by 1080P at 30FPS. It can also capture slow motion videos at 1080P/120FPS.
The camera is stabilized by a 3-axis mechanical that corrects yaw, pitch and roll. You will get clear and stable footage.
To store your footage, the drone comes with a UHS Speed Class 3 microSD card. It is removable so you can transfer your footage to a computer easily.
Improved battery flight time
The Skydio2 Plus comes with an 11.07V 5410mAh Lithium Polymer battery, with a flight time of 27 minutes, up from 24 minutes that the earlier batteries for the Skydion 2 offered. The good thing is that you have the Skydion 2, you can use the Plus’ batteries in it.
Please note that this flight time is for fairly calm weather flights. Flying at high altitude (it has a maximum altitude of 15,000 feet) and flying it in the wind (can fly well in wind speeds of up to 25MPH) will consume the battery charge faster.
For longer flight time, it is best to order your drone with two batteries. 50 minutes is better than 27 minutes for a content creator.
Even though this is a self-flying drone, sometimes, the need to fly it blindly, with just the remote controller may arise.
This is a 2.4GHz/5.8GHz controller, the former for shorter flight range and the latter for long flights. Unfortunately, it does not come with a display screen in the middle to show you vital stats such as drone distance, altitude or remaining battery voltage.
At 386 grams of weight, it might feel too heavy for a child or a person with small hands. It also comes with a foldable smartphone holder that can fit most iOS and android devices that have 6-inch screens or smaller.
To enjoy FPV connect the remote controller to your smartphone using the provided USB-C cable. You will be able to enjoy FPV at a resolution of 720P.
This controller also uses a built-in rechargeable battery, with a high capacity of 2500mAh. On one charge, you can fly through a few Skydio2 Plus batteries.
Skydio 2+ Beacon controller
To unlock the autonomous flight features packed into the drone, you will need to use the Skydio 2+ Beacon Controller. The beacon controller will help you keep track of your drone even when you cannot see it.
It works like a GPS tracker, but it also allows you to make some changes to the drone’s position in the sky.
This little device is basically a range expander, helping you extend your control range by up to 3KM. You can lock the camera angle or even change the position of your drone mid-flight.
Skydio Skills/Flight Functions
To enjoy the full potential of the Skydio2 Plus drone, you will need to know how to use the set of flight functions, or skills, as they call them, that it comes with. Some of them are as follows:
If you are tracking a subject or an object, engaging orbit mode will allow the drone to circle the point of interest and capture incredible footage from all directions. You can set the radius of the circle and you can capture footage from different angles.
As the name suggests, engaging this mode will have the drone follow the subject or object at a distance of your choice, capturing footage all the time.
The drone locks onto a person from a certain height and it keeps track of them from that height without moving after them. It is very stable when hovering and the mechanical gimbal eliminates all vibrations so there is no distortion in the footage.
You can fly the drone in manual mode if you so choose, by using the joysticks to trim the direction and increase or decrease speed. The flight won’t be as smooth as the self-flying mode, but it is something that advanced pilots love to try, for fun.
360-degree obstacle avoidance system
This drone is equipped with sensors all round. It can avoid obstacles in the upward, downward, left and right directions. It will even avoid the closest shaves with tree branches when you are flying it in a vegetated place.
The maximum flight speed for this drone in autonomous mode is 36MPH/58KM/H. This is quite fast. Since it is equipped with good wind resistance, you will have your hands free to concentrate on taking footage as the drone practically flies itself.
There are more skills, which you can find on the Skydio2 Plus page. These include things such as Vortex flight, Boomerang, Rocket, and Dronie mode among others. There is no shortage of fun when you are flying this aircraft.
- Long flight range for extra fun
- Comes with battery that lasts 3 minutes longer than its predecessor
- Three ways to control the drone – Beacon, Remote Controller and Smartphone
- Easy to do a firmware update through the app
- The price is good for a drone with this kind of AI vision technology
- Hard to lose the drone because it has GPS
- Many shooting modes to choose from
- This drone has a long learning curve since it is so feature-rich
- It is made in the rigid design – not foldable into a smaller size
- Remote controller can also fit devices of a maximum size of 6 inches
Who Should Buy The Skydio2 Plus Drone?
This drone is a good investment for content creators who post photo and video content on YouTube, blogs and other platforms.
It takes high quality footage and it can shoot your subject from so many angles. If you are a traveler and you like to record all of your moments and share them with your followers and fans, this drone is for you.
If you are a farmer and you need a drone that can fly to the farthest corner of your farm and take footage, this one is more than enough.
Overall, this drone can be used to enhance public safety, business, farming and content creation.
Conclusion and Summary
This drone is almost a risk-free purchase because it comes with a warranty of 12 months. For a fee of $149 or $249, the warranty is extended to 12 and 24 months respectively.
During that time, should your drone sustain damage from water, landings or accidents, you can get a new replacement for $150.
When you get your Skydio2+ drone, you need to learn as much as you can about its features before you can fly it. You can do this by reading the user manual.
If you have any questions, the Skydio team is always available on live chat, so you can catch them on their official website.