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Before using a VR drone, you must have had prior knowledge about flying drones, and if you would be flying a VR Drone, it means you at least you know one or two things about flying drones. A VR Drone is different from an ordinary drone through the virtual reality technology which makes you feel not like just the controller of the drone, but like you are actually in the air flying with the drone.
If you have had more than enough of the regular drone flying adventures and would like to take it up a notch, then it is high time you invested in a VR Drone.
This article is an in-depth review of different VR Drones that we have had the opportunity of operating and checking out their features. If you are almost convinced about buying a VR Drone, this article will give you the homerun needed to go through with it and help you make an informed decision.
The Best VR Drone Comparison Table
DJI Mavic Pro
DJI Phantom 4
Parrot Bebop 2
CMOS 12MP 4K Ultra HD
12 MP 1080P
14MP 1080P HD
1000TVL Wide Angle
2MP 720P HD
17 x 19 x 3.5 inches
17 x 19 x 3.5 inches
13.8 x 13.8 x 10 inches
15 x 3.5 x 12.9 inches
3.3 x 3.3 x 1.7 inches
14.4 x 4 x 13.8 inches
*Scroll right on mobile device to see every item
The Best VR Drones Reviews
The DJI Mavic Pro tops our list of best VR drones. It is portable, foldable and can be carried around easily if you are a mobile hobbyist who loves to go on hiking or camping adventures. Even with its small size, the DJI Mavic Pro has a lot of features that make flying and operating it easy. Features such as the OcuSync transmission system which helps the drone have a transmission range of 7 kilometers and a flight speed of 64 kilometers per hour.
Some other features include the obstacle avoidance sensors that help the drone stay crash-safe and collision-safe, the GLONASS system that helps achieve flight control and an excellent camera that records video in 4K resolution. With a fully-charged battery, the DJI Mavic Pro Drone with DJI Goggles delivers a flight time of 27 minutes. Depending on how you want it, you can either operate this drone alone or fly it with the DJI goggles compatible with it so you can have a complete immersive first-person view flying experience. The DJI VR goggles come with high definition screen of each of your eyes and a head tracking feature which controls the drone as you move your head. The goggles also have antennas in them so they can deliver a 360-degree coverage which also helps ensure that you have an excellent first-person view flight experience. The goggles do not come together with the drone so, you may need to buy them separately. You will also need to buy a sturdy backpack to carry your drone when going on field adventures. The DJI goggles are quite pricey, but you do not have much options than to buy them because other VR goggles on the market do not work with the DJI Mavic Pro Drone as well as DJI goggles.
This is another fantastic VR Drone that performs excellently well and delivers an even more outstanding VR experience. It also comes with a 20-megapixel camera which ensures high image quality and clarity. It features five obstacle avoidance sensors placed around its body so that your investment does not collide with strong/solid objects that can damage it.
This drone also has a drawing technology implemented in it where you can draw a route on the screen of the controller for the drone to follow. It also has the return-to-home function which brings the drone back to its takeoff point with the click of a button and the follow me function which enables the drone to follow you as long as you are holding its controller. On a single full charge of the battery, this drone can fly non-stop for 30 minutes. The drone itself is not a VR drone, but you can make it one by using the DJI goggles with it. The DJI VR goggles come with HD screens for each eye so you can view bright images during your flight. The DJI VR goggles also come with head-tracking features which let you use your head movement to control the drone’s camera and Yaw. The included antenna also makes 360-degree coverage possible. The DJI goggles turn your drone from an ordinary drone to a VR drone and let you do amazing stuff with your drone. The goggles are quite expensive, but they give you value for your money.
DJI Spark Drone with VR Kit
Camera: 12 MP 1080P Full HD
Control range: 1,2 miles
Flight time: 16 min
Dimensions: 5.62 x 5.62 x 2.16 inches
Weight: 0.66 lbs
This is another portable drone that comes in a variety of colors – lava red, orange, meadow green, alpine white sunrise yellow and orange. This way, you can get a functional VR drone in the color that you love. It comes with an impressive camera which you can use to take stable, non-jerky pictures thanks to the mechanical gimbal stabilization system. This system also makes the DJI Spark Drone a great candidate for taking selfies.
The flight control system in the DJI Spark consists of the GPS and GLONASS flight control systems. Because of this, both intermediate and expert drone pilots will have a good grip on this drone and enjoy using it. The drone delivers a maximum flight of 50 kmph in calm weather conditions, and it delivers a flight time of 16 minutes. The obstacle sensors also keep the drone safe from obstacles within 5 meters. It offers first-person view flights. The DJI Spark can work with just about any VR goggles but for best performance, use it with the DJI VR goggles that you have to buy separately.
Unlike the first three drones that we reviewed above which require you to buy virtual reality goggles separately, the Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer comes with its own VR goggles. So, if you cannot afford to buy one of the pricey separate VR goggles, buying this VR drone seems like a good idea.
The drone’s camera has a lens of 14 megapixels and can capture images in 1080p High-definition quality. It also features a 3-axis digital stabilization system to deliver stable video shots and smooth footages. Its battery delivers 25 minutes of flight time on a single charge. This VR drone uses the FreeFlight Pro app to synchronize with the FPV headset. The app works with any smartphone on the Android and iOS platforms.
REDPAWZ R011 Micro Quad with VR Goggles
Camera: 1000TVL Wide Angle
Control range: 100 feet
Flight time: 6 min
Dimensions: 3.3 x 3.3 x 1.7 inches
Weight: 0.36 lbs
This VR drone is for you if you enjoy racing with drones and at the same time looking for one that is affordable. The REDPAWZ Micro FPV Drone is suitable for you if you have a tight budget. But despite its relatively low price, it packs some impressive features to make your drone flights enjoyable. It comes with a 6-axis gyroscope to achieve stable flights and accurate aerial positioning.
The VR goggles that come with this mini-drone makes use of the Fresnel optical lens zoom to deliver one of the best immersive flight experiences. You will also find the VR goggles incredibly easy to use. Other features present in this drone include the headless mode feature, the 360-degree flip, and the home control. The battery charges fully in a short time, and the camera has a 120-degree wide angle.
For more professional and serious hobbyists, this drone may not be their first choice VR drone. This is because of its short battery life and transmission range. The camera is also not so great. But if you want to save money, this is the drone for you.
If you are a beginner, the Force 1 Drone is perfect for you. It is affordable and yet, delivers an exceptional flying experience. The altitude hold function makes it even more suitable for beginners as it helps them operate the drone with easy. It is also useful for maintaining stability when taking photos and recording videos in the air. The inbuilt 2-megapixel camera takes high-definition 720p aerial photographs.
It features first-person view feature which allows you to watch a live stream from your smartphone. The drone also comes with its virtual reality headset that you can connect and start using right away. The Force 1 UDI U818A has then headless mode feature, so you do not have to bother about where the drone is facing or what direction it is headed. The drone comes with a spare battery as well as a power bank to help maximize flight time.
Advantages of Virtual Reality Drones
Virtual Reality has become a trend in the technology world, and drones were not the first devices to embrace this technology. But now, many drone makers have adopted this trend and are catching up fast by releasing drones with VR headsets. The major selling point of this is immersive feeling you get when flying a VR drone.
With a VR headset, you can enjoy the first-person view which gives you a much better and improved perspective of what the drone’s camera can see. You also get to enjoy some automated piloting with features like the return home and GPS which means you can get completely immersed in a VR drone experience and not have to do any controlling of the drone.
Other Features to Consider in a VR Drone
The quality of the virtual reality headset is one thing to consider, but alongside this, you also have to pay attention to other features and parts of a drone. If all of the features that you have to consider are looking like a handful or too much for you to evaluate them
Independently, we have made a shortlist of the most important ones. Keep reading to see the essential features to pay attention to.
Automated flight features and GPS
A drone should have access to satellites so that it can have a stable GPS connection wherever it is being flown. GPS enables the use of automatic flight features like waypoint and the return-home function. It involves the use of coordinates which guide the drone’s movement to where you want it to fly to. For the return home feature to work, the drone records the GPS location of the point where the drone took off and then it uses this information to direct the drone back to its starting point. Some of the other automated features that a drone should have are orbit mode, and terrain follow mode which all come in handy when operating the drone in specific situations. The orbit me feature enables the drone lock onto an object and fly towards that object and then fly continuously around the object.
The camera quality also plays a big role in the quality of content you can use the drone to record. An ideal drone should have its camera installed on a 3-axis gimbal to ensure recording and shooting stability as well as for secure fastening of the camera to the drone.
For high-end drones, they should have nothing less than a 4K camera on them. This allows the production of detailed images. But for most 4K cameras, they usually operate at 30 frames per second although some 4K cameras are pushing 60 frames per second. 30fps is not exactly bad if you are only going to be shooting slow moving subjects, but if you will be shooting fast moving objects, you may have to reduce the camera resolution to 1080p at 120 frames per second.
You should also check the resolution and active pixels of the camera. A 12-megapixel camera will reduce decent images but for a professional drone and images of the best quality, go for a camera with a 20MP lens.
The flight time refers to the number of minutes your drone can spend in the air. The technology that we currently have in drones is not enough to produce drone batteries that can last for hours. So, most drones have a 20 to 30 minutes flight time cap.
The flight time you will get from any drone also depends on the types of activities, operations, and maneuvers you execute with the drone. If you are carrying out different flying motions and maneuvers, the battery will likely run out more quickly.
To increase your drone flight time, consider buying spare batteries so you can change to another battery when one runs out.
If you have a faraway are you would like to explore with your drone, you need to make sure that the distance of that area from where you are is within the range of control of your drone. Your drone has to stay connected to the controller no matter what distance it flies out to. An example of drone that has an impressive control range is the DJI Lightbridge which has a range of between 5 and 7 km.
You, however, have to be careful of exhausting your drone through its maximum range because of the battery. You should make sure that the drone will have enough juice to return to its starting point no matter what. Usually, the more expensive a drone is, the higher its control range is likely to be.
Frequently Asked Questions About Drones With VR Headsets
A Virtual Reality Drone is a combination of drones and virtual reality. The display mounted on the head of the drones opens up a new world of possibilities for you by putting you in the pilot’s seat.
Which of these VR drones have the best VR headset?
VR headsets have different sizes and shapes and work differently. Some of them use Wi-Fi while some use the popular 5.8 GHz connection. Whichever method of connection your drone has, the most important thing is that you should find it easy to use and should not require too many settings before the drone will begin to work. You should also make sure that the image quality is high as well. You want to make sure your VR drone delivers natural colors in the pictures and videos as well as a reasonable resolution so you can fully enjoy the immersive VR experience.
You also have to make sure the drone has a long-range video reception and is only a little bit latent. So, which of the drones that we have discussed above has the best virtual reality headset? The most expensive one has the best features, and that will be the DJI Goggles. However, most DJI drones don’t come with VR headsets. You will have to buy them separately. Some drones come with their VR headsets included in their package, and these are usually the best options for you to get.
Which of these drones have the best camera?
Using the onboard stabilization system and sensor quality as yardsticks, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro has the best camera; a 20-megapixel camera with a 1-inch CMOS sensor. It also comes with a 3-axis gimbal for smooth transitioning. Although the other drones also have quality cameras, the Phantom 4 Pro leads the back and surpasses all that a high-end drone should have in terms of camera.
Which of these drones offer the best VR experience?
The Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer wins here because it comes with its VR headset right out of its box. It comes with cockpit glasses, low latency, excellent range, and unparalleled image quality. Cockpit glasses are made from materials of high quality and can be adjusted which means they can fit different types of heads. So, for the best VR experience, the Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer is your best option.
What differentiates 5.8 GHz and Wi-Fi FPV?
These FPV-types are similar, but their performances are entirely different. Let’s find out their differences.
5.8 GHz FPV works with an analog connection, and it is the choice for most professional drone pilots because it hardly lags. The only aspect where it is behind the Wi-Fi FPV is the video quality which is not as brilliant as that of Wi-Fi FPV because it relies on an analog signal. It is well-suited for drone racing because it has low latency. For the 5.8GHz, you need to buy a 5.8GHz receiver.
Wi-Fi FPV, on the other hand, uses the 2.4 GHz connection and does not require any other hardware for it to function properly. Most smartphones and tablets can connect to Wi-Fi; therefore, it is easy to connect and control your drone from a smartphone. It is also cheaper to manufacture, and that is why most budget drones come with Wi-Fi connection.
How do you connect a VR headset to your drone?
Contrary to what a lot of people think, it is simple to connect a VR drone to a VR headset. We will be exploring this from two different angles – connecting to a Wi-Fi VR headset and connecting to a 5.8 GHz headset.
Connecting to a Wi-Fi VR headset
Typically, a Wi-Fi VR headset does not have its display screen. It usually comes with a VR Box where you will insert your smartphone to serve as the screen. Before doing that, you will need to download the VR app which you will connect to the drone’s Wi-Fi network. Once you have sorted this out, you are good to start using your VR drone and headset.
Connecting to a 5.8 GHz VR Headset
The process here is different as you do not need to use your smartphone in the setup. 5.8 GHz headsets usually come with their displays, and you will need to switch the headsets to a specific channel that matches the transmitter of the camera. With newer models, there is a channel auto-search which makes the task of selecting a corresponding channel easier.
Essential Tips to Take Note of When Flying a Drone With a VR Headset
Flying a drone with VR headset sure gives you an immersive experience which is enjoyable and fun. But you do not want your fun to be cut short as a result of a sudden crash. Therefore, check out these few tips that will help you fly safely.
Observe your surroundings
Before flying your drone, check out the environment first. Ensure there are no tree branches, electrical cables and any other objects that can hamper your flight in any way.
Do not fly a drone in a place where there are people
Locations for flying drones are usually deserted because nobody wants their drone to run into a passerby or disturb the activities of the people around. So, choose your location wisely.
Keep your drone charged
Charging is vital for the continuous flying of your VR headsets. You should not only focus on charging your drones. Keep the batteries in the headset charged as well.
Do not use headless mode
Using headless drone while flying in virtual reality is not a very good idea. You will have your controls all jammed, and you will find it hard to turn properly. If you hold your drone dear, turn off this feature when flying in VR.
Buying a VR drone is, of course, an excellent investment if you have had more than enough fun with flying drones. Taking it up a notch by flying in virtual reality is an entirely different experience and one that is worth it. The best VR drones come with fairly powerful batteries and high-quality cameras. We hope that the VR drones that we have reviewed above will help you make an informed choice regarding performance, budget and flight needs.
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