DJI is known for its high-quality drones with different applications. They have racing drones, professional drones, commercial ones, and more. They have top-notch features that you can use for different things, like aerial photography and filming. One of their best drones for that is the DJI Tello quadcopter drone.
In this article, you’ll discover everything you need to know to get started with this drone model. This includes key features, necessary specifications, and basic flight control instructions. You’ll also learn some safety tips when using the drone to ensure you can maximize your flights.
Key Specifications and Features Highlight
The DJI Tello, also known as the DJI Ryze Tello, is a compact quadcopter with a front-facing camera. It is well-liked for its lightweight design and budget-friendly price. This makes it suitable for both professionals and beginners interested in drone photography.
Here are its key specifications:
Flight Time: 13 minutes
Max Flight Distance: 100 meters
Video Resolution: 720p
Image Resolution: 5MP
Max Speed: 17.8 mph
Weight (w/ propellers): 87g
The Tello also has amazing advanced features that make it suitable for indoor and outdoor flying. Here are some of its best features:
1. Vision Positioning System
This allows the drone to maintain its current position, allowing it to hover in place more precisely and fly indoors and outdoors. The drone uses a camera and 3D infrared module for this system and is activated automatically when you turn on the aircraft. However, it’s important to remember that this is only effective at altitudes of 1 to 98.4 ft (0.3 to 30m). Beyond that, the Vision Positioning function can be affected.
2. Intelligent Flight Modes
The Tello has one of the most intelligent flight modes among all drones in the market. Specifically, it features four flight modes:
- Bounce Mode
In this mode, the drone automatically flies up and down between altitudes of 1.6 and 3.9 ft. If the drone detects any object below it, like your hand, it increases the altitude and continues flying up and down. This is why it’s important to avoid trying to catch the drone when in this mode.
You can use this mode to flip the drone in one of eight different directions automatically. It’s a great way to have fun while flying or if you want to take unique aerial shots. It’s easy to use and change directions, especially when you use the Tello app.
Throw & Go
This is the go-to mode if you want to get straight into flying. The Throw & Go flight mode lets users launch the drone by gently throwing it into the air. You simply have to select the mode, start the propellers, and launch it. It’s a great and convenient way to start flying.
This mode allows users, especially those with little to no experience, to capture short video clips. The images and clips are then directly saved to your smartphone, where you can edit them.
There are three ways you can use the EZ Shots:
Using 360°: In this mode, the Tello hovers in place and records a short video while rotating 360°. After a full rotation, the drone will stop recording and simply hover in place again.
Using Circle: In this mode, the drone will record a short video while flying in a circle. The Tello will circle around 2 meters from the target, and once a full circle is completed, it will automatically stop recording and hover in place.
Using Up & Away: In this mode, the drone records a short video while flying upward and backward. It will fly upwards and backward away from your subject while recording. When doing so, make sure to leave at least 6 meters behind and above the target and check for any obstacles.
3. Propeller Guards
Unlike some drones in the market, the Tello comes with and uses propeller guards. These help reduce the risks of damage or harm to people or objects if they collide with the drone. However, depending on your preferences, you can attach or detach these propeller guards.
You can control the Tello in two ways: the app or a remote controller. The Tello app can be downloaded to your smartphone, and you can use it to control the drone’s functions, especially its camera. It offers a convenient way to fly the drone using virtual joysticks.
You can also use a Bluetooth remote controller with actual joysticks if you prefer. As long as it's compatible with the drone, you can control the same functions just like when using the Tello app.
The Tello is also made programmable with Scratch, an MIT-developed coding system. This allows kids and adults to learn basic programming while having fun using the drone. This coding feature can be used to create a choreographed flight for the drone with set movements, tricks, and more.
Guide to Basic Flight Maneuvers
Like other DJI drone models, the Tello has two modes you can choose from to control the aircraft. In Mode 1, the left joystick controls the pitch, while the right one controls the throttle and left and right movements. On the other hand, in Mode 2, everything works the opposite way.
Since the Mode 2 is the default mode, here’s how to perform basic maneuvers using the joysticks:
The left stick controls the throttle of the drone. Push the stick upwards to ascend and downwards to descend. The more you push it away from the center, the faster the drone will ascend or descend. But to ensure there would be no sudden and unexpected changes in altitude, make sure always to push the stick gently.
The left stick also controls the orientation of the drone. You can push it to the left to rotate the Tello counterclockwise and to the right to rotate it clockwise. Again, the more you push the stick away from the center position, the faster the drone will rotate.
Moving in Different Directions
The right joystick controls the pitch of the Tello. To make it fly forward, simply push the stick upwards. On the other hand, you push it down to fly backward instead. To move forward and backward faster, simply push the stick away from the center position.
Additionally, you also use the right stick to fly left and right. Push it to the left to make the drone fly left, and push to the right to make it move to the right. Similarly, the more the stick is pushed away from the center, the faster the drone will move.
Safety Tips When Flying the DJI Tello
Even though you can fly the drone indoors or outdoors, it’s still important to take note of necessary safety precautions to avoid any damage or injury. Below are some of the most important tips:
- Don’t use the drone in extreme weather conditions like tornadoes, snow, wind, hurricanes, hail, etc.
- Don’t use it near accidents, sandstorms, floods, explosions, tsunamis, landslides, fires, and earthquakes.
- Make sure to only fly at locations where there are at least 33 ft distance from obstacles, like trees, buildings, people, animals, etc.
- Avoid flying the drone when its battery is at a critically low level. This is to avoid battery damage and the likelihood of a crash.
- If you’re using the Tello app for controls, never fly at locations where you can’t possibly maintain a strong WiFi connection between your device and the drone.
The DJI Tello quadcopter drone is one of the best drones from the brand, especially for those with little to no experience in flying drones. It’s small and lightweight, making it easy to use and carry everywhere you want. It has amazing flight modes to capture images and short video clips at different angles and distances.
It’s also ideal if you want to start learning some simple drone coding. If you're going to look at it and some other drones, you can always check out our DJI drones collection.