The new Ehang Ghostdrone 2.0 is the new kid on the drone block, surprisingly it makes one of our old favorites the Solo 3DR look simple old hat.
This is because the software wrapped around the new Ehang drone is significantly superior and it has its own built in camera, this was particularly evident when it comes to getting this device airborne.
Initially I had problems testing this drone due to high winds but when we did get it into the air we realized that this device was not only a solid well-built drone it was a step ahead of a lot of other drones currently being sold by retailers.
In the box is a drone and a pair of VR, FPV goggles and the two are designed to go hand in hand
The googles allow one to ‘see’ through the 4K camera of the drone. At first it took a little while to get use to using the goggles but after a while flying up and down Balmoral beach one seriously warmed to the idea of vision via the Goggles.
With the Solo 3DR one had to rely on a vision via a tablet or a smartphone.
Another big plus and this becomes apparent when you have used drones that in the past have needed a Go Pro camera to be attached, is the built in gimballed camera recording 4K video seamlessly, this is a massive plus as it eliminates communication problems between drone and camera which often happens when attaching a third-party camera to a drone’s camera housing.
The $1,119 Ghostdrone 2.0 is cheaper than several other high-end drones in the market with similar features, it’s also lightweight at 1150g, this comes in handy when travelling with your drone, especially if one is trekking to a location to get that perfect drone footage.
Capable of capturing full 4K at 24fps one also has the option of stepping down both the quality and file size to 2.5K@30fps, 1080p@60fps and 720p@120fps. It’s also capable of taking 12Mp photos.
The quality of the video captured was as good as any 4K Go Pro camera which have become a pain in the backside when it comes to mounting and then making sure that you have a constant signal from the camera to the likes of a Solo 3DR app.
The Ehang drone has a 93-degree wide-angle lens which delivers very wide image capture this means that the curvature in the lens is noticeable when panning across to capture an image area.
The Ehang Ghostdrone 2.0 also delivers a slightly better battery life than the Solo 3DR. I got around 25 minutes and that was with a reasonable headwind.
This drone constantly correct itself due to the high winds that I initially faced when flying over Chinamans Beach in Sydney.
I strongly recommend light breezes because one of my trips became a real rock and roll experience that had me thinking whether we would have problems landing the device. I was confident that the built-in GPS would automatically land the device from the original spot where I had originally launched the device.
And because I was battling strong sea breezes I was confident that the device would live up to the manufacturers claims that even if a battery started to have problems mid-flight the drome would come back home pretty quickly.
One thing that I do recommend is that you buy an additional battery for longer sessions.
As for batteries, this device has a display that gives you a power breakdown of the overall batteries performance, as well as the power left in each individual cell. This is really advantageous, when flying in questionable conditions and you suddenly get that fear your drone could well end up in the drink and a $1,000+ drone could end up in the bottom of Sydney Harbour.
EHANG claims that the drone can reach distances of 500m+ due to the use of the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz frequencies. What this means is that this device has the technology to deliver superior wireless networking and a high level of stability.
I flew this device over water from Chinamans Beach to the Spit Bridge and back and I was impressed by the rigidity and balance that this drone delivered which is in part delivered by the use of technology such as self-tightening propellers that prevent the wings from becoming loose in flight, it also has downward facing brushless motors” that help to increase the stability of the drone.
Both videos and photos can easily be stored on the drone itself on the 64Gb MicroSD card which is also assessable over a Wi-Fi network when you go back to home base or your closest Wi Fi network. This prevents one having to take out the SD Card.
Flying the drone is easy, all I did was download the Ehang app and after mounting the EH headset, I was able to pair the device to the headset, as opposed to the drone.
What you then get right in front of your eyes is a live feed from the drone’s onboard camera, Its also a way for you to get a first-person view during flight, but it also means you’re not looking at your smartphone and having to navigate by touch alone.
A big plus of this type of flying was that I could easily navigate the camera by simply moving my head.
Strictly speaking thou, one is not allowed to wear the headset while you’re piloting the drone in Australia, so it may pay to have a Co-Pilot with you.
While I have said a lot of nice things about this drone it is still a consumer drone that will have a life of around two years that is if Ehang continue to deliver updates which I am sure they will.
Another option is Parrot’s Bebop 2 FPV, which also delivers an out-of-the-box FPV experience, this device has superior range and is as easy as the Ehang to navigate.
What you get for your $1,119 is a drone that does the job, but if you need a Pro drone this is not the drone you want.