You would best describe the dji Tello as a mini drone. I for one could not believe how small this drone was. I won a Tello in a contest and my initial thoughts were this will be an excellent kid-friendly drone. Will it be the best drone for kids? If its pedigree is anything to go by it certainly will with dji (the world leader in drones) standing behind it along with an Intel (computers) chip in it.
Straight out of the box the first thing you realise is, that there are no accessories or parts to put together which is great for kids (and for us adults truth be told). There is no remote control, there is no attaching the propellers, there is no attaching the guards. There is just the drone, 1 set of replacement wings and 1 battery. If you want to talk a about mini-drone the dji Tello is it. The lack of accessories in the box is what makes this one of the best drones for kids straight away as there is nothing to lose parts wise.
The one thing kids will need to have is a phone or tablet to download the Tello app to fly this little machine. The Tello app is where the magic begins and the fun takes over allowing you to take off do tricks and land. I will say there is the option to buy a wireless remote control if downloading the app is not for you or you do prefer to have a control (like a PS4 controller which will allow you to fly the drone that way).
Let us look at some of the Tello dimensions:
- 9.8cm x 9.2cm x 4.1cm (3.8 inches x 3.6 inches x 1.6 inches) in size
- Weighs 80g or 0.17 pounds (propellers and battery included)
This makes the Tello small enough to fit in a backpack or carry on suitcase and light enough that it’s not a burden for the kids to carry around. One thing you don’t like as a parent is to be carrying around any more stuff for your kids. The weight and size make this a great drone for kids.
So, what can a top drone for kids do?
Auto Takeoff & Landing makes a good kid-friendly Drone
Open the app and simply hit the takeoff button to initiate the takeoff and the land button to initiate the landing. There are different landing modes: Tap to land and palm land. In Tap to Land the aircraft lands automatically. Put the Tello in Palm Land and place your palm under the aircraft. Tap to confirm and the aircraft will land in your hand and stop its motors.
Tip: Make sure to have your palm flat, you don’t want your fingers to get whacked by the blades. It won’t do any damage to your fingers but it will sting.
Throw and Go the best drone for kids
A simple and fun way to begin your flight is to turn on the Tello drone and have it take off right from the palm of your hand.
- Press the power button once to turn on the aircraft
- Tap and then select Throw & Go
- Place the aircraft in your palm
- Read the warning prompt and then tap to start.
- The propellers will start spinning slowly.
- Gently toss the aircraft upward and horizontally away from you, keeping it level as you throw.
- The propellers will spin faster and the Tello will hover in place,
- The engines will stop if you do not throw the aircraft within 5 seconds of the propellers starting.
The best drone for kids does 8D Flips
Mini drones are often known for their flipping abilities, something there bigger more serious counterparts don’t do. This is what makes this mini drone fun for both kids and adults alike. The 8D flips are something the dji Tello offers that won’t be found anywhere else. With the 8D flips, flight mode built-in it allows you to freestyle this kid-friendly drone. Once activated, 8D flips automatically flip the drone in one of eight directions.
- Press the power button once to turn the aircraft on. Launch the Tello app and tap to takeoff.
- Tap the flight modes button
- Select 8D flips. Read the information promptly and select Start.
- Swipe within the box shown in the app. The aircraft will flip in the direction you swipe.
- Tap in the Tello app any time to exit 8D flips.
Tip: Don’t try the flips while inside make sure you have an open space away from obstacles. Also know your own personal space and position the dji Tello at least 3 meters away from your body. You don;t want it flipping into your HEAD!
The best drone for kids has Bounce Mode
In Bounce Mode the aircraft automatically rises and declines between 1.6 and 3.9 feet above a surface. The smart technology built into the Tello allows to detects any object below. If this happens the Tello will automatically increase its altitude and continues flying in the up and down mode.
- Press the power button once to turn the aircraft on. Start the Tello app and tap to takeoff.
- Select flight modes button
- Select Bounce mode and Start.
- The aircraft will start flying up and down.
- Extend your arm and place your palm 1 foot or more below the aircraft, keeping your palm open. The aircraft will increase its altitude and continue flying up and down.
- Tap the screen in the Tello app any time to exit Bounce mode.
What did our kids think of the Tello?
Our 10 and 12 year old kids had so much fun flying the Tello. After watching their flights one thing they found a bit confusing was which way was the front and which way was the back of the Tello. It can be hard to tell if your watching the drone and not the remote. The flips were where all the fun was for the kids, swipe up swipe down as the Tello dance, flip and moved. Our youngest daughter who loves YouTube thought it would be great to make movies and easy to record. Both thought the battery ran out too quick but we will be buying another battery for our Tello.
Best mini drone with a camera:
Looking for the best mini drone with a camera? Maybe your child has an interest in making video’s after all our kids live in a youtube society of today. Well, great news the Tello is a mini drone with a camera that both records and takes still images. The Tello stores your images and files on your smartphone or tablet whichever one you are using as the remote. This allows you to easily share the images via email with your friends and family. You can even share straight to social media or go live during a flight on the Tello. The dji Tello comes with the 5-megapixel camera for you still images. The image below was taken with the Tello.
I must say I was not expecting much image-wise from a 5-megapixel camera, 5 megapixel is so 3 years ago but the images come out clear and crisp. As for making videos you can shoot freestyle flying up high, low over fences through your house whatever inspires you.
The Tello comes pre-set with 3 filming modes to make things a little easier. You will get the Circle. 360 and up and away modes ready to go from the remote control for you.
- Circle, as called, will fly around an object capturing it from all sides.
- 360 the drone will stay in the same place and spin capturing everything in its vision
- Up and Away will capture everything starting from when the drone takes off to when it reaches a certain height.
- The Tello Drobne comes with image stabilization for clear pictures
Tello Facts and Figures:
- 13 Minutes Flight time (A second or third battery may be handy)
- Image transmission distance is 100 meters
- Films in 720p not quite HD but still a better than expected quality
- Intel processor provides smooth images
- No SD card required
- Compatible with the dji Virtual reality headsets
- Family-friendly price of $169 (AUD) or around $99 USD,
The conclusion to this kid-friendly drone:
The dji Tello is amazing for its price, The things it does and the modes it comes with borrowing heavily from the dji technology that is available on drones that retail for 5 times the price of this kid-friendly drone. In saying that the Tello is a drone for beginners either young or old who will most probably progress to bigger and better drones. The Tello should become an essential part of anyone’s travel gear No product is perfect and for the price of the Tello, I would not expect it to be.
I found that connecting it to the remote can sometimes be a bit of pill. It may take a few goes of connecting the wifi opening and closing the app to get it going. I would also say that it has a habit of drifting when it’s hovering. This is also expected as It does not work by GPS like some of its much bigger and better dji relatives. As I mentioned earlier for children’s drone with a camera it packs a might punch quality wise. Combined with it other in-flight features and lack of accessories to lose this is surely the best drone for kids on the market.
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