3DR Solo test: range, battery life, flight behavior, photos and videos

Entertainment factor
Flight behavior
Material quality
Recording quality
Price quality
Overall rating 4.6 / 5

Quite an unusual drone is the 3DR Solo drone. Designed with your GoPro camera in mind, it has many different features to help you capture impressive photos.

We have taken a close look at the model and will show you in this report if buying a 3DR Solo Quadcopter can be beneficial for you or not.

Technical data and facts

Many drone pilots are enthusiastic about simple, intuitive controls and autonomous flight modes.

What we really love about this drone is its top speed and the fact that you can use GoPro cameras. This makes it one of the GoPro drones.

The top speed is almost 90 kilometers per hour, which is very heavy for this price! It also flies extremely stable and incredibly reliable.

It is often criticized for the fact that loading times are quite long and that a mobile device (such as a smartphone or tablet) is required to fly. Alternatively, you can buy multiple batteries to extend your flight time with a short stopover.

Since most of you probably own a smartphone, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Design, material handling, safety, size and weight

DJI drone vs 3DR drone

The size is acceptable and not bad for this price segment, we are talking about a width and length of 37 cm and a height of about 18 cm. The weight is slightly more – 1.5 kg, but the drives are very powerful and the drone does not seem bulky.

For us, the design is a bit like a DJI drone. Possibly comparable to the DJI Phantom 4. If it were white, it’s easy to get confused.

2 The big differences between the Phantom 4 and the 3DR Solo drone lie in the camera and drive. 3DR Solo has a top speed of almost 15 kilometers per hour. Whoever knows how powerful the Phantom 4 was knows what to expect here.

Everything looks very stable, the materials seem to have been collected at a cost, but all the elements were very durable.

Crashes are often not a problem for the 3DR Solo Quadcopter. Propellers can sometimes be damaged.

You also don’t need to worry about the GoPro camera. Because in the event that it breaks as a result of an accident, the manufacturer promises to replace the GoPro, provided that there is a malfunction in the 3DR drone, and not a pilot error.

For this, the 3DR has a flight recorder, so to speak, an onboard black box. The faults of the whole quadcopter are recorded here. Errors are automatically saved here for proof.

Movement, battery and flight time

To your advantage, the drone has a decent battery with a 5200mAh charge capacity at 14.8 volts. This is a flying lithium-ion battery.

Without a built-in camera, you can fly up to 25 minutes. If you are using a camera, which of course brings additional weight, the drone can fly for no more than 20 minutes.

But it also depends on your flying style, if you fly calmly and discreetly, the drone can fly for over 20 minutes even with a built-in camera. On the other hand, it is also clear that if the 3DR Solo is constantly accelerating to maximum speed, the flight time is significantly shorter.

Unfortunately, it takes just over 90 minutes to charge the battery. Compared to other models, this is normal, but annoying if the flight battery runs out after 20 minutes and needs to be charged for 1.5 hours first. Therefore, we recommend that you buy multiple batteries.

Of course, the drone must convert enormous electrical energy into mechanical work. For this, 4 powerful 880 kV motors were installed. They are equipped with self-locking fiberglass reinforced nylon struts. They operate very safely and the chances of the 3DR failing due to engine failure are very low.

Suspension system and sensors

The naked 3DR Solo that you can buy from Amazon sadly does not contain a harness. You must purchase this separately.

If you buy it, you can use your GoPro camera there.

Thanks to the sophisticated GPS system, the drone maintains its position without any problems. In general, the sensor system works very reliably.

Remote control, range, APP and FPV

3DR Solo in flight

As mentioned, for this drone you will need an app to fly the drone. The system is linked to the smartphone and video data, and now the FPV image can be transmitted in real time to the end device.

Many users report that the application is very stable and reliable. Even with Android 8.0 and most end devices, the app doesn’t crash, freeze for a moment, or have other quirks. A clear plus.

Many current data such as current speed, live view and GPS view are displayed in the app in a small format.

What’s interesting to us is the ability to transfer live image data from the GoPro directly to the device. For this purpose, a GoPro frame holder is included in the separately available harness.

Depending on the weather, you can use the included remote control to have a signal range of around 800 meters. However, in the USA you must obey the law and only operate the quadcopter within sight. You will also need a drone license plate for this model.

Remote control – Pixhawk-2 controller. It has a dedicated holder for smartphones and iPads that can be easily adjusted.

It also has its own color screen and additional buttons for takeoff, landing, auto return to home, pause, and a button to turn the drone on and off.

There are 2 programmable A / B buttons and of course 2 joysticks to control the 3DR Solo. The operation is actually very simple.

In addition, the remote is easy to recharge, but it will last for several flight battery charging cycles.

What we also find cool is the HDMI output, here you can stream live FPV to a large display or TV.

The interior also offers a lot of power, here 2 on-board computers are used in the remote control. One of these onboard computers is responsible for the autopilot, the other takes over the steering and other controller functions.

Flight modes and other features

Flight modes

When it comes to flight modes, pilots’ hearts will beat faster because, when combined with a great application, the software features really cost gold.

follow me

The typical flight mode for drones in this price range is “Follow Me mode”. Whether you are cycling, hiking, or hoverboarding, as soon as the drone sees you and you set up Follow Me mode, the 3DR Solo will follow you everywhere.

The drone stops and automatically follows you, and the camera is pointed at you all the time.

Orbit

You can make egocentric notes in Orbit Mode. Here you can mount the drone with a GoPro mounted to the object that should surround the 3DR Solo.

Then, in the application, you need to enter the radius with which the drone should fly around the object. In addition, the altitude and flight speed can be set.

Many DJI models have similar features, but we haven’t seen very many orbital mode drones yet. This function can be very versatile and the recordings make an especially professional impression.

Cable camera

In cable camera mode, the virtual cable or, one might say, the rope is pulled. You can easily indicate in the application in which direction this rope should go.

The drone then flies this virtual rope and you can pan the camera up or down or tilt it. The 3DR Solo autopilot is fully operational and you don’t have to worry about anything as it flies on a given route completely independently.

A similar feature is also available on other models such as the DJI Mavic Pro. This mode is called Waypoint here.

Selfie mode

You don’t really need this mode, but it’s very practical.Here you set up the quadcopter so that it moves away from you on its own, takes pictures of you and then returns.

Is the 3DR Solo drone suitable for beginners?

Drone in desert landscape

In general, in our opinion, the 3DR Solo drone is very suitable for beginners. Thanks to the advanced remote control, it is intuitive, convenient and easy to operate.

It also has GPS for more stable flight and is very reliable. The drone can usually survive an accident, but if it happens due to a system error, the manufacturer will replace your GoPro. The recorder collects important flight data and errors.

It is especially suitable for beginners as it allows the pilot to quickly master many modes such as Follow Me, Orbit Cable Cam and Selfie. It also develops very high speeds up to 90 kilometers per hour. This means the 3DR Solo is also protected from strong wind gusts.

The learning effect is very high and therefore the beginner quickly becomes an advanced drone pilot, as the range of experience with this model is greater than with other quadcopters.

Pros and cons

Drone 3DR in the grass

Each model has its own advantages and disadvantages. We’ve noticed a few points that we’ve summarized for you.

Privileges:

  • There are many autonomous flight modes (Follow Me, Cable Cam, Orbit, Return To Home, and Selfie).
  • Withstands drops because the construction and materials are very durable
  • Possibility of equipping with different cameras in different ways
  • Manages a maximum speed of up to 90 kilometers per hour
  • Flight stability is excellent and incredibly reliable.
  • Also ideal for beginners
  • Intuitive and simple controls
  • A stable application that does not crash, but runs very cleanly
  • Excellent GPS recognition

Disadvantage:

  • Unfortunately, the drone is quite loud
  • Quite heavy (1.5 kg)
  • 3DR no longer imports new updates
  • Long loading times
  • End device required (smartphone or tablet)
  • Unfortunately, there is no obstacle detection function in this model.
  • The harness is not included and must be purchased separately.

scope of delivery

No specific statements can be made regarding the scope of delivery. Depending on where you order your 3DR Solo drone, a gimbal system or even a camera is included. Usually, the gimbal needs to be purchased separately.

The drone itself, 1 battery, 1 charger + cable and a user manual are always included.

Conclusion

Conclusion

Overall, the 3DR Solo is a really hot piece, although there are downsides. It is very suitable for beginners and advanced learners. Pros will probably complain about some things, but this is a high level complaint.

The manufacturer has definitely done a great job here, especially as this is a drone that streams a Live HD GoPro to a device (tablet or Android).

We were also impressed with the drone’s high performance and speed. Unfortunately, it is very loud, the rotor blades are designed for maximum performance, and the volume was probably forgotten during development.

We can definitely recommend the 3DR Solo for you. The drone is currently available on Amazon! *