Drone usage is on the rise. As the market for drones continues to grow (the industry’s expected to be worth $127bn by 2020) the pool of manufacturers grows outwards too. The DJI range has dominated the consumer drone market so far and will most likely continue to do so in the coming year. The quality of their design and easy upgrade potential gives DJI an edge and convinces eager drone pilots that they’re worth the price tag. However, a number of competitors are emerging which will have DJI looking keenly over their shoulder in 2017. We’ve compiled a list of the competitors worth keeping an eye on this year.
The Best Of The Rest
Yuneec’s Typhoon H is already a popular choice of drone. This is partly due to its Intel Real Sense technology, which is capable of detecting obstacles and navigating around them. The Tycoon H should be due an upgrade in 2017 – stay tuned for an update.
The launch of the Yuneec Breeze is another important development in the consumer drone landscape, not least because it appeals to a cheaper mass market which DJI is not catering for at present.
Since Parrot launched it’s first consumer drone in 2010, it’s struggled to keep up with the advances in technology from Asia and the US. In September last year, they released the Disco, which should be due an upgrade in 2017. It’s a great piece of technology, but it hasn’t yet had commercial success. A new model of the Bebop, which is a great beginner level drone, is another one to look out for this year.
EHang is known for its pretty ambitious plans for a drone car: the EHang 184. It received mixed reviews but is now moving ahead with test flights, which are scheduled for Dubai in the summer.
In terms of its consumer drone output, EHang’s Ghostdrone 2.0 is packed with great features. These include the ability to pilot it using the EHang app on a mobile phone and compatibility with a VR headset which allows you to control it using head movements.
Arguably, EHang’s strongest selling point is its customer service, which offers a ‘You Break It, We Fix It’ one year warranty. Can’t argue with that.
Autel faces a pivotal year. It will be looking to rebuild its image after it faced a lawsuit from DJI for patent infringement and it will need to work hard to regain consumer confidence. Autel drones are not without their strengths however, which include its US-based customer service team and a modular design that allows for easy upgrades.
The Hover drone is one for cash-rich selfie lovers. However, as the year goes on, the potential reduction in price makes it an ideal and more affordable option for social media savvy users who want to get just the right angles for their Insta-following. Its design reflects its target market, by prioritising portability and a more simple design over an abundance of technical features.
If you’re looking for the ultimate selfie but don’t want the expense of buying a drone for yourself, you may want to consider drone rental. Drone hire allows you to get that unique profile picture or video selfie without eating into your salary.
GoPro has seen the worst side of the drone industry of late. Last year, it had to recall its much-anticipated Karma drone after some units dropped out of the air mid-flight due to a battery fault. Their team will be hoping the recent relaunch has a smoother flight.
The breadth of the industry is evident. What’s also clear is that very few companies are attempting to cater to cash-strapped drone-lovers. For those that want to sample a variety of different quadcopters, drone rentals allow for a risk-free, try before you buy approach. Fat Lama has a number of drones for hire in London and beyond: hire a drone today.