Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
When it comes to autonomous drones, finding the perfect one with many cool features and smart functions can be difficult. But that’s what the Skydio 2 claims to offer in a compact frame.
You might be wondering, how good is the Skydio 2 and is it worth the price? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out.
Skydio 2 is an upgraded version of the R1 which comes with increased functionalities, better camera, Skydio Autonomy, compact structure, remote controller, and the Skydio Beacon. The drone comes for an expensive price but offers great value for both professional and entertainment uses.
However, that’s not the entirety of it. In this article, I’m going to talk about Skydio Inc. as well as review their prized creation, the Skydio 2.
I’m also going to discuss the features and specs of the drone and the Skydio Beacon and everything in between so we can find if it is worth the price. So make sure you read this article before you make a final buying decision.
Table of contents
- Skydio Inc: The Company-
- Skydio 2 Review:
- What are the Benefits of Skydio 2 Drone?
- How to Fly the Skydio 2 Drone?
- DJI AIR 2S: Best Alternative
Skydio Inc: The Company-
Skydio Inc. is an electronics, UAV and aerial drone vehicle manufacturing company based in the Redwood City, California region of the United States of America.
The company was founded in 2014 and quickly came to rise after their successful launch of the R1 autonomous drone.
Now, with the release of the newly upgraded Skydio 2, they’ve made their way to the top of the autonomous drone industry pushing the big guys of the industry around.
Skydio Inc. is filled with employees and innovators that want to create electronics of the future and bring all the control in the hands of their customers. The team is around 250 people.
This company has manufactured some of the best recent drones and the great thing about these drones is that they’re meant for both personal hobbyists and even professional aerial photographers.
Skydio 2 Review:
The Skydio 2 is a compact, high-quality, autonomous, camera drone, which offers many incredibly exciting features and specs along with functions that help you get the best stills and amazing footage from the aerial routes.
Skydio 2 is an incredibly popular autonomous drone because it is one of the best in terms of autonomy. The price tag is a little expensive, especially if you’re buying it for personal usage, but the value is exceptional. So, giving it a try would definitely be the right decision.
What’s in the box?
The Skydio 2 doesn’t come alone. When ordered, it will offer a few essential accessories and tools with it. Here are the essential accessories that come in the box of the Skydio 2.
- The Skydio 2 Drone itself.
- Magnetic Battery
- Extra Propellors
- USB-c Charging Cable
Unique Selling Point:
You might be wondering, what truly makes the Skydio 2 unique in comparison to many other autonomous drones from DJI and Parrot; Well, that’s an amazing question.
There are many exceptional functions in this drone but the unique selling point of the Skydio 2 which truly mesmerizes the flyers is the ability to control the drone using 3 different devices.
- iOS or Android Device
- Remote Controller
- Skydio Beacon.
Features and Specs of Skydio 2:
Before we make our final decision about the Skydio 2, it is important that we look at the incredible features and specs it has to offer. Let’s delve into the details of this autonomous drone.
The camera that the Skydio 2 uses is a 45 Megapixel sensor which can see around 200 degrees visually. The camera has an incredible recording ability. It can take high-quality pictures in the air.
At the same time, the camera is also able to record videos at a crisp 4K HDR resolution with 60FPS which is simply incredible for shooting all kinds of personal footage or professional cinematography if you ask me.
The performance of Skydio 2 is incredible. It is one of the fastest processing drones which allows it to easy obstacle avoid and keep following its track without hesitation even in autonomous conditions.
It uses the NVIDIA Tegra TX2 which is equipped with 256 GPU cores that are capable of performing 1.3 trillion operations per second, apt for its quick AI decision-making.
When it comes to stability, the Skydio 2 offers a lot of it. Thanks to the 3-axis gimbal attached to the camera itself, the Skydio 2 makes sure that all the recorded footage and imagery is stable.
No number of fast flights or rolls will take the camera out of focus or destabilize it. This is a great feature which is mostly not seen in autonomous drones which is a major missing in them.
The battery of the Skydio 2 is pretty cool. It is actually magnetically detachable. This might seem like it may become lose in flight but that’s actually not the case. In fact, it saves the drone in case of a crash by absorbing the impact.
The flight time the magnetic battery of the Skydio 2 offers on a full-charge is around 23 minutes which is pretty amazing and good enough for a decent aerial photography session in my opinion.
The Skydio 2 is supposed to be a close-range aerial photography and autonomy drone that’s why you can’t expect it to be working many miles away from the controllers.
The range of the Skydio 2 is not as much if you connect it to a mobile device directly. But if you connect it the Skydio Beacon, you’ll be able to fly it over 1.5 kilometers far which is pretty decent.
The Skydio 2 can operate over an altitude of even 15,000ft but that’s definitely not advised for any professional or personal usage hobbyist to do without FAA permission.
Locally, you’re going to be allowed only under 400ft, so make sure you follow the FAA drone flight rules and if professional requirements come, you can apply for certifications that allow you to bypass restrictions.
The Skydio 2 is an autonomous drone but it can be flown manually as well. The great thing about this drone is that it offers high performance processors that allow it to fly at high speeds even autonomously.
It can reach up to a max speed of 36 miles per hour. Even at this speed, the drone remains stable and uses superb obstacle avoidance to keep things under control and get beautiful aerial footage.
As we know, mainly the Skydio 2 is popular for its autonomy. There are many incredible features and functions that require no manual support for peak performance. Let’s take a look at them:
- Return to Home
- Obstacle Avoidance
- Follow Me
- And many others.
There are three upgrade kits available with the Skydio 2. These are:
- Sports Kit – It comes with 3 batteries, two propellors, a dual charger as well as the Skydio Beacon which is an amazing upgrade to the normal mobile device controller.
- Cinema Kit – With the PolarPro ND Filters, Pro Hard Case, Joystick Controller, Studio Beacon, 3 Batteries, and 4 extra propellors, the Cinema kit is meant for aerial photographers.
- Pro Kit – You’re getting everything in the Pro kit. But it’s expensive. Three batteries, 6 propellors, filters, case, joystick, beacon, tablet adapter, Skydio Premier Support, and everything in between is featured in this upgrade kit.
What are the Benefits of Skydio 2 Drone?
We know how cool the features of the Skydio 2 are, so what kind of benefits does it offer? You might be thinking. Well, let’s take a look at some of the advantages it has to offer.
- Ease of Use – The manual flight modes as well as the autonomous modes are pretty easy to control which means that this drone is great for beginner drone pilots.
- Crash Protection – Crashing is something usually unavoidable with drones. But due to the high-quality computer architecture of this drone, it comes with crash-protection which makes it virtually impossible to crash.
- Compact Size – The size of this drone is quite compact and small form-factor which makes it super-easy to store if you’ve got a small space for to stash it in.
Pros and Cons:
Before you order your very own Skydio 2, make sure you read about the final takeaways and the pros and cons of this drone. So, let’s take a look at these pros and cons.
- Incredible Camera Quality.
- Amazing Stability.
- Practically Crash-proof.
- Many Autonomous flight modes.
- Not very robust.
- Remote Controller isn’t the best.
What Is Skydio Beacon?
The Skydio Beacon is an incredible tool that helps to unlock the potential of your Skydio 2. It is a controller that allows you to easily reposition the Skydio 2 as well as locking angles, switching skills, or even start a dronie with a single button.
It is also incredibly easy to control. The great thing about it is that it can also control and expand the Skydio 2’s range by a long margin. Using the Skydio Beacon, the range expands to even 1.5 kilometers.
With the help of the wand function of the Skydio Beacon, you can move the drone around as you want in the air with the swish of the Beacon in a single hand of yours.
The one thing that it is a bit difficult to cope with is the fact that it is expensive and comes stand alone or with the upgrade kits. So, if you can afford it, you should definitely get it.
How to Fly the Skydio 2 Drone?
This is one of the most important things I wanted to talk about. Many people have the Skydio 2, but they’re not sure how to fly it and what different buttons and app sections do. So, I’m here to provide you a step-by-step flying guide for the Skydio 2.
- First, you’re going to get your Skydio 2 and attach the magnetic battery to it after charging.
- Now, if you have a remote controller, you’re going to connect it to the phone using a USB-c connector and then place it in the phone holder of the controller.
- It is time to turn on the Skydio App so you can do some epic flying with the drone.
- Click and hold the Takeoff button on the screen so the drone takes off the ground.
- Now let’s get into the controls. On the remote controller, the left stick is going to be used to rotate the drone as well as move it upward and downward.
- The right stick will move the drone to the left and right as well as forward and back. The left top button is the speed boost which will bring your drone to its max speed.
- The button behind that is the gimbal adjustment button and it will adjust the gimbal as you want. On the right side, we’ve got the photo button and a custom button that you can set according to requirement.
- Now that you know how the controls and app works, it is time to fly and get some super-cool shots with the Skydio 2.
Is it worth it?
The million-dollar question is, is the Skydio 2 worth the money? Well, if you’re an autonomous drone enthusiast or a professional drone user, it definitely is, even the upgrades are worth it. But if that’s not the case and you’re looking for better range, you might want to go with something else.
DJI AIR 2S: Best Alternative
The newly released DJI AIR 2S is very similar and even better at times than the Skydio 2. It comes with a whopping 12km range and an incredible camera that takes amazing footage and stills.
The price is also around the same, so you can say that the DJI AIR 2S is a good alternative if you’re up to buy it. It will definitely be a good investment.
The Skydio 2 is definitely one of the best autonomous drones in the market right now. If you have a decent budget and a beginner’s level knowledge of drones, you’re going to have an incredible time flying it!