EHANG Ghost Drone 2.0 VR drone review
With drones becoming more high-tech than ever, it was only a matter of time until a company created one that comes with its own VR headset, allowing users to ‘see’ through the camera of the drone. The recently announced EHANG Ghost Drone 2.0 VR does exactly that, but is the FPV element a gimmick or a valuable resource for anybody that likes to fly drones? We used the 4K-boasting drone for a few weeks, and here’s what we think. Read next: Best drones with cameras
EHANG Ghost Drone 2.0 VR review: Pricing and availability
So, how much does the EHANG Ghost Drone 2.0 VR cost and where can you pick it up in the UK? In the UK, it’ll set users back £829, meaning it isn’t by any means the cheapest drone on the market but we think you get pretty good value for money, especially with a gimballed camera recording 4K video and an FPV headset. If you’re new to the world of drones, you may want to start with something a little more basic (and cheaper) than this, although the design of the drone and the corresponding app meaning that even those with minimal drone experience can pick it up and operate it.
As for availability, the Ghost Drone 2.0 VR isn’t available in the UK just yet – although you can pick it up in the US. While there isn’t currently a solid release date in place, interested users can head over to Amazon right now to pre-order it. It’s worth noting that there are two different versions, one for iOS and one for Android, so be sure that you pick the right variant when placing the pre-order.
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EHANG Ghost Drone 2.0 VR review: Design, features and spec
So, what makes the EHANG Ghost Drone 2.0 VR stand out from the competition? The Ghost Drone comes with a ‘VR headset’, which provides a first person view via the gimballed camera attached to the bottom of the drone and is controlled via an iOS or Android smartphone. We dispute the VR branding, but we’ll come to that in a little more detail below. There’s also a version of the drone available that negates the need for the VR headset, and is almost half the price at £449, so it’s worth considering if you really need/want the headset. The drone itself is fairly lightweight and portable, making it easy to transport to the various locations you want to explore, weighing in at just over 1KG at 1150g.
The VR headset actually works as the middle-man between your smartphone and the drone, as both you and the drone connect to the Wi-Fi connection broadcast by the headset. This also means that you have to have the VR headset with you at all times, even if you have no plan to use it during the flight. EHANG claims that the drone can reach distances of 500m+ thanks to the combined use of the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz frequencies, providing both stability and range.
We couldn’t test this during our time with the drone though, as UK Drone law dictates that the drone should be in view at all times and we didn’t want to go that high or far. It reached heights of around 50-60m fairly quickly and without any real effort from the drone, which should suffice for average UK drone users.
An interesting feature of the Ghost Drone 2.0 VR is that it features self-tightening propellers that shouldn’t come loose mid-flight. This is combined with “high-efficiency downward facing brushless motors” help to increase the stability of the drone, along with extra weather (see: wind) resistance – although we wouldn’t recommend flying it in anything more than a light breeze, as the wind may be much stronger above you than on the ground.
In terms of battery life, you should get around 25 minutes per charge although this will depend on the speed of the drone, as well as the weather conditions – if the drone has to constantly correct itself due to high winds, it’ll run out of battery much sooner. Don’t worry if the battery does die mid-flight though, as it’ll use the built-in GPS to automatically land from the spot where it originally took off from. We never had any issues with battery life, which is a rare thing to say in the drone world, but we’d recommend buying an additional battery for longer sessions.
We love the battery because it’s intelligent – while it won’t be making you tea any time soon, it features a display giving you a power breakdown of the battery overall, as well as each individual cell. It also tells you how much battery power it has left at a glance, an invaluable feature for drone users.
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EHANG Ghost Drone 2.0 VR review: Photo and video
In terms of photo and video capabilities, the Ghost Drone 2.0 VR is capable of capturing full 4K at 24fps, keeping in with the cinematic style. However, if 24fps is a bit slow or you’re concerned about the large file sizes of 4K video, you’ll be happy to know that there are a number of other shooting modes available including [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected] It’s also capable of taking 12Mp photos.
In terms of video quality, we were fairly impressed by the colour reproduction and amount of detail provided, although with such an f2.8 aperture, the quality of the video decreases as the amount of light does. It performed okay at dusk, but performs best on clear, sunny days. While the 93-degree wide-angle lens provides users with a grander image than with a standard lens, the curvature in the lens is noticeable when panning.
Both videos and photos are stored on the drone itself on a MicroSD card (64GB card supplied) and is assessable via an alternate Wi-Fi network whenever the drone isn’t in use. While this allows easy access to your photos and videos, it also means that you’re unable to preview them mid-flight as you’re required to stay connected to the main Wi-Fi connection at all times. You’re also required to access the SD card on a PC/Mac for full-res videos, as you’ll only get 240p variants via the app.
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