Skip to main content
  1. Blog/

Budget friendly Tello Drone under $100

6 mins
Drone Reviews
Table of Contents

The Ryze Tello is a joint effort between DJI and Ryze, a Chinese start-up. It’s clearly intended for those who are new to the hobby, as it is a simple, lightweight, and inexpensive quadcopter. Ryze Technology, a Shenzhen-based tech firm that debuted in 2017, unveiled its first drone in 2018. Tello is a under $99 kid-friendly drone that combines DJI flight technology and an Intel processor to create a budget camera drone that can also be used to teach novices the fundamentals of programming.
Despite its low price, it includes a nose-mounted camera capable of capturing 5MP photos and streaming 720p HD video. It also has 16 minutes of flight time on a fully charged battery. Tello’s stability sensors to (theoretically, at least) keep it safe from falling into neighbors’ property.
It has been rhodium plated over the top, which means it hasn’t been entirely stripped back to the bone to keep costs down. Even though we wouldn’t classify it as premium, the plastic body seems sturdy enough to endure a bit of rough usage.

Let’s have a quick look at Tello Drone pros and cons. #

Pros #

  • The controls are intuitive so that you won’t have any problems with them.
  • Lightweight, compact build
  • The model comes equipped with enough charge to fly for up to 16 minutes (which is plenty of time).
  • Cons #

  • Ryze Tello’s wind tolerance is not that good.
  • Its control range is also limited.

    Design and build-up #

    The Tello’s body is composed of a robust plastic and its four fixed propeller arms protect the props. If the Tello’s motors are unable to continue functioning after a collision, it immediately shuts them down. Most pilots will be flying the Tello using the app, which is good news for those looking to get into drone racing without buying a full-fledged controller. The Tello is compatible with dual-stick Bluetooth controls like those available on the PlayStation or Xbox, but most people will use it through the app. Fortunately, the software is well developed.
    Tello drone measures 80 grams and can fly for 13 minutes before needing to be recharged, takes 5-megapixel photographs. The RC transmitter isn’t included with the drone, but it may be controlled using smartphones.

    Stability and maneuverability #

    When it comes to keeping height and position indoors, the Tello is fantastic. It hovers a meter or two above the ground and performs well at maintaining altitude and location, even without exhibiting drift problems that plague many similarly priced drones.
    The Tello, like other drones in this price range, employs a GPS-based ‘Vision Positioning System’ to maintain its position. The Vision Positioning System on the Tello uses an infra-red sensor and a tiny camera on the underside of the aircraft to compensate for positioning errors up to 10 meters high.
    The stick is more sensitive than the one I’m used to, and it does take some acclimating. The Tello is also very responsive to control inputs; you’ll be flying in no time! Because of its lightweight design and powerful motors, this drone can go through a variety of terrains with ease, including woodlands, farms, grasslands.
    Tello’s flight performance is outstanding; it’s one of the most stable drones we’ve ever flown, and it handles wind very well. However, even in the slightest breath of wind, the Tello is difficult to control – a problem that affects all toy drones due to their sub-250g weights. With its positioning system, though, the Tello performs somewhat better than usual; nevertheless, we’d only recommend flying it outside on calm days.

    Flight modes #

    A few automated modes, such as 360-degree rotations, ‘Up & Away’ (which means, ‘YES’ up and away from you while facing you), and more, may be utilized to execute tricks and create intriguing videos. The most fascinating is the 8D flips, which make the drone perform precise flip-over stunts that are precisely mirrored by swiping your finger across the screen.

    Video and photos #

    Tello drones are like other entry-level drones; immediately save recorded video to your phone using an app. Given that it’s been out for a few years, the Tello’s 720P (30 frames per second) video and 5-megapixel stills are far less capable than today’s 4K cameras.

    While some newer drones may have higher video capture resolutions, few can compare to Tello’s built-in stabilization software, providing far superior video than any competitors. When the Tello and phone are not too far apart, there is no delay or missed frames when using the in-app live view.
    The resulting video is considerably less trustworthy when you fly the drone near the edge of its 10-meter height and 100-meter distance limits. Both live view and recorded content become jittery, presumably owing to the increased distance between aircraft and phone, which causes the WI-FI signal emitted by the aircraft to drop out occasionally.


    The controller #

    If you want to operate the drone with Scratch, you must use your laptop. There isn’t a dedicated controller for freestyle flying, so you’ll either have to use your smartphone or buy another if you want to go that route. I don’t care about controlling the drone with my phone — it just feels awkward — but the lack of a controller isn’t particularly shocking given the device’s low price.
    If you want a more traditional RC transmitter feel, Ryze suggests using the Game Vice controller. though I didn’t try this myself.

    Programming Tello and learning to code #

    Tello’s most distinct feature is its capability to be programmed to perform specific tasks. This is the first time DJI has entered the “drones for education” industry, which competing drone producers such as Parrot have been offering for years with their AR and Mambo drones.
    The drone is programmed in Scratch, which is a coding platform inspired by MIT’s Scratch project. Scratch is a kid-friendly programming language. In other words, you can instruct the drone to fly in specific directions based on the “code” you’ve specified.
    As a non-coder, I found that learning how to code Tello was somewhat difficult at first. The Tello does not include an instruction book. Fortunately, the World Wide Web is a wonderful place, and I did come across some highly useful tutorials on the subject.

    My Thoughts #

    Tello’s remarkable positioning technology makes it the most straightforward-to-fly small drone on the market. At the same time, its in-built video stabilization software provides the best results for any toy drone. It has a wide range of flight modes that make it enjoyable to use, and its app is one of the most well-thought-out we’ve seen.
    The Tello’s video and photo quality are low by today’s standards, but it is easily wind influenced. It’s video becomes unstable when flying towards the end of its range. Despite these flaws, the Tello’s well-rounded overall package ensures that it is still one of the most acceptable toy drones on the market – and it’s currently available at a very reasonable price.


    Skydio x2 Dorne Review 2021
    8 mins
    Drone Reviews
    DEERC D20 Mini Drone The Awesome Flying Machine
    6 mins
    Drone Reviews
    Things You Need to Know About Aquatic Drones
    6 mins
    Drone Reviews
    Eachine tiny QX90
    3 mins
    Drone Reviews
    Used Drones For Beginners
    9 mins
    Drone Reviews
    Drone shops
    8 mins
    Drone Reviews