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Skydio x2 Dorne Review 2021

8 mins
Drone Reviews
Table of Contents

Skydio x2 is a brilliant follow-me drone. Skydio x2 has six 200-degree color cameras that can see everything in all directions, making it virtually impossible to crash. 
The Skydio x2’s made-in-the-USA drone can fly itself through challenging terrains, especially appealing to thrill-seekers who want to film their exploits without hiring a cameraman. We’re not as enthusiastic about its picture capabilities, and the Skydio x2’s nearly crash-proof design wins our TechX award.
The Skydio x2 does not follow you using a device connected to you, as other follow-me drones do. Instead, it utilizes its cameras to identify you. The camera isn’t only keeping an eye on you; it’s also checking everything around it to ensure that nothing comes in the way of your journey and figuring out how to navigate around anything.
Let’s have a look at Skydio x2’s pros and cons

  • Great obstacle avoidance. 
  • Video recording is automatic. 
  • It works with Android and iOS
  • USB-C charging port.

  • Horrible camera;
  • Poor video quality;
  • Short battery life;
  • Only works in the light;
  • Remote and GPS Beacon add to the price.

    Specifications and features of Skydio x2 #

    Size and Operating Features #

    Skydio’s second-generation drone was designed from the ground up. The first Skydio R1 had a huge footprint that didn’t fit well into backpacks. Everything is smaller in version 2, with everything measured at 1.7 X 10.8 X 8.8 inches (HWD), and the battery adds about 2.9 inches.
    It’s large enough to require FAA registration, weighing around 1.7 pounds, so when you purchase it to fly, you’ll need to pay a registration fee and pass a knowledge test before taking off. If you’re purchasing your first drone, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the rules for recreational usage in the United States. Skydio x2 ships the drone in a compact carrying bag, including a bigger Pelican case .

    The cases are helpful since you’ll want to bring along some additional accessories with the drone. You’ll still be carrying an extra piece if you’re a weekend hiker; folding drones like the Parrot Anafi and DJI Mini 2 fit easier into a camera bag. Skydio x2 has several distinct kit options available for purchase. The drone, a battery, a basic USB-C type charger, and the simple carrying bag are included in the $1,349 Starter Kit.
    The next kit option is the Sports Kit at $1,799. The Beacon accessory adds more tenacious subject tracking, three batteries, a dual battery charger, and a 128GB microSD memory card.
    The Cinema Kit will cost $2,199 and comes with everything from the Sports Kit, a handheld remote controller, a pair of neutral density filters, and a waterproof carrying bag. There’s the Pro Kit for $2,999, which includes a tablet adaptor and Skydio Premier Support.
    A three-year warranty is standard, but the beefier coverage lasts for two years (versus one), and it includes rapid replacement of the drone for warranty settlement—if you’re planning on using Skydio x2 in your business, this may be worth the extra money. 
    The most appropriate configuration for you is determined by how you intend to utilize the drone. If you’re only fond of the automated Follow mode and don’t mind flying manually, a kit with the Beacon (available separately for $219) is ideal. Alternatively, if you want to take control of the drone and fly it manually, a kit with the remote is mandatory. You may use your phone to fly the drone instead of both of them. It’s compatible with iOS devices and Android.

    Obstacle Avoidance #

    Drones with obstacle avoidance use the technology selectively, and few models include sensors that span 360 degrees. Skydio x2 takes a different approach. It utilizes six on-body cameras for continual, all-around obstacle avoidance. The approach allows the drone to fly virtually anywhere without being fooled by bare tree branches or fine wires. It’s not appropriate for indoor shooting because it won’t take off in most cases—a reasonable safety precaution—and it needs a lot of light to fly, so you can’t shoot after dark or before dawn. I used it over the summer and had no issues with morning or afternoon flights. It performed well under the shaded canopy of a wooded path too. If you attempt to take off in unfavorable light conditions, the drone will not lift off, and the light will go out during the flight.
    The Skydio x2 flies swiftly—it can reach up to 36 miles per hour if you max out the throttle sensitivity—but it slows down as it gets near objects. Nonetheless, acceleration is rapid, and using the remote controls is a lot of fun. On-screen buttons work as well if you want to fly with your phone.
    The remote control, which looks similar to many drones on the market, will be instantly recognized by drone enthusiasts. Skydio is instead using a Parrot remote, the same one that comes with its Anafi drone. It’s relatively straightforward, consisting of two control sticks, a cradle for holding a smartphone, a shift rocker for adjusting the camera, and a USB-C type charging port.
    The Skydio x2’s operating distance with the remote is roughly 750 feet, which should be sufficient for line-of-sight operation. I observed a choppy video feed at around 750 feet in our rural test location, with no loads of crowded Wi-Fi networks.

    The Beacon is a good upgrade if you’re serious about utilizing the Follow function. It’s a tiny remote with a single-line monochrome text display and a handful of buttons. It has its GPS, so you don’t have to rely on the drone’s camera to track you. Different tracking camera movements may be used, both through the Beacon or via the smartphone app. You can have the drone follow you from various angles, either orbit while monitoring or follow you in a variety of ways.
    There are a few one-time shot possibilities when you’re steady—the drone can perform back-and-forth Dronie, and straight-up Rocket reveals, as well as corkscrew Vortex and Boomerang orbits. A Cable Cam mode also allows the drone to be moved using cables from point to point in space.
    When you’re not using the Beacon, its buttons let you switch between shot modes and even change camera positions without having to take your phone out of your pocket. The duration of the flight is disappointingly brief. We’ve become acclimated to tiny drones that can stay up for around half an hour. Skydio claims a flight time of 23 minutes between charges, but we only got about 18 minutes of usage in testing. If you want to fly the drone for an afternoon, you’ll need several batteries for sure or carry the C-type charger port.

    Camera and Video #

    The Skydio x2’s video isn’t as good as the original model’s, and it doesn’t match the expectations set by its remarkable dodging abilities. The camera is said to be reasonably competent—it shoots 4K footage at a high bit rate with either HEVC or H.264 compression selected. The drone can shoot in HDR for occasions with challenging light, capturing footage at 30 or 60 frames per second. The cinematic 24fps frame rate without HDR is also supported, and the theatrical 48fps slow motion.
    There are no color profile choices for the drone. You only have the choice of using predefined colors. You can’t use vivid landscapes or black-and-white for artistic shots, and you can’t alter your profile to make it look more vivid.
    I also observed that, if set to automatic, the white balance shifts significantly compared to a scene with no lighting changes. It’s worth taking the time to manually adjust it throughout a flight so that colors remain consistent.
    One of the most significant characteristics of this drone is its mode of operation, which is very simple. It’s also equipped with a 3-axis gimbal to capture HD video and 12MP still pictures while offering smooth flight control. We adore the automatic recording function, which maintains footage rolling as long as you’re in video mode and flying. The Skydio x2 includes a photo mode, which takes pictures in JPEG or Adobe DNG format to share images without modifications.


    Fantastic Follow Features #

    The Skydio x2 is capable of entirely avoiding obstacles in the air, as promised by the company. It effortlessly goes over tall objects—points it ahead, and it will go. It’s really something to experience, and just being able to do so qualifies for our TechX award.
    The Skydio x2 is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts because of its design, which allows it to be easily carried in a backpack. If you want a drone that can track and film you on its own in areas with limited air space, this is the one for you. The basic kit can only monitor people and automobiles, but when you add the Beacon will experience excellent GPS-based follow.
    But you pay the price. The core kit costs $1,349 and only lasts 18 minutes between charges. If you want the Beacon, remote control, and extra batteries in your kit, you’ll spend more.
    To sum things up, the Skydio x2 is a drone that provides surprise and delight in equal measure. Every flight with the Skydio x2 is an adventure. It gives you a sense of anticipation about where it will go and what the final image will look like. And it’s all the more exciting because you know it won’t crash.


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