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While the GoPro Hero is probably what GoPro is most known for, the Karma Drone should be on your radar too. There are certain requirements a best foldable drone or a best VR drone should meet, and the Karma Drone meets most of these. Though there are some setbacks, it’s still a perfect addition to your GoPro Camera and can elevate your GoPro experiences. It may not be a top-rated drone but it works pretty well.
The Drone GoPro Karma is GoPro’s attempt at entering the drone world, and it was an admirable first attempt. The top speed is neither too fast nor too slow, which will appeal to newbies and veterans alike, and the portable and lightweight design means it’s out of the way when you’re not using it or easy to transport when you are.
Similar to the Potensic D85, the Karma Drone can zip through the air at an impressive 35 miles power hour top speed. Fast enough for experienced pilots, but not so fast that amateurs will lose control. If you’re confident in your piloting abilities, consider the DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone. The included Karma Stabilizer is rock-solid for capturing slow-pan footage but can be a little shaky in the air. For beginners, our E-Flite Airplane review will come in handy.
Battery life is okay, but it’s certainly better than the Flyability Elios, which only lasts 8-10 minutes. Rated for 17-20 minutes, it’s not hard to find a drone that can exceed this. The Autel EVO Drone, for example. In a bit of good news, the drone can operate as far as 1.86 miles away and 2 miles high. Some drones can be used from further distances, but considering most lows require a drone operator to be within 500 meters of the drone the specs the Karma Drone possesses are more than acceptable.
The Karma Drone is much smaller, especially folded up, than most other drones you’ll see. And although the main body is constructed of a lightweight plastic material it feels sturdier than it should. But if you’re like me and have a prejudice against plastic, check out the DJI Mavic Air Fly More Combo. And considering the Karma Drone has no ultrasonic sensors or external cameras for collision avoidance, GoPro probably should have thought to make the body out of something other than plastic.
One area where Karma Pro leads is image and video quality. This should be obvious, though, considering the GoPro Hero 5 camera. And although the drone itself may be a little shaky, the three-axis gimbal makes the camera as sturdy as a rock. Video and Image capture is crisp and clear with vivid details and a broad, dynamic range of colors. Two more drones with great camera quality come from DJI. You can read about them in our DJI Phantom 2 review and DJI Phantom 4 Pro review.
Our DROCON Bugs 3 review also showcases a drone with good camera quality.
Some accessories include the Karma Grip Extension Cord which allows for easy mounting of the three-axis gimbal to helmets or car mounts. At $99.00, though, it’s quite expensive. The included Karma Controller is worth mentioning too because of its integrated 5-inch touchscreen and all the usual flight control options. When you’re done, it folds into a portable and out-of-the-way package just like the drone itself.
Though an admirable first attempt, GoPro should look into fixing some issues. The two biggest would be the short battery life and the lack of collision detection. Still, the drone has a more than acceptable operating range and can still provide fantastic quality images and videos. And considering cameras are what GoPro is known for we’re glad they didn’t sacrifice this.