Edit: Banggood are currently offering 8% off using discount code “8RCHOBBY” here
Edit2: The UP Air UPair-Chase is now available in two configurations. The 2K version is £363.01 (+£7.87 P&P) and the 4K model is £396.01 (+£5.21 P&P). Neither of these prices include the discount code given above. I think the extra £30.34 is worth it, if you can stretch to it, for the future proofing that the 4K model will give you even if you don’t currently have a platform to view it on. The listing on Banggood also suggests the UPair-Chase comes with a travel bag and it looks fairly sturdy from the photos.
Specs (see bottom of this page) are fairly thin on the ground at this time, and those available should be taken with a pinch of salt until independent testing has been done and the consumer reviews begin to find their way online, but this low-cost full feature quadcopter looks set to overthrow the Wingsland Scarlet Minivet and the recently released DJI Phantom 3 Standard for the title of the best beginners aerial photography drone. A title almost as catchy as the name it was given! Seriously though, Chinese manufacturers appear to miss the trick when it comes to naming the products and I suspect that DJI’s (also a Chinese manufacturer) success has been to the simple naming convention it has used to differentiate products within its various ranges. It has been mere hours since I wrote about the new entry to DJI’s line and already I’m back to talk about another offering which shows how fast things move in this fledgling “drone” industry.
Purists (read: super geeks) get upset when the public call quadcopters “drones” but as the latest batch of quads come through with some degree of autonomous flying capabilities this becomes less of a misnomer. Most over £250 have position/altitude hold using GPS or barometric altitude sensors and, as the price goes up, so do the drone-like features such as automatic return to home (RTH) when the connection cuts out or a switch is pressed. Spend around £350 and they will even land themselves or allow you to plot a course to fly. When you get up to the Phantom 3 Standard level they will even follow you in whatever activity (or vanity project) you’re taking part in by utilising a GPS device in the transmitter or your phone. What is great to see is these premium features quickly filtering down to the lower priced models. Whilst it took decades for some automobile advancements, such as electric seats, automatic window wipers and remote locking, to make their way from high-end luxury brands to the mass-produced family cars; we are seeing manufacturers in the aerial photography market quick to steal ideas from the competition. This should be good for us, the consumers, as long as it doesn’t stifle invention in the long run.
The UP Air advertises waypoint flight planning, automatic return to home and otherwise similar specs to Wingsland’s model. What makes this the more attractive offer is the higher pixel count camera (12MP instead of 4MP) and a 7″ screen compared to the tiddly 2.4″. Despite having “chase” in the title it doesn’t appear to have a follow mode unfortunately. However, and I think this may be a first, it appears to have wifi sharing capability to smartphones/tablets as well as the dedicated screen although it is not clear over what sort of distances.
Expected to be in stock at Banggood in the next three days and priced at just £362.95, with free delivery, this is set to be the bargain of the year. Banggood have been known to fluctuate prices after a product launches so check back here for updates or bookmark this link.
Disclaimer: These specs have been taken directly from the manufacturer’s website and are, as yet, unverified by customers.