3DR Solo Drone Review

The 3DR Solo review is here to help us begin our journey into a new era of aerial flight drones. Now is the time that drone manufacturers are beginning to capitalize on including more advanced technology into drones in general, and before long, we’ll be seeing many more quadcopters including similar (and even additional) advanced capabilities to those in the 3DR Solo drone by 3D Robotics.

3DR Solo Drone Review

For example, most drones in the marketplace are made up of only a few basic components. The propellers/motors, a video camera, a multi-axis gimbal, a remote control, in-flight stability system, flight safety system (such as SAFE), plastic housing, and app compatibility with iOS / Android smartphones.

The 3DR Solo is just a bit different than these previously basic quadcopters, and so you probably have questions as to how exactly it sets itself apart. Below, we’re going to review the features of the 3DR Solo smart drone, one by one, so you can see exactly what it has to offer. The new technology and features the 3DR Solo includes, as opposed to what more basic quadcopters include, will become clear after you finish reading this 3DR Solo review.

3DR Solo Review: Product Features and Benefits

  • Dual 1 GHz Linux Computers – The 3DR Solo comes with dual Linux computers: One in the controller, and one in the 3DR Solo drone itself. The benefit of dual CPU’s, instead of just one, is that all commands and functions are processed extremely fast, and there’s never any “bog down” or lag.
  • LED Light System – Being able to use your quadcopter at night allows you to get more done with the 3DR Solo smart drone. It lets you know which direction it’s pointing at all times. You might also consider “rigging up” a flashlight to the 3DR Solo, so you can accomplish night time missions too.
  • 880 Kv Motors – 880 Kv seems to be the perfect combination of speed ability and torque. While some quadcopter motors operate at speeds of 3,000 Kv, they lack the torque needed to engage in lifting payload objects, fly in heavy wind, etc. With the Kv set at 880, the 3DR Solo provides a useful combination of both torque power and speed.
  • 14.8 V LiPo 5200 mAh Battery – The 5200 mAh battery is certainly respectable as far as capacity goes, and the 3DR Solo makes efficient use of it, thanks to the computer controlled flight system. You get about 25 minutes of flight time with the Solo when it doesn’t have a camera aboard it, and approximately 20 minutes with a camera and gimbal installed. The battery in the controller is 2600 mAh, and lasts for about 4 hours.
  • 10X4.5″ Self Tightening, Glass Fortified Nylon Props – Other quadcopters available don’t come close to the strength quality of the glass fortified props offered with this 3DR Solo drone.
  • Accessory Bay – You can keep plenty of items in the accessory bay, such as spare batteries, swappable/custom parts, and more. The accessory bay makes it easy to keep all the items you need on hand.
  • 3-Axis Solo Gimbal – The 3-axis gimbal that’s included with the 3DR Solo smart drone works well, as it should, but the gimbal system is also swappable. You can easily replace the gimbal to suit your needs with an aftermarket one.
  • Smart Battery With LED Indicator – Keeping track of the amount of battery life left on the 3DR Solo is easy with the included LED indicator.
  • Flight Simulator App – Before going out and flying the 3DR Solo, the included simulator app allows you to practice your flight skills realistically, so you don’t wind up crashing the drone. Considering the 3DR Solo costs about $1,000, it’s not exactly cheap to replace.
  • Mobile (HDMI) HD Video Streaming – This 3DR Solo drone allows you to stream video from a GoPro camera to your phone with a range of about a half mile.
  • Mobile Flight Control/System Control App – Everything you can control on the Solo, you can also control from the mobile app. This includes all the 3DR Solo system settings, as well as activate auto-take off and land, return home, and even hit the “E-Brake” to pause your flight in mid-air.
  • Autopilot System – The 3DR Solo is also able to fly on autopilot too, and follow a specific trajectory path that you outline.
  • Cinematic Flight Mode And Computer Assisted Flight Shots – One of the best things about the 3DR Solo smart drone is the ability to record camera footage in ways that other drones can’t. For example, the Solo allows you to activate a feature called Cable Cam, which directs the drone to fly on autopilot, freeing your hands to be in control of the camera the whole time. Also, the Orbit feature will automatically circle around any object you define, and keep the camera locked onto the object itself. This gives you full 360 degree, panoramic view. Finally, the Follow feature will keep the 3DR Solo drone following you by itself, and allow you to be completely hands-free.
  • Control Distance – You can expect to get about 800 meters (1/2 mile) maximum flight control distance.
  • Wireless Firmware/Software Updates – 3DR Robotics offers their customers free software/firmware updates for their drones.
  • Replacement Guarantee – If the 3DR Solo crashes at any time, and it’s the fault of the drone itself (mechanical failure), 3DR will replace the Solo smart drone for free. That’s one heck of an incentive to put your trust in 3DR Robotics, considering there’s nothing to lose financially.

3DR Solo Smart Drone Review – What’s The Price?

Considering the features and specifications outlined in the 3DR Solo review above, we can conclude this smart drone is definitely worth purchasing. But one may be wondering “what’s the 3DR Solo Price?” The price for the 3DR Solo smart drone is $999 without gimbal and $1,399 with gimbal.

3DR Solo Smart Drone – The Smartest of the Drones

When you compare the 3DR Solo to other drones, you quickly see that it’s definitely smarter, a lot more advanced and capable. So, when other quadcopters in the marketplace cost nearly the same amount (around $1,000), then why on earth would you choose to go with the lesser quality drone? It wouldn’t make sense to do that. For $999, you’re getting the same price tag, for a better all-around smarter drone. Then again, you should always do your research to understand the features YOU specifically need, and keep your options open.

It helps to realize that 3DR Robotics is at the very top of their game as far as aerial drone technology is concerned. They’re now releasing much more advanced and smarter drones, at an affordable price, that far exceeds the abilities of drones released just a few years ago.

We will be publishing more news and information about the 3DR Solo smart drone. Cheers for reading our 3DR Solo review and drop us a comment if you have any questions or input about this smart drone if you already own one.

3DR Solo Quadcopter (No Gimbal) (Electronics)


New From: $249.95 USD In Stock
Used from: $247.99 USD In Stock
7 Total Score

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Gustavo is an Internet Marketing Specialist and an avid drone/quadcopter enthusiast. If you need help with marketing or would like to get in touch with him, check out his social profiles below:

45 Comments
  1. Reply
    jerry fiscus May 25, 2015 at 9:11 am

    I haven’t been able to find information concerning the Solo’s recharging time for the batteries nor if the Solo is waterproof…if you have any info. on these two questions I’d appreciate your response . Thanks

    • Reply
      Drone Examiner May 28, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      The 3DR Solo is not waterproof and it takes about 1.5 hours to recharge the battery.

  2. Reply
    Matt M June 3, 2015 at 1:33 am

    this is a joke right? the accessory bay is not for carrying spare parts…

    • Reply
      Drone Examiner August 12, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Here is what it says about the Accessory Bay at their official website: “A built-in port designed for carrying accessories other than gimbals or imaging devices.”
      http://3drobotics.com/evolve/

  3. Reply
    james June 3, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Is there a safe boudery you can put around yourself

    • Reply
      Drone Examiner August 12, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      I’m not sure what you mean by “safe boudery”, but you have 4 Smart Shots that you can use with the push of a button: Cable Cam, Orbit, Selfie, and Follow.

      You can find more info about each here: http://3drobotics.com/smart-shots/

  4. Reply
    Filipe Chulam June 7, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    I’m pretty new to all the drone stuff, but I’m thinking about getting one. Would you recommend a Solo or Phantom 3? I have no experience of flying, but I already own a go pro.
    thanks

    • Reply
      Drone Examiner August 12, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      Filipe,

      I would recommend practicing with an entry-level drone if you have never flied one before. But the 3DR Solo drone it’s my recommendation if you were to decide them two, the 3DR Solo offers 4 Smart Shots that you can use with the push of a button: Cable Cam, Orbit, Selfie, and Follow.

  5. Reply
    Nick Ray June 9, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Everything I’ve seen so far suggests that the follow feature the Solo has follows the controller. Am I correct in assuming this or is there (will there be) a separate piece of equipment such as a wrist band you can wear to have the drone follow you while you’re actively engaged in an activity? If it simply follows the remote control, it doesn’t leave a whole lot capability for the drone to follow someone who is actually doing something other than looking at the live feed on the monitor.

    • Reply
      Drone Examiner August 12, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      Nick,

      You need a GPS enabled device, such as smartphone, tablet, etc. There’s already equipment out there that will hold/hide your smartphone safely. You can take a look at this video, it’s not the 3DR Solo, but it’s another product by 3DR that utilizes the same Follow Me technology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CCQy1cbbfE

  6. Reply
    DR June 11, 2015 at 12:02 am

    do not buy! Non existent customer service. Mine is sitting in a box after the take off procedure sent it the wrong direction and into pieces. Have been flying a DJI for over a year and never had any issues. Now I am out $1K and the company doesn’t even get back to me – pathetic

  7. Reply
    Edward June 11, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Good info Gustavo, Do you know if the Solo is capable of doing aerial mapping?

    • Reply
      Drone Examiner August 12, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      Edward,

      I’m not completely sure if it’s capable of doing aerial mapping with modifications/upgrades, but out of the box, the 3DR Solo drone is not designed to do that.

      3DR does offers other drones (more pricey) that are designed to do aerial mapping out of the box.

  8. Reply
    Richard June 16, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    The write up states that the gimbal is swappable with an aftermarket gimbal. In that regard, would the Blade GB200 be compatible with the Solo?

    • Reply
      Drone Examiner August 12, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      Richard,

      I haven’t heard of anyone installing that gimbal on the 3DR Solo. But my advice would be to just stick with the 3DR Solo Gimbal.

  9. Reply
    Bob Smith June 17, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    And sounds like quite the machine. But it doesn’t do much good to have something on the market if you can’t purchase it anywhere. I have been trying for approximately two weeks and I’ve driven as far as 90 miles one way to pick one up only to find out that the store was mistaken and that was not in stock.

  10. Reply
    DRONEY BAGGINS June 18, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    I fly my mini quads at the same park in Berkeley, CA as the 3dr designers and have seen them out testing them quite a few times. The SOLO is a high quality drone, highly capable, but even one of their own said that a Phantom 3 is a better way to go UNLESS you already have a GoPro. I hope 3DR can include a camera with their next product.

    • Reply
      Drone Examiner August 12, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      I do agree the DJI Phantom 3 is slightly better right out of the box. But in the long run the 3DR Solo may be a better option, since it was designed to be “Future-Proof” and you wouldn’t need to replace it anytime soon.

  11. Reply
    Shawn June 22, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Almost hit the order button, then I read a few more reviews. Seems the altitude ceiling and range are big issues with this drone. Do you believe these will be fixable with either software or hardware updates? Also, I live at high altitude, about 9000ft asl, how bad will this effect the performance of this drone?

    • Reply
      Drone Examiner August 12, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      Shawn,

      I personally haven’t had a major issue with this drone. But I also never fly any of my drones when raining or when it’s windy. How high are you trying the drone to go?

      I haven’t flied a drone outside of Houston where the altitude is 43ft (according to Google), so I wouldn’t be able to tell you how the drone will perform at that altitude.

  12. Reply
    Bill June 22, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Anyone know the specific FPV-HD video components? And if they are available separately and for what price? Thanks…

  13. Reply
    Robert W. Smith June 24, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Looks like a great product but no availability.

    • Reply
      Drone Examiner August 12, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      Have you tried Amazon? It says they have a few in stock.

  14. Reply
    Peter Weinberger July 2, 2015 at 9:06 am

    This is a VERY kind review. Did the reviewer even fly the drone? Be aware, the specs look great on paper, but it’s a first generation drone with bugs to deal with. It does have great potential. Just don’t expect it to be perfect out of the box.

    • Reply
      Drone Examiner August 12, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      I have flied the drone. I haven’t really had any issues with it. It is a first generation, but 3DR has released drones of great quality in the past, it’s not exactly like it’s their very first drone they ever manufactured.

  15. Reply
    Hoover185 July 13, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    I got my Solo 2 weekends ago and have been out 3 times. The gimbal was delayed for some reason (I have contacted 3DR, they will not divulge why). The footage is of course shakey and unusable, but without a gimbal thats to be expected. What is NOT to be expected is for it to suddenly veer sideways and crash. It did it in a YouTube video (with the blonde female 3DR rep) and it happened to me on my 3rd day of testing last Sunday. It lost the GPS signal momentarily and veered sideways before I knew what was happening (thumbs off the sticks). From what I’ve read in forums and FB, etc. this has happened to several people. Also, the range of half a mile may be possible, but those are under IDEAL conditions, and they seldom are. I am going to test the gimbal when I get it (3DR emailed to confirm the 30 day satisfaction guarantee only starts after gimbal delivery), but I have pretty well already decided to return it.

  16. Reply
    Dave C July 15, 2015 at 10:45 am

    I’m looking at both the Solo and the Phantom 3 for business (Real Estate) and personal (Triathlons) use. I like the auto fly features of the Solo but the Phantom 3 has better range. Tough choice.
    Any thoughts?

    • Reply
      Drone Examiner August 12, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      For your needs I would stick with the 3DR Solo. The range itself shouldn’t really be a deal breaker, unless you know for sure you are going to need the extra range that the Phantom 3 offers.

      The 3DR Solo also offers Smart Shots like Cable Cam, Orbit, and Follow that will be great for your business and personal needs. You will need to buy the camera separately though.

  17. Reply
    Devan July 18, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    What is the lag time like for the GoPro FPV video on the smartphone?

  18. Reply
    Mike H July 24, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    How do you open the accessory bay on the 3DR Solo?

  19. Reply
    Jamie September 24, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    We have had about a dozen drones over the last 3 years and have flown thousands of hours. We have a cinestar, s900, phantom 1, 2 and 3, f550 and Solo. While the solo is an improvement over the Phantom 1 and the 2 in terms of battery life, it has many short comings compared to the Phantom 3. DJI has tested and perfected the portable drone game. The Phantom 3 has better video range, better control range, much smoother gimbal, more compact backpack for traveling, more reliable operation and gps. The upside of a Solo is its upgradable, stronger motors and slightly longer battery life. I would recommend the Phantom 3. We are returning our Solo with the 30 day guarantee.

  20. Reply
    Dave Hernandez November 24, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    I’ve had my Solo for almost two weeks now. First time flying a drone and it has been flawless out of the box. User error factored in, as I flew mine into a power line while I was mountain biking and the Solo in Follow Mode. Two props broke off, but it managed to land without breaking anything (including my GoPro Hero4 and gimbal). I screwed off the prop hubs, put on the two extras packed in and was flying in no time. With v1.3 software, the Solo is a keeper.

  21. Reply
    Tony December 26, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    I have had my solo for two weeks now and can’t say enough about it! I have flown it 19 times and each time on manual pilot. I personally haven’t lost GPS connection and Iive in an area of 80′ pine trees. I fly above them and go to the back of my property which is 2.5 acers. I max out at 150′ altitude and it flies awesome. I have amazing video as well as pictures with my Hero 4 Black attached with the gimball, The gimball operates smooth. I only wrote this review to let you know that my experience has been great.

  22. Reply
    Mike Q February 24, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Great drone, HORRIBLE SERVICE!!! I had 2 DJI drones before purchasing the Solo. I really put a lot of faith into 3DR because they’re an American company. Unfortunately, their response times are horrendous. Be weary – if something goes wrong with your Solo, it may take weeks to get a response, if at all.

  23. Reply
    david May 14, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Very informative. Thanks

  24. Reply
    GREG August 29, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Don’t purchase their drones….BUYER BEWARE….Battery life is only 10 minutes although they advertise 20 and NO NUMBER TO CALL IF YOU HAVE ISSUES AND ALL PARTS AREN”T COVERED….WORSE DRONE COMPANY EVER

  25. Reply
    Robert Mitchell October 8, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    I recently purchased the 3dr drone, been flying for a while mostly phantoms, however, I think it a great drone and easy to fly, biggest concern’s are battery life and customer service, called but could not get thru,love the lights to fly in evening, handles well, other concerns, was speed. Listed at 55mph, not even close. But overall great purchase to my fleet

  26. Reply
    larry January 17, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    I purchased the 3DR solo recently at best buy steeply discounted as they are getting out of the hobby market and focusing on the surveying business .at 299$ with extra battery and props with gimbal it is a solid deal even considering the gopro purchase .gopro 4silver or black can be had for less than 400$ new on ebay or amazon .have flown mine more than a dozen times no issues even in winds of 15+ mph not one crash be sure to update calibrate it before first flight real simple maybe 5 minutes .

  27. Reply
    shan brooks March 24, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    DONT BUY THIS DRONE IF YOU EXPECT CUSTOMER SERVICE SUPPORT

  28. Reply
    Dieter McGuire June 14, 2017 at 8:39 am

    The Solo, Well I don’t have much of a problem with the drone but I will not purchase one of these drones again just because of their customer service. A lot of the service that they claim they have doesn’t function- ie. auto flight file sent via controller, auto return, – I lost my drone recently after numerous reports of battery issues which they wouldn’t just replace. Last week I accidentally grabbed the wrong bat. and within 20 second my drone disappeared. At 148 ft the battery life went from 96% to 2% in about 7 sec…. never to be found. I tried contacting 3DR and asking if they could assist me with locating the drone maybe with GPS last tracking in my controller, but have had no replies.

  29. Reply
    Virginia August 16, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Anyone have contact with 2DR. I heard that they merged with DJI who said that the merger isn’t in the works and it is unknown. the software is not effective and cant get ahold of 2DR. Thinking about a class action law suit. Any info…ours is down, still in warranty and BEST BUY will not replace with another model. They said tough! We have a $1000 drone with no operation because of defunct software!

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