The folks at Skydio could have just sat back, relaxed, gone on vacations, and filmed more awesome footage with the original Skydio 2; most of us would have been thrilled. However, Skydio went back to work and the result is the Skydio 2+ unveiled at CES 2022, which features some fantastic upgrades.
We are in the process of reviewing the Skydio 2, and it has been a fantastic experience thus far. I am very excited to bring you a thorough review with beautiful photos and videos. With that in mind, when I heard about the announcement, I wondered, "what did they do to improve the Skydio drone?", the obstacle avoidance AI is industry-leading. The camera is damn good already, so I'm excited about what upgrades Skydio cooked up; let's have a look.
Skydio 2+ drone highlights
- 27 minutes of battery life
- 360-degree obstacle avoidance AI
- 4K 60 FPS HDR Camera
- Top Speed of 36mph
- Improved beacon range of nearly 2 miles with the new beacon and up to 3.7 miles with the controller
- 1 year limited warranty or you can add Skydio Care with up to a two-year plan and enjoy the added protection which includes faster replacement and lower replacement costs ($150 for the first time, $200 for second, and $550 for Lost Drone).
Those are some impressive specs, the first two that jump out are the nearly 2-mile control range and the 27 minutes of battery life, which is an improvement of 20%. As anyone who owns a drone will tell you, it's fun while it lasts, but that's usually about 20 minutes max. Those seven extra minutes are an eternity in-flight time while shooting footage.
The control range of nearly two miles with the beacon and almost four miles with the controller is due to Skydio coming up with an "entirely new antenna architecture and 5GHz radios." This allows users to range out and get some breathtaking footage either with the controller or autonomously while possessing the beacon.
Hold on to your seats, there's one more awesome thing.
Skydio's KeyFrame app looks to be a groundbreaking addition to the Skydio drone platform. It allows users to create a set flight plan for your Skydio 2+ drone that lets the autonomous AI do the flying and filming. You focus on the action at ground level and let the drone do the heavy lifting. KeyFrame frees filmmakers to shoot footage on terra firma and from above simultaneously.
All you have to do while your Skydio is in the air is pick keyframes and locations and then let the Skydio's powerful AI fly it autonomously through the path you've created. If you don't get the footage right the first time, you can do it again and again because the flight path you've created is saved and can be filmed until it's perfect. When I say if you don't get it right, I mean you, not the Skydio.
This is a game-changing update that is not just available for the new Skydio 2+ but also for the Skydio 2, which I will download and install for our upcoming review.
With Skydio's AI allowing you to fly autonomously, and the KeyFrame app, guys like myself who tend to shoot run and gun alone will have the ability to get some excellent drone footage without having to worry.
You can get your hands on the new Skydio 2+ at Skydio's website now. They have several kits you can choose from, and the starting retail price for the Skydio 2+ is $1,099.
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Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.