3D Robotics Solo Quadcopter

Brand: 3DR
Model: SA11A
EAN: 0737534714997
Category: Gadgets & Tools
Price: $429.99  (127 customer reviews)
Dimension: 10.00 x 18.00 x 18.00 inches
Shipping Wt: 3.30 pounds
Availability: In Stock.
Average Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Designed from the ground up as a companion to the GoPro HERO, the Solo Quadcopter with Gimbal from 3D Robotics features aerial imaging-specific flight modes including Cablecam mode and Follow Me. A quad-rotor configuration, flight stability and autonomous flying are enabled thanks to a twin computer flight control system. The flight controller relies on GPS for navigational coordinates, plus uses data from gyros, accelerators, and other sensors to keep the aircraft safely flying. The Solo includes the Solo Gimbal, a 3-axis stabilizer compatible with the a GoPro HERO3+ or HERO4 action camera. This is a ready-to-fly bundle, featuring a pre-bound transmitter (radio controller) that has been styled after a video game controller for more intuitive operation. In addition to dual joysticks for flying, it features dedicated dials for operating the Solo Gimbal. In addition to the transmitter, there is a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. The app provides full control over the aircraft, gimbal, and even the GoPro itself. A mount is provided so that you can mount your smartphone directly to the transmitter.

Features

  • Solo’s video game-style controller will feel familiar the second you pick it up, even if you’ve never flown a drone. Pushbutton commands put both camera and copter at your fingertips. Take off, land or instantly pause your flight midair with a single touch. Click to start and stop recording or snap a photo, even adjust camera angle while you fly
  • In case you missed it in the picture…that’s a high-quality HDMI port directly from the controller so you can connect Solo to practically any screen you can think of. Refer user manual below
  • Full-featured app for iOS and Android puts total craft control at your fingertips.

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Top Reviews

Horrendous customer service, complete nightmare company
by Justin (1 out of 5 stars)
July 23, 2015

I really hate to be writing this. The drone is well built and did a few really great flights that were easy to control and smooth. Right out of the box, the HDMI to GoPro didn't work. All I got on the mobile app screen was a solid magenta screen instead of a live video feed. I contacted support and they never responded. I tried again and got nothing. So I couldn't see the flight through the drone's eyes, which meant being super conservative, as well as not getting the value the whole thing is marketed around with the GoPro.

Then, on a standard landing after about 10 flights, it jerked sideways and went full speed at a hard tilt and slammed into a tree, snapping off a rotor and nearly hitting someone. It landed upside down, and when I picked it up, all the rotors turned on full blast and nearly sliced my arm open. I managed to turn it off while holding it from taking off like a zombie drone, then went immediately to write the incident to the support email.

I was offered an extremely dry and robotic-toned response of instructions to "download the log files from the vehicle and send them for review". No "sorry, that must have been a scary experience" or "wow, we're going to make this right". It's like the support emails are being fielded by backend software engineers.

Realizing I should take advantage of having made contact with someone (albeit not very helpful), I noted that I had an unanswered ticket on the broken GoPro issue. They said to test it on iOS and Android, as well as prove the GoPro works on a TV. I did all of this, taking a picture of the phone screen showing a magenta screen instead of a live video feed. The guy responded basically suggesting I was lying because he could see ceiling lights in the live feed view, citing that as proof that it's working. I promptly clarified that it was the reflection of the ceiling lights on the glassy phone screen when I took the picture, and that our ceilings aren't solid magenta. Idiot. You'd expect something instead like "I'm sorry to hear it's not working, let's get to the bottom of this to resolve the issue as soon as we can." Nope.

They finally agreed to address it by having me send the vehicle back so they can look at it to determine what's wrong and whether they can fix it for me. Again, no "we'll do what it takes to make up for selling you a broken expensive drone that almost hurt you and didn't work properly from the first use out of the box". Just a "we'll take a look".

They asked for my mailing address to create the shipping label. I sent it. Then they asked again 2 hours later. I sent it again. They said I'll need to go purchase a box to send it back in since I didn't keep the original shipping box. Then the shipping label they sent me has the wrong address under my name (remember how I sent it twice?). I just got their reply that I must have sent them the wrong address. No, I didn't.

Literally every touchpoint with the 3DR team has been absolutely horrible, and it's clear they put all the investment into the product and zero into handling customer support issues. Just no human touch or consideration at all. Cold, suspicious, and unhelpful tone of service.

While I'm at it, it's worth mentioning that after initially purchasing the Solo, they asked me two separate times to take photographs of my credit card to email them proof that I bought it before they'd approve the purchase. That process took about a week. Why they had to do this once is beyond me, and twice is just insulting.

If I were an investor with them, I'd have the ass of whoever forgot to build a support structure for customers spending $1500+ per purchase. If you buy and are lucky to get a great one, I'm sure you'll love it. But if you have 1 single issue to deal with, God help you.

UPDATE: I mailed the drone back to them about 10 days ago and haven't heard anything at all. I emailed today and still haven't gotten a response. Nothing to assure me it's arrived, or in the right hands, or status. Just silence. #thisJustKeepsGettingWorse

UPDATE #2: After 2 weeks of radio silence, I Tweeted the founder and company and the VP of support has commented here assuring it would be sent out the next day. Many days went by and I still haven't gotten the drone. I got an email 6 days after asking for tracking information, notifying me that there was a problem with delivery. Remember above how they botched my address and I corrected it twice to get the right return label? Well they sent the actual drone to the botched address instead of the correct one. They asked me to call FedEx to sort it out myself. I said I'd prefer if they would just fix it. They asked again for me to contact FedEx. I insisted that it's not my problem to fix, and I shouldn't have to spend my time cleaning this up. So he contacted FedEx and learned they'd addressed it incorrectly. Keep in mind, this is the level of service when the founder and VP of support are aware of the situation.

How many thousand of dollars in lost sales because of this review will the company have to eat until they get a single competent person from the support team to take a few minutes to get this right?
#theNightmareContinues

UPDATE #3: The unit was sent back to the billing address, which is my office in Los Angeles. I live in San Francisco (remember how I've supplied my address like 5 times now?). I had my office in LA overnight it up to me. A big sigh of relief that I finally had a fixed Solo abruptly ended when I opened the box. The controller screen was all scratched up now. It was missing the charging cable. The bottom of the Solo was also scratched up. The video feed still didn't work. One of the rotors had been replaced and the plastic was left stuck in the seam that I can't pull out. I called the support line and we were able to get the video feed working, though the app no longer had a record button so I couldn't actually capture any of the footage while it was in flight.

I've now asked for an entire replacement unit. We'll see how that goes. Here are the photos of the unit I got back that was "fixed" - (...)

The DJI is looking pretty attractive right about now.

UPDATE #4: I sent the unit back over two weeks ago to be replaced. I was promised that the moment my return shipment was logged by FedEx, they would get the confirmation it was on its way back and immediately ship the replacement overnight. Two weeks later, I haven't gotten an email or phone call, and the replacement hasn't arrived. I just called to see what the hell is going on and they said it hasn't been shipped yet, but they could offer me overnight shipping and send it out today. This is the final straw. I've asked for a full refund and never want to deal with this company again. 2+ months of my time wasted, countless frustrations, $1,500, and both the founder and VP of Support are aware - and this is the result. No human being should have to work this hard to get a company to simply get a working product to a customer who's paid for it.

This company is a nightmare. They'll happily take your money, but clearly don't care about you. KEEP YOUR MONEY AND STAY CLEAR OF 3DRobotics.

UPDATE #5: When I last called demanding a refund because they literally forgot to send me the replacement I'd been waiting for (and was promised would be overnighted as soon as they got tracking confirmation that I'd sent the broken vehicle to them), they confirmed that the replacement wouldn't be sent and instead they would process the refund. Days then went by, and it hadn't come through. I called and learned that instead of issuing a refund, they shipped the vehicle to me, and that I'd have to send it back to get the refund. Seriously!? So I waited a few days and received a small box with only a battery charger. I called and asked what's going on and they said their systems showed that I have received the new drone. I explained that I only got a battery, and they said it must have been (ANOTHER) mistake from the shipping department. So they emailed me a label to send the charger back, and promised the refund would be sent right away. Of course, 6 days later (at the time of this update), I'm still waiting with no update from them.

UPDATE #6: It's been 12 days now since I got the message that the refund was being processed. Still no refund. I'm currently on hold waiting for them to find someone in customer support who can figure out what's going on. This review is turning into a eBook.

Comcast is a customer support dream compared to this s***.
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Serious drone at a low price, but not without some sacrifices
by Mark Mutti (4 out of 5 stars)
April 26, 2017

I have gotten to know the 3DR Solo very well since I purchased it just over a week ago. I've flown it about 12 hours already, have disassembled it, and completed the necessary crash test (that tree came out of nowhere!)

First of all, this is a serious quad-copter. At the height of its popularity, a 3DR Solo package sold for about $1,100. Fast-forward to April 2017 and it's been discontinued, disowned by 3DR, and has a bad reputation. Do not expect support from 3DR! The trade-off here is self-sufficiency, so buy from Amazon who has a great return policy. Heck, maybe buy two so you have parts for months or years to come.

My experiences with Solo have been fantastic- like the kind I would have paid twice the price for. Since we're talking money here, while the thing is ready to fly right out of the box, you should factor in a phone or tablet plus a GoPro into your total cost of ownership.

Optionally you might want to purchase extra propellers and a neutral density filter kit for your GoPro.
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Amazing Technology
by DC (4 out of 5 stars)
September 22, 2018

This is actually really amazing technology. Unfortunately it was blown out of the water by DJI when they decided to offer the Mavic Pro Drone. I ended up selling mine for the Mavic. The 3DR had all the same features and was a couple years older. I also liked the open-source nature of the 3DR which allowed it to do some things that the Mavic probably can't. I loved using this drone with my GoPro that I already owned. At the end of the day though, the backpack in which I would carry it was HUGE and that meant I almost never took it with me anywhere. And if that was the case, what is really the point?
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Serious filming drone for toy drone money.
by Audio Addict (5 out of 5 stars)
May 30, 2017

This is the best purchase out there at the moment in terms drones in its class. I say this because there are reviews on the internet that compare this to say a bugs3 which is a good drone, but not in the class of this drone. This a legitimate filming drone when it works properly. Extremely smooth flyer. So much so that my friend who owns a DJI inspire 1 was very impressed and I didn't not feel jealous in the least bit in terms of flying ability and the ability to capture cinematic footage compared to the inspire. I was a little jealous of the retractable landing gear on the DJI. But the jealousy ended there. The DJI is a nice machine, but also cost at least 2 times what this drone cost. More if you use a Chinese GoPro knockoff as a camera. Which is easily done. So now for the bad. It requires both mechanical and electrical knowledge if your are not lucky enough to get a good one from the factory. If you get a good one then you are set. Enjoy being the owner of a top notch drone for the price of a basic GPS drone.

I got both one that was perfect. Luckily the first one, otherwise" my review may not have been as positive. The second I was not so lucky. It did not require a financial investment, but did require my time (about 30 minutes of reading and 10 minutes to perform the fix) which I was more than happy to give since I knew that it's a great performer when it works as it should. All in all this is an awesome buy at its current price. No doubt this is a 5 star value.
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... supposed to be followed the instructions and everything went fine took it out side fired up the
by John McDonald (4 out of 5 stars)
October 19, 2017

I received my Solo it on time opened it and everything was there that was supposed to be followed the instructions and everything went fine took it out side fired up the engines oh yeah this is straight out the box stock it picked up 12 satellites in less than 2mins and was flying with no problems period..... I haven't tried all the functions as of yet will update accordingly till then Thanks
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Almost perfect...
by First Union (4 out of 5 stars)
April 17, 2017

This would be five stars except for one minor issue and one missing feature. The only issue I had was the initial update the drone needs before flying. This took 2-3 tries before it finally connected and updated. After this the drone has been trouble free. It's very easy to fly and very stable. I've had no problems flying in windy conditions. The drone works with my gopro 4 perfectly and the added gimbal allows very smooth shots. The only thing I wish it could do is to take off from a boat. This was in the works before the company left the consumer market. The drone will only launch from a non-moving surface. Overall I found it to be a very well made product and I would buy it again.
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Love my 3DR Quadcopter
by skidoctor (5 out of 5 stars)
March 6, 2017

love my 3DR Solo quadcopter but be aware this is a discontinued product. this however was way too good a price to pass up and 3DR still seems to still be providing software updates for this quad (fingers crossed!). since i had one already, it was a great way to get all the spare parts at once at a third of the cost of a new quad. my quad arrived in good condition but appeared to be a Best Buy return rather than a new out of the box unit, this quad does not have some of the features of the new quads coming out but at this price you get a very smart drone that if you crash or lose (yes that happens) it is not a thousand dollars that has flown away. good way to learn how to fly.
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Don't buy the 3DR Solo there is no Tech Support
by Lane Mathieson (1 out of 5 stars)
October 4, 2017

The 3DR Solo Drone had great potential and when it is operable flys beautifully! I have owned the drone for 6 months and 4 of the 6 months the drone was inoperable! Problems occurred with Solo immediately including the IOS system for Solo app update for iPhone streaming video; only one update occurred and IOS updates monthly. I had to purchase an android devise with a Solex app. Worked for a few days and then no streaming video...again. Changed the HDMI cable as indicated in forums.still no video streaming to date! I want to return the 3DR Solo!!! I want my money back!!! How do I return the 3DR Solo???
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This is my 4th drone and my favorite. I came to this hobby from a photography ...
by George Roberts (5 out of 5 stars)
January 17, 2017

This is my 4th drone and my favorite. I came to this hobby from a photography point of view and the 3DR results in very smooth video. No detectable vibrations at all in the video with my Hero3. Also it's a very easy to fly drone although I still recommend you get a cheap syma x1 for practice because once when my 3dr was landing it passed a little too close for comfort to a tree and I very quickly gave it some side motion but an inexperience pilot would have pushed the wrong level most likely and moved it *into* the tree instead of away.

Anyway, what a fantastic drone. Having the view from my ipad that the camera sees is priceless. My shots are so much better framed now! And it has a 3 axis gimble (3! not 2) for the camera. This results in very smooth video. As good as any professional camera crane in my opinion.
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Save These for the Rest of Us!
by Rick (5 out of 5 stars)
October 3, 2017

UPDATE (11 Dec 2017): I now own three of these quads, affectionately known as Freedom I, II and III. After many, many flights with two, I purchased a third to ensure I have parts in the event of an unfortunate incident... which fortunately I have not had to date. I also finally picked up a GoPro 4 Black here on Amazon, which is the camera the Solo was really designed to fly. In addition to taking really excellent videos and photos of scenery, events and whatnot, I was able to spot a couple of maintenance concerns on my roof by hovering over the house and shooting hi res photos straight down (using the 3DR gimbal). Definitely love this drone, and now that I probably have enough to last me, I guess it's ok if you decide to buy one of the very few remaining!

ORIGINAL REVIEW: Definitely pay attention to all the negative reviews... that way you won't buy this and there will continue to be some available for a while for folks like me who recognize what a great quad this is for the money! I currently own two and may get a third to ensure a supply of spare parts over time. A month ago B&H Photo was selling this bundle (aircraft, gimbal, backpack) with an second flight battery for $399... two weeks ago it was the bundle without the spare battery for that price... this week it's up to $449... here on Amazon it's a little more... so the price is headed upward, probably in part because of limited availability of the gimbal. As of today a Solo without a gimbal and backpack can still be had for $229 from both sources, which gets you an amazing amount of technology for what you're paying. You must go into this purchase with your eyes open recognizing the Solo is no longer made and there's very limited support from 3DR. That said, there is really excellent technical support available from owners on the 3DRPilots Drone Forum. Generally speaking, this is a quad for people who are interested in tinkering a bit... if you have near zero interest or ability to make a true hobby of it, you may not want this. The bottom line is: don't buy this! Save them for people who can appreciate the value of this quad!

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